Social media is about community and creating shared experiences that inspire, educate, empower, engage and create change. User-generated content is content created by your community and it’s powerful for building trust and creating emotional connections in a personal and a very meaningful way.
User-generated content comes in many different forms; here are some examples to show you what’s possible.
- Community promotion
- Customer stories
- Live Q&As
If building your online community and growing your business is a priority, here are four reasons why user-generated content must be part of your strategy.
User-generated content will increase brand awareness
This is your opportunity to broaden your reach, connect with new people, new brands, and new markets. People love to engage with user-generated. If it’s something they can relate to, have experienced themselves or would like to experience in the future, then they’ll participate in conversations and share it with their friends and connections. User-generated content is compelling and it can be more influential than brand content. Think of the opportunities this can create for your business.
User-generated content will boost engagement
People love sharing their customer experiences on social media and this can significantly boost engagement on your social networks because we all know that people love to like, comment, retweet, repost and share content that resonates with them. Including personalised content from members of your community on your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Instagram account and on Twitter will create an impact. To boost engagement the content must be the right fit. It’s important to plan it first and to ensure the user-generated content you’d like to create is aligned with your brand story and is relevant to each of your social networks. It’s not a one size fits all approach, what works on Instagram won’t necessarily be suitable for LinkedIn and vice versa. Research and plan everything before you start and mix it up, don’t just use testimonials, be sure to include other forms of user-generated content that will allow you to emotionally connect and inspire others within your community.
User-generated content will generate leads
User generated content shows your products and services in action and has the power to provide reassurance to those looking to make buying decisions. It’s a great way to showcase value, and what you have to offer without directly selling. Before I buy something I look on social media to read and learn about other customer’s experiences with the product or service I’m looking to buy. I want to imagine what it would be like to have the product or service and whether or not it would fit into my life. And, I’m certainly not the only person who does this. According to an Australian social media trends survey by Nielsen, approximately 69 per cent of people use social media to source information and reviews about products and services. These statistics are rising every day. As consumers, we place a lot of trust in the thoughts, experiences, and reviews from our friends, family and connections. So you can understand and appreciate why it’s critical to include user-generated content into your social media activity because this will help you build relationships and attract the right leads to your business.
User-generated content brings people together
User-generated content will not only benefit you, it will greatly benefit your community. By involving your people in your story you will create connections, build relationships, engage in real conversations and your community members will feel a sense of belonging and feel like they’re part of something much bigger.
User-generated content has the power to inspire action and create change.
How will you include your community in your story? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Annette McDonald is a print, design, brand and advertising expert. She is an innovator who has changed the way the
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