User Generated Content Tips for Social Media

User Generated Content (UGC) Tips for Social Media Marketers

August 18, 2023
David Olsen

Want to take your UGC game to the next level? Here are our top user-generated content tips.

Are you struggling to gain traction on social media? User-generated content could be the key that you’ve been looking for to unlock success on social media.

Imagine if you could have a constant stream of jaw-dropping content coming in from dedicated brand loyalists. These posts would have the power to expand your brand’s reach, helping you to gain more traction on your profile as a result. Plus, you could then use this content for social media, advertising, and more.

This is what user-generated content can offer; increased brand awareness, supercharged engagement, a boost in leads, and even a huge uptick in sales. People trust user-generated content, with 79% of people saying that UGC “highly impacts” their purchasing decisions. In fact, UGC results in 29% higher conversion rates than campaigns that don’t use it.

But… before you start getting too excited, it’s important to keep something in mind. User-generated content – or UGC – needs a comprehensive strategy behind it, and the right tools, in order to succeed.

That’s why we sat down and created this comprehensive list of the best user-generated content tips for social media marketers.

In it, we’ll explain what UGC is, how it works, and, best of all, we’ll give you our tried-and-tested tips for UGC success.

Keep on scrolling to find out more!

What Is UGC And Why Is It Important For Brands?

What on earth is UGC? Well, user-generated content, also known as UGC, is just what it sounds like. It’s content – usually on social media, but not necessarily – created by the user.

So, what does that look like? Usually, it takes the form of customer reviews, photos, text, videos, Tweets, comments, or other social media posts.

That means UGC could be a review left on Trustpilot, a TikTok video, a testimonial left as a comment on a Facebook post, or a blog product review. This user-generated content is typically shared in a public forum for the world to see.

The best part about UGC is that it is created by consumers, not by brands. That means that it is much more valuable, as 92% of consumers trust UGC – a.k.a. other people, rather than the brand trying to sell them something.

People even seem to prefer UGC over influencer advertising, with consumers finding UGC almost ten times more impactful than influencer ads.

Best of all, when done well, UGC is extremely cost-effective, which can be super helpful for small businesses. Instead of having to pay influencers or content creators, you can get awesome content for next to nothing. So it’s definitely worth learning how to use it to your advantage.

What Are The Best UGC Examples?

UGC has the power to boost your follower count, engagement, leads, and even sales. Don’t believe us? Check out the best examples of user-generated content we could find below. These are great case studies to keep in the back of your mind when you’re creating your own UGC strategy.

First up is the ASOS #AsSeenOnMe campaign. This social media marketing campaign started way back in 2016 and was based on a very simple concept. Users posted their ASOS fashion looks with the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe. This “social proof” helped build trust with social media users. ASOS saw their number of active consumers increase by 25% and their average shopping cart increase by 2%.

Users can search through the hashtag, find the latest ASOS products, and see how they fit real-life consumers. ASOS also commonly reposts this UGC on their own feed, where they can link directly to products. To this day, ASOS brand advocates are still using the hashtag to share their outfit shots.

ASOS UCG Example

Next up, HiSmile. Australian company HiSmile is one of the best-known Instagram success stories out there, and UGC was a big part of their success. By encouraging the sharing of social media content on Instagram, HiSmile leveraged the power of UGC to build its multi-million-dollar business.

They started with a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy and expanded into user-generated content by encouraging the sharing of user selfies featuring their product. Now their community has grown so large that they even do community trials to test new products before they are released.

HiSmiles User Generated Content Marketing

Want to see more? Here are 15 more examples of big brands using UGC.

User Generated Content Tips

User-generated content can offer huge benefits for brands and agencies all over the world. But how can you track your UGC and leverage it in the best possible way for your brand? We’ve got all the tips and tricks you’ll need to create a killer UGC content marketing strategy.

Tip #1: Utilize UGC Tools

Are you already struggling to find the time to fit a user-generated content campaign into your social media marketing mix? Never fear. There are plenty of cool social media marketing tools that can help you to automate the UGC process and save time.

UGC campaigns are awesome, but as your campaigns grow over time, they can turn into a big old mess if you don’t have the right systems and tools in place to help you.

It’s all about setting up your processes from the beginning and utilizing the best UGC tools along the way.

Sked Social is a great tool to help you on your UGC journey.

Here’s how Sked can help you:

  • Search for, find, and curate your user-generated content. Sked Library can help you search for and keep tabs on specific content creators and hashtags. Brands like GoPro have thousands of UGC posts. The posts are tagged under #gopro, #goprooftheday, or saved under the various GoPro products. There are literally millions of posts that have been added by the GoPro community. When your UGC posts get out of hand, having a system in place is crucial (Find out more about Sked Library here.
  • Campaign performance tracking. How do you know if your UGC content is actually resonating with your audience? Track the performance of your user-generated content posts using Sked’s advanced reporting features.
  • Curating and posting UGC content. Use Sked to curate, categorize, and post your UGC content whenever you like. Store your content in Sked Library ready for when you want to post it. Then, schedule it straight into your feed with the in-built social media scheduler
  • Track super users and influencers. Got a bunch of dedicated brand loyalists? Track these brand ambassadors and influencers within Sked Library. You’ll be able to see any new relevant content that they post as soon as they post it

Learn more about Sked Library here.

Sked Social also features advanced reporting and social media analytics functions.  From checking post performance to tracking and analyzing long-term trends, you’ll have all the latest information at your fingertips.

Sked Social is the best platform for sourcing, storing, and sharing UGC on Instagram.

Want to access Sked Social to supercharge your UGC strategy? Give it a try today by signing up for our 7-day free plan trial.

Plus, get our line-up of the best UGC tools here.

Tip #2: Understand How To Generate UGC

Next, how do you actually get your customers to post about your brand? Well, it’s easier said than done! Sometimes you might be lucky enough to already have customers tagging your brand on social media. If so, good for you! If not, then you’ve got a bit more work to do.

But setting up the basics is pretty simple. All you need to do is create a UGC campaign to make it as easy as possible for users to tag your brand.

First up, create a UGC campaign hashtag that your customers can use on social media. That way, you’ll be able to see new UGC posts, connect with users, and gather social media content. You want your branded hashtag to be easy to remember, like the ASOS hashtag.

For instance, if you’re a food brand, your hashtag might be #YourBrandRecipes, and if you’re an IT software it might be #YourBrandAtWork or something similar.

Once you’ve decided on your hashtag, tell your customers about it! Share the news via:

  • Post-sales emails. If you don’t have one already, create an automated email thanking your customers for their purchases. In this email, be sure to include your branded hashtag and include any details about incentives.
  • Social media. Share a post with all the details about your UGC campaign. You can even add the hashtag permanently to your Instagram bio or social media profile as an added reminder to tag you.
  • Product packaging. That’s right – you can even add your hashtag and UGC incentives on your product packaging. Just include it on a printed card and add it when sending deliveries. This is great for long-term UGC campaigns. You can always change this or remove it at a later date.

If social media users are already tagging you, assess which platforms they are tagging you on. It might be a good idea to focus your marketing efforts on that channel when it comes to your UGC strategy.

From here, you can want to create a fully-fledged UGC marketing strategy to make sure people are actually posting and tagging you consistently. More on that up next!

Tip #3: Set The Goals For Your UGC Strategy

Once you’ve set up the basics, it’s time to create your UGC marketing strategy. You can integrate this into your existing social media strategy.

Before you create your UGC marketing strategy, you’ll need to make a few decisions on how you’ll approach user-generated content, such as:

  • Deciding which social media channels you want to use. You might even select a couple of different channels to focus on. For the best success, you probably want to choose your primary social media channels, or the one with the most followers.
  • Considering what types of UGC you need. For example, do you want visual content? Do you want unboxing video content? Or, would you prefer written testimonials?
  • Thinking about how you will incentivize customers. How will you get them to share content?\
  • Considering any terms and conditions or legalities (if any). Think about how you’ll incorporate these into your strategy.
  • Deciding on your overall goals for your UGC campaign. How will you use the UGC you gather? Do you need it for your website? Will you use it in email campaigns? Or do you just want it for social proof?

Once you have made these decisions, you can start to shape your UGC marketing strategy.

Want to learn how to create a UGC strategy? Get our Ultimate UGC Guide Here.

Tip #4: Amplify Your UGC Properly

Once the user-generated content has started rolling (or trickling) in, you need to amplify it. The easiest way to amplify your user generated content is to repost it on social media.

When you do this, there are a few rules to follow. You may want to;

  • Contact the original poster and ask their permission to repost their testimonial, image, podcast, or video
  • When you do share the content, tag the original content creator. Not only is this good manners, but it will help your post look more legitimate
  • Share a caption to provide context to show how or why the customer is using your product or service
  • You might also want to send your customer a link to your terms and conditions or send through an opt-in so they can give you permission to use their content. This gives you more freedom to use it for ads, on your product pages, or however you like

The easiest way to amplify user-generated content is to repost customers’ content is to repost it on the same platform. So if it’s an Instagram post or a Reel, you can easily re-share it via Stories or Remix it. If it’s a Tweet, it’s super-easy to Retweet it on your profile. This is a fairly “easy” option, but it can also look messy.

Think carefully about your re-sharing and amplification process and who will be in charge of doing this for each channel.

Finding and curating your UGC content is easier than ever with Sked Library. Here, you can track hashtags and content creators and save content directly to your own library. If you’re managing multiple brands or multiple pages you can do it for them all, all at the same time!

Find out how you can utilize the Sked Library for your UGC campaigns here.

Tip #5: Boost Your UGC Marketing Using Incentives

If your UGC campaigns haven’t been quite as successful as you had hoped, you might want to tweak your strategy. An incentive is a great way to get the ball rolling.

And, just because you offer an incentive once, doesn’t mean that you need to offer it forever. Once a few people start using your branded hashtag, other people will usually follow – incentive or not.

Here are some of the best incentives to offer;

  • A giveaway or prize for user-generated content. This doesn’t have to be a large prize, but it also depends on your product and how likely people are to share your content. If they’re already sharing UGC without an incentive, then they probably won’t need a huge incentive
  • A feature on your social channels or website. For some brands, offering their customers a shout-out on social media is enough to entice them to share their content. Many fashion brands do this for their followers, but this may not work for all brands. It depends on your target audience. Is your audience younger, tech-savvy Gen Z’s? Or are they older users who are unlikely to share unless incentivized?
  • An offer. You could offer a discount code or a two-for-one deal if someone posts UGC. This is a little more difficult to do for ecommerce retailers, but it can still be done. For example, if someone submits a review online, you could send them a discount code. For brick-and-mortar retailers, you could offer a discount in-store when someone shows you their UGC post.

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Tip #6: Understand The Legalities Of Using UGC

So, you’ve created a killer UGC campaign. You might have even dabbled a bit with reposting user-generated content. But even if your first campaign has gone off without a hitch, it’s important to understand the legal issues when it comes to how you use user-generated content.

UGC can save you a lot of money when it comes to content creation. But if you get tripped up by a legal issue, your campaign can cost you money, especially if you’re using content without permission.

Using user-generated content for your advertising campaigns without written permission can be a copyright infringement.

The safest way to obtain your UGC is to have an opt-in on your website where the user can submit testimonials, photos, or videos, and agree to you using their content however you would like. But, in the fast-paced world of social media marketing, we get that this is not always practical!

The safest way to minimize your legal risks and obtain content quickly is to;

  • Give credit to content creators. Always tag the user you obtained the content from, using their name and/or handle, or both.
  • Ask for permission. If you can, ask the content creator for permission to repost their content. Most social media users will be happy for you to use their content. After all, they tagged you!
  • Leave content in its original form. If you are dramatically altering the image, especially if it changes the intent of the original post, then most content creators are likely to get upset. It’s probably ok to make minimal edits to things like brightness but we certainly don’t advise making any significant changes to the content.
  • Be aware. If someone gets upset after you have used their image, remove it immediately. Ignoring user requests may be enough to cause someone to take legal action.

All of this might sound scary but as long as you respect original content creators, then you should be fine. If someone has taken the time to tag you in their content, you should show them the same respect back.

Tip #7: Convert Your User-Generated Content To Sales

So, you’ve created a fantastic UGC campaign and the UGC content is rolling in. Congratulations! But here’s the tricky part; how do you actually influence your customers’ buying decisions and convert that UGC content into sweet sales?

Leveraging your user-generated content isn’t rocket science. You just need to have an amplification strategy. To begin with, your strategy will depend on what types of user-generated content you have collected. Have you collected visual content, audio, or written content? This will determine which mediums you’ll be able to use your UGC for.

Here are some common ways you can leverage your UGC to help guide consumers down the path to purchase;

  • Post photos, videos, and tweets on your social feeds. From Instagram Stories to Facebook posts or TikToks, there are endless ways to use your content. When you repost, make sure you tag the handle of the original content creator and add context to the caption, so people understand what it’s all about. You can even use the original poster’s caption if it sounds good or adds credibility.
  • Use UGC in your email marketing. You can even do a whole UGC campaign featuring user-generated images or testimonials.
  • Use customer testimonials in your abandoned cart emails. Got a great testimonial? Use it as a last-ditch effort to convince someone to make a purchase. These real-world examples might be just what these potential customers need to convert.

And remember; it will be easier to track the best-performing UGC content if you can conduct regular reporting. Sked Social’s advanced reporting analytics can help you track your campaign hashtags and monitor post performance. Metrics like engagement, video views, and conversions can show you which UGC content is the most valuable. Then these insights can help refine your UGC strategy for next time.

Want to see if Sked works for your next UGC campaign? Give it a try today by signing up for our 7-day trial.

Want To Take Your User Generated Content Strategy To The Next Level?

Word-of-mouth and UGC content can turn into some of the most valuable marketing collateral you can find. But it’s easy for a UGC campaign to snowball and turn into an unmanageable beast!

Sked Social is a powerful social media marketing tool with the ability to streamline your user-generated content process and save hours every month. It allows you to track, collect, curate, and post user-generated content, all in the one place.

Aside from all that, it lets you edit and schedule your social media posts and produce comprehensive social media marketing reports so you can find out which UGC is performing well – and which isn’t.

If you want a comprehensive social media scheduling tool that allows you to automatically schedule content in real time for every major social media platform, Sked Social is the one for you. Get ready to revolutionize your UGC campaigns!

Want to set up a killer user-generated content strategy? Get started by signing up to Sked’s 7-day trial today or learning more about our pricing.


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