How to Encourage Authentic User-Generated Content
User-generated content on social media can elevate your brand’s visibility online as much as brand-generated content. When other people are talking about your products or services instead of only you alone, you’ve tapped directly into social proof. However, inauthentic user-generated content, whether commissioned by your brand or not, will be largely ineffective compared to material that is real and natural. Discover how to get the most authentic content from passionate customers and social media users.
Influencers and Calls to Action
Sometimes, the best way to get a customer to do something is to ask. Calls to action become even more important if you are marketing via social media influencers. For example, a blogger could describe your service’s free trial and encourage followers to try it and post their experiences. This recommendation could lead to greater awareness than if the blogger hadn’t included a pro-content call to action.
A health and beauty influencer creating content for a teeth-whitening solution could show a before-and-after picture of the individual’s teeth after using the product and ask followers to post before-and-after pictures of their teeth-whitening journeys, as well. The key to being authentic is allowing participants to share their teeth-whitening pictures. This engagement helps reduce cynicism and allows more people to participate by creating more buzz around something your business has created.
Something to Offer
Even with the prevalence of social media, members of your target audience often fall into routines. You may need to convince them to post or comment on something unusual. The solution is to create an impression in your influencers’ minds that they have something to offer. Some examples of this strategy include the following:
- Requesting opinions so that users can offer their insights. A company that sells fruit jams could create a charming debate by asking followers whether chunky or smooth peanut butter is better.
- Raising awareness for a cause so that users offer agreement. This idea is particularly strong for businesses that have a motivational or self-improvement aspect. A passive income teacher could declare “war against the rat race” with a passionate story about his terrible old job, and this account could inspire equally passionate stories from other people about their jobs.
- Showing dedication so that users can offer their support. For example, if your brand demonstrates its participation in a charity event to end homelessness in your home city, locals who identify with that cause will be inclined to offer support to you and regard you as an ally.
Instead of blatantly asking for something specific, such as customers’ opinions or support, you imply that they have something to offer and that your brand values it. This feeling of being valued, inferred instead of directly stated, is the key to staying authentic.
Competition, Tests, and Games
Games are effective for engaging users, and gamification has been a growing element in social media user-generated content. Tests, quizzes, polls, contests, and games all favor interactivity to encourage social sharing. To apply this approach to user content, consider the following ideas:
- Encourage customers to tell stories or draw artwork related to your product or their industry as part of a contest.
- Target your competition or game to committed customers and then encourage them to tell friends.
- Create something enjoyable for its own sake. Users will be more likely to share a quiz or game if they can call it fun or interesting beyond simply mentioning a reward for doing it.
However you design a gamified strategy, be sure to celebrate the winners of any contests you have. For example, if your brand hosts an art contest and you reveal the winners on the homepage of your website and in social media posts, people will feel more encouraged and excited to win future contests. Show how much your brand cares about those who participate.
Creating a hashtag will give social media users more incentive to create posts and other content by increasing the chances of it being seen. You’ll get the most participation with hashtags with engagement baked into the idea. One fantastic example is #ShareaCoke, the hashtag for the Share a Coke campaign with Coca-Cola adding various first names to bottles of their soda. People took pictures of Coke bottles with the names of someone they knew on social media and shared the photos with people using the #ShareaCoke hashtag.
Out of every method and technique for getting genuine, high-quality user-generated content, influencer marketing is perhaps the most powerful method. What could be simpler than creating ways for popular social media personalities to make content for you? A great influencer’s content often inspires people to create content of their own in return and build momentum for a viral campaign. Intellifluence’s simple platform turns finding and communicating with your ideal influencers into a straightforward process. Brands can create campaigns and add influencers seamlessly using the Influencer Discover tool. Take a look if you’d like to maximize your influencer marketing results.