Building a Thriving Community: Harnessing the Power of User-Generated Content in 2023



User-Generated Content (UGC), a term referring to various types of content—text, reviews, pictures, videos, etc.—created by users rather than by brands, is taking center stage in social media marketing strategies.

social media expert looking at phone posting user-generated content

UGC fosters an authentic connection between your brand and its audience, enhances trust, and encourages engagement, all while providing fresh and diverse content. In 2023, harnessing the power of UGC is crucial for businesses to create a thriving online community.

Benefits of User-Generated Content

UGC can significantly influence consumers’ buying decisions as it adds credibility to your brand. According to Adweek, 85% of users find visual UGC more influential than brand-created photos or videos. UGC also offers SEO benefits as it naturally incorporates keywords and increases backlinks and social signals to your website.

Strategies for Soliciting User-Generated Content

Here are 4 ways you can solicit user-generated content for your brand:

two women in robes with wine and pizza

1. UGC Contests

Hosting contests or giveaways where users must share a photo or video with a specific hashtag can significantly boost UGC production.

2. Collaborations with Influencers

Influencers can inspire their followers to create and share UGC about your brand.

3. Reviews and Testimonials

Encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials about your products or services. Not only does this provide valuable feedback, but it also serves as convincing UGC for potential customers.

4. User Spotlights

Regularly featuring user content on your social media channels incentivizes others to share their own for a chance to be spotlighted.

Legal Considerations for UGC

user-generated content creator smiling with video camera

Before sharing UGC, it’s essential to understand copyright laws and privacy rights. Always ask for permission before reposting user content and give appropriate credit to the creator.

Successful User-Generated Content Campaigns

Here are a few examples of how UGC has been used successfully:

1. GoPro

The camera company runs an ongoing UGC campaign, “#GoPro,” asking users to share their best pictures and videos taken using a GoPro camera. The best content is shared across GoPro’s social platforms, encouraging constant UGC creation.

2. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s “#ShareACoke” campaign, inviting customers to find bottles with their names on it and share pictures online, resulted in a significant increase in sales and UGC.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb successfully leverages UGC by featuring guests’ stories and pictures of their stays on Instagram, creating an online community of travelers.

Creating a UGC-Friendly Environment in 2023

women smiling having fun with pizza and wine in pajamas

UGC isn’t a one-time tactic; it should be a long-term strategy. To continually generate UGC:

  • Foster an active, engaged online community.
  • Regularly interact with your audience via comments and messages.
  • Consistently acknowledge and share user content.
  • Keep UGC guidelines clear and accessible.

Remember, the UGC strategy hinges on authenticity. Trust your users to become brand advocates, and they’ll provide genuine content that resonates with potential customers. Stay updated on social media trends, and adjust your UGC strategy accordingly. If done correctly, UGC can propel your brand to unprecedented levels of engagement and loyalty in 2023.

Looking for more ways to improve your brand’s social presence? Here’s how to Level Up Your Social Media Strategy.

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