Are You Down with UGC?

What could be better than having your best customers and biggest fans spreading the word about how awesome your company is via their own blogs, wikis, forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasts, images and video? And best of all, you don’t have to lift a finger.

For more than a decade, the role of user generated content has been growing. If you aren’t already harnessing the power of your customers during your events or conferences, what are you waiting for? We’ve got the 411 on why UGC content is valuable and how you can reap all its many benefits.

You know what happens when you assume …

If you start taking advantage of UGC you no longer need to assume what customers are sharing, where they are sharing it, why they like something or how they are interacting with your product and each other—their posts and tweets will tell you all you need to know.

Your story isn’t their story …

Let’s face it, we can all be a bit self-involved. But if your company’s story is blinding you to telling the right story to connect with your desired customer or audience, it’s time for you to step back and refocus. If you make it personal for your customers, and they trust you, their UGC will reinforce and extend your marketing efforts.

You have influencers, use them …

Start by asking yourself if influencer marketing is a smart approach for your product and company. If it fits into your tactics, then forge ahead wisely. For instance, you want to align yourself with an influencer whose audience relates to your product and falls within the demographic you are pursuing. Another tip, if you are planning an Instagram campaign, you probably don’t want to opt for an influencer who’s big on YouTube—it’s important to stay within the influencer’s lane.

You want a hashtag with that …

Just like fries go with a burger or peas go with carrots, a hashtag is a natural addition to your UGC efforts. That being said, you don’t want to simply create a campaign that is your company’s name, so get a bit more creative. Think about what your intended audience might use or relate to, and be sure that whatever you select can be used organically in a way your audience will get.

You build it, and they will come …

Finally, how can you bring this all together and fruition through your next company event? During the planning of said event or conference, be sure to brainstorm not only amazing content that people will be dying to share, but also multiple opportunities for attendees to snap related images and utilize your hashtag.

The reason UGC can be so effective is the authenticity it conveys to your customers. And that same “realness” can benefit you and your business in more ways than one. Rewarding and recognizing your biggest fans is another way to keep your audience excited and engaged in what you do. And if the day comes when you are struggling for a way to connect with your customers, reviewing what is exciting your users via their user generated content could help spark your next great idea.