Source user-generated content
1. Identify existing user-generated content on your social media channels, third-party review sites, or on your own website.
Some likely places where you can find UGC are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. You may also see UGC in blog post comments or tagged posts on social media platforms. Consider using a social media management tool to help you with social listening and monitoring across all platforms. Some popular tools are Buffer, Falcon.io, Hootsuite, and Mention.
2. Encourage social sharing and new UGC across your social media platforms by hosting creative contests that engage your target audience.
Hosting a social media contest is an excellent way to increase your reach because it typically requires your followers to comment, tag their friends in a post, share content, or even post their own photos and videos of them interacting with your brand. For example, Chipotle created the #ChipotleLidFlip challenge on TikTok in May 2019, which generated hundreds of millions of views and inspired people to post their own TikTok videos of them participating in the challenge.
3. Create branded hashtags that inspire your audience to post their experiences with your business using the hashtags.
A classic example of this is Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign. In 2014, Coca-Cola created personalized cola bottles with people’s names on them. This inspired fans to post photos of themselves sharing the unique soda bottles with others and using the hashtag #ShareACoke when talking about their experiences.
4. Generate new UGC by encouraging customers to write reviews on your Google Business page or sites like Yelp.
You can encourage reviews by including direct links to the above sites in thank-you emails or on your web pages. Be sure to follow each site’s specific guidelines. For example, Yelp does not allow businesses to solicit reviews from their customers as it can lead to biased results.
5. Inspire your blog readers to leave more comments on your posts by writing engaging prompts for them.
Consider asking your readers direct questions towards the end of your posts to encourage more comments on your blog. Generating UGC through comments on your blog posts will help boost SEO because it will increase the engagement on each of your posts.
6. Search for users talking about your brand on forum sites like Reddit or Quora, and respond to their questions to build engagement and brand awareness.
Web users may already be asking questions about your brand or having discussions with other users on these kinds of sites. You can conduct a manual search for your business name on these forums and interact with various posts to drive more engagement and increase your brand reach. If forum visitors see that your business actively responds to users asking questions or giving feedback, it can encourage more people to start talking about your brand on the forums.
7. Consistently engage with your audience across all of your marketing channels to increase brand awareness and inspire more user-generated content.
You may consider using a social media management tool like HubSpot Marketing Hub, Sprout Social, or Buffer to consolidate interactions and make it easier to monitor and engage with your audience.
8. Select glowing testimonials from satisfied customers to display on your website.
User-generated content like product reviews or customer videos can provide valuable social proof on your website. This can help increase trust in your brand, lead to more conversions, and a greater ROI over time.