How to use user-generated content

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When you’re running social media accounts for your business or brand, there’s no doubt that coming up with content all the time can be difficult. While there are tons of guides to posting, prompts and more (including our Social Media Prompts and Ideas download), there’s one type of content that often goes under utilized: User-generated content.

User-generated content helps your customers and members of your community tell your story for you. According to Social Media today, users:

  • Say that user-generated content is more trustworthy than branded content.
  • Find that user-generated content is more appealing and authentic than classic product images.
  • Say that user-generated content has influenced a purchasing decision.

So, how do you get your users to participate?

Start a hashtag. If your brand has a hashtag already, encourage shoppers and community members to use it.

Encourage users to tag you in their photos. Put a simple sign on your checkout counter, or send a message in their receipt letting them know that they can tag you in their product photos.

Ask them to use their photos. If a user hasn’t tagged you or used a hashtag, but you know a product in it is yours, consider just asking them to use the photo. A simple direct message goes a long way. Remember, if you use a photo that someone else has taken, always credit them.


Once they participate, how do you use the photos?

It’s one thing for your users to participate and help you create a library of content, but how do you actually use it? First, check out some third-party apps that help you share user-generated content: Our favorites are Repost and Tailwind.

Make sure when you’re reposting or re-using content that you’re telling your own story with it. Add your own personal voice and flair to the post — don’t just share the same exact caption that your user did.


What’s your favorite example of user-generated content?

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