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10 Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement with User-Generated Content.

Genevieve Chukwuma

User-Generated Content

Genevieve Chukwuma

The era of User-Generated content is upon us! It has become a phenomenon that has disrupted the world of marketing on social media as we know it. With the recent and rapid rise of platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, consumers can now curate and share content easily. These recent developments have made Nigerian brands realize the power of harnessing the creativity and influence their audience posses to boost social media. From viral challenges and collaborations to reviews and testimonials, UGC has become an integral part of any successful social media strategy. In this article, we’ll explore how UGC can boost your social media game, and why Nigerian brands who ignore this trend risk being left behind.

Why User-Generated Content Boosts Social Media Engagement?

User-generated content (UGC), also known as user-created content (UCC), is any form of content ranging from images and videos to testimonials and audio recordings. Consumers create this content to disseminate information or endorse a product or service. In recent years, UGC has become increasingly important for social media engagement because it creates a sense of community and authenticity for brands.

User-Generated content also provides brands with a cost-effective means of content creation. Users creating and sharing content voluntarily helps brands save time and money on content creation efforts. It can also provide valuable insights into how customers perceive and interact with a brand. By monitoring UGC, Nigerian brands can better understand what resonates with their audience and use that information to inform their marketing and product development strategies.

Although both user-generated content and branded content can be used in marketing, UGC is frequently more impactful because it is perceived as more genuine, engaging, and cost-effective.

User-Generated content (UGC) vs Branded content 

User-generated content is content created and shared by consumers on behalf of a brand, while branded content refers to any content made by the brand, whether it is produced in-house or outsourced. In recent years, UGC has become a more effective tool to increase brand engagement on social media. According to a survey conducted by Stackla in 2019, 86% of consumers believe UGC is a good indicator of brand quality, while 57% say that UGC is the most authentic form of content. When compared to branded content, UGC has proven to be more effective in providing social proof for brands. Customers are more likely to trust and engage with a brand when they witness their peers using and enjoying its products or services. The impact of UGC on conversion is even greater, with Yotpo data showing an average 161% increase between users who see UGC in all industries.

A prime example that shows UGC is more effective in increasing brand engagement on social media is the case of GoPro. GoPro is an action camera brand that encourages its customers to submit photos and videos of extreme sports and adventure activities captured on their cameras. Later it was reported by Adweek the UGC content created by GoPro fans generated six times more engagement than the brand’s content. The company’s revenue skyrocketed by 31% after the launch of its UGC campaign. These impressive results show how UGC can be leveraged to boost engagement and revenue for brands.

Piggy Vest and How they leveraged UGC to Boost Their Social Media

Piggyvest, a Nigerian savings and investment platform, has successfully leveraged user-generated content (UGC) to boost their social media engagement. The brand even gave back to the community during the festive period using the hashtag #PiggySanta to not only encourage user-generated content but also foster a sense of community.

Piggy Santa

This UGC strategy has proven to be highly effective in building a sense of community around the brand and encouraging others to sign up. Additionally, Piggyvest also shares user-generated content on their own social media platforms, which serves as social proof of the platform’s effectiveness and credibility.

Piggy UGC

Piggyvest also runs campaigns that encourage users to share their stories of financial success or struggles, which provides valuable insights for the brand to improve services and connect with their audience on a personal level.

Save with Piggyvest

Overall, Piggyvest’s UGC strategy has helped them to establish themselves as a trusted and reliable savings and investment platform in Nigeria, and has contributed to their rapid growth in the market. 

10 Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement with User-Generated Content

  • Run a UGC campaign
  • Create a branded hashtag 
  • Use social listening tools
  • Leverage influencers to promote UGC
  • Encourage user-generated content creation
  • Promote strong Call To Actions in key locations. 
  • Encourage customer reviews
  • Collaborate with other brands for UGC campaigns
  • Host live events
  • Monitor your social media 

1. Run a UGC campaign

Launch a UGC campaign or contest on your social media platforms that has specific guidelines and a compelling incentive for your audience to participate. Ensure that the UGC generated aligns with your brand messaging and quality standards. It is key to add rewards or incentives such as a prize or recognition to motivate your audience to create and share high-quality content.

2. Create a branded hashtag

Creating a branded hashtag that is unique and relevant to your brand can be a powerful tool in promoting user-generated content on social media. By encouraging your followers to use your branded hashtag when sharing their content, you can effectively curate and showcase user-generated content related to your brand. This can help increase your brand engagement and expand your brand’s reach beyond your immediate audience.

3. Use social listening tools

By monitoring social media channels and tracking mentions of your brand or products, you can also gain valuable insights into how your audience perceives and interacts with your brand. Moreover, social listening tools can help you stay on top of emerging trends or conversations related to your industry or niche, allowing you to engage with your audience in real-time and capitalize on timely UGC opportunities. 

Related: Designing for Social Media: How to Create Compelling Visual Content for Your Channels 

4. Leverage influencers to promote UGC

Partnering with influencers or micro-influencers who align with your brand values and messaging can be a highly effective way to generate user-generated content. By working with influencers with a strong social media presence and engaged following, you can tap into their existing audience and leverage their influence to create and promote UGC related to your brand. This will also give your brand more exposure and reach new audiences. 

5. Encourage user-generated content creation

It can be an effective way to encourage user-generated content and increase your brand engagement. For example, you could create polls or quizzes related to your industry or products, and encourage your audience to share their responses or results on social media using a branded hashtag. This not only encourages user-generated content but also helps to foster a sense of community around your brand, as followers can engage with each other and compare their responses.

6. Promote strong Call To Actions in key locations

Encourage your customers to use your branded hashtag by placing a strong call to action in places where your customers engage with your content. Nigerian brands can do this on social media, apps, website, blog, and catalogues.

7. Encourage customer reviews

Encourage your customers to share their reviews or testimonials on your website or social media platforms to establish credibility and trustworthiness with potential customers. You can also offer incentives or rewards for those who leave feedback or featuring the best reviews on your website or social media pages to encourage more participation. Responding to customer feedback, whether positive or negative, shows that you value their opinion and are dedicated to improving their experience.

8. Collaborate with other brands for UGC campaigns

Partnering with other brands or businesses in your industry can help to expand your brand’s reach and attract new audiences. For example, a clothing brand could collaborate with a shoe brand to create a photo or video campaign that showcases their products being worn together stylishly. This can lead to increased engagement and brand awareness for both businesses involved.

9. Host live events

Organize and host events that allow attendees to engage with your brand and encourage them to share their experiences and photos on social media using your branded hashtag. These events could be in-person or virtual, such as webinars or online workshops. Live events provide a great opportunity to generate buzz and excitement around your brand and can help to foster a sense of community among your audience.

10.  Monitor your social media 

Monitor your brand’s social media accounts regularly and engage with user-generated content by liking, commenting, or sharing posts created by your followers. By doing so, you can foster a deeper connection with your audience and increase engagement on your social media platforms. Responding to UGC also shows your followers that you value their contributions and appreciate their support, which can help to strengthen brand loyalty.

Related: 5 Mistakes Social Media Marketers Make

Legal and ethical considerations for Using User-Generated contents

Although UGC can help brands engage with their audience and create authentic content, they need to ensure they may use the content for commercial to avoid legal or ethical issues. Getting explicit consent through a waiver or release form is one way to do this, and it’s crucial to communicate clearly with content creators about how their UGC will be used and any compensation they may receive.

Brands must also avoid using any intellectual property of third parties and avoid using copyrighted material without obtaining proper permissions. Finally, brands should also respect the privacy of individuals and get explicit consent before using personal information in UGC campaigns. Brands should be cautious about cultural and societal norms when selecting UGC to use and avoid using offensive or controversial content. 

Conclusion on Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement with User-Generated Content

Incorporating user-generated content into your marketing plan is an effective way to increase engagement, build community, and establish credibility with your audience. By following our 10 tips, you can encourage your customers to share their experiences with your brand through videos, photos, and testimonials. This will help your brand to reach a wider audience and boost revenue.

If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level with user-generated content, WSI Axon’s digital marketing services can help. Our team of experts can guide you through the process and help you create a successful UGC strategy that aligns with your business goals. Book a free consultation today to learn more about how WSI Axon can help you leverage the power of UGC for your brand.

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Oti is a vastly experienced digital media and marketing professional with over 10 years of industry experience. He has worked across Agency, Brand, Publisher and Marketing Technology sides of the industry in various capacities.

Driven by a strong commitment to continuous innovation, Oti has managed so many successful digital projects across Africa and Europe for brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Guinness, Kellogg’s, EA Games, Sony Entertainment, etc., and advises senior management of global brands on data-driven marketing and digital transformation.

Consumer insights in marketing: Oti

Oti currently heads Product at Terragon Group, Africa’s leading data aggregation, enrichment, and activation company, where he is responsible for developing innovative data-driven marketing solutions for SMBs and Enterprises across Africa.

Oti is the current President of Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP), the foremost professional body for digital marketing practitioners in Nigeria. He is also a communications consultant to the African Union in areas of youth engagement and digital interactions. A known public speaker, teacher and trainer, Oti has facilitated several conferences and digital events, and was recognized by Marketing Edge Magazine as an Outstanding Digital Marketing Personality of the year 2021.