Just this week I was strolling social media and I saw a perfect example of user-generated content. A friend shared a video of a mom raving about her new vacuum cleaner. Her new household vacuum cleaner was in fact a Rigid Shop Vac! These are normally for industrial use but she went on and on about how it cleaned her carpet, hard floors, and even sucked up a plate of spaghetti with it. She emphasized how affordable it was and showed how indestructible it was by rolling it down the stairs!

Her video was not a paid promotion or ad. It was all genuine. The manufacturer took notice and shared her content. You better believe that as a mom of two young kids and a dog that sheds, I watched her videos and now want a shop vac for home use! She originally shared her video on TikTok which at this moment has almost 500k views. The Facebook post that I saw had almost 12k shares in the three days since it was posted and the number continues to grow quickly!

What is User Generated Content?

User-Generated Content is any content created by a customer or client completely on their own and shared with others. These could be video reviews like mentioned above, photos highlighting your product or service, #hashtag reviews, or testimonials. Think about the reviews or testimonials that you have shared publicly. Usually, they happen when a product or service wows us or really disappoints. As a business owner, you should take advantage of those “wow” reviews and take steps to remedy the disappointing ones. 

Why Is User Generated Content So Effective?

Studies show that over 70% of consumers research reviews before making a purchase. I know that I do. I want to know what a person really thinks about a product or service before buying it. If it is recommended by a friend, it will carry even more weight. User-generated content is exactly that- recommendations by real people. Whether it be a review of a past purchase or a photo showing the product, seeing your product in action by a genuine customer will increase your market. The bottom line…people trust it. 

How Can I Encourage User Generated Content in my Business?

One simple way is to ask for reviews and recommendations. These reviews can come from social media, a follow-up email, or when dealing with a happy client or customer, simply ask if they would mind writing up something for you. You can highlight these reviews on your website, on your social media, or in your newsletters. 

Another way is to implement a custom hashtag. Maybe you have a special campaign you are running on social media. Creating a custom hashtag helps you to keep track of all of the posts and those that are shared by others. Be sure to research the hashtag you choose before announcing it publicly to make sure it is not connected with a competing brand or idea that you do not wish to be associated with. Our social media scheduling tool called Sycamore Social has a special “social listening” tool that helps us keep track of hashtags and keywords we monitor for our clients. When someone shares and uses your hashtag we are notified of it and can then thank them or perhaps share their content! 

Getting people to see and learn about your business is what digital marketing is all about. Using user-generated content is one tool in our belt for getting the word out about your business. The crew at Dogwood would be thrilled to take a look at what you have working for you and make some recommendations on some steps that could strengthen your digital presence. Contact us today and let’s work together to get others talking about you!

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