Savvy social marketers are aware that earned media, also known as User-Generated Content, performs better than traditional media. With UGC, organizations gain the ability to enhance visual merchandising and provide customers with a truly authentic shopping experience. But just how does a business acquire this type of content?

If you’ve made the decision to incorporate UGC into your marketing strategy, here are some helpful tips.

Browse through your existing fan photos on Instagram.

Securing UGC depends on offering the best possible product or service to customers.

Search for photos by location: Instagram’s geo-tagging feature makes it easy to source images from a specific retail store or restaurant.

Search for photos by hashtag: Look up your brand’s name and browse through the results.

Encourage users to post with a contest and branded hashtag.

Running a targeted contest with an actionable hashtag encourages followers to post about your product or service. The result? A valuable stream of UGC for your social media manager to pull from. Add these hashtags to your brand’s website and Instagram bio for further promotion.

Engage users based on their post-purchase activity.

Similar to a contest, encouraging users to post photos of themselves with their recently purchased products will supply your organization with consistent, favourable UGC.

Work with influencers.

Finding an influencer whose interests, photo feed, and following resonate with your audience can be incredibly valuable for your brand. By posting images of your product, influencers drive awareness and inspire users to purchase.

Warning: Ensure that your influencer of choice aligns with your image. Influencer partnerships which lack authenticity have the potential to do more harm than good.

To summarize, incorporating UGC into your social marketing plan will enhance your brand and facilitate commerce. Try out these strategies today.