User-generated content must be one of the smartest things a brand can use as content. It is a way to truly become one with its audience. By inviting your audience’s content into your platform, you are getting the most varied and creative input at no extra cost for the brand. You are also lending your platform and your influence to give power to your followers. However, one must know how to push its audience to want to participate and create the UGC.
My Facebook group is called Miami Food Vice and it is a food reviews-based Facebook group with a focus on the culinary scene of Miami. The description of the group says it all. The only way for it to truly thrive is for people to contribute their own restaurant reviews and create their own culinary oriented posts. Therefore, having members creating UGC is a priority for me. These are the techniques I plan on setting in motion to motivate them to start creating and sharing.
Half of consumers wish that brands would tell them what type of content to create and share. Therefore, when new members join the group, they will find a message on this right in the group’s description pinned at the tip. The message will flat out tell the members to participate with restaurant reviews that include multimedia as well as personal details they want to include such as photos of themselves with their friends or spouse. The group’s rules and regulations will be included as a guideline too.
Even though hashtags are more of an Instagram thing, I will start a hashtag trend to encourage people to jump in and create their own UGC. By creating unique food related hashtags people will want to be a part of the community by including their own take on it.
For example, #Tacotuesday may be appropriate to the group, but it is not unique to the group. Instead, #Friedfriday is a unique food related hashtag and #LocoLocal is a nonfood related hashtag that can still be used for a trend showing off the most over the top restaurants and dishes in the area. An added perk of doing this is that you can then easily track submissions. This will also serve as your creative arsenal anytime you want to share some UGC content. For example, at the end of the month I could feature the top three most decadent submissions received. It is important to repost some of the content created by the audience to sort of reward and acknowledge their creativity.
In my Miami Food Vice group, a good reward would be a gift card to a local restaurant so that the winner may enjoy a meal there. A contest that would tie in well with the group and that reward would be the “Recreate Your Favorite Contest.” This contest would entail in showing a photo of your favorite dish at a Miami restaurant, and a photo of your recreation of that dish at home. Recipes and tips can be included in each post.
There are several ways to make your audience get involved in creating UGC, however, to be the most successful, a brand should make it entertaining, specific, and, original.