The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Growing small businesses through User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) has become essential in the world of social media marketing. Anything that is created by the consumer that is specific to the brand or company is considered user-generated content. More and more, consumers want to feel included. It has become a natural instinct to ask peers for their opinions before doing things like making purchases, consuming various content, and making certain decisions. Putting the consumers at the forefront of a marketing campaign has become a useful tactic to build trust and loyalty among the target audience while expanding the brand’s portfolio of content.

Running a Successful User-Generated Content Campaign

When using UGC in a marketing campaign, making sure to ask permission and give credit is at the top of the To-Do list. Being diverse and authentic is also a key factor in successfully running a UGC campaign. Aerie, the American lifestyle retailer, does a phenomenal job with UGC in their #AerieReal campaign. The brand uses content created by its consumers and brand ambassadors to advertise its products on real bodies. This campaign in particular was so successful because consumers are more likely to post and share user-generated content when they feel acccepted and included by the brand. The inclusivity and celebratory aspect surrounding the #AerieReal campaign allowed for consumers to be more comfortable sharing their content.

Setting Goals

Despite the casual nature of UGC, it is still important to determine specific, campaign-oriented goals. Whether it is increasing brand engagement, expanding on the type of content produced, or building on brand trust, goals are essential in the marketing strategy.

  • Increasing Brand Engagement – When utilizing UGC in the form of social media influencer partnerships, these users tend to spark an increase in likes, comments, and shares of the company’s content through their own branded content being produced.
  • Expanding the Type of Content – Using content that is produced by your audience of consumers not only allows for the brand to save time and money on creating content but also allows them to showcase creative content not usually seen on their accounts. Brands can find and share this content through the use of hashtags and keyword searches.
  • Building Trust – If there is one thing that consumers will trust, it’s the opinions of fellow consumers. Tracking the positive feedback via keyword search associated with the company will determine how consumers are feeling towards your products/services.


User-generated content is a great way for a company to build on the community aspect of a business. Not only is this content forming a relationship between brand and consumer, but also between consumers themselves by introducing them to new people with the same interests as them. Interacting with and sharing the content produced by your followers is a great way to form a bond and engage with them. Seeing that your content has been reposted or mentioned by your favorite brand is just the thing to keep a customer coming back.

Category: Advanced Tactics

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