By now, you understand the importance of using UGC, or user-generated content. We’re talking increased brand authenticity, a more engaged community, and most notably, increased conversion. Few things are more authentic than a customer posting about your brand, and simply put, people trust each other over brands, so user-generated content often gets more engagement and traction than brand sponsored posts. The good news is that by using Gigg, you’re already collecting a lot of user-generated content. Here are some best practices when actually putting that UGC to use.

Ask Permission

While a branded hashtag, or your Gigg dashboard, is a great way to collect user-generated content – and usually a good indicator that the customer is open to sharing – it’s always best to ensure you have permission to use the photo. Try commenting on the photo with an easy, “We love this photo! Mind if we share on our account?” Not only does asking permission foster a connection and some goodwill with your initial poster, but it will save you from any copyright infringement issues down the road. In this example, you can see that the original creator tagged #thesweatlife, which is ath-leisure brand lululemon’s branded hashtag, to generate UGC. That’s generally a good indicator that she’s open to brand sharing, but in the second image, notice how lululemon asks explicit permission. This gesture fosters a conversation between the brand and their consumer, and encourages others to share their content as well.

Be Authentic

Some brands, partnering with influencers, yield high-sheen content that looks straight from an ad shoot. But not all user-generated content is the right lighting and angles. A majority of UGC is going to come from amateur photographers and videographers. We’re definitely not saying to post images that misrepresent your brand, or images that are contrary to your brand aesthetic. But we are saying don’t be afraid to use less-than-perfect UGC. That step towards authenticity, coming from real customers, will do a lot to boost your credibility as a brand, and may sway more potential customers than you think. In this example, Ashley Wagner, an Olympic figure skater, showcases Summersalt swimwear while sharing a genuine and relatable message.

Credit Your User

We all like a little credit, right? Same goes for your original creator. Make sure to tag them, and if you’re using their content across platforms, ensure you have their account information so you can tag them wherever you’re sharing. This easy gesture is a quick way to secure brand loyalty, and encourages them to continue posting about your brand. And an added bonus? Tagging the original creator helps followers recognize that it truly is user-generated content, and not something created by your brand. Additionally, original creators are likely to share their brand feature with family and friends, increasing your audience and reach. In the example below, iconic sneaker brand Vans, credits their original creator by tagging their Instagram handle in the comments, and in the image itself.
The tips are simple and easy to execute, and will help foster your brand relationships with customers. Next time you’re posting some UGC, try these tips!