How to Run a Successful User Generated Content Campaign on Social Media

Nov 2015

One of the best ways to interact directly with your fan base is to illicit content from them via a content campaign. Not only will you give your audience an easy and fun way to connect with your brand, you will also gain significant social proof and tons of great content that you can repurpose for future marketing efforts. All of this sounds great in theory, but the question remains: how to incentivize your fans to actually participate? We’ve broken down the six steps needed to run a successful user generated content campaign for your business.

Photo: @mrsturnerisawesome
Photo: @mrsturnerisawesome
  1. Create a unique and/or evergreen hashtag. If you haven’t already, this is a great way to brand all your content and organize it into categories that are easier for users to consume. The more you can track your efforts, the better you can judge the efficacy of the campaign. You want to make it as easy as possible for users to find and interact with your brand using that specific hashtag.
  1. Align campaign goals with overall marketing and business goals. When running this type of campaign, you want to ask yourself: what do I hope to achieve? Once you know the micro goal, you can create a campaign that’s designed to give you the content you’re looking for, as well as begin to connect that with larger marketing and business efforts.
  1. Choose your networks. Setting a goal for your campaign is crucial because it will subsequently determine what channels you choose to promote it. If you’re looking for testimonials, Facebook or LinkedIn are more suited toward descriptive text and written feedback. If it’s photo or video content you’re after, Instagram and YouTube are the channels you want to direct your fans to. However, just because one channel may not support the content you’re looking for, does not mean it can’t still be used to promote your campaign. Leverage all your social networks to reach the widest audience.
  1. Reward users with promotions, discounts, and by displaying their content. One of the main reasons people participate in social media campaigns is for the opportunity to be featured. Everyone wants his or her five minutes of fame, and this is an instance in which sharing content is mutually beneficial. You can also rewards users with promotional materials, prizes, or discounts and promo codes. Make them feel special, and you will have loyal followers for life.
  1. Engage with participants. As soon as your audience starts posting, make sure to meet them halfway and respond to all comments, questions, and reposts! This can also open the door for more extensive collaborations in the future.
  1. Use results to understand consumer behavior and preferences. There is a lot of value in interpreting and analyzing the successes and areas of improvement after any marketing campaign. Uncover which channels are your most active, where can you afford to spend more time, and how to tweak these types of campaigns for greater success the second or third time around.

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