Around 200 billion tweets and 80 million new photos are posted on Twitter and Instagram every year. Is your content targeting these???
Well, this was just the tip of iceberg! There’s an entire ecosystem of user-generated content across the web. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the major sources where you can get the hang of whatever’s happening out there.
So is it right to say you have the ideas, skills, and passion it takes to rule yet just need the right direction? If yes, then fret not, you can channel the power of user-generated content on these popular social networks to come up with some absolutely compelling blog posts of your own.
Good question. Let’s unveil the mystery.
First things first…do anything but don’t underestimate the power of Twitter!
The days of Twitter being regarded as an influencer-only platform are long gone. Today, it is the main source of all news and current happenings across the globe. Social media is the ultimate platform for news these days with billions of users from every corner of the world. So if you are blogger or content marketer, this is the best time for you to harness the social media factor as your inspiration and source of your content.
User generated content can be used in several different ways from getting complete details to coming up with reaction to specific topics. In this post, we will try to understand how one can use the user-generated content to create interesting blog posts.
Why Go With UGC?
Why tell you stories when we have the facts to prove it!
UGC is considered to be:
According to a research by Forrester, user-generated content was found to be approximate:-
- 50% more RELIABLE
- 35% more MEMORABLE
- 20% more ENGAGING!
That’s pretty enough of what you need. So let’s find out the process to reap the goods of user-generated content in your blog posts
Steps to Creating Compelling Blog Posts From User-Generated Content:
1. Find Your Audience
If the person meant does not get your message, it’s no use. The rule applies to content as well. Unless you don’t know who your target audience is, it does not matter how great content you have written. It needs to reach the right audience so that your efforts don’t go in vain. In short, before you fetch UGC out of a social media platform, make sure to identify your audience first.
Decide your niche and then target your audience accordingly.
BONUS: Try to keep your audience group large by covering wider niches yet always be ready to welcome fresh ideas. You can even use the Insights part of your Twitter account to dig more details about your audience.
2. Identify Your Industry-Specific Influencers and Thought Leaders
Once you have done the homework and prepared the domains list, you need to find the thought leaders and influencers in your industry. There are several tools out there you can use to track the relevant leaders in your domain.
BONUS: Don’t forget to list them as per priority and their activities on social media channels. It can prove as a great source for engaging content and topics.
3. Search Relevant, Current Topics
No one wants to stay outdated in this technologically advanced world. Given so, it becomes important that you communicate with your audience through the topics they are interested in. that’s the way you can get a content capable of going viral immediately. Many social networks including Facebook and Twitter already have a dedicated “Trending” section to show the featured current topics.
BONUS: Utilize the trends to find new ideas and create interesting content around it.
4. Get a Hang Of Upcoming Events
Keeping only a track of what’s trending won’t bring you too fat unless you keep your eyes wide open to upcoming events as well. Start ahead and lead by coming up with new content on a topic that is bound to trend in the upcoming days. Try to understand what your audience is thinking of that also matches your domain and then hit the social media with a compelling post around it.
BONUS: You can use Twitter Analytics to stay updated with the upcoming events. Using the tool, you can get complete info about a forthcoming event, including its coverage, date, and other type of demographic data.
5. The Social Media Listening Tool
Probably the best way to gather UGC…with the assistance of any reliable social media listening tool like Socialert, Sprout Social, Sysomos and more, you can receive real-time updates about your targeted keywords and hashtags. Apart from this, it also lets you filter the results based on several parameters, supported keywords, demographics, and more. Doing so helps you track the potential influencers and thought leaders in your domain and then curate the useful tweets accordingly.
Now that’s something I would personally love and that’s the reason I use it in my own business…lesser effort! Lesser stress! Quick results!
There’s also an option to run Sentiment Analysis as well as to define a specific time duration for filtering the unwanted clutter.
6. Search Relevant Info
It becomes difficult to keep track of vast social networks like Instagram and Twitter. At times, they can feel too overwhelming, making it somewhat annoying to find your way. So in order to fetch useful user-generated content out of their native interfaces, you should be ready to spend pretty much time, mind, and resources or you can be specific in your searches!
The more specific you are in your searches, the better and useful information you receive. You can use filters and keywords to focus on particular topics, events, etc.
7. Be Neutral
Just like when judging performance of people, you need to be neutral while creating your blog posts. Only this will ensure authenticity in your content and will not make your posts end up looking totally in favor or against something. The simple approach to do so is to ideate the selected matter from a different perspective.
In some cases, giving your one strong opinion can be more beneficial but that depends all on the topic in consideration and your motive. In any case, just don’t seem as if you are selling your content for some purpose. The advance search option in Twitter is also helpful in bringing you UGC based on sentiments.
8. Be Diverse
Till now, you would have understood that there’s so much about UGC and you can use it in several different ways in your blogs. In majority of cases, content marketers end up adding some viral tweets in their content. It is still a decent way to use UGC yet your focus should be on use it in a completely fresh and diverse way.
Other than tweets, there’s so much you can add like photos, memos, GIFs, compressed videos, and other such content or media. You can also put related links of other social media channels to make your content more engaging, authentic, and of course diverse…
9. Try To Form a Community
The most important rule…never ever manipulate the UGC you use from a social media network! Try to be fair and neutral, without sounding demeaning or sharing any negative comments on it. Your goal is to harness a community that does not spreads hatred or violence.
Whenever you use someone’s content, forget not to appreciate their effort and if it’s personal, you better ask them first before using their content right away. Some may have an issue even if the content is labelled as PUBLIC.
Show your readers respect and that you value their opinion and you will soon harness a healthy community.
A Few Examples of UGC Content You Can Use In Your Business…
While there is an entire pool of UGC out there on different platforms, here are just a few examples of UGC content that you can utilize for your business benefit:
- User reviews
- Social community
- Feature user reviews on your Facebook dynamic product ads
- Questionnaires and surveys
- Show UGC in product packaging
- Run seasonal UGC campaigns on social platforms
- Share best reviews on social and include customer’s Instagram photos in emails
And many more….
A Real Life Example:- Starbucks’ White Cup Contest
Who doesn’t know Starbucks yet a very few know how the company utilizes customer reviews and feedback for running productive UGC campaigns. The company launched a “Starbucks’ White Cup Contest” back in April 2014. It asked its customer from across the globe to submit their doodle on the Starbucks cups as well as pictures as entries. The enticing treat for customers was that the winning entry would become the template for its new limited edition cup. Around 4000 customers showed up with their inputs within only 3 weeks. Through such a simple campaign and acceptance of customer feedback, the company gained immense publicity and hype as well as trust of customers.
After going through the complete story, I am pretty sure that now you better know how you can use user-generated content for creating your own fresh, engaging blog posts. A little research and effort can enable you to garner a significantly wider reader base and traffic.
Get through these tips and you will find them useful MORE than you’d expect. As soon as readers realize that you are providing fresh and info-rich content, they will start connecting to you and you ultimately become a reliable source.
So what’s your strategy to use UGC? Do share your valuable opinions in comments.