Community Management 201: Capitalizing on User-Generated Content
An active, invested community of followers is a valuable asset for any brand. As your community management efforts start to deliver a larger audience and greater engagement, businesses should be thinking ahead about how this interactive relationship with customers can be wielded to achieve additional marketing goals.
One of the strengths of having an engaged online following is that these loyal customers are more likely to participate in campaigns and initiatives that incentivize brand advocacy. Just as word-of-mouth advertising is valued for the implicit endorsement a personal recommendation can offer, engaged followers and consumers are reflective of a positive customer experience—and this level of engagement can be used to attract other promising prospects.
For these reasons and more, user-generated content can be a highly effective strategy for strengthening and expanding your community engagement efforts. Once you’ve built up momentum and consistent engagement among your followers, it might be time to try your hand at using user-generated content to achieve new community management goals.
Read on for tips on how to maximize the ROI of your user-generated content (UGC).
1. Spark Engagement and Community
One of the most immediate benefits of user-generated content—especially UGC gathered through a company-organized promotional campaign—is that the creation and sharing of this content delivers an instant bump in your audience’s engagement with your brand.
UGC creators are likely to view other created content related to your brand, sharing and commenting while helping cultivate a stronger sense of community and brand loyalty among your most ardent supporters.
2. Source Engaging Content for Free
When social connections and followers create user-generated content that aligns with your brand’s messaging and strategy, your business may want to consider repurposing this content across its own social channels, as well as other digital channels.
Sourcing content in this way achieves multiple goals. First, the original creator—when properly credited—is rewarded with acknowledgement for their participation and social engagement. The content itself offers added brand visibility that may be a great addition to your existing assets—especially if the content is evergreen and can be re-shared in the future.
But sharing UGC also encourages others to create their own posts as they seek recognition and visible connection with a brand. Many brand advocates are happy to be associated with the brands they love, and UGC is a simple, influential option for satisfying that desire while furthering your company’s marketing goals.
Be creative when considering how UGC may be utilized in your marketing and advertising, from features in digital video ads to getting res-hared on email and social media—including via paid social promotion.
3. Facilitate Two-Way Interactions
One of the key components of effective community management is that brands foster ongoing dialogue and interactions with their audience. Your customers and prospects are far less likely to be actively engaged in your brand’s community when the brand itself does not participate.
User-generated content offers an easy, exciting avenue for interactions that offer a social reward—and, in some cases, additional rewards via contests and other promotions. While any type of back-and-forth with your audience is valued and supportive of community-building strategies, UGC is more tangible, and the investment from creators is deeper than social comments and shares.
These deeper, more meaningful interactions offer greater value given the long-lasting impact they can have on engaged audience members.
4. Build Visibility for New Campaigns and Initiatives
User-generated content can be an ideal content strategy when highlighting a new product line, or using a local event to promote your business and your community involvement.
Create custom hashtags and encourage users to tag your business in its posts across all social media accounts to maximize visibility and marketing value of this UGC. Plan events and campaigns around your UGC by considering how your business can promote this content and drive engagement at the right time. A selfie wall in a retail store, for example. can be an effective and low-cost tool for driving participation. So can prizes and other giveaways offered to campaign participants.
By coordinating these new launches with UGC campaigns, you can maximize community engagement around seasonal and other special events related to your brand.
As you find success incentivizing user-generated content among your customers and audience, high-performing content could be a great asset to incorporate into social media advertising and other digital ad strategies.
From planning UGC campaigns to incorporating this content into paid advertising, Cox Media’s experts can help you leverage these assets for greater engagement and ROI. Contact us today to get started.
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