24.08.2021 16:30

6 Key Elements to Enhance User-Generated Content on Social Media

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User-generated content (UGC) on social media that features your brand can spark a conversation. And from there, interest and then engagement. But how do you inspire your audience to let loose their creativity and make videos, graphics, and something similar with your brand?

For one, you can go viral on LinkedIn. There are numerous ways to go about that. However, there are other avenues you can take to spur your followers to feature you in their art and creations, regardless of the medium.

In this article, we will explore how you can increase user-generated output on social networking sites. In line with that, we will also discuss the key elements it takes to make it happen.

Compelling Questions

Consumer experiencesCreative minds are hiding amid your audience. One way you can draw them out is by asking compelling questions. Think about open-ended questions that you can throw to your followers, as they are usually the kind of queries that spark a vigorous conversation.

However, you have to remember to come up with a relevant question for your target market. For example, if you have a professional audience, a question like what they would do if stuck in an escape room with officemates is a good conversation starter.

Your brand can give an example of an answer presented in a photo essay. This will urge customers and other potential patrons to provide their solutions in the same way.

Pose your question to everyone across all your social media accounts. Of course, you need an easy way to your audience’s responses, and you can do that by creating a catchy hashtag.

Once the photo essays, text essays, and other answers come pouring in, engage with the ones that catch your attention. You can leave a comment, or you can share the best answers on your feed.


In October 2020, Hilton launched a global marketing campaign to inspire people to make travel plans and new memories. It was a huge success and racked up their UGC and engagement. Although the campaign was not intended to generate UGC, your brand can take inspiration from this. If you have had an event, ask your audience to share their best memories of that time. At this period when the pandemic is still raging, you can bring out happy memories for people to look back on and, in turn, increase engagement on your social media accounts.

Ask event-goers to share photos, videos, animated images, and other content. Like, react, share, and comment on the tweets and posts of your followers. And take note of the ones that garner the most attention. Those can even be part of your follow-up campaign that features good memories with your brand.

Competitive Spirit

Brand ambassadorOne of the best and easiest ways to encourage more user-generated content on social media platforms is to hold a contest. There are tons of contest ideas on Instagram you can use. Engage the competitive spirit of your audience, and let them get their creative juices flowing.

For one, if you are undergoing a rebranding, you can hold a design contest for your new custom brand product packaging. You can set criteria for the general shape and look of the packaging. Or you can ask your competitive audience to match the design with your new logo. This way, you do not limit the creativity of your followers.

This can help you gain plenty of UGC, and you get to see various packaging ideas to boot. On that note, remember to give an excellent reward for the top prize. You can also have attractive prizes for runner-up entries to inspire more people to join.

Strategic Connections

A consumer report revealed that consumers trust user-generated content more than they believe in brand-created content. In that case, you can look forward to customer testimonials and reviews to attract attention. That is especially true for influencers. And that does not mean the big names only; even micro-influencers can significantly impact your brand.

Get in touch with influencers who create content that is in line with your brand. If your budget allows it, then go big and get in touch with names with a wide following. Otherwise, contact influencers in the grassroots. You do not have to stick with only one or two in this case.

Since your goal is to generate more UGC, you need to give out product samples to multiple influencers. Ask them to try your offerings, and post a short video about their experience on their social media accounts. If you aim for something more substantial or long-term, then an agreement involving a vlog can work too.

Once that is done, not only do you have a wide array of UGC, you also increase the trustworthiness of your brand.

Trending Moves

User-generated contentIn 2014, The Coca-Cola Company launched one of its most successful marketing initiatives—the “Share a Coke” campaign. Instead of having their brand logo emblazoned on Coke cans, as usual, they swapped it out with random names. In the United States, they chose 250 of the most popular names to print on their cans.

This move prompted avid drinkers of Coke to find the names of their family and friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and people who had or were making an impact in their lives. The campaign was much talked about and generated UGC on social media sites. Fans tweeted about it on Twitter, posted photos on Instagram, and made posts on Facebook.

While not every brand can come up with a hugely successful “Share a Coke” campaign, they can take inspiration from it. You can come up with a similar promotion that engages fans. Then, you can boost excitement for your brand and gain an increase in UGC.


Sometimes, the best way to get user-generated content is simple: encouragement. Inspire followers to post by putting the spotlight on them. Lead by example, and come up with ingenious use of your product, then prompt your audience to show how they use the merchandise.

By doing so, you are letting your users and followers know that you appreciate their input and their support. To boost participation, you can offer a reward. Take for example companies who use this tactic: “if you do this, then we would donate a certain amount of a specific organization or charitable cause.” That is all the more reason for your product users to share their content on social media and tag you too!

However, if such a campaign is not possible, you can reward people by featuring their work on your accounts instead. You can also change your web design to help boost sales by showcasing followers’ works on there. This is a great encouragement, especially for artists and creative individuals who are fans of your brand.

Things to Keep in Mind about UGC

UGC campaigns are great until it backfires on you. So here are some pointers to ensure that your bid for more user-generated content does not go sour:

Mind the context

User-generated contentA brand called Entenmann’s tweeted, “Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!” to promote their low-calorie products. Any other day, the hashtag would be acceptable.

Unfortunately for the sweets maker, the same hashtag was associated with a filicide case. The perpetrator was found not guilty of abuse and murder of their child, hence sparking public outrage. People made their sentiments known to authorities and the world by using the hashtag. It went viral, and Entenmann’s decided to join. This caused people to call out the company because of their insensitivity, causing a public relations nightmare.


User-generated contentYou can create the buzz, but if there is none, do not force it. For example, do not pay a social media company to put your name or hashtag on the trending list. That was what Walgreens did. Twitterdom was abuzz about the chain of pharmacies being on the trending list when there seemed to be nothing going on.

Thus, Internet sleuths did some digging and found the deal the brand made with the social media platform. And instead of generating positive conversations about their brand, they only managed to irk people. Thus, the company ended up sparking negative conversations.


We mentioned several times sharing the UGC that your audience posts. There is a caveat there, though: ask for permission first. Sure, they tagged your brand account and even used the designated hashtag. Still, it is prudent to ask owners whether they would be okay if you shared their content on your account. Doing this helps you build trust with your consumers and lets them know you value your connection with them.

Learn a lesson from Kylie Jenner and her legal troubles over her brand logo. While this is a different matter, the gist is the same. The young cosmetics mogul used a British artist’s digital art piece without permission. This led to claims of stealing intellectual property, which turned into a lawsuit.

Failure to address an issue

social mediaIf there is an ongoing issue regarding your brand, it would be best to tackle it head-on. Publish an apology as necessary rather than skirting around the matter with a UGC campaign.

Starbucks did just that at the height of their tax evasion case. On top of that, it was revealed that the company was shortchanging its workers. As expected, the public was not amused.

To counter that, the company launched a campaign in the hopes of turning the sentiment around. They even decided to display all tweets with the hashtag on a big screen. Rather than posting positive stories or experiences relating to Starbucks, people tweeted their outrage about the issues the company was facing instead. Therefore, the beverage company just broadcasted all the negative tweets for all the world to see better.

Because of social media, it’s an undeniable fact that UGC can play a vital role in elevating brands. But as the examples above have shown, tact, timing, and transparency are essential for a successful UGC campaign.

What are your brand’s successful UGC initiatives? Share your story in the comments below!

Maximize User-Generated Content on Social Media

Listen to your consumers and allow them to become ambassadors of your brand.

It is important that you plan and execute your user-generated content initiatives strategically. Through which you will be able to create meaningful interactions with your consumers while enriching the conversation with a curated message.

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