Consumers have become de facto thought leaders thanks to social media. The most connected consumes (i.e. consumers with large social media followings and/or compelling content) in many ways drive the marketing message. They share the good, the bad, and the ugly on the products they use, and their reviews can have as much impact (or more) than a million-dollar PR campaign. It is absolutely imperative that companies utilize the following UGC best practices in order to build a community of social media thought leaders that can join in on the conversation and build positive buzz about your brand.
Place Customers Rich Media on the Product Detail Page
User Generated Content, or UGC, offers brands a new and compelling way for consumers and marketers to share stories that resonate with a brand’s target audience. It has been well established that consumers inherently trust content they get from their peers significantly more than almost any other form of marketing or advertising. That, in conjunction with the fact that 64% of US online consumers conduct online research before making a purchasing decision, means that compelling UGC can be a major boost for a brand’s marketing and sales efforts.
One of the other benefits of having UGC alongside a brand’s products is the fact that consumers respond positively to other real users of the product or service using it – far more than paid actors “endorsing” the brand. Real users build social proof and help consumers feel more confident about their purchase.
Link Customer Photos to Your Product Pages
One of the best places to find ready-made UGC for your brand is on social media platforms like Instagram. According to a study by KISSmetrics, there are more than 100 million active users on Instagram, who are collectively posting more than 40 million photos per day and spurring1000 comments every single second. The #Starbucks hashtag alone generates around 2.6 million photos per day.
Linking directly to social media posts that feature your hashtags or brand might seem counterintuitive – after all, the traffic isn’t going to your website or other online assets – but this can be mitigated by creating a UGC focused campaign. Users will generate large numbers of brand relevant photos, which can link directly to products on your brand’s Ecommerce page. These links will provide the essential metrics used to determine the relative success of each specific campaign.
Customers increasingly use the Internet to air out issues – both positive and negative – about the brands they use. It is imperative that your brand responds quickly to negative reviews by providing a viable solution. However, don’t delete these negative comments, as they can actually add credibility to the positive comments in a UGC campaign. Of course, you can filter out just the positive reviews for highlighting and display on your brand’s website.
Effective use of UGC can directly correlate with bolstered Ecommerce sales, as long as best practices are adhered to. Be sure to take the practices above to heart, and think about other ways you can use UGC campaigns to increase Ecommerce revenue.