If you’re a business owner who has a pulse on marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase “user-generated content.” User-generated content is similar to influencer marketing. But instead of paying a superstar athlete to promote your business, you ask your customers. Genius, right?
Likely you’ve seen an example of user-generated content on social media before. Maybe a friend of yours is promoting products from influenster.com and you’ve seen them posting about products on social media.
It’s usually easier for product-based businesses to get user-generated content. Companies will give you the product for free or at a discounted rate if you’ll promote it on your social media. But what if you’re in a service-based industry like mortgage or insurance? How do you entice clients to create content for you?
Service-based businesses have to be a bit more strategic when it comes to encouraging users to promote them on social media. But it can be done—and, if you keep reading, we’ll tell you how to get started.
The first step is to adopt a hashtag for your customers to use (#RMSknowsdigital).
A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by # and is used on social media to identify digital content. Creating a custom hashtag that will index your customers’ content is step one. Step two is encouraging your customers to use that hashtag when talking about your business.
Now that you have a hashtag in place, it’s time to get creative. How are you going to encourage your customers to create content for you?
One of the easiest ways to do this for service-based businesses is to create and give away a signature marketing piece.
Example: You’re a loan officer navigating the pandemic. Selfies with your clients at the closing table used to generate a ton of engagement on your social media, but you’re not seeing your clients in person much anymore.
Creating a signature gift that you give to your clients is a MUST. For this example, it could be a bottle of champagne waiting for them on their doorstep the day they get the keys.
You would brand this bottle with your information—and #hashtag—and include a note thanking them for their business. In that note, you ask them to take a selfie in front of their new home with their champagne, and to post it using your hashtag.
This personalized touch will not only help build your brand, but it will help you generate more content!
Now that you’ve adopted a hashtag strategy, make sure to let your customers know about it!
Your hashtag(s) should be branded on every piece of marketing you create (print, email headers, social media posts) and be part of your overall content strategy. Let your customers know how to use the hashtag on social media.
If you’re looking for a way to generate a lot of user content at once, consider running a contest or giveaway. You can integrate that signature marketing piece we talked about earlier, or you can run something totally different. Make it easy, don’t overthink it, but do make it enticing for your audience to want to participate.
A little strategy can go a long way when it comes to getting your past and present clients involved in creating content for your business.
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