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How user generated content connects consumers

Stay in tune with your clientele with authentic user generated content

There are two main things that can make or break a business - content and customers. So how can brands marry the two in an authentic way? Today User Generated Content (UGC) goes a long way toward making that connection. Successful social strategies encourage followers to share their unique brand experiences across all digital platforms. These real-life interactions encourage a greater sense of trust among peers while also supplying brands with a constant and handy supply of homemade videos, candid photos and vital opinions that they can use to fuel their marketing needs.

With almost 2 billion images shared online each day alone (KPCB, 2014), it’s important to entice followers into posting in a way that benefits both them and the brand. Passion Passport is a website that hosts traveller stories and sends members of its social media community on trips around the globe. Avid wanderlusters are invited to submit their personal travel dairies to the platform, which are also repurposed as posts across all of its channels. In addition there are weekly Instagram competitions such as #PPWindow, where people upload their images of windows from far-flung places with the hope of being re-grammed. Passion Passport also takes to Twitter to host chats - a clever way of conducting market research as well as helping to generate a closer b2c connection.

Passion passport

3CC designed Toni&Guy’s label-me website, which encourages customers to get involved in USG by tapping into their daily lifestyles with an on-going competition. Simple yet effective, entrants submit a photo of their signature hair looks and can then continue to browse other people’s styles. Winners are rewarded with monthly prizes plus there’s a chance to become the next face of label.m. This taps into the brand’s core demographic by supplying them with heaps of achievable hair inspiration. Like.


Similarly, Marc Jacobs carried out an open model casting for its SS15 campaign via Instagram. Fans of the brand jumped at the opportunity to post selfies under the hashtag #castmemarc. Over 100,000 images later and Marc Jacobs found its muses. This effective UGC campaign reach a wide audience while simultaneously performing a real business need. Social media multitasking at its finest.

Marc Jacob's hashtag model casting via instagram

Arguably the most important part of UGC is the ability to showcase testimonials. According to a study by Bazaarvoice, 64 per cent of millennials feel strongly that companies should provide more ways for them to share their opinions online. With this in mind, LinkedIn created the Twitter account @LinkedInHelp purely to retweet and favourite testimonials from satisfied users. This allows potential consumers to read first-hand accounts on a global level.

LinkedInHelp Twitter

Of course customer feedback isn’t always good. Take Tesco’s recent worm in the cucumber complaint where a shopper turned to Facebook to report a dead worm in the packaging. A good dose of tongue-in-cheek humour in the form of a poetic eulogy from Tesco’s customer service team quickly turned a potentially negative situation into a positive one that went viral - the post has been shared over 30,000 times. By listening to your customers’ ideas, suggestions and feedback, brands can improve their services and overall user participation. Deceased worm not always required.

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