What’s cookin’ good lookin’?
My name is Laura. I came to Brains On Fire as a college intern back in the day, and by the time I was ready to don the cap and gown, they brought me on as one of their full-time own. As a Community Manager, I spend my time nurturing the presence of brands online.
Part of my job is to spark, shape, and sustain meaningful conversations within a community. (Side note: around here, a community is a group of people united around a shared passion. It’s a group of fans, advocates and evangelists who deeply believe in a brand.)
One way we do this is by sharing User Generated Content: the thoughts, stories and experiences submitted by the community. Here in the Firesphere, we firmly believe there is power in the perspective of real people with a real passion. We believe in the value of letting the community tell the story of your brand, not the other way around.
Why? Because here’s the thing– what’s real is relatable. Stories and experiences that resonate with people establish an understanding and create a connection. And when people are connected, it’s easier for them to become invested. Throw some passion in the mix and word spreads like wildfire.
When you take the time to make UGC an integral part of your social content calendar, it doesn’t go unnoticed by your community. It makes way for a movement.
But how? How do you integrate UGC into your content strategy?
- Find your people. Join in on the conversations that are already taking place. Show ‘em some love! Whip out your stalking skills – and start with hashtags. Remember the influencers. Utilize the “suggested followers” feature on Instagram.
- Keep it real. Take time to read and respond to users who comment on your content. Have a conversation!
- Connect the dots. Unite these conversations around a unique, brand-owned hashtag. This will be a hub for all your community and all your UGC. Be sure to make the call to action crystal clear.
- Let the community tell the story. Incorporate UGC by sharing the thoughts, stories and experiences submitted by people in the community.
- Don’t settle. Maintain a high aesthetic and unified brand standards of voice and visuals. Create something people want to follow, something they want to be a part of.
- Encourage and empower. Celebrate the passionate people in your community. Stay engaged, and actively affirm the content they submit to help guide your desired quality of content.