How to create an engaging campaign with user-generated content

Did you know that user-generated content is a great way to increase the reach of your social media posts?

Interacting with your fans online, and allowing them to submit their own ideas to serve as content, is a great way to connect with current and prospective customers online.

By including your audience in your contests and campaigns, you provide them with a reason to interact with your brand online. If executed well, fan-based campaigns and contests provide your audience with a reason to come back to visit your social profiles even after the campaign has ended.

Since social shares have become the online version of word-of-mouth marketing; they are incredibly powerful for building brand awareness.

Below I will detail tips that you can use to create an engaging, fan-based campaign that generates content that you can use for your brand:

  1. Create a goal for the campaign: Before you create the campaign, you want to define exactly what you hope this campaign will do. Since the goal of the campaign will drive the ask that you make of your fans online, you want to get clear on the goal first. For example, if you want to increase clicks and awareness of a specific product, it would be a waste to ask your fans to share positive stories about your brand. Instead, you’re better off asking your fans to submit a photo of how they use the product. Identify exactly how this campaign or contest will lead toward the goal identified.
  2. Create a unique hashtag: A powerful brand campaign starts with a unique hashtag. A hashtag allows you to track all of the submissions from your fans, and should be used in all graphics and content posts that your brand makes to promote the campaign. The more visible your hashtag is online, the more engagement you’ll get. A few ideas for hashtags are: your brand name, tagline or a variation of both.
  3. Choose the social suite: Once you’ve established your campaign goals and hashtag, it’s time to decide which social channels you want to use to promote the campaign. You can do a campaign or contest through your website, email, every social media channel or maybe just one. When picking social media outlets, be sure to choose platforms that align with where your target audience spends time online. For instance, Pinterest has a larger audience of women so if men are your target audience, it’s wiser to execute the campaign on Twitter than Pinterest.
  4. Get started: To kick off your campaign, create some unique brand imagery that incorporates the campaign’s hashtag and the call to action for engagement. Post this imagery across the social networks you’ve decided and mark the date of when you started the campaign.
  5. Engage, track and collect: Start engaging with your audience immediately by liking and commenting on their content and imagery submissions. Track the hashtag and it’s usage online, and ask users for approval to collect and share their submissions. If granted, start creating a collection of the highest quality user-generated content and imagery so that you can use it in your social media efforts after the campaign has ended. Once you have a collection, you can repurpose the submissions on your website and social channels. This is a great way to reward the fans that engage and incentivize others to take action.
  6. Analyze and report: When analyzing the performance of the campaign, you want to track the hashtag usage and engagement. You also want to make note of how the campaign helped to achieve your overall campaign goal. Thank your fans for participating, and use the insights gain through your analysis to make your next campaign even more powerful.

Engaging your fans through campaigns and contests is a proven way to make your fans feel appreciated, increase brand awareness and generated unique content to use for social media. 

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