User-Generated Content 101

UNUM Staff
min read
User-Generated Content 101

User-generated content is any type of material (photo, video, story, tweet, etc.) created by customers, fans, and/or users that is then featured by other accounts on their own page.

  • to promote authenticity
  • to showcase brand loyalty
  • to build & create trust
  • to create brand desire
  • to drive purchase decisions
  • to build & grow content library
  • to curate inspiration
  • the list is endless.
  • UGC Instagram posts see 50% more engagement than typical branded images. As such, UGC is seen as being more authentic and trustworthy.
  • Re-posting UGC helps strengthen a brand’s relationship with its audience, build a sense of community, and increase overall loyalty and trust.
  • 30% of millennials report that they would not go to a restaurant if the establishment doesn’t have an active Instagram presence
  • 92% of consumers report that they trust recommendations from people they know whereas 70% of consumers report trusting general online consumer opinions.
  • 80% of people say that UGC has a high impact on their individual purchasing decisions by sharing UGC via Instagram Stories and Highlighting them on your profile provides potential buyers with a reliable point of reference

UGC is incredibly beneficial when trying to promote the authenticity and credibility of a brand. As a result, brand accounts and feature accounts benefit the most by showcasing user-generated content.

Brand accounts (accounts that post content about their business) use UGC to provide a personalized look into how the brand’s products and services are used by actual consumers

Feature accounts (accounts that post primarily about a specific niche) rely heavily on UGC due to the specificity of the account’s subject. UGC enables feature accounts to build a large following without having to take or edit any of their own content.


STEP 1: Create brand desire

Showcasing your brand through the lens of your consumers helps create a feeling of accessibility to the everyday user.

STEP 2: Showcase & inspire brand loyalty

Create desire by getting people excited about your brand. The people who post content about your brand are likely already some of your biggest fans. Share their content to help develop long-lasting relationships and foster a sense of loyalty with existing fans while inspiring those who are less familiar. Where are you sourcing from? #hashtags, tags, location, mentions, etc.

STEP 3: Determine what kind of UGC you’d like to showcase

What sort of UGC do you want to share? What do you want your audience to associate your brand with? Think about the goals you have for your brand and how you can achieve them by sharing UGC.

STEP 4: Create a unique hashtag

One of the easiest ways for your followers to share their content with you directly is by having a unique hashtag associated with your brand. This not only makes it easy for users to share their content with you, but it also makes your job of finding quality UGC much easier.

Make a list of potential hashtags and do your research! Explore all of your options to make sure there aren’t any similar or competing hashtags. You want everyone to use your hashtag, NOT someone else’s.

Be sure to keep your hashtag short and sweet. It should be catchy, original, and relevant to your overall brand image and aesthetic. Promote your hashtag in your bio, posts, and stories to encourage followers to share the love they have for your brand.

STEP 5: Monitor all shared UGC & collect the best content

Having a unique hashtag makes collecting UGC much easier. It not only provides you with a shortcut to all posts shared featuring that hashtag, but it also enables you to more easily narrow down the best UGC to share on your page.

STEP 6: Decide which posts you’d like to feature

Save your favorite UGC to your Instagram “saved” folder to easily keep track of the best posts. You can also search and import UGC directly in UNUM. Use UNUM to plan out and visualize which UGC posts you want to feature and how they will look on your feed, story, or even in your bio bar (web feature only). It’s essential to ensure that the user-generated content you post seamlessly aligns with your overall brand aesthetic; so make sure to design and plan your posts to maintain a cohesive flow.

STEP 7: Give credit to the creator

Giving credit to the creator who posted initially is critical when utilizing user-generated content. It not only helps promote a sense of community and brand recognition but also lets the original account know you’re passionate about their content. This may lead to that account reposting and/or featuring your own content which can result in more discoverability, impressions, and followers.

May 18, 2020

About the author

UNUM Staff

UNUM Staff

UNUM is your best tool for planning, creating, and executing beautiful social media feeds and stories.

Try UNUM free

Related articles

No items found.

Explore other articles

Stand out

Get fresh social and marketing insights delivered to your inbox.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.