Every day on Facebook, 2.5 billion pieces of content are created. Is all that peer/customer content being used? Are brands finding ways to reuse social content and user generated content? The sad thing is, they are usually not.
Why is it so hard to come up with a successful marketing strategy? How can you successfully market when new channels and ad products are created every week?
I get asked these questions all the time. They are valid questions too. As a marketer, you just don’t have the time to create lots of content.
In many situations, the reality is that your customers are creating better and more content than you could ever do. I see so many marketers that understand how to manage a social strategy, but they are missing out on huge amounts of value by neglecting their customers social content, or user generated content.
There are just more customers than there will ever be members on your team.
1. Time Value of Social Content
The longer you wait to reuse social content from your customers, the more value you lose.
Who remembers the Time Value of Money lessons from high school? If you don’t save money today, you miss out on the chance to earn interest. It’s the same with content marketing; if you let hundreds or thousands of customer created social posts go to waste each month, your “content bank account” is dry and “brand image account” can’t grow.
Brands are pushing expensive branded content in the hope that customers will latch on.
Hope is not a strategy.
UGC posts for brands earn almost 7x more engagement than brand generated posts (Campaign Live).
That’s data, not hope.
Humans want to talk to humans and have natural social engagement.
Most brands are just a logo to their customers.
2. A big social media audience means nothing
If you are not successfully using the fans and followers you have, it is pretty much the same thing as having 0. Take a look at Marriott’s Facebook page. With 2.5 million likes, you would expect that their social media engagement rate is relatively high as well. But when you look at their posts, they average around 100 likes. That’s an engagement rate of 0.004%.
Many marketers and agencies think that to be successful with crowdsourced marketing campaigns, you need 1000s of posts. But you really only need 10-20 pieces of great social content to find success.
A website visitor or pedestrian looking at digital billboards isn’t going to stay there forever. So you need to pick the most effective photos to do the job. I did a quick search on TINT’s Suggested Post engine and within 10 seconds I found these gems from Marriott guests. #gold #timesaver
These are the types of photos that consumers want to see. If Marriott requested the User Rights to these photos and were able to reuse social content on their marketing channels, they would very likely have a better chance to build authentic relationships with customers.
Travelers make purchase decisions many times on visual content and customer testimonials. If those two things don’t relate to social media, I’m not sure what does. Let your customers loose and be surprised at the trustworthy and authentic content they will create.
3. Tesla vs. Ford. The “cool uncle” vs. the “boring grandpa”.
Tesla delivered about 76,000 cars in 2016. Ford sold 2.6 million. But even with far fewer deliveries, “Tesla was the number-one most mentioned US car manufacturer [on social].” (Zignal Labs). Why does Tesla have a powerful cult following when Ford’s image is stagnant and dying?
Tesla is storytelling about life, rather than a product. They never market about price and miles per gallon. Tesla markets a lifestyle and an experience. How many brands can get people to positively talk about them on social media without even having purchased their product?
The meaning of Tesla’s brand goes beyond cars. Plenty of news organizations, when reporting on Tesla, say something like, “Tesla is now the largest car company in terms of market cap in the world.” But that’s wrong. Tesla isn’t a car company. Tesla is a way of life for people that want to make the world a better place through innovations in energy and transportation.
Authenticity and passion are not only good for products and services, but for changing the society around us. A brand can only work so hard to create consistent content for social. If you reuse social content from your trusted audience, your brand image will thank you.
BONUS! #4 – So, how do you even start to reuse social content? Find, Ask, Receive.
- Find a post you like and that you think will resonate with your audience.
- Send them a message asking for permission to use their post and include a link to your Terms of Service.
- Provide a clear way for them to respond. You can say something like, “Respond #Yes to agree.”
- The user replies with #yes (TINT’s data shows that 2 out of 3 respond with a #yes).
- Now you can start to reuse social content that is authentic and relevant to your audience.
Consumers will happily look at ads, but they will get immediately turned off if they think your ad is untrustworthy or irrelevant. As more marketing channels pop up, the only way for marketers and agencies to expand creativity in a scalable way is to use authentic content from real people.
For more info on how to automate that process and how to use the content, check out the User Generated Content Page and request a strategy session.