Is User Generated Content More Trustworthy to Consumers?

As social media continues to dominate peoples’ interactions online, its importance to marketers has never been more obvious. However, direct marketing from brand accounts is just one small part of the equation; as we will discuss below, getting your products or services featured on trusted influencers’ social accounts can pay huge dividends in establishing brand trust and credibility.

Social media isn’t just a platform for communicating, it’s a place to share ideas and inspirations; in other words, it’s quite literally a factory for culture. For consumers, that means their tastes are increasingly being formed by what they see other people buying, wearing, and talking about over social media. The digital business research firm L2 recently conducted a study to examine this phenomenon, in which they discovered  that consumers actually trust user generated content more than advertisements or even traditional media. User generated content is perceived to be authentic and trustworthy, whereas many consumers will react to conventional advertising with a bit more skepticism. The conclusions are presented in this slide from L2:

User Generated Content

So what should you, as a marketer, do to capitalize on this knowledge? We have a few tactics we like to employ in this regard, and I’ll share just a few of them here to give you some ideas:

  • Build Photo Galleries of User Generated Content on Official Brand Pages. This has the combined effect of highlighting the credibility your brand enjoys, and simultaneously making your users know that they are part of a community.
  • Hold Events that Encourage User Generated Content for Your Brand. There are plenty of ways to go about this, from hosting a live event and giving it a brand-related hashtag for people to share photos of it with, to launching a contest/giveaway and requesting users create content of some kind (ie an Instagram photo with your brand hashtag) to enter.
  • Cozy Up to Social Influencers. If consumers take user generated content as an endorsement of your products or services, that fact is even more pronounced when the content is generated by a trusted influencer in your vertical. Know these people, and build professional relationships with them.

And of course, if you have any more ideas for how to incorporate user generated content into social media marketing plans, feel free to share them below in the comments section! We always like to see what clever solutions other folks are coming up with.

Ryan Clark

Ryan is the founder of Luxury Branded and is a branding and marketing strategist for our clients. If you'd like to schedule an hour long free consultation on how and what we can do for your brand then please get in touch.   Follow him on Twitter: @LuxuryBranded Google+: +Ryan Clark as well read his personal blog Luxury BC.

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