This will not come as a surprise for many: User generated content is extremely valuable on social media (and perhaps for any overall marketing efforts). It’s like a little pot of gold behind a hashtag.
The tricky part: Collecting and distributing.
Some social media managers just grab their favorite images and post as soon as they see them. Others take a cautious approach and reach out to the fan who took the photo or video and ask for their permission before posting. I personally believe in asking before posting. While the image is public and featuring your brand, you never know if someone doesn’t want their image and username broadcasted to a much wider audience.
The downside of asking before posting is the additional time. There could potentially be some back & forth between you and the user. In addition, you have to remember which photos were your favorite and which you asked permission to use. Depending on the popularity of your brand and main hashtag, you could end up spending a good chunk of time searching and scrolling through your brand’s UGC hashtag.
Have no fear! This simplified approach may be the answer to your community management prayers: A separate and individual approval hashtag.
Here’s how it works in 3 very easy steps:
- You find your favorite photo on Instagram.
- You comment with the following (or something similar): “We love to feature your photo on our social media profiles! If you’re happy to share, please respond with #YesBRANDNAME. (or any other hashtag that you wish to use) Thanks!”
Instead of searching your brand’s main UGC hashtag, you now have a separate Instagram feed of your favorite and approved photos.
One of their fans took a couple of amazing videos of the museum using their personal drone. It was uploaded on Instagram accompanied with the main hashtag: #AdlerPlanetarium. This particular hashtag collects hundreds of photos per day from museum-goers. The videos were posted a couple of weeks ago, therefore adding more time to scrolling and searching.
To help separate the videos from the pack, the community manager reached out and asked for approval via #YesAdler.
As you can see, the fan simply responded and the videos were placed within a separate feed that can be easily accessed at a later date for posting.
Utilizing this approach will not only help community managers stay more organized and efficient, but help reduce time spent collecting user generated content. A win-win!