Almost always, people seek the feedback and follow the actions of others to guide them in their purchasing decisions. Can you remember the last time you bought something online without looking at some product reviews?
You cannot deny the fact that the opinions of customers like you matter when it comes to making an informed choice. Unless you know a business very well, you want to make sure that your hard-earned money doesn’t go to waste.
This is where social proof comes in.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people rely on the wisdom of the crowd in an attempt to perform the right behavior. People don’t want to be wrong in their choices.
And with the internet’s massive collection of information, small businesses can persuade their customers to take action with just a click of a button.
One way to incorporate social proof into your business is by leveraging user-generated content (abbreviated as UGC). UGC is any form of content that’s created by customers or followers of a brand.
Common examples are social media photos and videos of people happily interacting with a brand.
The reason why UGC works so well in increasing people’s confidence in a business and creating brand advocates is that they’re 100% authentic. After all, there’s nothing that can ease the worries of prospects better than real testimonies and stories of customers themselves.
How to Increase User-Generated Content
1. Encourage your customers to leave reviews.
Studies show that 92% of customers now read online reviews. In addition, 88% of these consumers form opinions about brands after reading ten reviews.
Because reviews have become more important than ever, never miss the chance to encourage your customer to leave reviews and ratings of your products or services.
Are you selling on online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay? Is your business featured on local listings like Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and Yelp? Do you have a Facebook business page?
2. Collect photo submissions and offer a reward.
I’ve mentioned earlier that photos are a common type of user-generated content. One effective tactic for you to solicit UGC is by running a contest or giveaway.
The usual process goes like this: A brand offers an enticing prize for the best photo that shows the customer using their product.
Businesses who are active on Instagram require participants to use a campaign hashtag that’s unique to their brand. These hashtags will help brands track their campaigns and increase their reach.
National Geographic is one of the brands that launched a successful UGC campaign.
To increase UGC and generate buzz on social media, they asked their audience to take snapshots of themselves, interesting places, and experiences worldwide. Next, users were to upload these photos on Instagram and use the campaign hashtag #wanderlustcontest.
Currently, the campaign has garnered over 71,000 UGC.
3. Feature testimonials on your website.
Whatever you’re promoting on your website, customer testimonials (in any format) help affirm your credibility as a business.
Testimonials outweigh even the biggest promises you make about your product or service. Customers want to hear from individuals with the same sentiments.
Unless you’ve already established yourself as an expert in your niche, start soliciting testimonials from people who’ve used your product or service. You don’t need fifty testimonials, even three to five powerful ones will already do wonders for your website.
Businesses of all sizes are more likely to see success nowadays by tapping into user-generated content. The social proof in UGC gives potential customers big reasons to engage with brands and eventually buy from them.
Since user-generated content is based on conversations and building customer relationships, remember to properly communicate with your audience. Be there to answer their questions. Show your personality. This worths it concentrate on it.