How to share customer-generated content on your social media channels


Sharing customer-generated content on your social media channels is an excellent strategy to build community, enhance credibility, and engage your audience. Customer-generated content (CGC) includes testimonials, reviews, photos, videos, and social media posts created by your customers that feature your brand, products, or services. Here are the steps and best practices for effectively sharing CGC on your social media channels:

1. Identify and Collect Customer-Generated Content

Start by actively seeking out CGC. Monitor your brand mentions, tagged posts, and relevant hashtags across social media platforms. Tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Brand24 can help you track mentions and gather user content. Encourage customers to share their experiences by creating a branded hashtag, prompting them in your communications, and offering incentives like contests or giveaways.

2. Obtain Permission

Before sharing customer-generated content, it’s crucial to obtain permission from the original creator. Reach out to the user with a polite and appreciative message, explaining that you’d like to feature their content on your social media channels. Most users are happy to grant permission, especially when they feel valued and recognized by your brand.

3. Give Credit

Always give proper credit to the original creator when sharing CGC. Tag their social media handle and mention their name in your post. This acknowledgment not only respects their work but also encourages others to share their experiences with your brand, knowing they will receive recognition.

4. Curate High-Quality Content

Select high-quality content that aligns with your brand’s aesthetic and values. Look for clear, well-composed photos, engaging videos, and compelling stories. Curating the best content ensures that your social media feed remains visually appealing and resonates with your audience.

5. Add Value with Context and Commentary

When sharing CGC, add context and commentary to make the post more engaging and informative. Explain why you’re sharing the content, highlight what makes it special, and connect it to your brand’s story or values. This added layer of information can enhance the impact of the post and provide a more meaningful experience for your audience.

6. Use Varied Formats

Diversify the formats in which you share CGC to keep your social media feed interesting. Share photos, videos, stories, and even user reviews or testimonials. Utilize different features of each social media platform, such as Instagram Stories, Facebook posts, Twitter retweets, and Pinterest pins, to showcase CGC in creative ways.

7. Incorporate CGC into Campaigns

Integrate CGC into your broader social media campaigns and marketing strategies. For example, feature customer stories during a product launch, share user testimonials during a promotional period, or highlight customer photos in a holiday campaign. This integration can amplify the reach and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

8. Create Dedicated CGC Highlights

On platforms like Instagram, you can create dedicated Highlights to showcase CGC. This allows you to curate a collection of user-generated content that your audience can easily access at any time. Highlight collections can include themes like product reviews, customer stories, event highlights, or brand experiences.

9. Engage with Your Audience

Engagement is key to building a community around your brand. Respond to comments on CGC posts, thank users for their contributions, and encourage further interaction. Ask questions, prompt discussions, and create a space where your audience feels valued and heard.

10. Showcase User Stories

Highlighting individual user stories can create a deeper connection with your audience. Share detailed stories about how your products or services have positively impacted your customers’ lives. These narratives can be powerful testimonials that resonate emotionally with your audience.

11. Maintain Consistency and Frequency

Regularly sharing CGC can help maintain a consistent presence on social media. Develop a content calendar that includes a mix of your own content and user-generated posts. Consistency in posting helps keep your audience engaged and shows that you value their contributions.

12. Analyze Performance

Use analytics tools to track the performance of your CGC posts. Measure metrics such as engagement rates, likes, comments, shares, and reach. Analyzing these metrics can help you understand what type of CGC resonates most with your audience and refine your strategy accordingly.

13. Create a CGC Hub

Consider creating a dedicated section on your website or a separate social media account to serve as a hub for CGC. This hub can feature a gallery of user photos, testimonials, and stories, providing a centralized location where potential customers can see real-life examples of your products or services in use.

14. Encourage Ongoing Participation

Foster a culture of ongoing participation by continuously encouraging your customers to share their experiences. Regularly remind your audience about your branded hashtag, run periodic contests, and provide prompts or challenges that inspire creativity and engagement.

15. Respect Privacy and Sensitivity

Be mindful of privacy and sensitivity when sharing CGC. Avoid sharing personal information without explicit permission and be sensitive to the context of the content. Ensure that your use of CGC aligns with your brand’s values and maintains a respectful and positive tone.

In conclusion, sharing customer-generated content on your social media channels involves a strategic approach that includes identifying and collecting content, obtaining permission, giving credit, and curating high-quality posts. By adding value with context and commentary, using varied formats, integrating CGC into campaigns, and engaging with your audience, you can create a dynamic and engaging social media presence. Regularly analyzing performance, creating a CGC hub, and encouraging ongoing participation can further enhance the impact of your CGC strategy.