The latest from the SnapSea team

How to Source and Utilise User-Generated Content on Socials

Tactics to source and utilise UGC to engage your audience and convert them into customers

Danielle Stringer
September 14, 2021
Having a large social media following doesn’t translate into a high number of long-term customers. Discover how to source and utilise UGC to engage your audience on social media and convert them into prospects.

Instagram and Facebook have over 4 billion combined users, making these popular platforms for brands to communicate with their audience but a challenge to stand out in an overwhelming sea of content. User-generated content has emerged as a dominant social media strategy that brands are latching onto, and it is here to stay.  

SnapSea defines user-generated content (“UGC”) as any content created and published by a brand’s consumers, influencers, and other stakeholders. 


When used as part of a consistent social media strategy, UGC generates interest, keeps your audience listening, and compels them to engage with your brand. Engagement is measured in the form of shares, comments, likes, audience growth, and mentions. It reflects how well your brand is perceived, leading to meaningful relationships with your audience.


It is one thing to flip the switch and start sharing UGC overnight, but like anything else, there are a few key components to help you productively source and utilise UGC. Here are a couple of elements you should look at in UGC to ensure your audience is engaged right off the bat:

Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

Source UGC with a mix of people and product

 An ongoing task for any brand is the ability to build emotional connections with a user. A strong emotional connection is what keeps them coming back for more, and more often than not, this connection is the reason they choose one brand over the other. 


What helps build this connection is content that shows a human side. Aim to find a mix of UGC that balances between people and the product (or the service/experience you are trying to sell). Videos and photos that strictly showcase your offerings serve their purpose at times; however, UGC that features people as the main subject puts a face to your brand.


For example, source a photo of a group of friends beaming with joy as they take in the views from a mountainous hike in Scotland. The human element in this photo helps users relate to your brand and perceive how your destination will fit into their lives.

Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

Source short-form videos to get your audience hooked

Videos are easily digestible, visually enticing, and entertaining. The main goal is to grab your audience's attention within the first few seconds and deliver valuable information. 86% of brands now use video in their marketing strategy, seeing it as an essential visual tool to draw attention from users scrolling through their feeds.


Aim to source videos created by other creators that are 30-45 seconds long. You want them to be long enough to hold the viewer's attention but short enough to instill curiosity (they will hit that follow button to see what you’re all about after watching). A powerful narrative, quick-moving visuals, and gentle music are all elements of an intriguing video to keep in mind.


With an oversaturation of content that consumers are faced with each day, you want to find user-generated videos that evoke an emotional response. Are you intrigued and want to learn more? Are you excited and desire to share the video? If an emotion is triggered within you while watching, then chances are the video will move your audience.

After you source user-generated content, your next priority is to maximise its potential. Here are a couple of tactics Snapsea recommends to utilise user-generated content:

Utilise UGC by creating a compelling offer

Most of us determine what to do, say, or buy based on the actions of others, otherwise known as social proof. 


Have you ever tried walking into a restaurant that had a limited-time menu offering, only to be placed on the waitlist for up to an hour? This is probably a good indicator that the food is worth waiting for and is a prime example of social proof. 


Although long line-ups can’t be depicted visually, UGC can be utilised to create compelling offers and build up a demand for your brand. If you're launching a limited-time 50% discount sale, you may want to utilise UGC to show off your most enthusiastic customers experiencing, wearing, or eating what you're selling. 


It is more valuable to see UGC that illustrates why a deal is worth taking advantage of rather than just seeing the word "sale" as part of a generic advertisement. UGC can show prospects why your sale, special offer, or discount is one they cannot resist.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Utilise a string of like-minded images with the carousel feature

Sometimes, a single image may not be enough to solely communicate the pure beauty or messaging behind the UGC you have sourced.

Instagram and Facebook have each recently implemented the carousel feature. A carousel can have up to 10 photos or videos that are shared as a single post. To view each visual asset, a user must swipe left. Rather than individually posting similar content and risking too much repetition, carousels effectively bundle similar visuals together in an organic way. 


In cases where you have already found a few visual assets from the same creator but aren't sure which one to post first, highlight this content with the carousel feature and give the creator a shoutout in the caption. 


Let’s say a creator has purchased a few fashionable items from your clothing company and posts several photos of them wearing each item. The carousel feature will help you connect these related photos, creating a mini look-book that will keep users entertained and swiping through all the "must-have" looks of the season.

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sourcing and utilising user-generated content. Your content strategy should be dependent on your brand values and long-term business goals. 

Above are some tactics that will help you build a stronger social media presence, engage your audience, and turn your prospects into purchasers. Remember to think outside the box and try to be as innovative with UGC as possible!

Find out how The Outer Hebrides sourced and utilised UGC using SnapSea's unified platform to grow their social media followers by more than 100%.

For more information on how to utilise UGC to maximise your brand, head back to SnapSea or give us a follow on LinkedIn.

User-Generated Content, UGC, Social Media Marketing, Tactics, Marketing Strategy
The latest from the SnapSea team
Back to Resources

Watch SnapSea in action.

Watch a 3-minute introduction to SnapSea - the user-generated content platform for destinations.

Watch a demo
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Watch SnapSea in Action
Watch a 3-minute personalised introduction to the SnapSea platform.
I agree that SnapSea will process my data to send me a demo video and occasional emails about products and services.
Thank you! A member of our team will be in touch within the next business day with a personalised demo of our platform!

- The SnapSea Team
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.