When you look at your social media feeds, you are probably concerned with the content you personally post onto it. In reality, it’s just as important to receive content posted by others on your feeds too. After all, it would hardly be considered sociable to just have a digital conversation with yourself. What your feeds need are lots of followers who are engaged with your brand. Also, aren’t afraid to show it through likes, comments and similar interactions. So, make use of user-generated content on your social media channels.
If you are new to the concept of user-generated content, now is the time to get clued up, especially if you want to maximise your marketing potential in the digital age. Here’s everything you need to know. Including a general background as well as how to implement user-generated content on your own feeds too.
What is user-generated content?
As the name suggests, user-generated content is anything that has been posted onto your website or social feeds by other people. This could take the form of likes, comments, images, reviews, or videos.
In essence, it’s the art of your brand being promoted without you directly promoting yourself. For example, somebody sends a tweet and tags you in to say what a fantastic meal they had at your restaurant. That content has been generated by a user. Which you can now like or retweet to promote your restaurant, despite the fact you didn’t directly create it.
Why does it matter?
First and foremost, user-generated content gives an authentic view of your business. As a company, you can toot your own horn by saying you’re the “best Italian restaurant in Scotland” or that you are “the number one curry house in Glasgow”. However, most businesses will big themselves up, and for the most part, it rarely comes across as believable.
Having an independent customer reach out and say the same, however, is a total game-changer. Suddenly you have someone tagging themselves at your restaurant. Uploading a picture commenting it was “the best meal out they’ve ever had” – not only is it free advertising, it’s way more believable when it comes from an actual customer.
If you’re still not convinced. Think about how we believe the reviews of total strangers on the likes of Yelp and Trip Advisor. We search out these reviews before booking because we want an honest opinion. Which isn’t always what the user gets from an official website alone. If the review comes from a real person not connected with the company who isn’t being paid to state their opinion, we believe it more. That value is why user-generated content is so important for your restaurant.
How to encourage user-generated content
It sounds simple enough. But if you don’t have social media accounts that are easy to find and are active, it’s unlikely you will receive any user-generated content. Granted, social media accounts do require someone to monitor them. The payoff is well worth it when you can turn all those likes, comments and shares into free marketing for your business.
Photo and video content are especially popular, as it gives your customers a real look at the food you serve and the overall environment of your restaurant. One way to encourage this is to create incentives for checking in. Or you could ask the customer to tag your company in photos taken in your restaurant. It’s also a good idea to collate content left on review websites as well as your own. The more interactions, the better!
How to get the most out of user-generated content
On a basic level, you should be responding to likes, tweets, comments etc as this then generates further impressions and interactions, helping to boost your social stats. It also shows you care about what your customers are saying about you – thank them for the love!
The one downside is that retweets or comments have a short lifespan. One way to really harvest the potential of user-generated content is to take your positive customer interactions and use them in other ways. For example, retyping a comment and putting it into your email marketing. Or even creating further social media posts that feature the comment but tag the owner in to show your appreciation.
The more you get out of your user-generated content, the more it is worth to your business. Remember this is absolutely free, trustworthy marketing that has the potential to fill those empty tables when your restaurant is most quiet. Don’t simply pat yourself on the back when someone likes what you do, use it to the full advantage!
What your customers are saying about your business matters more than ever. Now they can share their feedback via online portals. Likes, shares and reviews are more than just a “well done” for your business. They are meaningful interactions that could generate even more trade for your restaurant.
If people have taken the time to positively review your restaurant, you should look for strategies to best capitalise on this. After all, there’s no better marketing tool than glowing reviews from patrons who are looking to tell the world how great you are!
By maximising your user-generated content on your social media channels, your diners are effectively generating their own marketing campaigns. Even better, on behalf of your restaurant, even as they dine with you! Add in an excellent WiFi system from Stampede. So, you’ll be well on your way to mastering your best ever marketing campaign.
Don’t miss out!