4 ways brands are taking advantage of user-generated content that I wish I’d thought of.

Have you ever tweeted about being at an event? Think back to the last conference or talk you went to. Did you post about attending on Instagram or Facebook?

Tweeting positively about attending an event is a public endorsement of that brand. You’re telling your followers that your experience with that brand has been a good one. That endorsement is hugely valuable to them and here’s why:

81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.

It’s perhaps an unsurprising statistic, but it’s also hugely important and brands are taking note. Thinking of including user generated content in your brand marketing? Here are four awesome ways brands are leveraging UGC to promote themselves:


Tweet for cheap Domino’s pizza - #letsdolunch

Setting a challenge with a reward that matches the effort you put in (or surpasses it) is a great way to increase exposure and generate buzz in a relatively short amount of time.

Domino’s UK ran a clever Twitter campaign that got hungry fans chatting about them in exchange for cheap pizza. They asked fans to tweet with #letsdolunch and in return, reduced the price of their most popular pizza.

For every tweet sent before lunch on the day of the campaign, a minimum of £0.01 was knocked off the price of the pizza - overall reducing the price from £15.99 to £7.74.

This simple challenge generated over 800 tweets and quickly got the Domino’s brand in front of thousands more people thanks to fans tweeting to their followers.


Turn back time for an Expedia holiday: #throwmeback

Whilst Dominos asked people to send a pretty throwaway tweet, Expedia asked them to put a little extra thought into digging up their “Throwback Thursday” pictures – with a plan to actually throw them back. 

Every Thursday during the summer, Expedia chose a winning Instagram photo tagged with @Expedia and #Throwmeback and gave the winning recipient a travel voucher to recreate their trip. 

This campaign tried to capitalize on the almost 300 million “tbt” hashtags to date and was a clear way of connecting their brand to those nostalgic, important travel moments and memories in people’s lives. 

By the end of the summer, Expedia had doubled their Instagram following and grew their audience across all platforms. As well as creating a PR-worthy story shared by media outlets, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and travel blogs.


Spread awareness of a killer disease with a Bupa #heartsalute

As you know, social media can be used for more than pizza and holidays.

In Australia, heart disease is the single biggest killer of women. It’s a country where women are three times more likely to die of a heart attack than breast cancer. Sadly there is a common misconception that the disease only affects men.

Bupa joined forces with the Heart Foundation to raise awareness of what can be done to prevent heart disease. To achieve this, Bupa created the #heartsalute, a way for Australians to let others know about this issue simply by raising their hand.

The campaign encouraged people to spread the message by drawing a heart on their hand, before sharing it on social media with important women in their lives.  

It achieved some pretty impressive results, reaching 250 thousand people on Instagram, with over 1000 photos generating 10 million impressions.


Screenshot your phone to get half priced products at Åhléns

To spread the word about their summer collection to a younger audience, this Swedish department store created a game using only Instagram and the screenshot function on smartphones.

In three different Instagram videos, products whizzed by in high speed. If you were fast enough to capture an item in a screenshot, and post it, you got it at half-price.

Thousands of people posted screenshots of Åhléns’ products and automatically promoted the collection among all their followers and friends.

Simple and quick, this campaign made an old-fashioned discount coupon something fun and engaging.


Power your own brand marketing with user generated content

When used well, social content can add a huge amount of value to your brand marketing.

Involving your customers in marketing campaigns can add a level of authenticity and exposure that normal advertising just can’t achieve, as proven by this list of utterly enviable campaigns.

From running social competitions to displaying customer photos on your product pages, provides you with the tools you need to power your marketing efforts with user-generated content.

Want to make the most of your user-generated content? Sign up to and follow our simple How to Guides.


6 steps to running a successful social media campaign

Whether you’re celebrating the launch of a new product, promoting an achievement or simply looking to build relationships with your customers, running a social media campaign is the speediest way to increase your engagement on social media.

If you’ve never run a campaign before, here are 6 steps to running a social media campaign.

1. Set your campaign goals

Before you launch, have a think about what you want to achieve. Maybe you’re looking to collect contact information for leads. You could be out to increase engagement with your existing customers. Or perhaps you want to build excitement around a product launch. Whatever your goal is, make sure you’re setting out to achieve something clear and attainable.


2. Keep it on brand

Once you’ve set out your goals, it’s important to chose a campaign that fits with your brand and the customers you’re trying to attract. Think about running a competition that will appeal to your target demographic both visually and through your tone of voice. Also consider the length of your campaign; a typical campaign for smaller brands runs for 6 weeks.


3. Offer the right reward

Offer Reward.png

Make sure your prize is on brand and will appeal to your target customers. Offering money or gadgets may get you noticed but won’t necessarily entice customers who’ll be interested in what you have to offer in the long term (unless gadgets are what you offer, of course). Prizes should highlight what your brand has to offer - money off, free products etc. Lastly, check that the prize matches the effort required to enter. For example, a photo on Instagram in exchange for a discount may be a fair exchange.


4. Promote your campaign and get chatting

In the build up to launching your campaign, let your audience know something great is coming their way. Reach out to key influencers and existing fans of your brand to help build up a sense of anticipation. Once the campaign launches, it’s important to run a steady stream of announcements and updates reminding people of your campaign as well as communicating directly with those who have entered, thanking them and sharing their entries if relevant.


5. Create a hub

With your campaign tone nailed and promotion in full swing, it’s time to make the most of all that great user-generated content and consider where it will live. The hub lets you collect and feature the best ‘on brand’ entries within your own website or on a stand alone campaign site. Its responsively-built widget means it’s mobile friendly too – making it easier for everyone to use.


6. Analyse and learn

With your campaign complete and all entries gathered, it’s time to pour over the results and review its success. Did you connect with the audience you set out to connect with? When was it most successful and when did it begin to lag? And most importantly, what have you learnt for next time?

Want to make better use of user-generated content? Sign up to and follow our simple How to Guides.

4 ways to put user-generated content to good use

Incorporating user-generated content into your brand marketing efforts is an incredibly effective way of spreading the word and developing relationships between your customers and brand.

Here are 4 ways you can get user-generated content to work even harder:

1. Gallery

Collect the highest quality photos that customers have shared of your products (from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and feature them in a gallery on your brand website or blog.

2. Product pages

When a customer shares a photo of your product on social media, it’s a public and genuine endorsement of your brand. It’s a seal of approval that inspires a greater sense of trust than other forms of advertising. Feature genuine customer photos on your product pages to drive genuine conversions.

3. Competitions

Incentivise your customers and fans by running a photo competition across social networks. Offer free products or discounts in exchange for high quality photos and feature the best entries on your website.

4. Live displays

Encourage customers to participate on social media by introducing a big screen social display to your event, work or retail space. You can display content from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in real-time, use it to run social competitions (see above!) or simply display a steady stream of fresh social chatter.

Want to make better use of user-generated content? Sign up to and follow our simple How to Guides.

How user-generated content improves your brand marketing

User-generated content is transforming the way brands are marketing themselves, and with measurable results, it’s obvious why.

But how does user-generated content marketing work?

1. It builds a sense of trust

When a customer shares a photo of your product on social media, it’s a public and genuine endorsement of your brand. It’s a seal of approval that inspires a greater sense of trust than other forms of advertising. Displaying those relevant photos and messages to potential customers shows that your brand is for them. Who better to recommend your brand than your own customers?


2. It develops lasting customer relationships

It’s not just about great photos, it’s also about the relationships you’re developing between your customers and your brand. When you collect and display your customers’ photos (with their permission of course) you’re striking up a conversation that will make them feel appreciated. Ultimately, that connection can build loyalty and encourage real engagement.


3. It makes you memorable

User-generated content is one of the best ways to add a sense of intrigue and fun to your marketing efforts and at best, it can inspire. For example, The Body Coach fitness guru Joe Wicks regularly shares transformation photos of his fitness graduates that prove the effectiveness of his fitness plans, inspiring his existing and potential customers alike. If customers perceive your content as interesting, they’re more likely to remember you and look you up in the future.


Real content from real people.

Incorporating customer photos and messages into your marketing efforts is a highly effective way of developing trusted relationships between your brand and its customers.

Want to make better use of user-generated content? Sign up to and follow our simple How to Guides.