How user generated content can revolutionise your brand’s social media

Written by Ben Jay: Social & Content Executive.
· 4 minute read

In an industry that’s becoming increasingly saturated, brands are constantly trying to break through the noise and promote their products or services on social media. Without shouting from the rooftops of their Instagram profiles. And one method that’s proved to be a vital addition to many brands’ social strategies to do this is User Generated Content (UGC).

UGC is any type of content, whether it be – images, videos, reviews etc, created by people rather than the brands posting them. For the most part, being a highly visual platform, Instagram is the primary platform for brands to utilise UGC. Users create the content, share with their followers and if it fits your look and feel you can then share the content with your own audience. A real win win.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the main reasons you should incorporate UGC to help kick your social strategy into top gear:

Boost authenticity 

According to recent stats, social media users are 2.4 times more likely to consume content and see it as authentic if it is UGC as opposed to content created by brands. This gives brands the chance to boost credibility, since a lot of people say less than 50% of brands create truly authentic content.

Take the below image shared by eyewear manufacturer Warby Parker. This UGC image was liked over 15,000 times by the account’s followers. Ask yourself, would it have seen the same interaction if the brand would’ve tried to replicate it with their own model and photoshoot?


Drive awareness 

UGC can be one of the most powerful tools to drive brand awareness. By encouraging people to post to their own Instagram feed, Twitter, or wherever, with your branded hashtag. You have the potential to reach millions of users, without doing any real leg work yourself.

Etihad Airways did this expertly with their #Ethiad1Million campaign. Here, to celebrate reaching 1 million followers, they encouraged users to post travel shots with the hashtag #Etihad1Million and they chose 10 winners to win flights with the airline.


Drive purchasing decisions 

Almost 80% of people say UGC drives purchase decisions. Instagram stories have been a key tool in driving UGC. By combining stories with the highlights feature, you can form a lasting album of user generated images. That helps potential customers browse a part of your product range before heading to your site to buy.

For example, Topshop do this expertly in their social media strategy. By showing some of the best UGC pics in their story highlights, accompanied with a link to shop the look the user is wearing.


Save resource

As UGC content is created by users, all a brand needs to do is re-share the post and watch the likes roll in. Which saves you both time and money in having to replicate the content.

GoPro are the undisputed kings of curating UGC to form their social strategy. With millions of their products out there, mostly used for adventure or sport activities. The guys at GoPro have turned their customers into brand marketers, so much so, 99% of the content they publish is created by users of their products.

And to encourage users to keep posting UGC they offer cash prizes as rewards for various categories and locations.


There’s a reason UGC has become such an integral part of many brands’ social strategies. Leveraging it not only helps you build authenticity. It can be one of the cheapest, easiest ways to drive awareness of your brand and help grow your social following. 

Remember, if you do try and incorporate UGC into your strategy, it’s always worth offering an incentive for people to do so.

And if you are interested in hearing about how the social team at Run2 can help you with a UGC strategy, get in touch today.


Ben Jay
Ben Jay
Social & Content Executive