Why Your Followers Should Be Producing Most of Your Social Media Content

How much time do you spend working on content for your social media ?


Tealfeed Guest Blog

3 years ago | 4 min read

How much time do you spend working on content for your social media campaign? Typically, you’ll be researching, drafting, scheduling, publishing, and following up — all in addition to working with your core content team so you can write and distribute on-site content as well.

If this sounds like you, you may be doing something wrong. What if, instead of producing your own content, you let your followers do the work for you?

Wait, What?

At first, the premise may sound preposterous. Your followers are the ones you’re trying to attract and convert, and to do that, you need to give them something valuable (i.e., content). Asking them to create the content seems like a stretch — but thousands of brands are already using the strategy, and with great success.

Your goal here is to create circumstances in which your followers naturally want to produce content, and harness the power of that content for your own goals.

But how can you make this work?

The Advantages

First, let’s go over the advantages of a social media content campaign that relies on user-submitted content:

· Engagement. First, anybody creating content on behalf of your brand or directed to your brand specifically is going to be more engaged with your brand. That engagement will make them more likely to buy from you, more likely to support your posts, and more likely to remain loyal in the long term.

· Workload reduction. Obviously, if your followers are the ones creating the content, that’s significantly less work you’ll have to do yourself. User-submitted content eases the pressure on your budget (and your time).

· Community building. With users submitting content between them, it’s only natural that they’d build a community around your brand. That’s going to encourage stronger bonds with your brand, and greater loyalty on all sides.

· Overall visibility. With an army of users all creating and sharing their own material related to your brand, your brand is going to become more visible on more channels and outlets.

Types of User-Submitted Content

So what types of content can your users create? These are some of the best applications:

· Questions. First, you can invite your users to ask questions related to your area of expertise. For example, if you’re an auto repair clinic, you could host an hour-long session each morning dedicated to answering or diagnosing user concerns. It’s an easy way to figure out what your followers’ needs and concerns are, and you’ll have the opportunity to address them immediately.

· Answers. Conversely, you can use your brand to pose questions to the audience, who can then provide answers. If you’re just generating responses and engagement, these can be abstract and personal, such as “what would you do with $1 million?” You can also use this to discover more information about your target audience, such as “what’s the most important feature of a restaurant?”

· Discussions. One of the reasons podcasts have become so popular is their ability to generate thought and discussion. You can easily get your users to talk to one another, exchanging ideas and opinions, as long as you provide the catalyst. This could be a controversial statement, a surprising new study, or just an invitation to an open forum, which your users can then populate. Stoke the fires with something that appeals to your followers’ emotions.

· Images and videos. You can also ask your users to submit images or videos, especially if they’re related to a location or special event. For example, if you’re running a local amusement park, you can ask your followers to share their favorite photos from the day, or tell them to pose with a themed character running around the park.

· Contest submissions. You can modify any of the above ideas by making user submissions part of a social media contest. Usually, you’ll ask users to submit their best piece of content (e.g., a photo, a tagline, or a joke), along with a specific hashtag. Then, you’ll enter all submissions into a drawing for a prize, or you’ll reward the “best” submission with a prize.

Contests are advantageous because they’ll centralize the submissions and make them searchable with a hashtag, and because the monetary reward will encourage more people to submit.

Quick Tips for Success

If you’re interested in building a user-submitted content strategy, these are the most important tips you should keep in mind:

· Make it worth it. First, make sure your users are going to be rewarded for their efforts; otherwise, they may not be willing to put in the effort. Even an entry in a giveaway is enough to motivate most users.

· Respond frequently. Show your followers that you’re listening to them by responding to their posts as often as possible. Active brands are going to have more active participants.

· Nurture evangelists. In the noise of user-submitted content, you’re going to find prospective brand evangelists who love your company and spread it to others; when you find them, nurture them, and reward them for their promotional efforts with free gifts or public recognition.

· Seed discussions with influencers. You can also increase the visibility and engagement rates of your discussions by including influencers in the industry whenever possible. It’s a good way to build early momentum if you don’t have many followers or a strong voice.

Developing content is still one of the best ways to build visibility and loyalty for your brand, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. By harnessing the power of your own followers, you can produce better, more visible content — all without investing more time or money.

This article was originally published by Jayson DeMers on medium.


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