If you have no clue what User Generated Content is or why every business in the tourism industry should be utilizing it, then stop right here and make sure to read part one of this ultimate guide! Today we’re expanding into the final part of this short series, and diving deeper into examples of successful UGC campaigns as well as how to utilize UGC on specific social media platforms.
One of our favorite examples of utilizing UGC is from Destination Canada, which is an organization that promotes tourism in Canada. For their campaign, they were targeting the U.S travel market, but instead of capturing their own footage for a video they had relied on social media to curate content from users. It took some work, but within 2 weeks they had acquired the rights to over 2,500 photos and videos from social media to create their video campaign. Within a week after launching, the video had reached over 3 million views! A big reason in the video doing so well is because they incorporated users, they in return had shared the video helping it reach a bigger audience.
Our second example of a successful UGC campaign comes from Nelson & Kootenay Lakes Tourism. They had created the specialized hashtag #FindingAwesome as well as a microsite to go with it to show how locals and visitors found something great in the region every day, thus helping promote the region to potential visitors. To drum up some interest in the hashtag, they ran two social media contests which resulted in over 1500 entries, and then shared the top entries on their blog. By doing something as simple as creating and promoting a hashtag, Nelson & Kootenay were able to enlist users in creating content that they could use to promote the region. Free content, what marketer doesn’t love that? By also sharing and reposting entries, they are able to build social proof and authenticity of their brand/region.
Now that we’ve got your inspiration flowing, we are going to move onto utilizing user generated content on certain social media platforms.
This one is easy, and honestly, your business should already be on there. If your business is not on TripAdvisor yet, make sure to claim your business and set up your account. TripAdvisor is perfect for generating reviews from customers, which in return helps build your brand awareness and social proof. Here are a couple of ideas to start generating reviews.
• An automated email system sent to customers encouraging reviews.
• Offer a small reward for customers that review your business.
• Promote your presence on Trip Advisor and utilize its’ marketing tools that are available.
• Responding to reviews can show that your business is engaging, helps build your authenticity, and shows potential customers your a business invested in providing a great service.
Instagram is a social media platform that a lot of business in the tourism industry thrive on. Here are a couple ideas for generating content from users and capitalizing on it.
• Create a specialized hashtag, and repost people who use it.
• Ask customers to tag you in their IG stories and posts, so you can in return share it onto your IG story.
• Have users enter a contest (like Starbucks infamous Red Cup Contest) and share entries on your IG. This helps spread your brand awareness and can boost your social following.
• Start an Ambassador Program for your most loyal followers by sending them a free or discounted product. Make sure you are finding ambassadors that have an audience and will work well with your brand. In return, they will create content and speak to their audience about your business which will provide social proof to potential customers.
While Facebook can be great for sharing content and UGC, it’s also a great tool for using UGC in advertisements.
• Encourage your customers to write reviews on your businesses’ Facebook page.
• Blend your reviews & photos into an Ad using Facebooks’ Dynamic Product Ads format. This helps provide social proof to your potential customers!
• Connect your facebook page with your Instagram, and share customer photos. Like discussed before, it’s free content that helps build the authenticity and social proof of your brand!
4. Snap Chat
Snapchat is a platform that you may not necessarily use for ads or sharing UGC, but it’s a great tool to use for collecting content.
• Create a tag/filter and encourage customers to “snap” their experience. You can collect their photos and videos with their permission, and repost on your own story or on other social platforms.
• By having customers snap their experiences, they can also geo-tag your location, so their followers can see more about your business and your social proof continues to build.
Pinterest can be a little tricky, and if you’ve seen our blog post about it, you understand how it can help any business in the tourism industry. However, for UGC it can take a little bit of work.
• One thing you can do is add a “Pin It” button to your website and other platforms, so followers can share your content to their audience.
• Create A Contest — to help generate content on Pinterest, encourage followers and customers to submit their favorite tour or product on Pinterest. This can help your business with sourcing and collecting content to use in marketing campaigns.
• Like the ambassador program previously mentioned, you can target the top “pinners” in your industry, and work with them to help promote your business. Offer them a discount or some sort of incentive and they could share your business to their audience through Pinterest.
User generated content is a very useful tool in the tourism industry, and our ideas for how to utilize it is just the tip of the iceberg! We are positive there are numerous more ways a business can leverage UGC, and if you have any ideas, comments, or questions, give us a holler! iWerx Connect is always here if you want to chat about marketing tactics (or dogs).