I heard that you have thousands and thousands of people who like you, in fact, they like you so much that they spent a whole of 2 minutes going over through your Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter page to like or follow you. They look forward to your posts… and, sometimes, when they see it on their timeline, they even like it!

So, all hunky dory you’d say… you have a solid fan-base and a gazillion likes…. so now what? There are two options available,
#1 Keep it as is, and with the changing landscape they (fan base) will soon not see any value, and the like will be forgotten and posts lost in the sea of information, or
#2 Shake it up, make this fan base your brand ambassadors, content contributors and this will lead to some great results and may even change certain brand perceptions.

#1 is easy, it’s what would happen if one refused to evolve! So, let’s discuss #2, this is something intriguing… riding on the wave that would lead the change… (Phew that sounds serious)… but it’s rather fun.

So, the question you’d ask, how can your consumer know your brand?? You are the only one who knows it, right? WRONG. Remember they love it, they use their hard earned money to procure it, to gain pleasure or make their life easy. They have a story worth telling. After all, how much can your team of 10 (let’s call a number ‘n’) can think of… they will eventually hit a roadblock.

What I am saying is asking and using user generated content is good good good for your brand.

Let’s see how:
You need to build and improve customer relations – “Check”
Customer Feedback – “Check”
Psssttt… lower your budget – “Check”
How about insanely original content – “Check”
Oh, and let’s not forget, you made a friend for life *brand ambassador* – “Check”

Well, now that we have established that it’s good to use user generated content, let’s talk about some ways on how we can do this:
I. Everyone has a story to tell…
Everyone likes to tell their story or better still someone else telling it for them. Run a Facebook campaign, where a user can share an experience with a photo shot (remember a pic is worth a 1000 words)
II. Rewards never go unpaid
Feeling bored, let’s run a quiz… not one time but regularly, surprise your fan base with random and focused giveaways. This way have a reason to return to your page and seek out things. Who doesn’t like a returning visitor and all the butterfly effect it brings in!
III. Shall we localize the reach?
If your business is local or does focus on certain localized area, it’s great to run some campaigns celebrating love for the local region. It doesn’t matter if you sold tyres, celebrating local is like saying “I like your home” – a compliment of a tall order.
IV. How would you use it?
I love Lord of the Rings, and I’d often use it as a pillow too! See that’s a quirky and a lifestyle statement. I am a bookworm and I love being surrounded with books so much so… that I have found different uses to keep them close. Running a campaign to peek into lifestyle could lead to some very interesting uses.
V. Do you need models for your ads?
Now, this should be the easiest of them all… taking an offshoot from #4, this is a fabulous way, showcase your fans showcasing your products, make them feel how proud you are they are using your products. And, this method can be a great way to reach to all your users and fans to announce how serious you are about using user generated content.

Bottom line, there is no other way better to celebrate your users and fan base by making them part of your brand and using user generated content. And, did I mention it will improve your conversational skills? Well, yes and you shall not be “socially” awkward either. And, like all businesses it will get some serious mileage to your ROI.
Furthermore, there is such a wide berth on the kind of content that you will never ever fall short of ideas and content. So, see what works for you, experiment, and find your own, very own sweet spot to build your ‘sea of loyal customers/fans/brand ambassadors’!

So, shall we begin…