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Do you leverage user-generated content?

A few days ago, while I was away on holidays, I took two photos featuring two of my favourite brands, which for me are connected with summer, sun and fun. These are FIX Hellas BEER and Blue Star Ferries. I took the photo of the beer just for fun and the one with the ferry because I wanted to post it on my blog “Sunday’s Happy Project“.

When I came back I thought, why not post them on their Facebook pages to see how they respond and engage with their fans? So, these are the results of my research:

FIX Beer post

FIX Hellas BEER replied nothing. They didn’t even “Like” it. In fact, there are many beautiful photos posted by fans, which haven’t received any appreciation by the brand:

FIX HELLAS - post2

Blue Star Ferries, on the other hand, not only replied, but also took the time to check the link of my blog:

BlueStarFeries

Their reply is: “Kyriaki thank you very much!! It is wonderful that this photo is hosted in a space about happiness!”

What a nice response! Of course, they could have taken it further and make the most of my post by sharing it with the community in order to:

  1. Show much more appreciation to their loyal customer (me in this case).
  2. Share a great story with their fans.
  3. Encourage more fans to post their photos on the page, which would increase Word of Mouth and engagement.

It takes some effort to take a photo and upload it on a brand’s social networking account. The customers who do it are loyal customers, happy to spread the word for their favourite brand, and their commitment should be appreciated. Otherwise, they may feel ignored and disappointed.

To build a strong community for your brand on social media, you need to keep your fans engaged and active. To achieve this, value their participation and interactions, as well as their opinion and feedback.

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Let me know your thoughts. Do you leverage user generated content on your brand’s social media? How?