How to Curate Social Content for Maximum Impact on the Buyer Journey

Locate authentic visual media content posted on social media by your customers. Then display this throughout your digital experience to provide the social proof that will generate more conversions.

Social Curation

We know that 88% of consumers specifically look for visuals (such as photos or videos) submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase. It’s key to provide these shoppers with the information they’re looking for, or else you risk losing them to a competitor that does. 

 

A simple way to generate more user-generated visual content for your home, category, gallery, and product detail pages (and other marketing materials) is to gather it from where it’s already being shared and posted by your customers — on Instagram. 

 

In this guide, you’ll find best practices to put to use during each stage of your social collection campaign. 

Pre Campaign:

Setting up your campaign and creating awareness

STEP 1

Plan

The first step to success when curating social content is to plan for success. The biggest component of this is selecting the right campaign hashtag to promote and follow on Instagram. 

 

Why is this so important? Because choosing the right hashtag allows you to generate content that’s most relevant to your brand and your products. Plus, it can help you sort through the thousands of images you collect as you choose the UGC that will look best on your site. 

 

Be sure to choose one that relates to the lifestyle of your customers and stays true to your brand’s image. General hashtags (think #OOTD) will generate millions of photos. But many of those photos won’t include your products, and they might even include products from your competitors. 

 

On the other hand, a more targeted hashtag will generate less content, but the content will be way more relevant. This will save your team time in the long run as they won’t have to sift through a high volume of often irrelevant content. 

 

If you want to save even more time and resources, and don’t want to sift through all of the content generated by your campaign hashtag on your own, leverage a specialist provider. The best practice approach of these vendors incorporates the moderation capabilities necessary to match and quality control the content you collect. At the same time, it will also ensure this content is on brand while being displayed quickly on your product, category, gallery and home pages.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right hashtag for your campaign: 

  • Relate it to the lifestyle of your shoppers 
  • Relate it to your brand image and the lifestyle of your brand 
  • Remember to be genuine and stay true to your brand image 
  • Keep it unique to weed out competitors

Don’t forget!


Work with your marketing team to make sure your campaigns and outreach flow with other marketing initiatives. For example, is your marketing planning to run a Holiday campaign? If so, collaborate and plan ahead so that the hashtag and your outreach don’t interfere with other initiatives.

Get inspired!

Here’s how some of our friends are getting creative with their hashtags:

STEP 1

Plan

The first step to success when curating social content is to plan for success. The biggest component of this is selecting the right campaign hashtag to promote and follow on Instagram. 

 

Why is this so important? Because choosing the right hashtag allows you to generate content that’s most relevant to your brand and your products. Plus, it can help you sort through the thousands of images you collect as you choose the UGC that will look best on your site. 

 

Be sure to choose one that relates to the lifestyle of your customers and stays true to your brand’s image. General hashtags (think #OOTD) will generate millions of photos. But many of those photos won’t include your products, and they might even include products from your competitors. 

 

On the other hand, a more targeted hashtag will generate less content, but the content will be way more relevant. This will save your team time in the long run as they won’t have to sift through a high volume of often irrelevant content. 

 

If you want to save even more time and resources, and don’t want to sift through all of the content generated by your campaign hashtag on your own, leverage a specialist provider. The best practice approach of these vendors incorporates the moderation capabilities necessary to match and quality control the content you collect. At the same time, it will also ensure this content is on brand while being displayed quickly on your product, category, gallery and home pages.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right hashtag for your campaign: 

  • Relate it to the lifestyle of your shoppers 
  • Relate it to your brand image and the lifestyle of your brand 
  • Remember to be genuine and stay true to your brand image 
  • Keep it unique to weed out competitors

Get inspired

Here’s how some of our friends are getting creative with their hashtags:

STEP 2

Promote your campaign

Your shoppers won’t use your hashtag or tag your account if they don’t know what hashtag to use or what your handle is. So make sure you promote your campaigns. 

 

Include language in your campaign promotions reminding customers of your hashtag and Instagram handle. Let them know you want to see how they’re using your products, and explicitly ask them to share photos and videos using your products on Instagram, communicate the hashtags you want them to use and request they tag you.

Don’t forget!

 

Be sure your most engaged and influential followers are aware of your campaigns. If you have a community of influencers (and don’t forget about the influence micro influencers can have), make sure to add their handles to your list of Approved contacts, so their content is automatically approved and displayed. 

 

Engaging influencers will also help increase the reach of your campaign by getting in front of your influencers’ followers as well — a great way to get more content, faster, at the start of your campaigns.

Examples of places you can promote your campaigns:

STEP 3

Establish legal messaging and terms

You’ll need to get permission from consumers before using their photos or videos across your website or in other marketing materials. 

 

Make sure you have all legal language crafted and approved before the start of your campaign, so you can start collecting approved content as soon as possible. Establish a terms and conditions page — somewhere users can go if they have questions — and link to this page when asking for permission. Once a user gives permission to use their content in marketing materials, make sure to attribute the content to them. Say something along the lines of “Photo courtesy of [insert Instagram handle].”

During Campaign:

Managing the content you collect

STEP 1

Secure image rights

In order to leverage user-generated images and videos in your marketing initiatives, you’ll need to get the creator’s permission (at PowerReviews, we know how important this process is so we seamlessly incorporate it into our technology).

 

Best practice:

 

Tailor the permission messages you send for your different customer groupings and profiles.

 

Not all your customers are the same, so think about how best to motivate each individual to grant you permission to repurpose their content. Your messages won’t always be one-size fits all. 

 

For example, a sporting goods company’s customers can span from beginners to more advanced athletes — both of which could respond in different ways. Beginners will be more excited to share photos of themselves learning a new skill, while advanced users might want to show more close up photos of the products they’re using to train.

 

Take note of who grants image rights and note which messaging works best for different users.

Post Campaign:

Repurposing the content you collect and measuring and analyzing the performance of your campaign

STEP 1

Repurpose content

Your shoppers won’t use your hashtag or tag your account if they don’t know what hashtag to use or what your handle is. So make sure you promote your campaigns. 

 

Include language in your campaign promotions reminding customers of your hashtag and Instagram handle. Let them know you want to see how they’re using your products, and explicitly ask them to share photos and videos using your products on Instagram, communicate the hashtags you want them to use and request they tag you.

Some places to promote this UGC include:

STEP 2

Understand your performance

After your campaign is over, take a look at its performance. Look at who is sharing content and what kind of content they’re sharing. 

 

For example, are the images being shared poor quality? If so, you might need to provide your users with more direction on what you’re looking for. 

 

In addition, take note of who your UGC creators are. You’ll find interesting insights into what products are being featured, and the style of content being created. With this information, your brand can learn more about how a product is being used, who’s using it, and what type of content resonates with different types of shoppers. Note what worked, and what you can change for the next campaign.

 

Dig even deeper

 

With PDP Site Analytics, track the actual sales impact of visual content on your site. PowerReviews data across all our customers shows visitors that interact specifically with visual UGC have a conversion lift of 81% over general visitors who don’t interact with visual UGC.

 

This information specifically applied to your own UGC and Social Curation programs helps you iterate, improve and optimize for bigger impact. Find out what imagery and video resonates best at what point in the journey, then seek to generate and display more of this.

 

Include language in your campaign promotions reminding customers of your hashtag and Instagram handle. Let them know you want to see how they’re using your products, and explicitly ask them to share photos and videos using your products on Instagram, communicate the hashtags you want them to use and request they tag you.

Conclusion

Authentic user-generated visual content shared on social media provides compelling social proof to shoppers on your site. Brands and retailers are increasingly leveraging this content at high impact points of their digital experience to nurture and convert traffic – whether this is on their homepages, product pages or in their marketing materials.

 

The key is being able to collect and display this content at scale.

 

The PowerReviews Social Curation platform enables just this, by providing unique capabilities to cultivate, surface and showcase social media postings to accelerate the path to purchase.

If you’re a PowerReviews customer, reach out to your Customer Success Manager to discuss how to get yourself up and running. If you’re not a PowerReviews customer, reach out to us today to find out more.

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