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Social Media and UGC

The Top 5 Social Media Tools in 2020

Social media tools help marketers and creators get the most out of social platforms. The right social media tools in 2020 help improve your reach and engagement, but also create valuable moments of community and conversation. In 2020, those brand interactions are more important on social media than ever before. More than half of all brand discovery (52%) is happening in public social feeds. From traditional social media posts to targeted advertising, there is a wide range of ways to increase brand visibility, engage customers, and drive awareness of your brand on social media. But, as so many brands and businesses recognize the power of social media, there’s a lot of noise to break through when marketing on these channels. With the right social media tools, not only will you tap into new ways to engage your audience, you'll also find brand safety, influencer marketing, and content creation hacks unlocked by savvy marketers.

1. Social Photo Contests

Social media contests entice new customers and engage current customers. This social media tool helps drive more personal interactions and invite fans to join the brand conversation. Social contests are also a practical way to provoke more user-generated content (UGC), real customer photos from your fans and followers. Running a photo contest on social media can be as easy as asking followers to share a post with a campaign hashtag unique to the contest. After an initial social pet photo contest, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants boosted its social media engagement by using those real customer images and featuring them on their website via a tasteful gallery with shoppable links to online booking. These images continue to be collected and curated through Kimpton’s unique hashtag #KimptonThroughYourLens, and individuals can also directly upload photos on the gallery page. Social media contests are great social media tools for giving the company a much more community-centered feel.

Kimpton's UGC gallery features sourced UGC similar to the content collected in social media contests.

2. Social Email Campaigns

To support contests you’re running on social media, combine forces with email marketing. Social email campaigns are a great social media tool for connecting known individuals in your database with highly curated UGC in each email. By using content collected in social contests via email, you can extend your campaign reach and encourage participation from even more customers. With an omnichannel strategy for your campaigns, you can increase engagement and conversions, making it one of the top social media tools for marketers. Athletic apparel brand Hylete incorporated curated Instagram posts from its customer community into its most recent email campaign, featuring user tags as well as easily shoppable links from each photo. Headlined “Shop Instagram Favorites,” the email encouraged customers to interact with their own community by shopping for popular products.

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HYLETE sends an email to its database encouraging its subscribers to shop their favorite Instagram look.

By integrating user-generated content tools, you can repurpose customer content from campaigns across email, social, digital, and commerce. Adding in real customer content and celebrating customer stories in your email marketing will drive meaningful interaction.

3. Shoppable Instagram

When Instagram rolled out shoppable posts, it changed the game for marketers on the platform. The shoppable feature makes it easier to turn engagement into sales with the addition of tagged product posts. By linking Instagram posts to shoppable products on your website, brands can get a measurable ROI from the content they post on the platform. Innerwear company Leonisa’s partnership with Pixlee allows the company to display community social media content in a shoppable gallery to build brand trust and foster a more community feel among its customers. With easy links to ‘shop the look’ directly from customer posts, Leonisa has seen a massive surge in engagement, with site visitors 273% more likely to return after interacting with Pixlee content.

Featured in Leonisa’s shoppable gallery of UGC.

With the right social media tools, marketers can make shoppable Instagram go even farther. In addition to product links within posts, you can create a direct link that takes shoppers from your Instagram profile to your site. With a scheduler, you can share branded and customer content to increase engagement and streamline posting to social media. You can also easily reuse great customer photos from Instagram on other parts of your site to create a more organic shopping experience for your customers.

4. UGC in Instagram and Facebook Ads

There are a lot of social media tools that support Instagram and Facebook ads – but few that solve the issue of content for those ads. A balanced social media strategy involves both organic and paid content. With user-generated content in social media ads, you can target your fans and followers directly yet authentically. Traditional, branded ads are one way to go, but more marketers are choosing to use real, authentic customer content. With UGC, you can create native ads that match the format of your preferred social media platform and encourage purchases. User-generated content is also more cost-effective and helps save time on the creation of visual ad assets. Effective ads don’t need to follow your typical branded structure with social media tools, and a proficient user-generated content platform can help you identify content from your own community to feature in those ads. You can also link your ads to your content platform to automatically display the most recent, approved content directly from your site.

5. Dynamic UGC for Retargeting Ads

This social media tool is similar to the last but has a distinct and separate impact on brands. Retargeting ads help you reach potential customers who have expressed interest in your brand but haven’t yet made a purchase. Using retargeting ads increases brand visibility and keeps your products top-of-mind for people who have visited your site or viewed your content. Featuring customer photos with specific products in retargeting ads helps increase the click-through rate and ultimately recover more revenue. Social media has become a key part of the overall customer journey, with shoppable Instagram feeds and authentic advertising stimulating a community feel. Using a platform or tool that automates permissioning user-generated content for ads helps streamline the process and save time. Integrating your ad platform and your product catalog makes it easy to create product-specific ads featuring real customer photos for retargeting.

Brands and marketing teams have recognized the power of social media to reach more customers, engage with fans, and drive conversions, and effective social media marketing goes beyond posting branded content. Running contests helps generate user-generated content and create buzz for brands and products. Combining social media and email for omnichannel contests increases customer participation and engagement for contests. As social media marketers take on more responsibility and own more parts of the customer journey, their strategies become more effective with the right social media tools to automate processes, enhance content collection and curation, and track metrics more accurately.

Pixlee TurnTo Contributor

Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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