How to Incorporate User-Generated Content into Your Brand’s Instagram Feed
How to Incorporate User-Generated Content into Your Brand's Instagram Feed

User-generated content (UGC) can be a content creator’s best friend. Sharing UGC can help to build strong relationships with your followers, provide great branded imagery and enhance your brand’s Instagram presence.

UGC can be used on most any platform when providing the right credit to the user, but for this blog, we’ll just be focusing on using UGC on Instagram. 

AdWeek sums it up nicely with, “User-generated content is basically content related to a brand that is voluntarily produced by its customers.” Visitors and customers that have a great experience in your shop, at your location, with your product or on your website are more likely to let their followers know by sharing their own experience on social media.

UGC adds a level of valuable authenticity that your brand can’t purchase through traditional advertising. 

While utilizing UGC as part of your posting strategy isn’t necessarily a new concept, it is one that can now be used in so many different ways on Instagram and Instagram Stories with the help of new features. 

UGC and Branded Content

A great approach to curating Instagram content is incorporating brand-related UGC while also posting original branded photography. Blending the two will help create a relatable, reliable and aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed.

Scheduling and planning your content in advance will help you map out the best way to incorporate these posts into your feed. Create a posting plan and stick to it.

Vetting UGC for Brand Use

Depending on the size of your brand, the amount and types of UGC may vary. There might be endless UGC to choose from, but choose carefully when incorporating it into your content.

While Instagram posts don’t have to be perfect, there is something to say about a great photo with good lighting that features your product or brand.

Remember, not all UCG has to go on your feed! Some lower quality images might be a great fit for your brand’s Instagram Stories. With the Add Post to Story feature, a user’s feed photo can be shared directly to your IG Story. If a user tags you in an IG Story, click Add This To Your Story for it to be added directly to your own IG Stories. 

Create a Branded Hashtag

If your brand has a location that people can tag when posting on Instagram, you might likely already have some great UGC to work with. But creating a branded hashtag for your business is another way to encourage users to share their content with you.

Apple’s branded hashtag is a great example of this user-brand relationship. With their #ShotoniPhone shared in their Instagram bio, more than 9.5 million users have used that hashtag in their content. 

GoPro provides another example for using a branded hashtag in their IG bio. They opted for #GoPro and more than 43 million users have shared their GoPro videos and photos using that hashtag on Instagram.

A brand can usually never go wrong with using the business name as the branded hashtag as long as it is unique to the business. If there are other brands out there with similar names and products as yours, consider going with something on-brand but different from your business name, like Apple’s hashtag. 

Providing Credit

Give credit where credit is due. Instagram scheduling tool, Later put it best, “you need to make sure you’re honoring the creator’s work and not ‘stealing’ content for your own marketing purposes.”

Always credit the creator very visibly, in the caption of the Instagram post that you are sharing on your own account. When in doubt, you can always comment on the user’s original post or send the user a personalized DM regarding the image you would like to share and credit to make sure they are comfortable with you sharing their material. 

Are you scrolling through pages and pages of UGC that could be used for your brand but you just aren’t sure how to properly implement the content into your social strategy? That’s what we are here for.

We love working with brands to create content that is right for them, including UCG content and branded photography with on-brand captions. Set up your free consultation to see how we can help your brand’s digital presence. 

Camille S. Vlahos
Camille S. Vlahos
Camille is a Social Media Manager at The Modern Connection, where her passion lies in generating relatable content and creating branded graphics for clients. She graduated College of Charleston with a degree in Communication. She has a background in public relations and online marketing. When she’s not behind a screen, she loves flipping through the latest collection of fashion magazines, testing out new recipes and spending quality time with her husband, Alexi and her pup, Nelli.