Leverage User generated content (UGC) on Instagram is an effective way to strengthen your content strategy.
This way, not only can you diversify your posts and better represent your community, but you can also provide beautiful content for your feed as a crowd-source source.
But find and collect that correct UGC for your brand can be serious hard work.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the whole process a lot easier. In this blog post, we’re sharing our top UGC tips to improve your feed aesthetics and improve your workflow:
Why share user generated content on Instagram?
More than ever, companies and brands are integrating user-generated content into their social media strategy – by republishing fan feed photos and videos, Instagram stories, IGTV and reels.
And that’s no surprise.
UGC is an affordable way to share quality content on Instagram while bringing your community together.
Including UGC in your feed can also be a powerful sales strategy 55% of consumers more confidence in user generated content than any other form of marketing.
It’s the social media equivalent of word of mouth.
Regardless of your social media goals, you can benefit from including UGC in your social media strategy.
In fact, some of the most successful influencers and brands regularly include community posts in their content plan.
For example, we split UGC almost every day Later Instagram accountand it’s consistently good and engages our audience.
If you aren’t already sharing user-generated content on Instagram, now may be the time to get started. Here’s how:
Step 1: plan your user generated content strategy
There are many ways to add user generated content to your Instagram content calendar. However, you should choose a strategy that best supports your business goals.
If your primary focus is product awareness raising, it is a good idea to use UGC with your products.
Other brands use UGC to fuel creativity and serve as a source of inspiration for their community @ Over’s monthly design competition.
You can also use UGC to strengthen your brand Instagram aesthetic.
Feature accounts (made entirely of UGC) often have a strong visual aesthetic that acts as a brand identity.
For example, The hazelnut uses tonal lifestyle-related UGC to create a beautiful and impressive lining.
And remember, UGC doesn’t have to be limited to your Instagram feed. Depending on your goals, you can also use UGC Instagram stories, IGTV, and roll.
Step 2: Find relevant UGCs that align with your brand
Once you have your UGC goals set, you can begin gathering content to help you achieve them.
The easiest way to do this is to encourage your audience to tag relevant content with one Brand hashtag – They are like a filing system that everyone in your community can use to collect UGC.
For example, Sezane is running a weekly giveaway and encouraging their community to share photos with #SezaneLovers to participate.
It’s a good idea to make your branded hashtag as unique as possible as this will keep your content stream clean and tidy.
And once your hashtag is set you are ready to use Search for hashtag later Function to easily search and republish content tagged with it on Instagram.
All you have to do is search for your branded hashtag, select the posts you want to share on your feed, and schedule them on your content calendar.
Likewise, you can use Later mentions and tags feature to quickly check any posts that mention or tag you – another quick and easy way to find UGC.
Just hit the mentions or tags button on the left side of your future dashboard to start the search:
You can then scroll through the list of posts displayed. Once you’ve found something you want to share on your own feed, you can open the post and click Add to Media Library so it can be added to your content calendar.
If you are still a little familiar with tagged content, you can always get high quality UGC by searching and scrolling on Instagram.
One of the best ways to do this is to follow accounts and hashtags that are tailored to your aesthetic.
TIP: Set up Collections Folder to save potential UGC Instagram posts as you scroll past them in your feed.
All you have to do is tap the Save button under the picture or video:
From here you can start a collection that will save all of your UGC-related posts in one place. This makes it easy to check what you want to post on your feed in the future.
If you’ve republished an image from your collection, just save it to remove it from the folder.
Would you like to use Later to easily find and curate UGC for your feed? Upgrade to a starter plan to find by hashtag or a growth plan to find tags or mentions today!
Step 3: Ask for permission to post again
Probably the biggest no-no in the Instagram community is reposting content without crediting the original owner or asking for permission.
So it is very important that you contact the creator and get written approval before republishing their content, even if they tagged or mentioned you in their content.
All you have to do is send a polite DM asking for permission to use its content on your account.
Once the creator has agreed, you can share the contents of your account. However, it is still worthwhile to clearly identify the original creator in your label.
The later UGC tools automatically add the handle of the original source to your Instagram post – so you always give credit when credit is due!
TIP: New to the UGC world? Check out our in-depth blog post How to legally post UGC on your feed.
Step 4: preview your feed aesthetic before posting
Whether you’re going all-in with UGC in your feed or picking one post or the other, it’s important to preview your grid aesthetic beforehand.
A … have coherent aesthetics (like Supergoop! below) is one of the most effective ways to grow your following on Instagram.
However, merging content from different creators into one feed can be difficult – especially when dealing with different filters and content styles.
Fortunately, Later visual planner This makes it easy to see in advance what your feed will look like, so you can make sure your UGC will fit seamlessly with your other Instagram content.
You can easily rearrange or swap photos from your media library until you find the best composition for your feed.
Also, you can now use Later’s Visual Planner right from your phone! All you have to do is open the Later app, select Preview, and select Add Media.
When you’re happy with your overall grid aesthetic, just tap Save to schedule posts for your feed. As simple as that!
Are you ready to create the perfect Instagram aesthetic for your brand? Design, curate, and schedule your feed with Visual Planner – available for Later’s free plan!
Bonus step: build a community of UGC creators
We’ve already covered how to create a branded hashtag and find posts that you’ve been tagged in. However, what if you still can’t find enough branded content?
Now it might be time to start a community of UGC developers with you Brand ambassador program.
Working with influencers and content creators is one of the best ways to ensure you have UGC content that gets to the point for your brand while building a stronger community and steady stream of great UGC content.
For example, Golds works with influencers to create UGC content for their feed.
Being a part of #ClubGolde means the influencer can share a unique discount code with their followers to buy Golde products, and this gives Golde a ton of great UGC to use.
Setting up an ambassador program or building a community of influencers who love to represent your brand is a great way to generate more UGC for your feed.
However, as your ambassador community grows, it can be difficult to keep track of all of your submitted content!
To save you time and better manage all of your content partnerships, Later has one Contributors Tool.
With ContributorsYour ambassador community can upload photos and videos directly to your content library via a direct link.
You can then accept the content you want and it will be transferred directly to your future media library. So you can easily plan UGC for your social profiles.
The later contributor tools are available for both growth and advanced plans. Find out more here.
And that’s it – your step-by-step guide on how to curate a stunning Instagram feed using UGC.
There’s no denying that UGC is a powerful asset when it comes to promoting your brand, generating sales, and growing your community.
The key to taking advantage of its power is making sure you are always curating the best UGC and integrating it seamlessly into your feed.
Register at Later today and benefit from workflow-optimizing functions such as Collect Media, Contributors and Visual Planner!
Jillian is a content marketer at Later in the UK. She is a lover of London brunch spots and an avid listener of true crime podcasts. You can connect with her on Instagram @ jillwrren.