For most businesses, social media has become an extension of customer service; a quick, constant and low-cost way to keep in touch with an audience.

It’s effective, too. People who engaged with a brand on social media on a daily basis were likely to make twice as many purchases from that brand than someone who engages only monthly.

That’s why it’s so important to do it well.

The problem we see is when brands get a little…well…self-indulgent. Making it about ‘me, me, me’ rather than the audience.

We wouldn’t put up with a shop assistant blabbering on about their opinions on politics, or what they had for lunch. It’s not the time or the place.

On social media, though, that’s almost exclusively what I’m after (well, that and cute dogs). So when a brand tries to jam a sale down my throat, I’m less inclined to listen.

Social media needs social proof; I want to know what other people are thinking, not what brands are saying about themselves.

Our own research from this year backs this up: 57% of people prefer to engage with an advertisement if it contains UGC. That same study also revealed that the motive behind that behaviour is trust; 69% of people trust UGC over brand created images.

The logical conclusion?

Brands should be making a concerted effort to inject the voice of the customer into their social media activities.

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How do I know what content to focus on?

You can pick out a favourite, take an overall score – it’s up to you!

Reevoo clients have access to all their reviews through the myReevoo portal. They can create queues or find reviews above a certain score, which makes this process a lot quicker and easier.

Just follow a few simple rules:

Keep it fresh
Social media is a very immediate medium. If you’re posting reviews from a year ago, or even a few months ago, it’ll look a bit suspicious. People go to social media to see what’s happening right now. Give them what they want with reviews from the top of the pile.

Don’t cherry pick
There’s nothing wrong with choosing a particularly nice review to profile – unless it’s the only good review from a thousand.

People shouldn’t be disappointed when they click through to see the rest of your reviews. If it’s not a true representation of your product or service, you’ll do yourself more harm than good.

Make sure it’s real
Always use the real score or verbatim quote, current to as recent as you can get. Never try and fake a nice review for social media. Prove it’s real by linking back to the original if possible.

How do I post UGC on social media?

UGC should compliment a social media strategy, not replace it. Keep doing what you’re doing, but add a juicy, delicious layer of customer stories on top.

If you’re using a posting platform like Sprinklr, HootSuite, Percolate, ConverSocial or similar, take a day a week (or month) and find a few reviews worth promoting.

Alternatively, you can do a ‘good review Friday’, or just integrate one or two a week in with your existing social posts.

Of course, the format depends on the type of content you’re planning on using. Here are a few examples from our amazing clients.

Overall score

I’d recommend starting here – using your overall product or customer service score. It’s a nice simple number or star score you can blend into your brand look and feel.

Customer photos

That Reevoo study I mentioned earlier also revealed that 68% of people are more likely to buy a product from a page that uses UGC instead of stock imagery. That’s a huge indicator that using customer photos on social media is a good move.

If you’re collecting a lot of images, like insurer LV=, a Facebook gallery might be the best way to do it.

It’s not quite as easy on Twitter, but it’s worth it – tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images. 

Here’s how LV= did it – it’s a screenshot of our Experiences implementation.

Video reviews

Video reviews are gold dust, but can be very difficult to collect in our experience. We worked on a project this year with Hyundai to create a few review videos for its ‘reinvented’ i30.

They’ve come out really well, but if you want this kind of content, expect to have to put in some real effort to collect it.

A cool way to do it is to create your own videos from your existing content – just like Vauxhall did for its Mokka.

Granular details

If you’re collecting reviews on individual product facets, like ‘fuel economy’ or ‘battery life’, profiling those facets really brings your product to life for your audience. If you can read Spanish, you’ll love the below Facebook post from KIA Mexico.

Verbatim quotes

These are really powerful. It takes a bit of digging through to find the best quotes, but it’s worth it. Combine it with the overall score to create a sense that the one customer you’ve picked represents a bigger crowd.

Ask-an-owner

Our peer-to-peer Q&A engine lets people ask verified product owners questions about the experience they’ve had.

It results in some really cool content that you can use on social.

Don’t forget to remind people that they can ask questions!

Why don’t I just grab the content from social in the first place?

It’s tempting, especially for big brands, to just scrape content from social, search for a hashtag or copy/paste the reviews already posted on their Facebook page. We recommend against this for a few reasons.

Firstly, rights management is a tricky issue.

If users haven’t submitted the content to you in the first place, they’re within their rights to be a bit put off if you just throw it up on your Twitter without permission.

And if you ask for permission, you’d better come with chequebook in hand as well (or is it iZettle these days?).

Second, they’re not all verified customers.

Every review you collect should be able to be traced back to a purchase. Reviews on Facebook (or TripAdvisor or Yelp, for that matter) could have been written by anyone – and often are.

Of course, you shouldn’t turn your back on those reviews completely – but if you’re going to shout about your reviews, it’s a lot more powerful to show them alongside the Trustmark of the independent third party that collected them.

There’s also the issue of not getting exactly what you want.

If you ask your customers proactively (like we do) for exactly the kind of content you’re after (whether it’s a review, a picture, a story, whatever) then you’re probably going to get it.

Then you can use the content knowing that it was created especially for the brand – not just for the ‘likes’.

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How to use your reviews and UGC on social media