How Any Business Can Find and Display User-Generated Content on Its Website

Posted by Jake Solyst | February 16, 2017 | 10:49am

The reality of social media is that with every passing minute, anybody in the world could post a photo, video or blog related to your brand. Most organizations are focused on limiting the potential downside of this–creating social outreach designed to limit and address negative customer experiences. But what about the upside?

Even if positive user-generated content doesn’t mention your business directly, it can still be leveraged to enhance your brand image. The trick is capturing this content in the first place, which is not an easy proposition when user content so often fails to tag @brands through their most preferred #channels.

For marketers, being unable to make use of an endless flurry of potentially helpful media can feel pretty frustrating. About as frustrating as wearing a straightjacket in one of those swirling cash booths.

Crowdriff was created to solve this problem. The simple web tool enables site managers to find user-generated Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter posts related to their brand, acquire the rights, and then display the content on their website.

Now, instead of passively waiting to be tagged or mentioned in a post, brand managers can actively seek and make use of authentic user-generated content that best represents their brand.

See the plugin in action on the Visit Portland website–on the lower third half under the “Happening Now in Portland” header.

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 10.44.27 AM

In theory, the application would work for virtually any business or organization. In practice, brand managers will have to get creative to maximize its utility. Think of this as an opportunity to test your ability to view random, non-branded content through a brand-conscious lens.

For example, a nonprofit whose mission supports a city’s arts community could filter user generated content made by people at galleries, museums, concerts, events, or public art landmarks throughout the city. Even if the posts don’t mention the specific nonprofit, any content that has to do with people enjoying local art supports the nonprofit’s broader mission and conflates their brand with the city’s overall arts experience.

Similarly, a university could filter user-generated content that shows what students are doing on campus and off campus. As long as the posts are a positive representation of the institution, any photos of students bonding or participating in activities that make use of local or regional amenities can help tell the school’s story.

Taking full advantage of user-generated content has been a challenge for some time. Traditionally, branded hashtags are used to incite and corral content, but users tend not to use them, and the honest truth is that experiences shared via social media seem less authentic when voluntarily associated with direct branding.

Crowdriff is a way around that. And while it’s not a necessity for your content, it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you have creative ideas about what experiences can be leveraged to promote your brand.

If you’re interested in working a tool like Crowdriff onto your website, or would like to learn more about implementing user generated content into a marketing effort, feel free to give us a shout or sign up for idfive’s integrated marketing newsletter.