User generated content, or UGC refers to a kind of earned media, where unpaid users create and share posts, images, or links of their own volition. UGC is a fascinating way of navigating that weak-strong connection that social media creates, because it smacks of authenticity. Nearly 88 percent of consumers are inclined to trust a promotion from people within their network.
Real World Example: Starbucks
In 2014, Starbucks launched its Starbucks’ White Cup Contest. The campaign was based in the premise of individual creativity, which incentivize customers to buy a Starbucks drink not only as a beverage but also as an expression of their artistic selves. The customers were instructed to buy a drink, draw on it, and submit a picture of their design as an entry. One entry would be selected to decorate a limited-edition Starbucks cup. In just three weeks, Starbucks received over 4,000 entries posted on individual feeds. Imagine how much free attention Starbucks basked in when each of the 4,000 posts was seen by each user’s individual audiences. Such is the power of user generated content.
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