UGC & How to Use it on Socials

Ali Cozzolino-Smith
3 min readApr 17, 2022

What is user-generated content, commonly known as UGC, and how can you use it on social media platforms to increase engagement in your community?

What is User-Generated Content?

Hootsuite explains that user-generated content (UGC) is any form of content created by people instead of the brand. User-generated content could be photos, videos, graphics, text, reviews, and so much more, depending on the platform the content is originally posted on.

Coca-Cola #ShareACoke User-Generated Conten Campaign

Why is User-Generated Content essential?

User-generated content is important to take a brand to the next level. Customers like brands to be transparent, in all aspects, this includes what they are posting on social media! I know that I like to see myself in the brands I purchase from. It can be jarring when brands only post unrealistic, overly filtered, and staged content on their social media pages.

If we are talking about products and whether user-generated content helps in the purchasing decision, Researchscape conducted an online study in October 2020; they found a trend in user-generated content. “70% of Gen X and Gen Z respondents and 78% of Millennials reported finding it “very” or “extremely” helpful to know how other product users feel about purchases” (Greenwood, 2020). Additionally, 58% of people are creating their own content about their thoughts on products and brands through video and written reviews. It is safe to say that user-generated content is important to customers, and valued by brands.

Aerie #AerieReal User-Generated Content Campaign

The Do’s and Don’t’s of User-Generated Content

Don’t use UGC without permission: It is important that you get permission to use someone else's content on your platform. It is not ethical to take content without asking if you can use it first. Do give the original poster credit for their content on the platform. Asking permission also builds trust with your audience.

Do be mindful of the content that works best with the platform you’re posting on. For example, sharing full-length videos should be reposted on Facebook, not Instagram. Because of the short character count on Twitter, shorter text and visuals is the perfect content to share.

How I Plan to Use User-Generated Content

Created on Canva

In my Facebook group, Vodka and Volumes, a book club and community for anyone 21+ who loves cocktails and also sharing book recommendations.

I encourage users to post their own content on the discussion boards. It is important that the conversation flows and people feel comfortable posting their thoughts and opinions.

  1. New Purchases

It is always fun to share a book that you pick up while browsing the shelves. Vodka and Volumes would be the perfect place to post about a new book! Hopefully, there will be members who have read it. They will give cocktail recommendations and share their thoughts! Posting a book haul video clip on Facebook is a great way to increase engagement between members.

2. Latest Read

Members should update the community with what they just finished reading! What were their thoughts, and what would they rate it out of 5 stars? Posting a picture of the book with a quick review and a cocktail recipe is the perfect way to create user-generated content within the Vodka and Volumes community.


Beveridge, C. (2022, January 14). What is User-Generated Content? And why is it important? Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from

Greenwood, J. (2020, November 19). New Global Study Finds User-Generated Content (UGC) Grows More Prominent and Visual With Every Generation. Business Wire. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from

Mazouri, H. (2021, September 28). User-generated content: 5 steps to turn customers into advocates. Sprout Social. Retrieved April 17, 2022, from