The Importance of User-Generated Material

You can say what you want about your hotel, but there’s nothing quite like receiving and leveraging a glowing recommendation from a guest.

It’s a little bit like intrinsic versus external validation. Sure, we all want to have self-confidence, but it doesn’t hurt to get compliments every now and then.

In terms of social media, there’s a whole bunch of validation going on. For us, User-generated content isn’t just content you didn’t have to create yourself – it’s content that will bolster your brand like few other methods of marketing.

Per TINT, 93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchase decision.

The best part is that it isn’t hard to encourage your guests to create more user-generated material. A simple suggestion, a card in their room reminding them you’re on social media, a note letting them know you’ll share all positive comments, a branded hashtag… It doesn’t even need to be all too complicated!

Why People Share

Many people document their adventures on social media. There are many reasons for this.

Let’s dig into the vanity. 

We’re kidding. Social media is an important part of the way people connect and stay connected. We’re all about it. We’re marketers. Anyway…

One is that they may be looking to reassure family members and friends that they’re doing okay.

Another is that many people like to show off, whether it’s the view from their balcony, or their chiseled beach body.

Three, people might be looking for feedback or advice. They may be looking for restaurant recommendations or suggestions on sights they should see while they’re on their trip.

And, for notable bloggers or entrepreneurs, there can also be the lifestyle aspect of sharing about where they are and what they’re up to. It’s just one more way to engage their social media followers.

This is but a small sampling of reasons why people share about their trips on social networks. No matter the reasoning, social media posting is relevant and prevalent. 

Why User Generated Material Is Great

The material your marketing team creates is likely polished and edited to create the best appearance possible. It’s only natural that you’d what to control your message and how you’re coming across.

But user-generated material often isn’t polished. It’s raw and in-the-moment, and sometimes it tells a story too. Why is this good? Because most people can relate to this type of content. They can see exactly what your hotel looks like when the photo hasn’t been manicured.

User generated content is also good because:

  • It’s content you didn’t have to create.
  • It can drive bookings from those who were on the fence about staying with you.
  • It’s easy to share UGC with your followers, especially on social media.
  • It builds trust for your brand.
  • It can save you money on your marketing.

How To Encourage More User Generated Material

Contests are a great way to boost the sharing of user-generated content. For instance, you could ask your followers or subscribers to send in their photos of your property. The reward for the winner could be a chance to be featured on your social profiles, a discount, a giveaway, a complimentary meal at your restaurant, or something else fun in return.

You can also:

  • Share relevant content you see users post. Share it, retweet it, pin it, etc. People love it when brands share their content, and it makes them more likely to post about you again in the future.
  • Run a hashtag campaign. Encourage your guests to use a specific hashtag whenever they share about you. This ensures that you see their post when it goes live. It can also help you craft an attractive storyboard.
  • Use user generated material on your website. This boosts your credibility as a hotel. People will also be more excited to share about their stay if they know you’re going to be featuring their content on your site.

Final Thoughts

A steady stream of user-generated content could quickly become your greatest marketing asset. In the long run, this means saving money and getting better ROI on your marketing.

Your goal should be to create a system for how you leverage user generated material. This ensures that you’re getting the most out of it. Additionally, staying on top of user-generated content can help you manage your online reputation.