Embracing the Power of User Generated Content

A brand’s first objective on social media is to grow a significant fan base. Its second is to build an active pool of followers willing to like, comment on, and share content with their personal network. This is the challenge that most brands, including market leaders, are still struggling to take on. But why does a brand’s level of engagement matter? How does a brand trigger a conversation with its followers?

Many Chinese luxury consumers have already reached the connoisseur level and now want to build a more meaningful relationship and create their own story with their favorite brands. It has become crucial to develop quality conversation that gives users the chance to be actively involved in the brand’s campaign.

One of the most efficient ways for a brand to engage with its audience is to launch an activation campaign, designed to grow user generated content (UGC). UGC has the ability to immerse followers in the brand’s lifestyle while creating an entertaining experience.

However, brands must be conscious that UGC is only there to support the campaign’s cornerstone: the concept. It must convey the brand’s identity and core values while being captivating enough to encourage followers to share and boost brand visibility.

For example, Furla launched a campaign with a concept entirely based on UGC earlier this year. The Italian luxury house invited fans to take a picture featuring an outfit matching their Furla bag.

Hong Kong fine jewelry house Qeelin has also understood the importance of UGC in China. The brand celebrated its Bo Bo collection’s 10th anniversary with an interactive and playful experience. A dedicated mini-website embedded in the brand’s WeChat account offers an entertaining experience where users answer questions about their personality to discover their hidden “Bo Bo character trait.”

The related post published on WeChat has generated twice the views that the regular publications usually record. User generated content is therefore essential to boost an audience’s engagement.

UGC initiatives give brands the opportunity to collect valuable insights on their followers, from basic demographics data up to the level of engagement and navigation behavior, answering questions like, who interacts most with the campaign? What triggers engagement? Who are the organic influencers of the brand? The objective is to collect, organize, and utilize data to classify followers into “behavioral clusters,” and then brands can better forecast their audience’s future reactions.

After an in-depth analysis of the information collected, the next challenge is to share it with the other departments to give the whole company a comprehensive overview of the audience’s profile and behavior. This is the key to help improve a brand’s knowledge of their audience and create the more personalized communication that Chinese consumers are expecting from brands.

Rémi Blanchard is Strategic planning manager at Mazarine Asia Pacific, an agency dedicated to advising luxury brands in their communication strategies all over Asia.

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Social Media, Tech