Embedding social media content on a brand website comes with many advantages. Nevertheless, the wrong approach to integrating user generated content (UGC) in an online store can end up doing more harm than good. This blog post provides you with everything you need to know when it comes to using UGC on a website and how to get the most out of it.

Why even embed UGC?

Content generated by customers is authentic, diverse and personal – which is why its worth considering it for marketing purposes. Using this kind of content puts customers at the center, while simultaneously presenting your products or services in context. This way, potential new customers quickly get a variety of authentic impressions, while existing customers feel valued by seeing their pictures on your website. Experience values show, that a professional integration of UGC leads to a significantly longer average time-on-site and higher conversion rate on the website in the long run.

What are the most common mistakes when it comes to embedding UGC?

There are a number of free tools that can be used to embed individual Instagram posts or even entire profiles in form of a gallery. However, these usually link back to Instagram, leading to users exiting your website and maybe even cancelling their purchase. Further, its quite likely that customers who came to your site looking for inspiration, will continue browsing on the social media platform instead, once they’ve been redirected. In the worst case, they will then come across sponsored advertisements from your direct competition and end up buying there.

In addition to declining conversions, such an Instagram-based embedding can also negatively influence your site’s Google ranking. The order in which the search engine displays results is partly influenced by how much time visitors spend on a website and how much they interact. If customers are forwarded externally after just one click, this obviously  has a negative effect on these two values.

Here’s how you effectively embed UGC on your website

UGC management tools help you leverage customer created content legally secured and fit to your needs. The biggest advantage here is, that UGC galleries managed by such a tool clearly indicate which Instagram user originally uploaded a picture or video, while a click on the content directs to the respective product detail page within the webshop. This, of course, results in significantly longer website visits.

In addition to small teaser galleries on the home-page, squarelovin also offers the option of integrating a social wall on the website. This type of UGC gallery offers plenty of room for inspiration and invites visitors to linger and browse. Individual products can be linked to each individual photo, which ensures that potential customers are immediately forwarded to the respective product details.

The management tool, other than direct integrations of Instagram, allows filtering the User Generated Content before its published to the website. This way, you can ensure that only content, which matches the value and aesthetics of your brand is featured. In addition, the process of filtering and evaluating the content, makes it possible to publish product-specific galleries on the corresponding detail pages. Through these, website visitors can to look at numerous impressions of their product of choice without having to leave your website.

Moreover, UGC management tools such as squarelovin also offer significantly more possibilities for collecting content. While Instagram only allows the direct embedding of individual posts, and an Instagram created tool for developers solely offers the option of embedding entire account feeds, squarelovin collects posts based on hashtags, mentions and geo-locations.

Best Practice Case foodspring

Our customer foodsping sells protein powder, shape shakes and other fitness foods. In the field of sports and nutrition, Instagram has a particularly active community. Consequently the competition among suppliers of fitness food is quite high. 

With the effective integration of UGC through working with squarelovin, foodspring has been able to activate their customers and encourage them to more engagement. An evaluation of the squarelovin analytics tool shows that every other website visitor, who gets to the social wall also interacts with it and peaks at detailed information on products shown. Consequently meaning, that half of the website’s visitors would exit at this point if it were an integration that leads back to Instagram

In the case of foodspring, clicking on content on the social wall opens a pop-up that shows all the products featured in the picture. Further, the name of the user who posted the picture as well as the original caption are displayed. This way the integrated UGC retains its authenticity.

Clicking on a product in the pop-up then opens up the corresponding product detail page. There, in addition to information on nutritional value, production and possible application, a gallery with user-generated content explicitly tailored to the product, appears, which further underlines its manifold possible uses.

The example of foodspring clearly shows how diverse the possible uses of User Generated Content on websites are and how effective a professional integration can be. Click here to find out more about our work with foodspring in the corresponding case study.

About Anthea Bruger

Anthea was part of the squarelovin team from 2018 to 2019. In addition to her marketing management studies at the Northern Business School, she supported the marketing team, in content creation as an expert for all things Instagram.

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