Posting user-generated content (UGC) is one of the best marketing tactics a brand can use on Instagram. After all, nothing is as effective as having your customers and fans speak on your behalf. Social media audiences are known to trust this type of content more, and they are more likely to be influenced by it. Customers posting about your brand/product and mentioning you in their posts is not only word-of-mouth marketing at its best, but on social media, this presents an amplified potential to widen your reach, build a community around your brand, and ultimately sell more.

reposting content Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

And on Instagram, Stories are integral to leveraging UGC, since they allow you to reach a wider audience, maximize engagement, and much more. Let’s dig into some useful tips and see how you can make the most out of posting user-generated content to Stories.

How to repost posts and Stories

In case you’ve never done this, we’ll run through the basics. When you see a post from a user that you’d like to share on your Stories – maybe you ran into it on your feed, or you discovered it through hashtags or mentions of your brand – all you need to do is tap the airplane button underneath the image. Once you tap, select the “Add post to your Story” option, which will place the image in your Instagram Stories editor. The image won’t be posted to your Stories right away, as you’ll have a chance to customize it first.

That goes for reposting permanent posts, but what about Stories? Well, to repost a user’s Story, you’ll need to be mentioned or tagged in it. Whenever this happens, you’ll be notified in the DMs, and from there you’ll be able to see the “Add this to your Story” option. Just like with permanent posts, this button takes you to the Stories editor.

Credit Stories screenshots

Lastly, if you haven’t been tagged in a Story, but you want to share it with your audience, you can simply screenshot it and post that image to your Stories. If this is the case, make sure to credit and tag the person who originally posted it. It also doesn’t hurt to ask for permission, in any case, to show respect and appreciation for your followers. That’s proper Instagram manners, and it can open the doors to some valuable brand/consumer interactions!

Make sure to save user-generated Stories

Of course, the problem with UGC Stories is that they’ll expire after 24 hours, but they might be something really valuable for you – such as customer testimonials – and you’ll want them in your Stories Highlights. To get around this problem, it’s best to screenshot and screen-record these Stories using an app on your device. With screen-recording, you’ll be able to save videos, complete with sound, and you can save all this to Stories Highlights on your profile. Obviously, you don’t have to do this for all the Stories, but it’s certainly something you want to do for the best ones.

Always integrate with your posting schedule

Reposting every piece of UGC immediately after it’s posted or immediately after you’re tagged in it generally isn’t a good idea. You’ll most likely lose out on the strategy, since you’ll be adding random Stories to the ones you’ve already planned out. Plus, if there’s a recurring theme or topic that connects various posts (product reviews, customer shout-outs, etc.) sourced by your followers, it will be a whole lot more effective if you present these relevant posts together all at once.

A good idea would be to rely on UGC to fill your content calendar. For example, you can dedicate a day of the week to posting UGC, but if you don’t have a regular stream of UGC each week, don’t worry. The point is to save the pieces of content so you can plan ahead, organize them by topics, and schedule them for posting all together.

Use Stories Highlights to stay on topic

Stories Highlights are a great feature on the platform. They allow you to not only save valuable content from self-destruction after 24 hours, but also to create thematic clusters (something like “Stories albums”) so you can present content to your audience in a more organized way. While permanent posts get lost down your profile as you add to the collection, Highlights are always there at the top, guiding your audience to the Stories you’ve thematically singled out for them.

Here are some ideas for organizing your best UGC material into Stories Highlights:

  • Customer reviews – this will be one of your most important Highlights. You can divide this further into reviews for specific products.
  • Stories and posts featuring your product in action, such as unwrapping videos, photos, or tutorials created by customers.
  • “Inspo” Highlight – similar to the previous idea, where you will show inspiration and ideas for using your product. But here, you can blend UGC with your own slides and tips.

Design before posting

As always, don’t leave your Stories bare – make sure to use all that Instagram offers and communicate your sentiments better by adding stickers, text, hashtags, etc. It also goes a long way if you maintain your brand aesthetic when reposting someone else’s content, which you’ll do by customizing the background and featuring the same font. Using the Storrito editor, you can create a template and do all the customizing on desktop to make sure the new content is on point before posting.

Last but not least: Don’t forget to express gratitude

Wrapping up, this post has hopefully offered useful insights to maximize the effectiveness of UGC for your brand. But keep in mind that it’s not about you only, and Instagram audiences expect a certain sense of mutual respect in their interactions with brands. Apart from crediting the original post creator, make sure to give them thanks and express your gratitude consistently. You can do that when you’re customizing the Story, by adding a quick shout-out or heartfelt thanks in text. That’s how reposting UGC will also help you interact with your followers and build brand loyalty.

Written by Angelina Harper