User-​Generated Content Can Build Social Media Clout for Brands

Earlier today, I blogged about a study showing that social media is of minimal importance bloggerin the B2B channel. The social media factor is critical for the Millennial audience, though. Ipsos MediaCT’s new social influence paper contends that Millennials have a unique way of interacting with social media. About 30% of their media time is focused on user-​generated content.

In the typical media day, about 13% of Millennial media time goes to watching live TV, 10% to prerecorded TV, 3% to print newspapers or magazines, and 7% to radio. This findings of this study suggest that marketers must find a way into the significant Millennial media time that is spent with UGC. Researchers  broke out the UGC media time as follows:

  • Social networking 18%
  • E‑mail, text and text apps 8%
  • Talking with others about news/​products/​brands 6%

Not surprisingly, Millennial social media use is widespread. On a daily basis, 71% of these consumers use social networks. As they access these networks, Millennials are also assessing which content is trustworthy. Online or peer reviews are rated trustworthy by 68% of Millennials. Only 44% of these consumers say the same about print magazines and newspapers. The levels of trust translate directly into influence with 53% of younger consumers saying UGC rules.  Traditional advertising, at 44%, has a higher rate of influence than banner ads (23%) for this group.

So how can brands tap into this media time and build trust with social consumers? Researchers say one way to optimize brand influence in this sphere to so emphasize conversations over content. Brands should also focus on influencers who can vastly increase appeal. Finally, marketers should remember that approaching these consumers with long-​term relationships in mind will pay off with higher rates of ROI.

Have you encouraged any of your brand influencers to generate content about your brands and services? Do you feel this is a key strategy to use when targeting Millennials?


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.