Ever wonder why some Instagram accounts feel more real than others? It’s because they use UGC, a fancy way of saying content created by everyday people like you! UGC shows your brand through real experiences, making it more relatable and trustworthy. This guide will show how to use UGC to grow your Instagram and connect with your audience in a whole new way.

What is UGC on Instagram?

UGC on Instagram stands for User-Generated Content. It’s any content – photos, videos, stories – your followers create and share that features your brand. Imagine someone posting a picture of themselves rocking your new sunglasses or a delicious meal they made using your recipe. That’s UGC!

UGC on Instagram

Source: Later

How to Use UGC on Instagram?

Here’s a breakdown of how to use UGC on Instagram:

1. Encourage it:

  • Be approachable: Craft a friendly and visually appealing brand image that makes people want to interact.
  • Run contests: Offer exciting prizes for photos or videos featuring your product.
  • Use branded hashtags: Create a unique hashtag and encourage followers to use it when posting about your brand.

2. Find it:

  • Monitor mentions: Monitor who’s tagging you or using your hashtag.
  • Search strategically: Look for content based on location and interests related to your brand.
  • Set selection criteria: Choose high-quality content that aligns with your brand values.

3. Share it (with permission!):

  • Always ask: Before reposting on Instagram, politely ask the creator for permission. Tag them and give them credit!
  • Highlight it: Feature UGC in your feed and stories to showcase customer experiences and product love.
  • Show the person: Focus on the creator behind the content. This builds connections with your audience.

Bonus Tip: Track how your UGC performs! See what types of content resonate most and adjust your strategy based on the data.

Source: Embedsocial

5 Ways to Source UGC On Instagram

There are several ways to source high-quality UGC on Instagram:

1. Leverage Branded Hashtags:

  • Create a unique and catchy hashtag specific to your brand.
  • Encourage followers to use this hashtag whenever they post content featuring your product, service, or experience.
  • Regularly monitor this hashtag to see what users are creating and sharing.

2. Search by Location and Interests:

  • Use Instagram’s search function to find content based on relevant keywords and locations.
  • For example, if you sell coffee, search for terms like “coffee shop,” “latte art,” or the name of your city alongside “coffee.”
  • Look for posts featuring your product or content that aligns with your brand aesthetic.

3. Run Contests and Giveaways:

  • Organize contests or giveaways that encourage users to create and share content related to your brand.
  • Offer exciting prizes like free products, discounts, or exclusive experiences.
  • This incentivizes users to participate and automatically generates a pool of UGC.

4. Engage with Existing Brand Mentions:

  • Watch for comments or posts where users tag your brand or mention your product.
  • This is a great way to discover organic UGC created by your existing audience.
  • You can then contact these users and ask permission to share their content.

5. Partner with Micro-Influencers:

  • Collaborate with micro-influencers (accounts with 10k-50k followers) who align with your brand.
  • These influencers often have a more engaged audience and can help you reach a wider audience while generating UGC.

Bonus Tip:

  • Look for user-generated reviews! Encourage customers to share their honest feedback about your product in the form of photos, videos, or stories. This builds trust and showcases real-life experiences.

Benefits of Having UGC on Instagram

There are several key benefits to incorporating UGC (User-Generated Content) into your Instagram strategy:

1. Boosts Trust and Authenticity:

  • People trust their peers more than brands. UGC showcases real experiences with your product, making your brand feel more genuine and relatable.

2. Increases Engagement:

  • UGC often feels more relatable and interesting than traditional marketing content. This can lead to higher engagement metrics like likes, comments, and shares.

3. Enhances Brand Awareness:

  • Users sharing UGC with your branded hashtag expose your brand to a broader audience, organically increasing brand awareness.

4. Provides Valuable Social Proof:

  • Seeing others enjoy your product convinces potential customers of its value. UGC acts as social proof, building trust and encouraging purchases.

5. Offers Fresh Content Perspective:

  • UGC breaks away from the traditional, polished content. It provides a unique and diverse range of content that keeps your audience interested.

6. Cost-Effective Marketing:

  • Creating UGC leverages your audience’s creativity, saving you time and resources on content production.

7. Build a Community Around Your Brand:

  • Sharing UGC fosters a sense of community by highlighting your customers. It shows you value their experiences and encourages further interaction.

By leveraging UGC, you can build a stronger connection with your audience, establish trust, and ultimately achieve your Instagram marketing goals.

UGC on Instagram Examples

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful content creator tool that many brands use to greatly affect Instagram. Here are some of the most successful brands that use UGC on Instagram:

  • GoPro: GoPro is a well-known brand of action cameras. It heavily relies on UGC to showcase the amazing things people can capture with its cameras. It encourages users to share their photos and videos using the hashtag #GoPro.
  • Lululemon: Lululemon is a yoga apparel company that uses UGC to show how people wear their clothes in their everyday lives. They encourage users to share their photos using the hashtag #Lululemon.
  • Airbnb: Airbnb is a home-sharing platform that uses UGC to showcase the unique properties available on its platform. Users are encouraged to share photos of their Airbnb stays using the hashtag #Airbnb.
  • Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola is a beverage company that uses UGC to show how people enjoy its products worldwide. It encourages users to share their photos and videos using the hashtag #CokeShare.
  • Nike: Nike is a sportswear company that uses UGC to show how athletes of all levels use its products. It encourages users to share their photos and videos using the hashtag #JustDoIt.

These are just a few examples of brands that are using UGC successfully on Instagram. By using UGC, brands can create a more authentic and relatable connection with their audience.


In conclusion, UGC (User-Generated Content) is a game-changer for Instagram. It allows brands to tap into the power of authenticity, fostering trust and connection with their audience. From boosting engagement to increasing brand awareness, the benefits of UGC are undeniable.

So, if you want to elevate your Instagram presence and build a thriving community, embracing UGC is a must. Remember, it’s all about showcasing your brand through the lens of your fans. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide and learning from successful brands, you can unlock the magic of UGC and take your Instagram game to the next level.