In Social Media

social media icons on a phone screenAcross industries, user-generated content (UGC) has become a key marketing tool. Retailers, small businesses, restaurants and more are leveraging UGC, and tourism is no different.

But first, what is user-generated content? According to CrowdRiff, it’s “any content that is voluntarily created and shared by individuals, fans or consumers of a brand who are not associated with that brand.”

So how is UGC beneficial to tourism? Read on to find out.

Boost credibility with authenticity
It’s no secret that authenticity is key to effective marketing—and utilizing UGC in tourism campaigns and social media is an easy way to achieve that and increase your brand’s credibility. In fact, 59% of consumers say they find user-generated content to be the most authentic. But why is it so authentic? Well, it’s being created by people who have nothing to gain by singing a brand’s praises—they’re posting because they want to and because they truly love the product, service or destination. Think of it this way: UGC allows you to market with your audience instead of at them.

Pull from a larger pool
Utilizing UGC exponentially increases the amount of content you can choose from to promote your brand—and it’s free! You can tap into photos, videos, Instagram Stories, reviews from third-party sites and more.

Did we mention that UGC is free? Be sure to get permission before sharing anyone else’s content, but think of all the money you can save by skipping the expensive photo shoots and stock imagery—all while promoting authentic content that will engage audiences and build trust in your brand.

User-generated vs. influencers
Social media influencers used to be the most trusted brand ambassadors, but user-generated content has outpaced them. Influencers are seen as an extension of the brand, and since they are being paid to promote, they’re not viewed as being authentic.

UGC in action
For one of Dana’s tourism accounts we are tasked with running the social media accounts. UGC is a big part of our social media strategy—it’s helped us increase the quantity and quality of content to pull from, as well as showcase businesses, events, things to do and more throughout the destination.

UGC also plays a part on the website—we added a gallery of images sourced from social media to the homepage:

gallery of nj social media images

If you want to learn more about using UGC in your marketing efforts, reach out to Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or

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