A beginners guide to user generated content

Ways to drive positive habits that benefit your business.

Al Thompson

Al Thompson Head of Content & Partnerships

A beginners guide to user generated content

How do you reach the ultimate goal in L&D where your learners are taking charge of their development, learning from others around the business and voluntarily sharing useful content? It all starts with building a habit of user generated content (UGC) amongst employees.

Instant, authentic and meaningful user posts are a simple and reliable way for your learners to gain and exchange expertise. So, after sharing my big don’ts to avoid discouraging a social learning culture, here’s my guide to give UGC a boost in your organisation.

1. Start simple

First off, a learning platform that supports UGC is really going to help drive social learning forward. It’s not entirely essential but it’ll come packed with tools to accelerate your new strategy.

Then start simple. Instead of going straight in asking people to post videos, webinars and events let your learners post more passive content. Things like links, articles and questions are an easy way for your learners to create the habit of posting, build confidence and start receiving engagement and recognition before taking part in the big stuff.

2. Create content champions

Speak to a few key members of each team and ask them to act as content champions. Their job is to identify opportunities to capture UGC and help people create content.

This can be as simple as overhearing someone answering a question and asking them to post it on your learning platform or even picking up your smartphone and recording the answer there and then.

Your SME’s can also act as champions. Get started by booking out a room and selecting a day where you can interview each SME and capture any useful knowledge your wider business should know.

Then you must get the person who made the video to post the content themselves. By all means, you can do all the hard work by filming the recording, doing any necessary editing and emailing it to the creator. But to get the ball rolling and for true authenticity, they must post it from their own profiles.

3. Cozy UGC

Sweeping statements like “can you post some knowledge” tend to trigger choice fatigue and the subject is nearly always too broad for people to know where to start. 

So, my third tip is what I like to call “cosy UGC”. This is where UGC is used in the context of a course or learning campaign. Give your employees something specific to post about, it can be a challenge, question or topic. For example, what’s a leader to you? Any advice on how to approach one-to-one sessions? Or record yourself booking annual leave.

When it comes to campaigns, let’s take mental health awareness week as an example. Try asking people to share their personal experiences, what self care resources they use or what activities have been useful for their wellbeing. If your learning platform has the functionality to support campaigns, it’ll use tags to automatically collect all your content in one place and make it super easy for your users to find and consume.

4. Encourage influencers

Finally, befriend the influencers in your organisation and encourage them to post. This doesn’t necessarily mean management, it can be big characters in your company or people who tend to be active and involved with social aspects of your business. 

What’s important here is to keep it authentic. UGC needs to be seen as informal, relaxed and unpolished so it looks like a quick and achievable task for your learners. So, make sure they keep it simple and consistent and others are likely to follow.

Good luck with your UGC journey!

Need more of a boost? See how powerfully easy it is for end users to post on THRIVE Learning & Skills Platform with a free demo

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