While toddlers and preschoolers are learning to share their toys, parents are using this age as a chance to share tips and tricks. By exploring ways to encourage user-generated content, Tesco Baby Club experienced great increases in engagement within their network and communication on offer.
We live in the age of sharing and with social media there’s no escaping it. Perfect picture of your little one? Post it on Instagram. Catching up with your old school friends? Check in with Facebook. Complaining about your late train journey? This one’s for Twitter. Can brands really take part in this appetite for sharing in a genuine and authentic way?
Encouraging your customers to recommend your products
At Tesco Baby Club*, we like to prompt members to engage in the parenting community. By asking them to share, we’ve created an area for discussion in a friendly and supportive environment. From engaging social posts to prize draws, competitions and advertising campaigns we support discussion which in turn strengthens the parenting community.
That’s where our tried and tested campaigns come into play. We run a prize draw to select our testing panel and send out a range of products to our selected members to be tested. We then ask them a few questions and also to send us their review of the product.
This partnership benefits both sides, parents gain advice and recommendations from our testing panel’s reviews and the feedback goes directly to the brand. While every brand wants their customers to be singing their praises, they rarely get such responses as: “it’s a lifesaver”. Parents ‘test’ content, therefore, deliver reliable and honest reviews, which can be shared with the wider parenting community and encourage further recommendations of a product.
Sharing the love
But we also like to give parents the opportunity to nominate their own favorite brands, the products they can’t live without and the toys their little ones love. We run a monthly competition for both Baby and Toddler of the Month. It’s a hard job looking at cute photos, but someone’s got to do it.
Our winning entries tell us about their little one’s favorite things like Peppa Pig and swimming lessons. But, it’s the product recommendations that are the most valuable piece of information a parent can share, from the number one baby carrier to the snacks they can’t leave the house without. It’s another example of caring and sharing – of a desire to pass on information, tips and tricks and expand the community. After all, who doesn’t want to show off their baby?
Moving to a bigger platform
A final way for parents to be involved in our community is through the Tesco Baby Club Facebook page. We share advice, features and prize draws to our members in a space that builds on conversations.
We ran a recent campaign with formula milk brand SMA where we asked parents to submit photos, videos, recipes and tips of their weaning journey using the hashtag #weaningstory. With many cute, and sometimes messy, submissions we were able to create a video based on user-generated content. The initial request generated hundreds of comments, as parents were keen to share their own experiences and offer tips to one another within their own conversations.
This increased engagement in the network derives from additional user-generated content. It builds upon a community and produces brand trust in an established environment. The SMA #weaningstory posts hit over 1000 engagements as members from across the parenting community added comments of their own stories and experiences.
We also try to create conversations with our Friday posts by writing relatable (and we hope funny) comments that encourage a reaction. Members regularly tag friends and family to share anecdotes that correspond to our post. And with Facebook, there’s an even larger community for discussions to begin in, everyone can put in their two cents, and lots of parents do.
Why do we share?
Sharing is not a new revelation by any means, but by using these existing conversations and interacting with our audience, we can ensure the knowledge available to parents will continue to grow. It not only benefits the community, but the brands and products parents rely on. After all, it’s in our nature to recommend products and places, pass on our tips and tricks.
Yet it’s acknowledging this sharing instinct and utilizing it that helps a brand to establish their message. Over time the conversation becomes natural and as the community grows, so does the brand.
Are you looking to include user-generated content into your marketing strategy? Bookmark works with brands to develop customized content programs that resonate with their audiences and drive engagement, turning every activation into a compelling and measurable experience.
*Tesco Baby Club is part of Tesco, a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer.