Social media today is an inseparable component of our life. From early morning to the time we go to bed at night, chances is that our eyes would be on the different kind of social media platforms that may include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

But not all social media users are consumers. As a matter of fact, some users would also make a living out of social media, by creating revenue out of their postings or by supporting their own business brands.

Social media, if utilized effectively can serve as an effective tool for sharing information, particularly those that are relevant for marketing your product to a specific target.

For small and medium enterprises, one marketing strategy that can help with branding involves user-generated content, which is materials that are contributed directly by the users themselves. By using viewing content that are generated by other social media users, consumers can learn and know more about a product through ‘normal people’ just like them.

We can learn from the travel industry, which has been benefiting from the advent of user-generated content. Many travelers now post their own photos on Instagram along with their stories, benefiting airlines and other industry players such as hotels through indirect promotion.

For SMEs, user-generated content could provide marketing advantages without having to spend a lot of money.

This can be done by initially building a strong base of social media followers or fans. You can conduct quizes or create hashtags that are engaging to potential followers, while at the same time share interesting content.

Sharing visually-appealing content is often regarded as a powerful method of gaining followers. People are more inclined to see photos and videos rather than just text. By creating interesting content, you are one step closer to engaging fans, motivating them to contribute their own content through the social network.

Depending on the nature of the product or services, one should also not get caught up with only a few social media sites. Different platforms are attractive for different group of users. For instance, if you are involved in travel-related services, Instagram would probably be more suitable as it allows you to build a strong base of fans by sharing attractive travel photographs. These attractive photos can then refer to your online blog that contain stories related to the travel destination, which can also be shared through Facebook and Twitter.

Nonetheless, please also do not forget to interact with social media followers, such as by providing feedback or thanking them for their contribution. By engaging users in different social media platforms, you are opening channels for them to contribute in sharing their own content on the platforms, eventually reaching a bigger yet targeted audience.

All in all, the aim is to synergize efforts performed in the different social media channels, while at the same time lead users to eventually visit your main website landing page, such as a tour booking page if you are in the travel industry.

Moreover, as an extension of your presence in social media platform, one may also choose organize offline events, inviting their fans for physical meetings or other activities that may help your business to gain new costumers while at the same time retain existing ones.