Sharing content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google + is part of everyday life. Yes, we want other users and accounts to take up our content and share it with their friends. Facebook has the share button, Twitter relies on retweets, Tumblr on the reblog and Pinterest allows pins to be stored and distributed. Instagram is an exception. Nevertheless, the use of user-generated content on Instagram is a very popular tool of companies.

As we all know, there is no Instagram share. It is only possible to share Instagram content as a direct message with individuals and smaller groups. However, the use of user-generated content on Instagram is an important part of the content strategy of many companies. Since shares on Instagram always look a bit strange via repost apps, many accounts simply use images unsolicited and distribute them via their own accounts. Usually the user is tagged, but by then it's too late as the photo has already been published.

Instagram and the missing share button

Sharing content on Facebook, Twitter and others triggers a notification. The notification informs users about the share. There is no such notification on Instagram. If users are not marked in the post, it is difficult to register and respond to the share. But many companies on Instagram stick to the unwritten Instagram netiquette and set the markers. But is the marking enough?

Companies typically encounter relevant user-generated content via Instagram hashtags. Depending on the company, you can use certain hashtags to find a wealth of content that matches your own Instagram strategy. Another approach is to define your own hashtag. For example, GoPro asks its customers on Instagram to share photos and tag them with a specific hashtag. The principle behind it is that if you use that particular hashtag, we can use your photos for our own account.

Using Instagram hashtags is not an opt-in

Sesame Place's Instagram account even spoke of a transfer of ownership when using the hashtag # sesameplace. Although the phrase is no longer in the Instagram bio, this statement clearly goes a step too far. On the one hand, the hashtag is so common that it is likely to be used by most Instagram users when a photo is shared to Sesame Place. Furthermore, many users will not read the Instagram bio and thus not know what could happen to their photos. It is clear that the text in the bio has no effect. Just because a hashtag is used, you don't cede rights.

Credit: Instagram STA Travel

STA Travel doesn't put it as drastically as Sesame Place. But here, too, the use of an Instagram hashtag is used as a kind of sharing for the reuse of photos. "I think it's going to be a tough game," he said. Share your best travel moments # TravelFuerWorld Explorers The hashtag is better chosen here as it is not generic and needs to be used more specifically. Of course it would be different with # travel.

This approach has become the norm on Instagram. The problem here is that on the one hand the background is not known and on the other hand the hashtags are chosen in such a way that they are used by as many users as possible. Dieser Ansatz ist auf Instagram schon zur Normalität geworden. Das Problem hierbei ist nur, dass einerseits den Hintergrund nicht kennen und zweitens werden die Hashtags so gewählt, dass sie von möglichst vielen Nutzern verwendet werden.Ein weiteres Beispiel ist der Hashtag # NikonNoFilter .

Photo Credit: Instagram

If users are looking for suitable hashtags for Nikon, they will also come across the hashtag # NikonNoFilter via the Instagram suggestions. The hashtag is selected without having read the bio of Nikon USA. Nikon is talking about an opt-in. Of course it isn't.

Microsites to complement Instagram UGC hashtags

In addition to the notice in your own Instagram bio, it is also recommended to offer an additional microsite or landing page for Instagram user generated content. Here the process can be explained in more detail, there is the possibility to communicate different competitions and via the Instagram API photos with the corresponding hashtag can be read and presented. Even such a page cannot be considered an opt-in, but it informs users more deeply about the possible use of their own images.

GoPround comments on the use of submitted photos, for example:

There are a number of ways in which GoPro might decide to celebrate your content, including but not limited to channels like YouTube ™, Roku ® and Virgin America. Additional uses may include GoPro promotional materials and official GoPro social channels such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Content licensing opportunities are also available.

GoPro uses a microsite for collecting and using user generated content on Instagram. The hashtag # goprooftheday will also be added. About 1.8 million Instagram photos are available for this hashtag.

Ideally, as a company, you look for contact with the users and ask if the photo can be published again. The source of the photo should always be mentioned and the users should be marked. If it is a photo that does not come from Instagram, the photographer should still be mentioned by name.

Recommendation for the use of User Generated Contenton Instagram

You should consider the following points:

  • Choose an individual hashtag for selecting and using user generated content on Instagram
  • Don't just use the brand name
  • Creates a microsite with additional explanations and assistance
  • Provides users with additional opportunities to submit photos
  • Clarifies users about where their images can be used
  • Always mentions the Instagram profiles and / or the name of the photographer
  • Searches for contact with users
  • Asks users in advance if they can use photos
  • Removes photos immediately if users do not want it

Businesses can clearly benefit from user-generated content on Instagram. It's not just about recycling content, it's also about learning from Instagram users and the community. What content does the community create and what content generates many interactions.

Companies have a big advantage on Instagram. Many users want to be mentioned and featured by Instagram accounts. The bigger the account, the more users submit pictures and the greater the joy of being mentioned. A good example of how to handle user-generated content is Instagram itself. Various hashtag projects take place regularly, filling Instagram profiles with content. Instead of simply using the photo and marking the account, the respective user is described and introduced.

Monthly German hashtag project: # DHPvonherzen. Whether abstract or direct, this month is all about capturing heartfelt moments in photos or videos. Photographer Petra Stockhausen (@ petrastockhausen) was looking for a location in a demolished building when she accidentally discovered this balloon among broken walls and wallpaper remnants. I don't know who left him there and why. Maybe it was a remnant of the last party there. Maybe someone said goodbye to the rooms in which they once lived in this way. Finding this balloon in a place that no longer existed was heartbreaking to me. PROJECT RULES: Please use the hashtag # DHPvonhearts only for photos and videos you took yourself this month. You have until the end of February to submit your contributions. Any image that meets the requirements has the chance to be posted on @ InstagramDE. Have fun! Photo by @ petrastockhausen

A photo posted by Instagram (@ instagramde) on Oct.

Also, Auch die Instagram Community Guidelines take a clear position on the use of photos.

Share only photos and videos that you have taken yourself or that you are entitled to share. As always, the content you post on Instagram is your property. Remember to post authentic content and not content you have copied or found on the Internet that you are not authorized to publish.

The message is clear. If you want to use user generated content on Instagram and play it safe, ask the user. If you have used a photo and the user logs in and asks for the post to be deleted, do so. Don't rely on your hashtag, because it's not an opt-in, it's just an easier way to identify the content.

What are your experiences with the topic? Do you use user generated content for your Instagram account, or have your photos ever been used by a company?

Use of user generated content on Instagram. Anyone who asks is on the safe side.. Instamer Use of user generated content on Instagram. Anyone who asks is on the safe side.. Instamer