How To Leverage User Generated Content: A Guide for Destinations

October 28, 2014

Today’s world is all about connections and community—even if it’s virtual. Now when consumers want to travel, they turn to user generated content (UGC) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or blogs for inspiration and recommendations.

According to Filemobile, 51 percent of Americans trust UGC more than content on a company website. Even on YouTube, UGC videos get 10 times more views than brand-owned content and brand engagement rises by 28 percent when consumers are exposed to both professional content and UGC video content.

This is why UGC works and why it can quickly be amplified across a broad audience.

Especially today, when consumers are inundated with advertising on every platform—digital, broadcast and even walking down the street, consumers crave real experiences, genuine content and places to escape.

As a destination, you can leverage or re-purpose UGC to propel your destination forward in awareness, clicks and influence on social media.

Incorporate UGC into your social media strategy. For every 3-5 posts on Twitter or Instagram, include a UGC post. Your social media channels should be a seamless blend of net new content and UGC.

The two easiest ways to leverage UGC on social media are:

  1. Re-tweet content on Twitter. Photos perform especially high.
  2. Re-gram photos on Instagram.

Here are six destinations that are re-purposing UGC in an effective way to boost engagement and capitalize on UGC. The UGC they post on average receives almost double the engagement (likes, favorites, shares) than their average posts. It’s also a great way for time-strapped, small DMOs to still produce frequent, quality content.

Tahoe screenshot

Visit Tahoe South re-tweets UGC photos

juneau screenshotTravel Juneau re-tweest UGC photos:

sedona screenshotVisit Sedona re-purposes  great consumer photos

Enjoy Peoria, Illinois does an excellent job of re-graming unique visitor photos.

napa valley screenshot 2
Visit Napa Valley has an impressive Instagram with 5,059 followers and great re-grams

greater reading screenshot
Greater Reading, Pennsylvania also has a nice curation or re-posts on Instagram.



Written by Genevieve Pritchard

Genevieve is the Digital and Social Media Manager for DCI. As a content marketing extraordinaire she helps set the digital strategy for DCI, create marketing collateral and implement tactics across multiple platforms. She’s also worked on digital campaigns for DCI’s tourism clients including US Travel Association, Visit, Finger Lakes Wine Country and Visit California.

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