Today’s consumers are constantly creating, sharing and consuming photos, videos and text. This social content is not only popular, it’s influential.  More and more, consumers turn to social content when making buying decisions. Before clicking “add to cart,” they seek a stamp of approval from peers and friends. Brand ambassadors are the people customers can relate to and maybe even hang out with!

This trend creates a huge opportunity for brands to drive revenue using social content. But the path from #selfie to sale doesn’t always seem straightforward. Many brands and retailers still lack a strategy for driving commerce from UGC.

Recently, we put together an infographic on how marketers can collect and curate social content from others and convert it to online sales. We believe that now is the time that social content, particularly UGC, is becoming the biggest advertising and revenue-driving trend.

Using authentic photos from your brands core audience, you can power ecommerce by connecting it with the consumer. Curating the photos starts with a social campaign that encourages social users to submit content to a brand using a microsite or Hashtag, for example. The best way to get submissions is to incentivize and reward participation, perhaps with a prize or offering for every participant, e.g. a coupon.

Brands can use social platforms to collect the submissions, receive the proper permissions, and also obtain valuable marketing data. From there, brands can transform their websites into social hubs, using the user-generated content as a tool to power sales and product recommendations. Because UGC is such a powerful tool in terms of reach, authenticity, and relevance to one’s band, it has the ability to drive commerce if utilized properly.

This is the age of consumer-driven advertising, and jumping on the trend to power your brand’s sales is as easy as following the steps in this infographic!