What Does Crowd-Sourcing Content Mean?
Crowd-sourcing your social media content simply refers to using your customers’ photos of your product for your social media posts instead of producing posts in-house. Check out @DanielWellington  or @DiscoverEarth  to see fantastic examples of profiles made up of (mostly) their followers’ content.
This strategy is very powerful, yet underused. If your consumer brand isn’t capitalizing on it, you’re missing out. To illustrate this, here are five reasons why you should be crowd-sourcing your content.
Why You Should Crowd-Source Content
Why worry about marketing when you can outsource it to your customers? Encouraging customers to tag your brand and use your branded hashtag when posting photos of your product means that they’re marketing your product to their entire following—for free.
Now all of their followers know that they enjoy your product enough to post about it, which dramatically increases those followers’ propensity to purchase.
This is the most powerful type of advertising because:
1. The viewer doesn’t believe it’s an advertisement.
2. The viewer trusts the advertisement more because it’s coming from a familiar source.
3. The viewer can now proceed to discuss the product with your customer, increasing the chance of a purchase. This is especially useful for ‘question-heavy’ products like supplements that might spur questions about taste, grade, and effectiveness.
It Creates Social Proof for your Page
Notably, millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than other media. This stat  is not to be taken lightly.
Social media users see that your content is user-generated and (consciously or subconsciously) think “Wow! There are tons of people just like me (or the person I aspire to be) using this product. Maybe I should get it…”
Your target customer is much more inclined to buy if your social page contains hundreds of real people resembling your target customer using your product.
Fire your photographer! You have endless free content at your disposal, so long as you encourage customers to continue snapping photos. We’ll talk more about how to incentivize customers to do so a little later on.
In all seriousness, this can eliminate a lot of the stress and time involved with coming up with different social posts, leaving you to focus on macro operations.
Bring Variety to your Page
On top of free photos, you also get some variation in the style of photos taken. Different customers will incorporate different styles into their shots, thus showing you new ways to capture the uniqueness of your product.
People May Buy to be Featured
This scenario is rare, but if your product is relatively inexpensive and you have a large following, people may purchase your product with the sole objective of getting featured on your social media page.
Many photographers experience incredible social media growth when their content is reposted to a page like @MVMT , so many will purchase from you for this reason.
They won’t do this, however, if you don’t crowd-source your content.
How to Incentivise Followers
You might be wondering why customers would go through the trouble of taking photos of your product and sending them to you, with no apparent gain for them. There are a few reasons why customers would do this—and just as many ways you can incentivize them to do so.
Chance of Being Reposted
Most people would love to have their content reposted on their favourite brand’s social media page. If your brand has a large following, then this customer is also likely to gain followers from the repost. This reason, alone, is enough to make a customer snap a pic and use your branded hashtag.
Contests and Giveaways
If the chance of being reposted doesn’t seem like enough to incentivize your customers, you could also host a contest. By hosting a contest, you could instruct customers to post photos with your contest hashtag in order to enter.
For instance, Apple could ask its customers to take stunning shots of the Apple Watch and include the hashtag #MyAppleWatchWins in their post in order to win a prize. This can easily be applied to any B2C business.
There you have it: the top five reasons why you should be crowd-sourcing your social media content. This tactic is most effective on photo-heavy social media platforms (namely Instagram). If you’ve made it this far, you may want to read my blog on how to gain 10,000 Instagram Followers In One Year. 
Not sure how to repost someone else’s content? Check out our guide  on the easiest way to repost an Instagram photo.