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How to Excel at User-Generated Content: Lessons from the Automotive Industry

Published by Engagement Labs March 10, 2016

Vroom, vroom! Engagement Labs recently ranked the top U.S. automotive brands based on their social media performance and saw one trend frequently emerge amongst the most popular online automotive brands - they sure like user-generated content.

Populating their social channels with content straight from their followers, these very popular brands are in turn generating great Engagement amongst followers, as indicated by their eValue scores.

What is it about user-generated content that audiences love? How are these brands using the content differently? Fasten your seatbelts, as we take a look at the user-generated content posted by some of the best performing automotive brands:


Nissan led the race on Facebook, zooming past its competitors for overall eValue score. Engagement on Nissan’s channel was high thanks to a minimalist social media strategy involving user-generated content.

Dressed to impress.Photo: Paolo G. Owner: Jesse S.

Posted by Nissan on Monday, February 22, 2016

Keeping it simple, Nissan posted user-generated content, credited the owner and the photographer and accompanied the image with a simple and witty caption.

Snappy and short posts grab fan attention while they scroll through their newsfeed.

Between a rock and a great place.Photo: Billy B.

Posted by Nissan on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The power of user-generated content is that when followers see a brand posting such content they realize the brand is paying attention to its fans.

This helps build a stronger bond of trust and increases the fan’s investment in their social channels.  


One of the biggest benefits of user-generated content is its ability to add authenticity to a brand’s channel. Using content created by users strips away the “facade” created by professional photography and videography.

Dodge, which led on Twitter for Engagement amongst top U.S. automotive brands, “grounded” themselves with their frequent #ThatsMyDodge posts.

Similar to Nissan’s approach, Dodge left the standard professional photography and videography posts in the dust by posting images of Dodge vehicles owned by fans, crediting the owner and accompanying the post with the signature hashtag.

Today more than ever consumers are skeptical of the authenticity of advertising. Leveraging user-generated content the brand connects with audiences through an authentic way, while solidifying the company's branding through accompanying hashtags.

Ram Trucks

We all know those famous hashtag series - #tbt, #fbf, #mcm, etc. The list could go on. Creating a hashtag and posting weekly content associated with the hashtag is an excellent way to personalize your brand.

Ram Trucks took this approach with their user-generated content by creating their #TruckCrushTuesdays and #SupedUpSaturdays - particularly on Instagram.


A photo posted by Ram Trucks (@ramtrucks) on

Playing off the popular hashtags that circulate social media, the brand grabbed fan attention. Once they had the audience's eyes, they then posted user-generated content of Ram Trucks to accompany their hashtag series.

When fans see other users’ images shared on a weekly basis as a part of the hashtag series, they become encouraged to submit their own images and use the hashtags, in the hopes of catching the brand’s attention and being featured on the channel.

Seeing their own content reflected on a brand’s channel can ignite conversations amongst users around that brand, which can translate into building brand affinity and ultimately more sales.

The Drive Home

As we saw with the top U.S. automotive brands, user-generated content accelerates your fan engagement as audiences are become more skeptical of traditional advertising.

User-generated content makes your brand more real, personal and appealing to the consumer, ultimately helping you to steer clear of the social media junkyard.

Start sharing user content and see your social channels race past the competition!

For more information on eValue™ or to request a demo, visit or contact us at:

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About eValue™:

The eValue™ score measures the effectiveness of a brand’s overall social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and provides a score from 0 - 100. It’s the aggregate of the three subscores including Engagement, Impact, and Responsiveness that work together to create one top-level KPI. Our subscores are calculated by using hundreds of submetrics which are then benchmarked against a hand-picked database of 100,000 verified brand accounts on each channel.

Enagagement Labs | Social Media Performance Insights

Engagement: Measures the level of interaction generated by your content and how well your community reacts to it.

Impact: Measures how many unique users have potentially been exposed to a piece of content posted by the channel’s admin through organic, viral and paid reach.

Responsiveness: Measures the rate, speed and quality of your responses to fans.

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