‘As Seen on Me’: The User Generated Content for ASOS
User-generated content, or UGC, is any content created by consumers instead of brands, usually on social media platforms. It is known to be a successful and authentic-looking method of advertising, opposed to influencer-created or brand-created content.
#AsSeenOnMe for ASOS
ASOS launched the #AsSeenOnMe campaign in 2014, where social media users were encouraged to share photos and content displaying ASOS products for their followers to see. In this content, users posted the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe, that by 2021 has been used over a million times.
After using the hashtag, ASOS could feature the user’s content on the official ASOS Instagram page, as well as using the content on their website. The ASOS staff could filter what images in order of social outreach or product type to maximise viewing of the best quality content or what products were most fashionable.
Benefits to Creators of UGC: Social Currency
Living in 2021 for most means living with social media being a part of life – over half of the world’s population now use social media. As a result of this, the presence of social currency continues to be increasingly important particularly in the public sphere. User’s followings, likes, and comments now have monetary value, and credibility can be based on social media presence. Therefore, being featured on an Instagram page with a 12.5 million following like ASOS’ account would doubtlessly increase social influence.
This introduced a competitive nature to the #AsSeenOnMe campaign, and as a user could continuously enter the campaign, the creators of the UGC could boost their own social media currency, their cultural capital in tow, through being potentially featured on the hashtag’s search page as well as ASOS’ feed.
Benefits to Consumers: A Human Marketing Method
User-generated content can be regarded as a ‘vote of confidence’ to the consumer. While it can often be biased as usually the brand’s biggest fans will be those participating in generating the content, UGC can be the most informative form of marketing to the consumer.
The target consumers are often those who are creating the content – it is ‘customer-based’. These creators understand fellow consumers arguably more than the brand or external marketers would as they are one and the same. In the case of the #AsSeenOnMe campaign, this delivered the type of marketing and advertising consumers benefitted from to see and was far more useful to a consumer than a generalised television advert.
Benefits to ASOS
The opportunities and benefits that the brand receive far outweigh those that are available to the consumers and creators of UGC.
Firstly, similarly to one of the main benefits to creators of UGC, ASOS gained credibility and social currency as well as receiving mass amounts of social traffic on the ASOS Instagram page and the ASOS website. ASOS took advantage of free marketing content and chose what content, assumably the highest quality or trending, appeared on their social media accounts.
Consumers find user-generated content more trustworthy. This allowed ASOS to gain a positive line of direct contact between the brand and their consumers, due to the humanistic approach of the content coming from other consumers. ASOS then received ample opportunities to learn more about the demographic and interests of their consumers for further future endeavours.
Ultimately, ASOS obtained the most credible benefits from #AsSeenOnMe. Though there were social currency advantages to creators, the competitive nature of #AsSeenOnMe that led to thousands of posts for a slim chance of being featured on the ASOS website – while ASOS was selling the products that featured in these posts for profit and social visibility. Years after the campaign has now finished, the hashtag continues to be used: advertising ASOS.