How a Custom Hashtag can Take your UGC from Non-Existent to Over-Abundant

We know. Those pesky hashtags can either be super useful or annoyingly messy and spam-ridden. How can brands sort through filth-laden generic tags that they've mistakenly become associated with?

They don't. Not the smart ones, anyway.


Always look to denim for all the answers.

First things first: we know how hard it can be to stay on top of your rightfully rigid quality standards when it comes to what you post to Instagram. Content can be sparse and you need to keep up with the Joneses your audience's demand for the caliber of beautiful imagery you've gotten it used to.

If you're pulling teeth when it comes to acquiring good content variety, reading this will give you an edge, but you can also do a quick study of what J Brand Jeans has accomplished. Lucky for you, we've done one in your place.

Feel the Love, Spread the Love

User-generated content (UGC) is essentially a fail-proof technique to simultaneously build a population surplus for your gallery and grow your Instagram account. There are a few reasons for that:

  • Beyond the cool kids and the style stars lies a ton of users who curate really amazing feeds, and they're trying to get your brand's attention when they tag it in their photo.

  • All anyone really ever wants is to be featured. You're doing your people a favor by repurposing their pics.

  • When users see they've been featured on a brand's account, a blanket of love sweeps over everything: the fan in question feels the fuzzy vibes, as well as your other followers wishing it were them. They then feel further encouraged to tag your brand in the hopes that they, too, will one day see their own photo of themselves with your brand's handle atop it. Meanwhile, the person whose photo you repurposed is going to continue to tag you, seeing as they've now become emotionally invested.

  • The more people feel motivated to tag you, the likelier you are to reach multiple audiences beyond your own, and the higher your organic impressions will be.

  • Finally, you get all of this beautiful content by shelling out nary one penny.

Win-win-win. Win.

What successful UGC mining looks like.

It's Raining (Reigning?) UGC

You want in but aren't sure how to go about it, or worse, your hashtag is over-polluted and you can't find anything halfway decent. Wonder no more.

J Brand, a premium denim company based in Los Angeles, is a brilliant example to follow when it comes to leveraging earned reach. They introduced a timeless, seasonless, trendless, unique hashtag for their audience to use when posting photos that feature a pair of their jeans: #InMyJbrand. Its sole purpose is to be included in user captions and its specificity ensures that no random video of a canine chasing a bovine slips in there.

The result is an ongoing, never-ending pool of UGC to pull from when the lookbook shots and campaign images have all been posted. Making it rain UGC to reign over their Insta.

Here's what it physically looks like:

In the past 4 weeks alone, the #InMyJbrand hashtag reached over 4 million users, one of those days topping off at just under half a million. They can thank the photos below the graph for that. Talk about consistent earned reach!

J Brand's organic reach via photo tag and caption mention ain't too shabs, either: that's almost 12 million people reached in just the past 7 days, thanks to pretty pics like the ones you see below the graph.



Looking for these kinds of insights? Need some help in this department? We're always around for you.