The Psychology Behind Why Consumers Love UGC

UGC user generated content

Contributed by Matt Gibbs – Co-founder & CMO, UPshow

Why is it that user generated content is so powerful for restaurants? Why do consumers find it so engaging and stimulating?

Having your customers talk positively about your restaurant has huge advantages, and there is a psychological aspect to UGC that underpins its effectiveness. Here are several reasons why consumers love UGC:

Social Proof

Per Yopto: “At its most basic level, user content marketing is based on a psychological response known as social proof.”

Social proof is simply the idea that when someone is making a decision they tend to take into account the decision that those around them made.

If a restaurant review has a lot of shares on it, that’s a form of social proof. It shows that enough people cared about the piece to share it with their friends. People tend to view content with more shares as being more credible than those with fewer.

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Social proof is also an indicator of trustworthiness. If others go to new sushi bar and post about it positively on Instagram, it must mean it’s worth checking out. We get to learn from the successes and mistakes of others by watching their social feeds.

Although many of us like to view ourselves as independent-minded individuals with a point of view unlike anyone else’s, overwhelmingly this isn’t the case. We are swayed by the opinions of those we see as being credible — be it a friend, well-spoken stranger, or influencer. If we have reason to believe they know something we don’t about the subject at hand, we’re more likely to listen to what they have to say.

Some people will still go their own way and buy whatever they like, but there’s no question social proof can be a powerful influence.


People find user generated content more authentic than the content brands produce.

The stats back it up. Per Social Media Today, 75% of people claim UGC is more authentic. Furthermore, 48% of marketing professionals believe that content created by customers can help humanize their marketing and is an effective way to interact and connect with people.

People want to connect with their food and those that serve it. But for this bond to exist, brands must demonstrate transparency. It’s easy to hide behind canned copy and a logo, but this approach leaves users feeling as though you are hiding something. A humanized marketing message increases customer loyalty and satisfaction.

So, it’s important to think about how you can build a relationship with your diners and not merely sell to them. Make it clear that your top priority is to provide them with food and an experience they will enjoy, rather than simply to grow your profit margin.

People are more likely to trust the recommendation of a person with a face than they are to trust a brand logo. Authenticity speaks to people most when it is real people, sharing real stories.


There isn’t a single person walking this earth that doesn’t want to be validated for their effort, their contributions, their insights, and so on. It’s an opportunity to see that what they say or do matters to others.

Validation can prove to be a powerful motivator for people, and when they see a restaurant they love share their photo of a dish, they get excited. This creates a positive feedback loop, incentivizing customers to post more about your restaurant and drastically increasing word-of-mouth marketing.

Final Thoughts on UGC

If you want to leverage the power of UGC, first you need to understand why your diners are going to be motivated to talk about you in the first place. The above insights should help you form an effective strategy.

Is it time you started harnessing the power of user generated content to market your business? Would you like your customers do most of the talking for you so you don’t have to? Learn what UPshow’s Social TV Platform can do to help you grow your business through UGC today.