Jessica Schramm
Jessica Schramm 12 November 2015
Categories Social Media

How To Master Reactive Marketing On Social Media

Marketing 'in the moment' isn't as easy as it looks. Here are our tips for reactive social success.


Social media’s instant nature makes it the perfect place for brands to market in the moment, and it’s a great way to expand your audience and drive engagement. There are many brands showing us how reactive marketing can succeed on social, but for every well-executed branded post there are a fair few that have fallen short.

Pulling off reactive marketing takes tact and preparation, so here are our tips for marketing in the moment without being left with egg on your face.

Create A Social Calendar

We know it’s impossible to plan for what you don’t know is coming – but what you can do is think ahead about how you might respond to upcoming major events that you know your customers will be talking about across social media.

Whether it’s the Rugby World Cup, Halloween or the Bake Off final, these are talking points you should know enough about to be able to prepare some timely posts, even if you can’t know every detail yet.

Our tip
: Get some content in the bank for big events that is topical but not too specific, then whip it out in true ‘here’s one I made earlier’ style. The above example from Innocent is perfect.

React With Speed

Not everything can be scheduled into your calendar, and for your in-the-moment marketing to be a success, it has to be exactly that: in the moment. No one’s expecting an all-singing, all-dancing multimedia experience – simplicity and a speedy graphic designer are your friends here. Trending topics tend to have a very short lifespan, so if the moment has passed, it’s better to just not get involved.


Our tip
You don’t need to have a branded answer to every trending topic. Instead, think about what might interest your audience, as well as what they might expect from you.

Monitor Your Social Channels

Of course, if you want to react quickly to potential marketing moments, you need to be keeping an eye on what’s going on. You should already have social monitoring in place to manage customer feedback and complaints, but monitoring social channels in real-time can also help you keep an eye out for trending topics and conversations to join.


Our tip: Make sure your social team is on standby for big interest events in your social calendar. That way you can experience and react to things along with your audience, just like Oreo famously did during the Super Bowl blackout.

Stay In Your Comfort Zone

While some things should be celebrated by everyone including brands, there are also some topics your brand should leave well alone. Create careful social guidelines and stick to reacting to what’s relevant to your product or service – and don’t even think about ‘hashtag hijacking’ unless you’re sure the trending topic is one you should be weighing in on.


Our tip
: Do your research. There’s no excuse for failing to look into a hashtag before you use it. At best, you’ll look a bit silly; at worst, you’ll alienate and offend your audience, like the example above.

There are many brands out there who do reactive marketing very well, but it takes practice to get it right. Do your planning and research before you dive in, and make sure your brand keeps an informed set of guidelines as you go along. Smart reactive marketing will quickly become a successful part of your social marketing strategy, bringing exposure and engagement with it.


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