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What is ‘reactive’ social media and why should brands be doing it?


Reactive social media is when a brand or business responds in real-time to current events. Whilst proactive social media is an integral part of your marketing strategy, reacting to events as they happen shows that your brand is relevant and might help with your online presence.

This can be as simple as responding to comments and direct messages. Keeping response times short and answering customer queries is a great way to keep positive sentiment up and show others that your customer service is on-point.

You’ve probably already spotted trending topics and hashtags like #WorldMentalHealthDay and #NationalBestFriendDay. Halloween and Christmas are fairly obvious topics to be posting about, but there’s lots of calendars online that can help you to identify some of the less obvious ones. One benefit of using a social media agency is that we’re always on the ball with these.  We can identify what relevant content you have to share or create something that’s on-brand and engaging.

Some of the most memorable social media from brands has been reactive. When the England Rugby Team qualified for the World Cup Final, British Airways put out a post congratulating the team and showing their flight home from Japan as ‘Delayed’.

British Airways reactive social post - Boarding pass showing England Rugby Team as delayed

When the Coleen Rooney/ Rebekah Vardy controversy hit the news recently, Innocent Drinks (as usual) were straight on it with their social media, promoting their new Bolt from the Blue drink with this:

Innocent drinks reactive social media post - Coleen Rooney v Rebekah Vardy

Last Christmas, Lidl responded to John Lewis’ Christmas advert, starring Elton John, with a jab at the price of their pianos. They tweeted “Just because you don’t have £872 to spend on a piano, doesn’t mean you can’t be the next Elton.” with a picture of their £89.99 piano, and the caption ‘It’s a Lidl bit funny…’

John Lewis’ account then responded to the tweet in good spirits with “It’s a Lidl bit cheaper” and a link to their toys range.

Lidl Christmas reactive post - Elton John John Lewis piano ad

With tons of news updates and social media notifications every day, it can be easy to lose track but these could be missed opportunities for some great content to go viral! It’s also worth noting that your audience can sometimes disengage if they’re being bombarded with promotional messaging.

Here at SCS, we’ve always got our fingers on the button. Our Social Media Management packages include community management, which means we can respond swiftly to queries and comments on your behalf.

If you’d like to be more reactive, contact us today to find out how we can help.