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How to use Reactive Marketing efficiently

Reactive content is one of the best things about social media. We love logging in on a Tuesday night and watching social media light up as bake-off is on. Memes are flying everywhere with lots of comments and sarcastic tweets. It creates such an engaging atmosphere. 

Social media needs to be reactive – it cannot function on long-winded processes and drawn-out procedures. Reacting to a trending topic is time-sensitive and therefore needs to happen quickly. However, earlier this week it was revealed that the U.S. cyber command team had to wait 22 days and work on a twenty-three-page report before they could post a meme on social media intended to celebrate their foiling of a Russian cyber attack.

It’s not your standard typical meme. Most memes that are shared are created from recycled content, tv shows, movies or little animations. This is a freshly created meme dedicated to broadcast their specific message. 

Work began on October 7th 2020 with the deadline for October 28th 2020, with two days allowed for the ‘Commander’ to review the content and design. Since then, there was a back and forth for design ideas and even on October 28th  members of the cyber team came together to workshop copy for the final tweet. Due to the ‘freedom of information act’ data was requested on this meme post and a 23-page document was revealed. It showcases an endless thread of emails, with constant ideas, design and copy concepts being discussed.

And we thought our projects took a while to get through the pipeline. 🥴

Here are some of our top tips to help with your reactive marketing strategy 


Keep your eye on the news

Sometimes the best things come when you least expect them. You need to keep your finger on the pulse for what’s trending. If you wait even just two days to join in, you will have missed the audience’s attention as they move on to the next big thing in this fast pacing social media world. 


Roll with the punches

Sometimes it’s you who ends up with a bit of ‘egg on your face’ and it doesn’t always have to end in a negative. Maybe you posted a new product promo which has created a number of reactions on social and even some memes flying around. Your first response may be to delete it and curl up under your desk hoping your boss hasn’t checked twitter yet. But we say roll with it! You’ve got an opportunity to be viewed by so many and be reactive to the way your news has been received. 

Here is Sainsbury’s showing you how it’s done after Beyonce’s new collab looked a little like one of their uniforms. 

It’s a fine line

Tone of voice can be very hard to detect on social media. It can be a real fine line between rolling with the joke, a bit of tongue and cheek and really insulting someone. By then it’s probably blown up in your face and you’re going viral for all the wrong reasons. So it is still very important to be careful and do take some time to think things over – just not 22 days!

Responding to real-time events makes a brand appear relevant and relatable. It is also likely that the content will receive more impressions than usual, given that numerous people will already be actively engaged with or aware of the topic at that particular time.

That said, producing content in real-time is difficult. An in-house team or agency are required to react efficiently and to accommodate quick and harmonious sign-off when needed.

Potential risks can be lessened by putting precautions in place in advance. Due to its very nature, reactive content is difficult to plan, but brands should endeavour to set up events calendars, templates and social media monitoring to help make processes much smoother when the time comes.


Keep following us on @plus24marketing on Twitter & Instagram for more tips and advice on how to deliver great marketing.