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reactive marketing

Creating a Buzz on Social Media with a Reactive Marketing Campaign

March 2020
Liz Noli Roberts

Whether you’re on the morning commute or sat in the waiting room of a dentist, you are guaranteed to see people on their phones, scrolling aimlessly down various social media channels, reading articles and engaging with funny posts shared by their friends.

Depending on the type of person you are, you will engage with different types of content on social media. Many people enjoy a good read about data that’s been gathered and others enjoy easy-to-digest content.

Recently, reactive marketing has become a huge technique used by many different companies with an existing presence on social media and we don’t blame them! When something is hot off the press, there’s no better way to have your say on it than by reacting to it on social media in a clever and humorous way. People love it and it gives your brand brilliant exposure at the same time!

Reactive Marketing shows that you’re quick, clever and ‘on it’ when it comes to your marketing strategy. You have your own strategy in place but have your marketing team on hand, waiting for a funny news story to drop where you can quickly jump on it and create something to gain exposure and engagement for yourself!

One example would be from the summer of 2018, when we spent most of our time sat in beer gardens, enjoying the heatwave, when the World Cup was on and quite frankly, everyone was having the best time! Gareth Southgate was talk of the town with his stylish waistcoats and charming personality… Marks & Spencer were watching him like a hawk, clearly. They saw an opportunity and they took it! I imagine the briefing went a little like this…

“Gareth Southgate pulls off a waistcoat well. We sell waistcoats…” *Lightbulb Moment*

And a campaign was born.

Sales of M&S waistcoats doubled when England reached the semis, resulting in the M&S online searches for waistcoats increasing by more than 100%! Marks & Spencer plastered Gareth Southgate all over their window displays and shouted about the football manager across social media leading to a superb increase in sales on their stylish waistcoats.

Another example we just love is the story of Alex Mann, the fifteen year old who went viral for getting on stage with the rapper Dave at Glastonbury and rattled through every single word of his Thiago Silva song. The internet went crazy for this teen! Twitter and Facebook were littered with video clips of him smashing through each and every word of the rap and people were loving it.

So, which fashion brand saw a great marketing opportunity and grabbed it by the horns? BooHoo Man of course. They’re always one of the first brands to get Love Islanders on board when they exit the villa but they obviously saw the sheer volume of people raving about Alex on social media and took full advantage.

They posted a simple teaser of the teen sat on a Lamborghini, captioned ‘The MAN of the Hour’ using the viral hashtag #AlexFromGlasto where all the conversation was happening. This got everyone talking, wondering whether Alex was going to be modelling for Bohooo Man. It created a real buzz on social media. The post gained 286 replies, 2.5K retweets and 22.1K likes!

Christmas is the time for giving, the time for sharing and apparently, the time to jump on a campaign and take the mick out of it for your own benefit! Every year, we all wait eagerly for the famous John Lewis advert. It isn’t officially Christmas until that has graced our TV screens!

In 2018, they used Elton John and his hit ‘Your Song’ to show the sentiment of the piano he was gifted as a child. It showed a young Elton growing up, playing the piano in different clips until he was on stage with a huge audience! The annual John Lewis Christmas ad is something that people rave about all over social media because people really do wait all year for it!

So, Lidl were on the ball with this and released their own little campaign selling their keyboard for £89.99. They used play on words of Elton John’s song and changed the lyrics from ‘it’s a little bit funny’ to ‘it’s a Lidl bit funny…’ Brilliant and hilarious! It got over 10,000 people talking, on Twitter alone. A perfect example of reactive marketing!

Who remembers when KFC ran out of chicken? Kentucky Fried CHICKEN? Ran out of their main ingredient. Everyone went wild! It was an outrage and of course went viral. KFC responded in a risky but excellent way!

They apologised to their customers by releasing a statement saying they are working tirelessly to improve the situation. It looks like a genuine apology, until you notice the logo on the bucket of empty chicken and the letters have been jumbled around to display the word ‘FCK.’

This was such a simple but effective campaign by KFC to apologise for something rather crucial but putting a comical edge on it to make their angry customers laugh and have no choice but to accept their apology.

If you work in a marketing team and you’re looking to add some personality and wittiness into your strategy, it’s important to always be aware of what’s going on in the marketing and advertising world! There is a new opportunity out there every day for you to jump on and create an engaging and relevant campaign to get people talking on social media.

It’s simple and requires little to no effort to come up with something and post it quickly while people are still talking about it! Be concise, let your sense of humour take over and don’t be afraid to take risks! It worked for these brands and it can certainly work for yours too.