Best reactive brand posts on social media

It’s more apparent than ever that the best way to reach a big audience on social media is to share some timely ‘reactive’ content that responds to real-time events, viral news or trending topics. This positions your brand as relevant, and if executed correctly, can result in an influx of new fans.

Easy, right? Not always. Take American clothing brand Kenneth Cole as an example, who once tweeted “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumour is they heard our new spring collection is now available online”. Face. Palm.

In light of the recent #SainsBey, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite reactive brand content.

Sainsbury’s – the originals

We imagine Beyonce launching her new clothing label using Sainsbury’s colour palette evoked the same feeling as winning the MegaMillions for the Sainsbury’s marketing team.

Granted, this was an opportunity presented to them on a golden platter, but they responded perfectly – with an image of their uniform overlaid with the simple copy ‘the original’. Naturally – Twitter blew up.

American Beyoncé fans came to the defence of their beloved queen, not understanding British humour. Brits then defended Sainsbury’s. Tik Tok clips were made. Everyone was talking about it. And there’s the success – everyone was talking about it.

Burger King offers Prince Harry a job

Probably the most talked about thing to happen in Britain in 2020 so far – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle resign as senior members of the royal family to become ‘financially independent’.

Burger King, known for their bold marketing, jumped on this straight away, inviting Harry to work part-time for their ‘royal family’ the Burger King chain. There’s no image, and they pretended to tag Harry, but with the news being viral everyone knew exactly what they were talking about and the engagements rolled in.

Netflix and Innocent react to the Rooney/Vardy drama

“It’s …….. Rebekah Vardy’s account”

The iconic ending of Coleen Rooney’s piece of detective literature, which had every social media user cracking out the popcorn and tuning in to what happened next.

In true Netflix style, they delivered the perfect one-liner. No frills. No gimmick. Not even a mention of the topic. Just responding, at the right time, with what the people clearly want.

Innocent, known for their witty and authentic social media persona, also joined in, perfectly linking the ‘juicy gossip’ to one of their smoothies.

Guinness posts passive-aggressive tweet

When Ireland lost to New Zealand (also known as the ‘All Blacks’) in the Rugby World Cup 2019, Guinness saw this as the perfect brand opportunity, cleverly using their Irish roots and their familiar black branding. Not only is the post hilarious, they also gave a shout out to Carlsberg, another huge beer label.

Nando’s capitalise on ‘Fergie-Time’

When Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement as manager of Manchester United, Nando’s were quick to react. They played beautifully on the well-known belief in ‘Fergie-Time’, by introducing ‘#NandosFergieTime’ and keeping their Manchester restaurants open an extra 5 minutes.

Fergie-time refers to the extended time United used to be given through Ferguson’s intimidation, in order to draw or win. Genius? Almost.

It’s a Lidl bit funny

More than a Lidl, it’s comedy gold. It wouldn’t be a blog on reactive social media without a nod towards Lidl.

Everyone knows that the John Lewis Christmas ads are iconic, with many saying that Christmas begins when they see it. In 2018, their ad starred Elton John, on a piano, singing his classic ‘Your Song’ – which has the line “It’s a little bit funny…”

Lidl reacted to this, turned themselves into a pun, made themselves relevant and advertised their low-costs all in one tweet. Bravo.

What can you take from these?

  • Be bold. The bolder the better. It is ok to be a little ‘off-brand’ sometimes.
  • React where the attention already is. Something is trending on Twitter? Get your brand there. Note – only if you can make it relevant to your brand too.
  • React the same way your potential customers are reacting
  • Don’t be Kenneth Cole by attempting to newsjack viral news that is actually a serious matter.