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Tips, Tricks, & Advice

Proactive Vs Reactive Social Media Strategy

Proactive Vs Reactive Social Media Strategy

by john roman

11 months ago

Social Media Strategy in 2023

Any successful brand has a social media strategy in 2023. Any brand, regardless of success, has a social media strategy in 2023. If you are reading this, as a brand, and don’t have a strategy, this is not for you.

But is having a social media strategy enough? Surely a part of your strategy involves a plan around engagement. Showcasing User Generated Content (UGC), having contests and giveaways, and responding to comments is likely a part of your engagement plan.  In 2023, that is not enough. Don’t get me wrong, you can stick to a plan like I described above and you might be fine. By not enough, I simply mean you are not maximizing your potential reach and success.  

Consumer’s interactions with brands are much more intimate than they were in the past. This is not a novel idea and something that has continued to trend in this direction for several years. The high-level strategy I referenced above, is the minimum expectation.  It’s passing the exam. It’s not acing the exam. It’s the difference between a reactive approach versus a proactive approach.

How do you implement a proactive social media strategy? Here are some examples of how I view a proactive strategy.

Interact in your online communities

These could be communities that you have created as part of your brand but they could also be communities that others have created that share like-minded people with your brand’s demographics.  Reactive is making a post and then responding to comments. Proactive is doing that AND engaging with other people’s posts.

Comment tone matters

Whether you are engaging on other’s posts or interacting with people on your own, tone matters. It is obviously very important to stay on brand, however, that does not mean robotic. So often brand responses to comments sound like a bot.  Consumers hate bots. Bots probably hate bots.  Nobody likes bots and there are bots everywhere these days. If a consumer feels that your response is robotic, you have already lost. Be genuine. Show that you are a human.  

Show the humans

There is a reason that UGC has outperformed standard product content overall for the last few years. UGC is more often than not genuine. Consumers want genuine and they want to feel a human connection with brands.There are a few ways to accomplish this, here are two examples:

  • The Social Media Manager breaking the 4th wall - You see this often on TikTok and on other short-form video platforms. Oftentimes, they even slightly break ‘being on brand’ to show the human side of a company.  Typically this type of content outperforms standard content because of its genuineness.
  • Faces of the Brand - Similar to the above, this might be other members of the team that can further validate what consumers want to see… that there are actual humans on the other side of their screen. When executed successfully, you can have multiple brand voices all in unison with the overarching brand voice. This works as long as the ‘faces’ have genuine voices (not robotic).

Just to clarify, when I say ‘Show the humans’, you dont have to accomplish this solely with video or pictures of humans. Copy/comments alone can accomplish this sometimes.

Put yourself out there

This is an interesting approach and works best for brands that appeal to the masses (not niche), however, it can work for both. Jump out of what could be considered your 1st-degree communities and interact with communities that might have some overlap. How far out you can get and have success is dependent on the size of your total addressable market (TAM). A few brands have had a lot of success with this proactive approach.

Last, I want to share 2 TikToks I came across this morning.  Ironically, during a quick break from writing this. The first is a great example of a brand taking a proactive approach. The other is Gary V referencing and discussing something very similar to what this article is about.

Revlon -

This was great. Revlon interjected themselves into the narrative after their brand was mentioned. Flawless execution. Now to be fair, obviously Revlon is a massive brand so the likelihood of them getting mentioned is much higher than that of smaller brands. I get it, but the fact is that they still took this proactive approach.  Oftentimes you see the larger brands NOT doing this.

Gary V -

He is spot on. Now, its being positioned as the #1 thing to do on Threads, I don’t know if I fully agree with this. I think it is one of the most important things to do on most all platforms. I am also not super bullish on Threads at the moment. Time is our most valuable asset, and if you had to pick some platforms to do this on, I would put TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and X all over doing it on Threads.


So, are you taking a proactive approach in your social media strategy? If not, when are you going to start?


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