The Difference between Planned and Reactive Social Media – Guest Post

About the Author: Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc a top rated SEO company in Vancouver, that provides services to businesses across North America. If you’d like to read more posts written by Emma, please visit Pitstop Media’s blog.


As a business owner or someone working for a SEO company, you’re probably aware of the value of content and social media for online marketing purposes. In fact, you’ve probably already delved into both social media and content marketing to a certain point.


However, if you want to achieve real success in both endeavors, you’ll have to take certain things into consideration. For example, you need to recognize the difference between planned and reactive social media activities. Although both are important, the first is managed through content marketing software while the other is heavily dependent on social media platforms.


Planned Social Media

Planned social media simply means all your social media activities are properly planned around certain initiatives and marketing campaigns. Always remember that a good plan is the first step towards success in any endeavor. A good plan also ensures that your content helps you build a reputation and establish a position as an industry leader.

Furthermore, it helps you attract and retain your target audience on all social media sites you choose to promote your brand in. In many cases, a content marketing plan involves breaking a content pillar (long-form piece of content) down into smaller pieces of content and then distributing them strategically with the use of content marketing software.


Among the content marketing software you might want to consider using for this purpose are Kapost, Skyword, and Compendium. All three provide you with platform and functionality, albeit in varying degrees. This means you can use them for planning, scheduling, workflow design and management, strategizing content, campaign management, content publishing, and monitoring. With these types of software, the primary focus in terms of return of investment (ROI) is on increasing the number of leads you generate with the content you create.


Among the types of long-form content you can create in this case are white papers, infographics, webinars, videos, industry-specific blog content, and campaigns such as landing pages and emails. You may then break these pieces of content down into smaller pieces and publish those on such social platforms as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Of course, you should provide a link to the long-form content for those who want to learn more about the topic. The main advantage of this strategy is that it allows you to establish a position as thought leader in your niche. It also offers the opportunity for you to engage your audience in productive conversations; they get to know more about your business and you get to know more about their needs and preferences.

Reactive Social Media

As mentioned above, reactive social media is managed primarily on social media platforms. It involves the publication of little bits of content that focus on community-building and customer engagement. It requires you to monitor brand mentions on multiple social channels and respond to comments and questions in real time. One of the most pressing problems about this marketing strategy is that while there’s plenty of advice available as regards leveraging social networks, only a few people actually understand exactly how the various social media platforms work.


Just because social media platforms cater to reactive social media doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some planning. Perhaps the biggest difference is that unlike planned social media, this strategy is less about creating long-form content and more about posting a high volume of relevant content, responding to your audience with the help of listening tools, and making use of social analytics. Remember that social listening and social analytics are two entirely different things. Social listening tools give you an idea of your audience’s sentiments within a particular platform whereas social analytics give you an idea of how your target audience generally shares content across the web.


The most commonly used social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. Remember that most of these platforms have a visual nature and require you to post content at least once each day. The most commonly used tools for marketing on these platforms are HootSuite and TweetDeck. Perhaps the biggest reason why almost all businesses use social media platforms for marketing purposes is that it helps increase awareness about their brand, which, in turn helps increase traffic to their company website and improve their conversion rates.



Of course, you can’t expect to succeed by using the same strategy and approach with every single platform. In the same way you’d advertise differently for radio and TV, you should also promote your brand in a different manner on each platform. For example, if you want to promote your brand effectively on Facebook, you’ll have to take the time and make the effort to build a solid community first and the best way to start doing this is to post content that makes you interesting enough for people to talk to their Facebook friends about.


In the case of Twitter, you could perhaps take your cue from speed dating. You only have 140 characters with which to impress your audience, so you’ll have to give it your best shot. You have to learn how to tweet such that your followers will be compelled to click through to your site to learn more. LinkedIn, for its part, is a platform where the approach should be one of socializing for the sole purpose of benefitting professionally. This platform is therefore best used for purposes of B2B marketing and you’ll have to establish your reputation as an expert in order to succeed.


In sum, the main difference between planned and reactive social media activities can be found in the length of content used and the purpose which the content is intended to serve. Having differentiated the two, however, you should be wary of developing a need to choose one over the other for purposes of online marketing. Rather, you should learn how to use both to ensure online marketing success and achieve your business goals. When you think carefully about it, these two different kinds of social media activities actually complement each other perfectly.