How to Increase Brand Awareness Through Proactive Engagement

Thursday 22nd February

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

How to Increase Brand Awareness Through Proactive Engagement

Thursday 22nd February 2024

In the world of social media community management, being proactive is just as important as being reactive. For brands, this means staying ahead of the curve by anticipating scenarios before they actually happen, participating in current trends, and generally making the first move when it comes to audience interactions instead of waiting for people to reach out first. Let’s start by taking a quick look at the difference between reactive and proactive engagement:


Reactive engagement:

Responding to customer service enquiries, both public and DMs

Responding to comments left on your posts

Responding to posts, photos and videos your brand been tagged in


Proactive engagement:

Starting conversations with social media users that haven’t contacted your brand

Using social listening to find untagged mentions of your brand and responding to/interacting with these

Retweeting/reposting other users’ content and adding your own take

Engaging with current memes, trends and viral content

Participating in relevant industry conversations


While reactive engagement is primarily important for customer service purposes, proactive engagement is a great way to boost brand awareness and display the fun side of your brand, as it shows that you’re happy to get involved when opportunities for communication arise, and demonstrates to your audience that you’re actively trying to connect and communicate with prospects, fans and customers.


Social Listening

Social Listening is the best way to get started with proactive engagement. This involves tracking specific keywords and phrases on social media to see what’s being said about your brand and industry, allowing you to start conversations with users who aren’t yet aware of your brand but are are talking about something that relates to it - or who are actively on the lookout for a product or service that you offer.

Take a look at the example below, where a user has shared that they are looking for Sunday roast recommendations. A pub located in Barnstaple monitoring the keywords ‘Sunday roast’ and ‘North Devon’ would be able to find this person’s post despite not being tagged, giving them an opportunity to introduce themselves and make the prospective guest aware of their existence - hopefully resulting in a subsequent visit.

A social media conversation between a user and a pub

If the pub wasn’t conducting social listening - and was therefore only being notified of direct mentions using its @username - the prospective customer’s post would have gone undetected, causing the pub to miss out on a key opportunity to encourage a conversion.

Similarly, a vegan bakery monitoring the keywords ‘vegan’ and ‘birthday cake’ would be able to pick up the following post, allowing them to step in and say hello, letting the potential customer know how their products will meet their needs and even providing a link to enable them to shop straight away.

A social media conversation between a user and a vegan bakery

It’s best to use a dedicated listening tool for this task so that you can receive an alert whenever your keywords are mentioned in a post (the majority of social media management platforms offer this as part of their software). However, if your business doesn’t have access to one, you can also conduct social listening manually using the following steps:


Head to your desired platform, either on desktop or its mobile app

Open up the search bar

Enter one of your desired keywords/phrases, such as:

Your brand name

Your business location

Words relating to your industry or niche

Sort the results by most recent

Interact with any posts that present an engagement opportunity, either by:

Liking them

Responding to them

Sharing them and adding your own comment

Repeat on a regular basis!


As well as keeping an eye on specific keywords and phrases, you can also monitor creators and influencers who are relevant to your brand’s niche and regularly interact with their content. This will not only put your brand on their radar, but their audience’s too, as their most engaged fans will see your responses to their posts and will hopefully pay your profile a visit.



‘Trendjacking’ or ‘newsjacking’ is another big part of proactive engagement. This means monitoring each social platform for viral news stories, current affairs and pop culture moments, and adding your own comment or meme that links the trend with your brand in some way - aka jumping onto a hot topic to capitalise on its momentum and gain more exposure for your brand. Keep an eye out for trending content from:




News outlets

Other brands

Regular users whose posts have gone viral

Then, see if you can think of something you can add to the conversation that will promote your brand - either in a fun, humorous way if the content is casual and lighthearted in nature, or more down-to-earth if the tone of the content is more serious. This helps raise brand awareness because anyone looking through the replies and shares for that piece of content (or the hashtag, if one has been associated with the trend) will see your brand’s take on it - plus it will mean you’re participating in a popular social media moment, showing users that you’re on the ball with current trends.

The Barbie movie meme template that gained popularity in spring last year was a great example of how brands and businesses can participate in trendjacking. The film’s official X account posted a series of tweets revealing the cast, with a tagline beside each actor describing the profession or role of their respective characters - “This Barbie has a Nobel Prize in physics”, “This Barbie is a mermaid”, “This Barbie is a lawyer” and so on. The image format sparked a huge craze across social media, with many brands and companies using the template to make their own versions of the poster featuring their products in place of the characters, or even their team members with accompanying descriptions of their roles or personalities within the workplace.




It may seem daunting to make the first move when interacting with your social media audience, but when done right, proactive engagement will make your business stand out from its competitors and can ultimately boost brand awareness. Instead of leaving your customers to fend for themselves, make space within your community management strategy for both reactive and proactive communications.

Don’t have time to participate in these kinds of interactions? Our team of social media experts can act on behalf of your brand! Throughout 2023 and January this year, our proactive engagement efforts accumulated 195,787 likes and 999 replies on TikTok for Krispy Kreme, the UK’s favourite doughnut brand. Get in touch today to find out how we can take your online conversations to the next level.