While I am constantly connected to all things social and frequently study brand strategies, I wouldn’t say I am an avid social consumer. I certainly use social for deals and such, but I don’t usually use it for major purchase decisions. That all changed though while planning my latest trip to Walt Disney World.

It was my seventh trip to the most magical place on earth, but this experience proved to be much different because of the way Disney uses social to recreate that “magic” they’re famous for through every step of our your Walt Disney World experience. I am a huge Disney fan so I am naturally going to be more invested in what they share, but regardless of your affinity for them, Disney’s social strategy is a tremendous example and case study on how to be social.

Here are a few examples showing why Disney has been quietly owning social:

Likes aren’t their goal

A consistent trend that I noticed from Disney is that none of their accounts on Facebook use “Like-gating” as a strategy. While I don’t think that not using it translates automatically into a great strategy, Disney could certainly have fallen into the trap and be totally fine because they have an audience of passionate fans and “likers.” Because of that though, they realize that they don’t need to fish for likes through obvious hooks and copy, but through truly engaging content.

Disney knows their product is strong enough to stand on its own – ultimately, large brands should trust their experience and community if they’re going to a make a push on social; not just look at how can they make an action as obvious as possible.

They pull on heartstrings 

Disney is an emotional experience for anyone who watches their movies, shows, or visits their parks. That’s not too say that every emotion is a big one, but the Disney experience evokes some form of emotion and happiness from each of their community members. This translates into their social strategy.

Whether it’s sharing a photo from one of their classic movies, talking about Mickey or Walt Disney himself, or sharing a picture of a little girl at Magic Kingdom, they want you to feel emotionally connected to their Disney experience even when you’re not in front of the TV or visiting their parks. Its powerful storytelling and this is how you get people to take action when it comes to purchasing decisions – create an experience that is close to them at all times.

Disney has always found success in the emotion game, and are now taking it to social media.

They understand their consumer cycle

For a Disney consumer or community member, there are many touch points and opportunities for them to make a purchase or interact with the brand. With that in mind, it would be foolish for Disney to continuously push purchasing opportunities towards their community. It would ultimately alienate those who aren’t interested in each specific product and fail to create an experience that the consumer can look forward to. 

Rather, Disney approaches their consumer cycle by focusing on the past and future while relating it to the present. They talk about past experiences at the parks, bring up classic characters, or build excitement for what’s next. But they rarely push what is going on now if it’s not necessary. They rely on that feeling of either reminiscing or anticipation and weave that into their current interaction with you. 

This understanding of the consumer cycle is probably the key to Disney’s overall marketing strategy and they have done an excellent job in translating it to social.

 

What are your favorite brands to follow on social media? Why do you feel connected to them?