Branding Successful Social Media – Disney Style

I think that many of us would agree that social media is a big deal; Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, YouTube – we all know the drill. It’s rare these days to come across a company not using some form of social media. But, how many brands are actually using social media successfully? Many times I have liked a brand on Facebook or followed them on Twitter only to be disappointed by their social media efforts; no engagement, very few posts, or posts that are too ad focused.

In order to achieve success, brands need to meaningfully engage with consumers. Brands won’t find success just by gathering lots of likes and followers through advertising and endorsements; they need to gain interaction though engagement on their social media pages. Comments, likes, shares, retweets, etc. are what can help create positive conversations, emotional branding and translate into sales.

One company that has found great social media success across many social platforms is Disney. And they didn’t just stop with their nearly 500 million fans across Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. The company also has their own special form of emerging social media called Oh My Disney (OMD) a blog, which features Disney imagery, GIF’s, videos, and  articles that are built specifically to be easily consumed and shared by viewers.  The site also has it’s own Twitter and Facebook pages which tease and drive traffic to the sharable information.

“The Disney and Disney Pixar brands and characters have a massive social footprint,” Mark Walker, senior VP of Disney Interactive Entertainment, told Mashable. “We’ve built this audience by creating great content that furthers the emotional connection to the brand. And it’s working.” 

OMD boasts categories such as: Awww; Oh, Snap!; Retro; Silly; and Whoa that offer blog style high engagement articles with titles such as “Eligible Disney Bachelors” and “You Know Your Life is a Disney Soundtrack when…” Additionally OMD has video posts like “Dads Singing Beauty and the Beast” (appropriately posted on Father’s Day) which are entertaining and provide and emotional connection that viewers can relate to.

Obviously not every brand can create a social media channel the way that Disney has. Only brands with a committed social media team and dedication to content can manage such an undertaking, however I think that the brand has the right idea. They have found a way to create a channel and tie it to several social media platforms with high engagement, relevant content, and family friendly material.


2 thoughts on “Branding Successful Social Media – Disney Style

  1. Good, good stuff. These seem to be precisely the kind of “fan friendly” and sharable bits of web content that brands have typically left entirely to the fan community.

    While that is a free and organic way to allow our audiences to have ownership in our brands, it’s completely out of our control.

    I wonder, though, if shareholders in a company like Disney truly currently appreciate the value of a “committed social media team” with “dedication to content.” While this sort of effort feels very natural and very “loosey-goosey” (which I view as an immense positive–it doesn’t feel like branded content or targeted messaging), I’m sure that it hews very closely to the messages someone in charge wants to convey about the brand.

    I suppose that my question is: Disney’s a massive media company (the biggest, I believe), so they, of course “get it,” but at the same time, they are also answerable to shareholders. How do we convey to our bosses that such an undertaking is worth it?

  2. Satisfied customers – that is how we convince them social media is worth it! I also think it is important to determine what a company’s competitors are doing. Are they on social media? I think it is important for companies to track their social media efforts like for example though Google analytics and simply asking customers how they heard about your business or promotion. If tracking is correctly implemented marketers should able to determine if traffic comes from email marketing, social media, and/or blogs. Additionally I think that consumers like to interact and purchase from brands they trust – meaning brands needs to be aware of what consumers are saying on their social media platforms. If a social media team is actively in place the proper controls, analytics, and engagement can be applied.

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