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The Disney Way: 7 Lessons for Every Social Media Marketer

Last week my family and I traveled to one of our favorite vacation spots – Disneyland! Who doesn’t love Disneyland? I’ve been in the marketing and branding space for nearly twenty years, the social media world for 10 years, and work with companies large and small to help them get smarter about their social media. I love looking outside of myself and my industry to see other companies that are doing amazing things with their social media and there’s nothing like Disney, right? I think we can all agree that Disney has got it down.

Experiencing the magic of the Disney way with Minnie Mouse.

Experiencing the magic of the Disney way with Minnie Mouse.

Today I want to share a few takeaways from my recent trip – hopefully these are things that will inspire and that you can use to help build your business. So let’s dive into the Disney way…

Sell the experience and not the price. This is one of my big takeaways from being at Disneyland – it’s all about the experience! Did you know that Disneyland was built so that when you’re there, you can’t see beyond the park? I think as marketers we get so caught up in the “click here” or “buy this” (and of course there’s always going to be a place for that) but I think when using any sort of social media for marketing we should really be thinking about sharing an experience. What does it feel like to work with you? What are your clients or customers experiences? Some of the best content I see on social media is when you snap a photo to celebrate your clients and it’s coming from a place of authenticity.

It’s not that people forget the price or that the price doesn’t matter – but when the experience exceeds the price, it’s almost as if the price doesn’t matter.

Empower your team. This is something I witnessed every day in Disneyland. One time that really stood out for me was when we were in Toon Town and buying popcorn for our boys. As we were walking away from the stand, my little guy fell and dropped his all over the ground. As I was walking back to the stand to buy him a new one a cast member approached us and said she saw what just happened and handed us a brand new popcorn. It was such a little thing but made a huge difference. I was impressed that not only did she not have to ask anyone for permission, but that she also took the initiative to do that.

The magic is in the little things. Now don’t get me wrong, World of Color and the fireworks and the castle and all of those big things are amazing but it’s really the little things that make the magic come to life. The fact that the paint isn’t chipped, that there’s no gum on the ground, that everyone has a smile. It’s all of those little things that make a really big difference. The lesson here is that if you use social media for your business, there are little things you can do to make a huge impact. I can tell you from years of experience and working with everyone from very large corporations to scrappy start-ups, that it truly is all about the details. It’s all about the little things.

It's all the little details that make Disneyland so magical.

It’s all the little details that make Disneyland so magical.

Don’t forget about the behind-the-scenes hustle. In Disney, cast members do an amazing job of being ‘onstage’, but behind-the-scenes it’s all about the hustle. The way I look at that, especially if you’re in some sort of client services business, is that you don’t need to bring your clients into that hustle. Clients just want to know that it’s going to get done…and it’s going to get done well. This behind-the-scenes hustle can also be looked at from a social media standpoint. There’s a lot of hustle that goes into a successful social media strategy, something I know a lot about. So don’t forget, if you’re looking for results, you’ve got to put in the hustle.

A smile can go a long way. When you’re in Disney, all of the cast members are attentive and waiting to help you with a smile. They’re not on their phones or in side conversations. It’s amazing what a difference a smile makes too. Attitude really is everything.

Have a servant mindset. This is a big thing that I saw in Disneyland and I’m just a big believer in. I think as entrepreneurs and small business owners, sometimes our ego can get in the way. But having a servant mindset and asking ourselves, “how can I serve this person?” can make a world of difference.

Tell your story. This is huge. If you’re looking to grow your business in 2016 and wondering how you can do that with social media and online marketing – tell your story. Every business has a story. I think so many times in marketing we get caught up in numbers and meeting goals, but I encourage you to take a step back and tell your story. While we were in Disneyland my family and I got to watch the World of Color show, which is absolutely amazing. Disney is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year so a big part of the show was telling their story. Just the way they told their story was so powerful.

I encourage you to find a way to tell your story through social media (with visuals, video, live streaming, etc.) and be inspired by the Disney way. It’s amazing how much we can learn from the happiest place on earth!

Check out my Periscope on this topic:

Have you been to a Disney theme park? I would love to hear about your experience and your own takeaways. Leave a comment below or jump on over to our Facebook Group: #GetSocialSmart with Katie Lance Consulting to join in the conversation!

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