By paying attention to who was promoting their brand online, Disney sensed a marketing opportunity. Hence, the creation of Disney Moms, an organization of as many as 1,300 mothers whose presence on social media and enthusiasm for Disney earned them invitations to the exclusive network, where they've become grassroots brand evangelists whose output on social earns them rewards like discounts on trips to Disney theme parks, movie tickets, and toys.
Disney states that it does not tell the mothers what to tweet about specifically. But the thought is that if Disney Moms write genuinely online about their experiences with Disney products -- a quick review of Frozen, for example -- other mothers out there will follow suit.
Each year, Disney holds a Social Media Moms Celebration, where it gathers its most avid Disney Moms to thank them for their hard work as well as create situations that require social media blitzing. This year's celebration featured a photo contest where attendees were challenged to pose miniature figurines of Minnie and Mickey in clever places. There are also motivational and instructional sessions, such as a talk on how to use Pinterest data.
In a profile by Reuters, Disney Mom Wendy Wright, a mother of two who homeschools her kids and blogs prolifically, shed some light on the role of Disney Mom. Disney's formula for choosing which moms to invite is mysterious, causing some to speculate. "There's been a lot on social media about our trips to Disney," said Wright, who writes about technology, entertainment and other subjects from her home in Phoenix. "It's very obvious we are a Disney family." And there are other clues. Some say that to be invited by Disney, one must interact with Disney on Twitter, attend local events -- or just be a YouTube celebrity in the first place.
Disney, like other companies, is targeting mothers on social because they believe they are the key decision-makers in families. They are often responsible for planning family vacations -- from booking the hotel down to the brand of sunscreen they buy. "For a big chunk of our guests, it's the moms who are making [travel] decisions," said Tom Staggs, Disney's chief operating officer. Other brands who have followed in Disney's footsteps are Hewlett Packard, who has gathered moms on social media to demonstrate how well their childrens' crafts print on their laser printers, and Cottonelle toilet paper, who tapped a group of moms to report on social on a New Kids on the Block concert they sponsored.
my top 5 must-do list at Walt Disney World Resort: 1. use magicbands 2. notice the small details on site and in parks 3. PIN TRADE! 4. go to the awesome parades 5. take advantage of fun photo opportunities What are YOUR must-do or must-see parts of WDW? #DisneyTop5 #familyfun #disneysmmc @disney #disney #disneyside
A photo posted by amy mascott (@teachmama1) on May 8, 2015 at 10:35am PDT