In 2010, Disney’s marketing team, recognizing the rising power of social media, came up with a concept called Disney Social Media Moms Celebration or DSSM Celebration. According to this idea, Disney ploughed the confines of the world wide web to look for Disney’s biggest fan bloggers and combined them with Disney fan Moms from the fields of journalism and entertainment. Disney sent out invites to these mothers asking them to join Disney’s 4-day celebrations at the Walt Disney World (Disney’s Yacht Club Resort) in Florida. None of these invitations were free, but the participants were offered heavy discounts and ready tickets without the queuing and booking hassles.
For the past 5 years, Disney has been hosting the DSSM event successfully and if anything, its popularity and scale over the years has only enlarged. The Moms invited to #DisneySSMoms 2015 had a combined Twitter following of 5 million people. This year’s event clocked 28,500 tweets, 4,900 Instagram photos and 88 blog posts (source), some of them describing their experience at Disney World in painful detail! From rides to food, everything that the Moms could be excited about, they put on the internet. The hashtag #DisneySSMoms was trending worldwide on the day of invitations and later too!
Disney recognizes that mothers who were Disney fans, and ran highly successful blogs or possessed high number of followers on social networking sites were potential influencers waiting to be tapped. Disney decided to reward them with a trip to Disney World. Keeping it an invite only event, Disney ends exclusive invitations to Moms they select for this exercise. While Disney has never made it public on what metrics it chooses which Moms to invite, the event is so popular that a blogpost giving out tips on what to do to deserve a Disney invitation has been shared nearly 2000 times.
Disney does not ask or pay these Moms to write about Disney, its works, or the even the DSSM event. It just picks Disney-crazy mothers and offers them a Disney-experience so wonderful that the mothers write about it online themselves. Take the case of the blogger behind the blog ‘Roarbots‘, a mother of two, who attended the #DisneySSMoms 2015 in Florida last month. Without Disney asking her to write or tweet anything about the event, Roarbots returned home from DSSM 2015 to start blogging about her experience at the Disney land!
It might have seemed a crazy idea in 2010, but Disney went ahead with it. Recognizing the immense influence mothers hold inside the household and in the online world, Disney decided to play exclusively to their indulgences, and was rewarded with a fantastic social media footprint that only keeps growing in fame and popularity!