If you're going to learn how to do almost anything under the business umbrella, Disney is a great brand to learn from. That's why I was honored to be invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. It's an annual get together of influencers around the country who partake in a variety of Disney experiences and learn a little, too.
Aboard the Disney Dream, Alex Ruiz, the digital marketing director at Disney Parks, shared some online trends Disney is paying a lot of attention to. (And if Disney is, so should you.)
Be in the moment.
The new (or newer) art of storytelling is showcased on platforms like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and Amp by Google.
The most popular of the three examples is Instagram Stories. Ruiz estimates more than 300 million users are taking advantage of this feature to reach their audience. Recently, the social-media giant unveiled something called highlights, which allows a story in a certain category to be saved for future viewing, meaning it won't be removed after 24 hours like all other stories.
Why does this work? It's fun, bite-size content. That's what people want to consume online. With so much to choose from and the attention span of people getting shorter and shorter online, these in-the-moment shares hit the mark.
If you really want to be in the moment, do it live.
Ruiz says Facebook Live is watched three times longer than regular videos, is commented on 10 times more than regular videos, and the search popularity for "Facebook live stream" is up 330 percent. That's the power of going live.
The most-watched live video to date proves this-off-the-cuff, in-the-moment point: It's the Chewbacca Mom, who has brought in more than 171 million views and counting... and it all started in a parking lot.
Multiple yourself with a chatbot.
Ruiz says while chatbots aren't really new, and they are picking up steam.
Chatbots are great because they can be trained to be a digital form of yourself that's available 24/7. The secret to using chatbots effectively is to not use them to sell, but instead to use them to offer value.
By the end of 2017, more than 30 million home devices have been sold.
The best-selling product on Amazon this past holiday was the Amazon Echo Dot named Alexa. Alexa has more than 25,000 skills (a "skill" is Amazon's version of an app.) Ruiz suggests being proactive and creating a new skill now, while voice-activated technology is growing.
By 2020, Ruiz expects half of all searches will be voice activated. This should make you second-guess your current SEO strategy and start thinking about making your blog optimized for voice.
Don't be scared.
Like Walt Disney, be curious, stay informed, and experiment with new things. Surround yourself with experts to help you take a thought or idea to the next level. Online, things are always changing and evolving. That means you need to be willing to do the same with your strategy.