Years ago when I worked at Bing.com, I got frustrated at Microsoft for not taking advantage of social marketing and not making it easy for their customers to find their products in the “social world”. Specifically, almost none of their product websites had social media icons that would allow consumers to find THE official pages for Microsoft’s various products. See my post titled “Zune on Facebook”.
I see the same issue today with Disney. They have a TREMENDOUS following, with amazing potential for reaching out to fans (consumers, clients, customers, "guests"), yet they just aren’t embracing the power of social marketing. Yes, they’ve got some podcasts and an official Facebook page and YouTube channel, but each individual product has enormous potential as well.
If you’re a Disneyland fan and your favorite attraction of all time is the "Jungle Cruise" – you might want to "check in" when you go on the ride. You also might want to share your photos from a cruise, or talk to other fans to find out what’s new, or just learn things about it you didn’t know before. Sure, you can go to the official product page on the Disneyland website – but go to de facto social website, Facebook, and try to "Like" the OFFICIAL "Jungle Cruise" page… nope; There’s no way to tell which page is administered by Disney and which is just a page created by a random person.
Every company which has popular, notable products should have a Facebook page for EACH product that has a following. Depending on the company, this can get almost out of hand very quickly, but the power to communicate with your audiences in such a targeted and detailed way is invaluable. Just think if Ford Motor Company administered an official Facebook page JUST for their 1965 Mustang… The company could sell parts, merchandise, events and even pitch new models to those fans directly – and at almost no cost!
The payroll cost for a single social media expert for a company is nothing compared to the paid advertising campaigns launched every day, while the return can be ongoing and bigger than most marketing plans.
Disney needs to add those social marketing icons to each of their attractions pages so fans can find and support their Disney favorites.