BUSINESS

Heigh-ho heigh-ho: Disney digital expert offers business tips

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Photograph by Colleen Stimola. Main building at the Walt Disney Studio Lot.

Colleen Stimola
Oxford Stories
cmstimol@go.olemiss.edu

Kristen Fox lives in Manhattan Beach, California, and is the manager for digital marketing and promotions for the Walt Disney Company’s Consumer Products and Interactive Group. No two days are the same in this fast-paced environment.

Fox is constantly busy working on new campaigns and social media content for Disney. She and her team strive to find content that works on all major social media platforms and maintain the brand voice in every project they complete.

Last year, DCPI launched the LOL App, which Fox oversaw. “Putting together the app was a lot of work,” she said. “My team and I toiled around the clock on it, and there were constantly many moving parts. It was definitely a big project and took a lot of logistics to put together, but once the app was in the iTunes App Store, it was the most rewarding achievement.”

Having a job focused on social media is no simple task. Fox has had to learn many tricks and rules about each social media platform in order to be successful. She shared some of her knowledge.

Each social platform has very different rules. Content that is allowed on one platform may not be allowed on another. “For example, Facebook does not allow GIFs to be posted,” Fox said. “As a content creator, we have to ‘cheat the system’ and create a looping video to give the impression it is a GIF instead. Little steps like these are things that many people don’t realize have to be done.”

This adds extra time when putting together sharable content. Photos also cause some differences. The size frame for Instagram and Facebook posts are completely different. For a company like Disney, they have to create specific content for each individual platform creating extra work for team members.

Planning content ahead of time eliminates a lot of the hassle. “We typically get the content we will be posting far in advance. It helps us a lot because we are able to strategize what content gets posted when, and what platform each piece of content needs to go on,” Fox said.

Users don’t want to see the same content on multiple platforms, so it is crucial that excess content is developed to reduce this issue and keep users coming back for more.

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Photograph by Colleen Stimola featuring Kristen Fox at the Walt Disney Land Park.

The most important thing to think about when posting content for Disney is to ask yourself the question: Will this possibly go viral? Fox’s husband, Lyman, said, “I am asked this question all the time when Kristen is working on a new project,” he said. “Since I don’t follow Disney’s products, it is important for her to know when I like the content because it is more likely others will like it, too.”

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Fox said much time goes into planning behind-the-scenes for a simple social media post. She has weekly meetings that are only focused on developing the brand voice of a topic they are currently addressing. Whether its Studio, Disney Channel, or something for Babble, knowing the target audience is important.

It’s also important to be on social media platforms if you work in social media. “The best way to learn a platform or see what is successful is to post on the platform yourself,” she said. “After all, if you don’t use it in your personal life, how do you plan to use it in the corporate setting?”

Fox takes risks for some posts on her platforms to see reactions from private viewers. “Many weekends, I help Kristen experiment with new ideas on social media,” said Lyman. “She will often take the ideas she gathers back to the office.”

It is always important to get multiple people’s opinions prior to posting. It is important that the content be viewed by those who may not know the topic and fans and followers. Creating post drafts allows easier viewership and edits prior to launching the post.

It is also convenient that nowadays social media apps allow users to set dates and times for a post to launch. Posts can be scheduled days in advance so users can see a post during prime time. It also makes weekend postings easy when employees are off-the-clock.

There are many factors that go into being successful in the social media field, and it often takes practice to become efficient and effective.

“I love working in social media,” Fox said. “It is always new and exciting and constantly changing. My work changes as the new trends change, and I am happy to be in such a fast-paced environment with an outstanding and magical company.”

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