Sometimes, seeing other people crazy excited is enough to make you want to fling glitter alongside them.
You know what I’m talking about.
It’s that time of year when people start sneezing on pixie dust from the mass flinging that goes down when invitations to the fabled Disney Social Media Moms Celebration go out.
It’s also when I start seeing a huge spike in blog traffic.
After attending my third DSMMC in 2013, I wrote a conference overview to help answer newbie questions, but this year, I was inundated with shouty messages like these:
HOW DO I GET INVITED?!
I WANNA GO IT’S NOT FAIR!
THE PEOPLE WHO GOT INVITED AREN’T EVEN AWESOME ENOUGH TO GO SO WHAT GIVES!
WHY DOES DISNEY INVITE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER EVEN BEEN TO THE PARKS WHEN MY WHOLE HOUSE IS A FRIGGIN’ SHRINE TO THE MAGIC OF DISNEY?!
To that I say, calm the fun down.
There is no conspiracy keeping you from getting an invite.
Full disclosure: I don’t work for Disney, but occasionally collaborate with the House of Mouse on non-DSMMC related campaigns and press events. That working relationship obviously means I like Disney (my family vacations at both parks on our own dime), and have known many of the organizers for years now. I can attest to the fact that they are super nice people who are doing their best to be inclusive. They know the online community is a powerful, positive force in social media, and have been extending their pixie-dusted reach further and further into the blogosphere to understand, acknowledge, respect and celebrate the contributions we make to the online world at large. But, it’s also their party and they can’t invite everyone.
And that’s ok.
That being said, DSMMC is not their first tea party.
Disney has had a social media team in place for years now, and invites influencers – a good cross-section of noob and profesh bloggers/vloggers/journalists/et al – to cover press events at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and ESPN throughout the year.
The same team is also the force behind the Disney Parks Moms Panel, a free forum where parents-turned-Disney experts answer your questions and offer advice and tips about Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Vacation Club, Disney Cruise Line, team sports at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, runDisney events and Adventures by Disney.
They know what’s what.
Keep in mind too, that sometimes, invitations go out in waves, which means you might find one in your inbox a week later. There was even a year when the bulk of invitations went to spam (mine included), and I had no idea I’d even been invited.
Long story short, there is no magic formula to this.
What’s not so magical is that the organizers have to deal with teeth gnashing and complaining and negative vibery every single year after the invites are sent. (Psst… mean-spirited, pearl clutchy posts and tweets and statuses can be read by everyone because nothing online is private.)
Here’s some practical advice for those who want to get on Disney’s radar the right way:
Do some leg work. Follow the conference organizers on Twitter at @DisneyMoms. Consider following @WaltDisneyWorld @Disneyland @runDisney and @DisneySports. Check out the hashtags #DisneySMMC and #DisneySide and see what they’re all about. Engage as appropriate.
Maybe write about Disney now and then. No one’s saying your entire blog should suddenly be overrun with updates about the Happiest Place on Earth, but there’s plenty of cool fodder you can spin into something evergreen for your audience.
Build your blog. This is something you should be doing anyway, especially since increasing engagement, polishing up older posts, optimizing SEO and all those other blogospherical things are fully in your control.
Just keep being you. As long as it’s a you that plays nice. I’d really like to think this one is common sense, but based on all the messages I haven’t even gotten to yet, not so much. No one is owed an invitation. It’s a great experience for sure, but any experience is what you make it. In the end, you get what you give, and I’d much rather spend time lifting people up than bringing them down.
Still have questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment thread and I’ll do my best to answer them. Keep up on all things Disney Social Media Moms, follow @DisneyMoms and #DisneySMMC on Twitter.
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