Yesterday, Walt Disney Studios had a major social media win by posting the new Star Wars trailer and announcing tickets were on sale (and breaking the e-commerce websites of many movie theatre chains in the process).

Also yesterday, Canada elected a new Prime Minister – Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party.

Today, Walt Disney Studios had another social media win. Might not be breaking the Internet or going viral (yet), but it is another case study example of when brands successfully piggyback off current events.

We all remember the viral post Oreo scored (pun intended), when the power went out at the Superbowl:


Walt Disney Studios took a slightly different approach, and upon seeing a picture posted by a news outlet of the Prime Minister Elect’s kids locked in a lightsaber battle, rolled two current events together and produced an invitation and a reminder to us social media types.

(Courtesy Twitter)

(Courtesy Twitter)

To be successful in social, we need to be listening to the conversations around us, not just the conversations being directed at us. Too often, however, we limit our scope of conversation monitoring to our industry, event, city, etc. and miss out on some unique opportunities to engage with a new audience. Bet you money the social team at Walt Disney Studios didn’t spend their Monday night thinking, “I can’t wait for when we can finally post about the Canadian election results!”. In fact, I bet they weren’t even making it a primary target of their monitoring.

But by expanding your active listening environment outside of your norms, you open yourself up to new connections, conversations and hopefully, customers and cheerleaders (couldn’t help the alliteration) for your brand.