Do social media the Walt Disney way — How to “plus it”

Mickey Mouse is the reason you’re not using social media the way you should. Really. And it’s all because of Walt Disney. Although Mr. Disney died 50 years before Twitter’s launch in 2006, his influence still affects us. In this article, I’ll show you why and how you can escape Mr. Disney’s shadow.

Back when Walt Disney was working with his animators on the original Mickey Mouse cartoons, his animators would show him their proposed sketches before final approval. He’d look at their art and ask, “Can you ‘plus’ this?” Said another way, “Can you improve on this a little bit?”

They would go back and forth until eventually the animator said, “No, I can’t do anything more. Is this good enough?” At that point, Mr. Disney would authorize the sketch. Or not, depending on his mood.

Why all the fuss? Because each individual cell of an animated filmstrip was hand drawn and painted, a completed cell would become part of the feature film. Once the film was approved and duplicated, nothing could be changed. The final version could not be altered or improved upon.

Mr. Disney was fastidious with every detail in those early cartoons, as well as every aspect of his business. His perfectionist mentality still shows in everything the Walt Disney Co. conducts in its day-to-day business. Any visitor to Disneyland or Disney World can attest to this fact. Each guest interaction with a Disney “cast member” is choreographed, each experience made as close to perfect as possible.

This same unwavering attention to detail permeates modern-day cinema. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) completely blurs the line between what’s real and what’s not. Film creators, given their enormous budgets and massive manpower, apply perfection in ways Walt Disney could never fathom.

Why does this apply to you? How can Walt Disney and modern-day Hollywood possibly influence your decisions on social media?

One thing I hear when I give speeches or work with clients is, “How do I know if what I’m creating and sharing is ‘good enough?’” Fear is the major factor that inhibits our evolution from social media consumer to social media producer. Why? We’ve grown accustomed to perfection.

When it comes to you and what you share on social media, I want you to think about Mr. Disney and his interactions with his animators. Think about what a perfect social media share would look like and ask yourself, “Can I plus this?”

Also though, and this is critical — add a small caveat. Ask yourself, “If I plus this, will the enhancement make what I share that much better? Is it really going to matter?”

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When it comes to creating and sharing on social media, we so often get in our own way. We prevent ourselves from pushing the publish button for one simple reason, and it’s because we strive for perfection. In a digital world, everything can be improved upon a tiny bit more. Each element bettered, each individual pixel further enhanced.

Consider your efforts from a very binary standpoint. Say, “If I’m going to invest the extra time to make this social media share as good as I possibly can, is that going to be worth it?” Once you create that list of options and say “I could do all these other things”  but feel good about what you’re NOT doing, it will make it so much easier to push the publish button.

Use the “plus it” idea from Walt Disney to decide how and why to create your social media shares. Is striving for perfection holding you back? Assess what you’re doing — and not doing — and repeat one mantra to yourself: 80% out the door is better than 100% in the drawer. Confidently start pushing that publish button more often, and you’ll see your content creation start to grow. As a result, the audience whom you serve will value you more and more.

Is striving for perfection holding you back on social media? Can you see yourself using Walt Disney’s “plus it” idea to help give you confidence in your content creation?

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