Universal Studios Orlando is an entertainment company that is part of the Universal Studios Company. It includes two theme parks, hotels, a water park, a huge shopping district call Universal City Walk, and six hotels. It is designed for families of all ages and has been a formidable opponent to other parks in the Orland, Florida area such as Sea World and Walt Disney World. The fact that it is in the same city as these other resorts makes their social media footprint as important as ever. The more people that they can reach means more visitors and more revenue for their company.
As a frequent visitor to all of the Orlando area theme parks I can say that over the past few years there has been more and more visitors to the area than ever before. Most of these people come with a plan already in mind. It is for this reason that Universal Orlando has got to reach these people long before they even get into the area. The best way to entice these crowds is through all of their social media platforms. So back in 2015 Universal Orlando opened a Social Engagement Center to help them cover all of the bases.
Social Media Presence Overview
Universal Orlando uses a variety of social media platforms:
Analysis and Evaluation
Universal Orlando Resort’s Facebook page is followed by roughly 2.5 million people. The page mostly consists of video and pictures that even include some written is Spanish with an English translation. This can even reach many more followers. The resort posts anywhere from one to three times a day. Most of these posts have thousands of ‘likes’ and hundreds to thousands of comments. A lot of the comments include people ‘tagging’ family and friends saying that they want to to visit. Of all of these posts none of them had been answered by personnel from Universal Orlando Resort.
Most of the posts on their Facebook page are advertisements for the rides, shows, and hotels found throughout the resort. Being that it is so close to the Christmas holiday season, a time when millions visit the Orlando area, Universal chose to include holiday happenings like shows and parades. They also used characters such as the Incredible Hulk and Minions to appeal to the crowds of fans that follow these characters.
The Twitter page for Universal Orlando Resort has approximately 536 thousand followers with 64 thousand tweets. The entries that these followers see are videos and pictures. These portray a lot of the rides, shows, and hotels that are found throughout the resort. The Twitter page also includes park hours which are helpful when planning a trip. Some of the pages were also in Spanish with English translation; this goes a long way in reaching more people. The resort posts these tweets a few times every day. These posts end up with at most 200 ‘likes’ and have very few shares and even fewer comments. As with their Facebook page, Universal does not reply to comments on their posts.
The majority of the Twitter posts are advertisements for the theme parks, water park, and hotels that are on Universal’s property. They graphics are hyped up to make people want to visit when they are in the area. Popular characters such as Minions are also used to draw people in. The people that enjoy these characters usually want to enjoy interactions with them as well and Universal pushes the fact that their resort is the only place to find these characters.
The blog for Universal Orlando Resort is found on its main web page. It consists of a post that is posted every few days. The posts consist of videos and GIFs and are related to all things that are located at the resort. The subjects include the hotels, the rides, the water parks, and even the food found throughout the resort.
Each post on the blog has a some, but not many, comments. Universal does not respond to any of these comments. Also included at the end of every blog post are links to other blogs that are related to the original one. This is great if you are doing research on a certain topic and are looking for as much information as possible.
The Instagram page for Universal Orlando Resort has 1306 posts and 1.1 million followers. It has many pictures of all things Universal. It has pictures of Harry Potter and Butterbeer along with pictures of their hotels and rides. They are all great advertisement and they make the viewer want to go to experience all the wonderful things that they have.
Each of the pictures have thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. Although Universal Orlando does not respond to the comments many people comment on each others comments. This is a great way for people to connect over a love of the same things.
The Youtube site for Universal Orlando Resort is loaded with videos from across the resort. These include videos of rides like the Fast and Furious and Shows such as the Macy’s Day Parade. They feature music, lots of lights, and even some loud sound effects and music. They certainly grab the attention of the viewer and make them want to watch.
The other thing about the videos of Universal Orlando are the way they appeal to children. One can assume that since Youtube appeals to the younger generation Universal realizes that this is a great resource to use to attract visitors. If kids watch and want to go then parents can’t be far behind.
If you search Google for Universal Orlando Resort you have to pay close attention to the results that the search returns. The reason for this is that there are so many different entities of the Universal Studios companies and you have to be careful to pick the specific one that you are interested in.
In my Google search of Universal Orlando Resort the first website that shows up is the main page for the resort. After that are entries for their Twitter and Facebook pages. This is followed by a Wikipedia page about the resort and then there is a travel website with advertisement to book travel. Then immediately following that was an entry for the general web page for Universal Theme Parks; this includes all of Universal’s parks throughout the world.
The Google entries on the following pages for the travel website Expedia and also a fan page for Walt Disney World. This was followed by many, many websites that advertise travel. This is important because of all of the visitors to the area. When the travelers do research into their trip they will be connected to the Universal Orlando Resort and hopefully they will feel the need to visit during their trip.
Commendation and Recommendations
The digital footprint of Universal Orlando Resort is wide spread. It covers all of the major platforms including blogs, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. All of the posts include pictures and videos of the rides, food, and hotels that are located within the resort. There are also many comments made by followers that tag their friends on the same platform. This is great for business because if the many people are tagged there is a greater chance that more people will see it and visit the resort. This can be considered a great form of networking.
If there were one flaw that I see it’s that they post the same exact posts on each platform other than their blog. The reason this is, in my opinion, a flaw is that if most people follow them on each of the platforms, as many people do belong to more than one, then they see the same advertisements over and over again. When I look at their pages I would like to see different content on each. This way I will see more and want to go even more. Although I see the reason that they duplicate their posts I believe that most people are on more than one platform and would benefit from seeing different content on each one.
If I were to make any improvements it would definitely be adding different content, related to the same topics, to each platform. This way readers would not get bored with the same posts over and over again. As the use of social media continues to grow and digital footprints become even more important I believe that the content needs to improve. It needs to become more interesting to keep the reader/viewer’s attention. I also believe that Universal needs to have employees that respond to comments, this would also make it more interesting.
Universal Orlando Resort has a an interesting connection to social media; they both are meant to entertain. This gives Universal and all other entertainment venues that use social media a leg up when it comes to advertising. They are using one type of entertainment to promote their own type of entertainment and they are doing it for virtually no price. If they had to advertise on television or in print then it would cost a lot of money. Although they pay people to post to their sites they can post as much as they like at not cost. It’s definitely an advantage that they cannot afford to lose.
My love of all Orlando theme parks draws me to the internet. I love watching the videos and the advertisements and they make me want to continue to attend. As for the reason that these theme parks use social media to advertise I say it is mission accomplished.