Social Media as a sales channel; not just for raising awareness: eg. Disney

Disney has just opened up a slick f-commerce store, selling advance tickets for Toy Story 3 directly from within Facebook.

The Disney Tickets Together Facebook app works through online ticket retailer Fandango (about 20% of movie tickets are now purchased online in the US), and allows people to purchase tickets and invite their Facebook contacts to see the movie together.

Oliver Luckett of Disney’s social media management subsidiary, DigiSynd said that the f-commerce experiment for Disney could be extended to future Disney films if the Tickets Together app. is deemed a success.  The app marks a shift in the use of Facebook for Disney from a channel for creating awareness to a sales channel that connects Fans with their favorite film franchises.

There are five things interesting and smart about the Disney Tickets Together app:
1) Disney is using f-commerce to sell new products, not existing products. This is a smart decision for selling in social media, as the new has news currency and is likely spread faster and wider in social media.
2) Disney is using f-commerce as a VIP sales channel to connect and sell to brand/franchise fans – rather than a mainstream sales channel. It’s similar to P&G’s Pantene store that uses f-commerce as a tryvertising vehicle to create word of mouth buzz around new products. Selling in social media is new and sensitive – selling to fans – people who want to be sold to is a safe and smart first step.
3) Disney is building the f-commerce application around a social experience - seeing movies – selling social experiences in social media is a natural fit.
4) Disney has integrated a viral mechanism directly into the app to support sales - the ability to invite friends to buy too.
5) Disney has used an existing e-commerce service (Fandango) for processing and fulfillment rather than built a new app ground up.
This shows yet another way in which social media can be effectively deployed to drive sales. As mentioned, above, social media offers a superb way to increase sales of  social experiences such as going to the cinema. People can invite their friends and literally organise an evening out in real-time. Ticket purchases as well as reviews of films, and the availability of your friends, can all be acquired instantaneously.
We see f-commerce as a major growth tool for companies going forward. Have a think about how you can take advantage of this opportunity. Time to start thinking of social media as a genuine sales channel, and not just an engagement exercise..
As always, we are here to help!