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A lot has changed in 30 days.

A month ago, I searched the open web and Facebook for examples of social commerce where community activity drove measurable transactions. Outside of social buying, ala the Groupon phenomenon, there was little of interest. My post on that experience is here.

But things are changing quickly.  Two global brands with innovative commerce initiatives are starting to get traction and attention.

Two examples of social commerce on Facebook fan pages that work

1. Disney Tickets Together Facebook application

The idea is built around sharing your movie going experience with your Facebook friends from the movie’s promotional fan page.

Tickets for Toy Story 3 are on sale only the Facebook fan page, weeks earlier than anywhere else. You let your friends know you are going and when, invite them to come along…and if you want, buy tickets as a group for the movie.

This provides a special incentive…and reward…to the movie’s Facebook fans as they can pre-buy early and participate in raffles for free tickets.

This is clever social selling and fun social buying wrapped into one. Reports of groups of 80 people buying this together indicate this is potentially the beginning of a trend that really works.

Tickets Together is the best example of social or community commerce I’ve seen. You are literally buying collectively with your friends on the Facebook fan page. Finally… something to do on a fan page that makes sense! And this is the first and best example of empowering a naturally social activity like shopping online in a community setting.

Disney’s market phrase for this is “…no friend gets left behind,” according to Oliver Luckett, general manager of DigiSynd, that manages Disney’s social networking presence.

It’s just social commerce to me, taking fan interest online and moving them to an offline event together, then back online to re-socialize it. An oft-repeated cycle of social proof.

2. Diesel-cam in-store Facebook runways

Live in Spain, Diesel has a fashion runway with a Facebook cam inside their stores.

Shopping is a core social activity, globally. You shop with friends and what your friends think influences what you buy. This is true for everyone; probably more true for teens and 20-30-somethings, the core audience for Diesel.

There is a Facebook runway just outside the dressing room. Customers try on jeans or an outfit, and stream a short video to their Facebook walls to show their friends what they are thinking of buying. Questions like…“Like it?” “Should I buy it?” are natural and this conversation drives sale’s decisions.

You can see a video of the Diesel-cam here.

Note that I’ve seen chatter online that the Diesel-cam is ‘stupid’ or ‘voyeuristic’. For Diesel and for the meaning of the brand, it couldn’t be more perfect.

It’s just smart commerce, matching brand to customer to commerce…and social and fun to boot.

Why I  think social commerce is a solution for Facebook fan pages

  • It just works. Disney is selling tickets while building community favor. My bet is Diesel will be successful as well.
  • Shopping is what we do with friends offline. It’s logical, when done with intent and creativity that it will work online.  Facebook fan pages are replete with community potential but are usually dull…maybe commerce is an answer.
  • Social proof as a transaction based on the encouragement of your community is the first approach to social ROI that makes any sense to me.

Why Disney and Diesel as global brands are being socially astute

  • They are taking commerce to where the fans are. Facebook becomes a channel.
  • They are building commerce that matches the channel to the customer behavior…that is social commerce for a social platform.
  • They understand that boring and dull doesn’t sell, and doesn’t fit their brand image. Fun and creative and social does.

    I think that Disney and Diesel will benefit from a deeper connection with their fans, from a new strata of social proof to their image and, of course, from commerce.

    How does Facebook benefit?

    Having a fan page is free for brands and data storage and bandwidth cost real dollars. Maybe these brands will advertise more? Maybe not.

    Facebook wins whenever anyone uses, returns, sticks around or invites friends to do anything at all on the platform. The more traffic they get, the more sharing happens and the more demographics are collected. And of course, then the value that Facebook can sell to advertisers and partners increases proportionately.

    For Facebook and the brands and I think, the consumers…this is all a win.