The allure of "cashing out" on Facebook holds serious promise to marketers and agencies looking to validate the business value of social media. However alluring it may be, cashing out too soon is rarely good for the community and ultimately adversely effects the marketing and real business of relationship marketing taking place.
I love the Toy Story franchise. I seriously enjoyed the Pixar movies... all of them. I was in high school when the last movie came out and dragged my friends to go see it. And do you know what? When word got out that a couple of us were going to see it, others joined in. Everybody knows that deep down they love a good kids movie. I was and continue to be a Toy Story advocate.
Unfortunately, someone at Disney or their agency made a poor decision. In an effort to boost sales at the box office, they pumped up their peer-sharing features on Facebook a little too heavily. Here's the real insight: people are people (deep, I know). We love to connect, we love to feel special, we love a sneak peak. But we don't appreciate a violation of our social contract. We don't appreciate when a promotion "spams" our friends.
Will I still see Toy Story 3? You bet. Do I still have a strong affinity for Disney and Pixar? Abso-freaking-lutley. Did I still try out their Facebook application? Yup, but more out of curiosity. Did it make me feel a heightened sense excitement? Maybe, but this excitement was irrelevant to the e-commerce capabilities. Did the e-commerce "spam" in the follow through add to my affinity for the brand or desire to share? No.
This is just my personal opinion. I think the opportunities for e-commerce in Facebook are incredible when they meet and drive affinities while respecting personal boundaries. Respect is difficult to gauge, but the fine line will define the long term business value of e-commerce in the channel. I loved most elements of this execution, just not sure it hit the mark in the follow through. Try it for yourself here.