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Discovery Channel feeds Shark Week frenzy with Twitter daily deals

Discovery Channel’s annual television event Shark Week is diving deep into mobile commerce to drive merchandise sales through Twitter’s buy button, leveraging daily deals and social media buzz.

The weeklong programming has steadily become a highly anticipated televised event, and every year incites a social media blitz. Discovery is capitalizing on the trending nature of the event and is introducing innovative purchasing efforts to Twitter’s buy button through daily deals.

“Twitter has been a tremendous engagement channel for Discovery and our ecommerce business, steadily building audiences around our programming,” said Christine Wacker, director of commerce partnerships and consumer products, Discovery Channel. “Now, as a result of the partnership between Twitter and Delivery Agent, can offer Shark Week’s more than 260,000 Twitter followers, and Discovery’s 3.8M Twitter followers, a frictionless shopping experience directly from our tweets.

“We believe Twitter’s reach, along with the Buy Now functionality implemented by Delivery Agent, will drive additional engagement and sales,” she said.

Biting into social media
Shark Week, which first aired in the 1980s, has grown to be a staple event of the summer season.. Every July, the Discovery Channel becomes toothier and fans take to social media discussing the topic.

In an attempt to monetize the event beyond advertising sales, Discovery created a wide range of Shark Week branded merchandise, cognizant of the possibility for significant sales. Last year, the brand innovated by offering buying options through Samsung Televisions.

This year’s Shark Week is taking the idea and products one step further and introducing daily deals through Twitter, in which fans can purchase directly in the platform. Everyday Discovery will feature an item for a discounted price on the social media channel.

Twitter users interested in purchasing simply click the Buy Now button on the post and finalize purchase through a pop-up box.

The market for potential sales through social media is substantially high for Discovery’s Shark Week. The conversation surrounding the programming makes for a much larger audience and a greater commerce reach.

The integrated buying experience that Twitter offers raises the possibility of a finalized sale. The buyable button reduces the amount of time and effort it takes for a potential customer to purchase an item, in turn increasing impulse buys.

The fewer steps it takes to complete a purchase, the more likely it is to be finalized.

Shark Week is not the only brand that is taking advantage of its popularity. Many brands are creating products to coincide with the event.

For instance, the natural cosmetics brand Lush created a bar of soap in the shape of a fin gliding through the ocean. Claire’s developed a smartphone case in partnership with Katy Perry, based off of the Super Bowl Halftime performance, in which many social media users discussed the character of Left Shark in the show

Volkswagen developed a GIF on social media asking the question “do you think a Shark or a Golf SportWagen can deliver up to 1.8 tons of force.”

Tweeting sales
With all this discussion, Twitter is valuable platform leverage with commerce.

The social media platform has the capacity to become a significant player in mcommerce as event marketers and music artists flock to the social media application’s buy button for exclusive selling opportunities, confirming the potential for social networks to target users with geo-located advertisements and drive impulse buys (see more).

Social media buy buttons could be the next frontier of mobile commerce as they quickly gain momentum on various platforms, with savvy retailers likely to extend into numerous outlets to gain the most benefit (see more).

“Shark Week, with its over 40 million viewers, has become a multimedia phenomenon with fans watching and engaging through a multitude of platforms and devices,” Ms. Wacker said. “We want to ensure we’re where our fans are with relevant product offers.

“Today, fans can shop the Discovery official store on their mobile device,” she said. “They can also access offers via Facebook.

“Our plans for next year will follow the same philosophy as this year, be where the fans are and offer engaging merchandise for both Shark Week and all year round.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily