After 11 long years, Toy Story 3 has finally arrived.  The world’s favorite toys have burst back onto the scene for one final hurrah.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I recommend seeing it as soon as possible because it is fantastic.  Grossing $110.3 million over the weekend, a record opening for Disney Pixar, it very well could become Pixar’s highest grossing film ever.

Not only was the movie great, but the social media campaign leading up to the movie (and still continuing) has also been impressive.  Pixar has utilized Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get the word out and spread the hype.

Disney Pixar isn’t new to the social media arena; they’ve had a YouTube account since 2006.  Six months ago Pixar posted a clip of Toy Story 3 onto their YouTube channel and continuously posted new content as the movie came closer.

They have uploaded “vintage toy commercials” for the new characters, more trailers and sneak peeks, messages from cast members and a segment, and my personal favorite, Ken’s Dating Tips.  On Thursday June 15, just three days before the movie was released, 10 different videos were uploaded onto the channel.

Pixar’s Twitter page has been buzzing about Toy Story 3 for a while now.  It even announced when it completed the animation for the movie (March 26).  Prior to the film’s release, Disney Pixar was introducing its Twitter followers to new characters, new trailers, new clips and it also promoted Pixar’s other social media pages.

Disney Pixar made headlines when it became the first company to purchase a trending topic ad on Twitter.  This move was brilliant, as Pixar already had over 500,000 followers (on June 17, it had 589, 566 followers) and it helped amp up the Toy Story 3 buzz even more.  With results like that I expect we’ll soon see this form of advertising grow in popularity.

Disney Pixar also made news in the Facebook world, when it developed an application that allows people to purchase Toy Story 3 tickets without leaving their Facebook page.  Not only does this application allow you to purchase tickets, but it also alerts friends that you have purchased a ticket and lets you invite them to join you.

Not only has this campaign generated buzz about Toy Story 3, but it also has greatly increased the number of people following Pixar’s social media pages.  As of Thursday, June 17 Disney Pixar’s Facebook page had 1,101,584 fans.  Less than a week later, on Tuesday June 22, the page has 1,876,118 fans.

The social media campaign for Toy Story 3 has been innovative and brilliant.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this serves as a guide for future films and we see more films purchasing Twitter trends and selling tickets on Facebook.  This campaign has certainly proven that movies have a friend in social media.