by Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
The last two posts I wrote on my blog centered around this post about Facebook and this post on Twitter. These two social networking sites have been getting quite a bit of press lately and I have to admit that I've been following many of it. Yesterday I read about how the candy brand Skittles is using social media and has apparently received quite a bit of media coverage and buzz online.
The brand decided to dramatically change its website and on Monday they turned their actual homepage into their Twitter stream. The only thing that they left was a widget-like navigation console in the upper left part of the screen. The idea was very radical and showed that this corporate brand had some real risk-taking marketers at the wheel. However, what they learned is that not everyone is a fan of Skittles and even if they do like the candy, they thought they would express themselves with a few comic tweets and some that even included profanities.
The Skittles brand managers may not have slept well Monday night having nightmares from one to many negative tweets. So the next morning they made a quick decision to switch the homepage from a Twitter search for “Skittles” to their Facebook fan page. They did keep the Twitter stream available on the site however by moving it under the menu bar “Chatter". It's now still there, but just a little less in your face.
There are many different opinions being voiced on this subject, and already people are tired of reading "Skittles" Tweets and comments. After all, it's just a candy. So was this a brilliant marketing idea or a ridiculous move? The jury seems to be still out.
@CoachDeb wrote this comment on Mashable "The brilliance behind this move for Skittles is as follows:
A) As an Early Adopter of Social Media marketing - it'll get fantastic press, PR, media coverage in addition to lots of buzz in the social media channels themselves (which it has).
B) They've made their Web site highly participatory - making it wonderfully Google friendly, especially since fans who want their 10 minutes of fame (or in this case their 140 characters of fame) will come by and "hang out" in Skittles backyard
C) They've given people a Reason to Visit their Web site - which is a far cry from most corporate (boring / brochure based) sites out there. The tribe wants to engage... and Skittles just gave them a way to do that while eating delicious colorful sugar-rush candies! mmmm mmm!
In retrospect it's a wonder how they ever got the approval from corporate executives to use Twitter in this way. Anyone that has spent any time there knows that it is heavily abused by spammers, and by being there you open yourself up to anyone saying anything they want. There are some very profound and interesting tweets while there are also many that are totally tasteless or make no sense whatsoever. That’s the part of social media that makes it interesting I guess. Remember, everyone wants their 10 minutes of fame and Twitter is one way to try and get it.
Anyhow, personally I'm more the M&M's fan. Now that's a candy brand I'd like to tweet about (and easily eat a few bags while sitting her writing this post.) So let us know what you think about all this. Do we admire them for trying it, or do we think they may have been smoking the stuff?