As many of you already know, Skittles caused quite a stir in the social media world last week by posting real time “tweets” on their Web site. Originally, we didn’t want to write about this because it happened last week. However, I couldn’t resist commenting on this after reading what has been said since.
Marketing Pilgrim wrote a post recently stating that the Skittles Web site traffic experienced “a 1332% increase in web visitors on March 3rd.” Pretty impressive considering only one day had passed since Skittles launched this social media experience.
Was this a complete success for Skittles? I don’t think it was because I think most of their traffic came from Twitter users. I also think it may have been a mistake for a brand of their size to expose their reputation to uncensored tweets. BusinessWeek published a recent article that highlighted some of the challenges marketers and companies will face as social media focused strategies continue to evolve.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Skittles campaign, the home page of the Web site originally showcased Twitter comments about Skittles in real time. BusinessWeek points out that, “Skittles was forced to rethink its social media strategy after users deluged the site with inane and often profane tweets.” Skittles has since had their Web address direct users to a variety of social media applications including their Facebook fan page, Wikipedia page and YouTube. I think this was a smart move because cycling the landing pages is keeping users guessing and potentially could get them coming back to the site in the weeks ahead.
This is clearly a lesson on how companies have no way to control what their customers say, and I think this is the ultimate challenge of using social media to create relationships with consumers.
Now for a lesson in why you shouldn’t get a transplant from a guy named Jose.