Skittles, a leader in social media??

Skittles everyones favorite candy has been the topic of talk lately on Twitter, Facebook, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, FOXnews and Adage…in fact last week they were the top trending subject on Twitter!

So whats the deal? Did they introduce a new flavor or something? No, they introduced a new website that is one of the first of its kind. The new interactive Skittles website incorporates all facets of social media. I suggest you check it out

In short Skittles took their website and turned it into one big Social Media site. The homepage has a navigation bar which includes a combination of social media sites.  The most popular so far is the Twitter feed which shows anyone who uses the word Skittles in their tweets.  One of the most interesting things about the site is that it has no filters. As far as I can see you can say anything you want and view anything that you want about the Skittles brand. They are not censoring what people are saying. You can write something positive or negative about the Skittles brand and Skittles is just letting you put it out there. The new site is getting people to talk about theirproduct whether it is good or bad.

The web site also includes a Facebook Fan page with 585,000 fans, Youtube page with over 26,000 views, Flickr page with 16,500 items and of course a information based Wikipedia page. All you have to do is click on the navagation box and it will lead you to each site.

The large number of views, items and fans are all positive numbers for the Skittles brand and has made Skittles the buzz word in the web and media world.   As I listed above this new type of interactive site has already been blogged about in the blogosphere and has caught attention from nationwide media outlets.

This site is not only innovative but daring as well. The risk is paying off for the Skittles brand.  They are reaching out to their consumers and engaging them with the tools that they have provided but in the same way they are not controlling what they are saying.

Do you think this new type of site would work for most companies? Or does it just work with Skittles because they are a candy brand?

One of the annoying things about the site is that they require you enter your age before you enter the site. Do you think this is a good or bad thing? I personally don’t care and I think it is kind of smart on their part to see what age groups are viewing their site. However some people have a problem giving up their age.

Do you think that this interactive social media based website will be the future template for company/brand websites?

One thing that we know for sure is that Skittles has created a large social media forum with this site that has caught fire! This can become a revolutionary way to interact with your consumers in a positive and non threating way. Only time will tell if it will be effective for a prolonged period and if this type of model will become a website standard for companies but for now lets just enjoy the revolutionary idea of tasting the rainbow from all angles.

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12 Responses to Skittles, a leader in social media??

  1. drgilpin says:

    I’m curious to see if anyone from the other section chimes in–we actually discussed this site in class a few weeks ago, but never got to it in your section.

    Good post topic, in any case.

  2. tmpace says:

    We did talk about this in my section, and I thought the new Skittles site was interesting. I love skittles! And now I love their online campaign. I think not only does this campaign bring media attention to their product, but it is also a great way to generate feedback from their consumers. Many companies have a presence on all the large social media sites, but they are not really connecting to their consumers. Skittles not only has a presence on social media; its online presence is only social media. I think this is a great way to connect with the younger, tech-savvy generation.

  3. jejepson says:

    I am glad that we had an opportunity to discuss this in our section. I think that it is very progressive of Skittles to incorporate social media into their internet presence so heavily. I think that it is great though! In a time where advertising, public relations, marketing and even newspapers are having to re-invent the wheel, some have been slow to do so. I beleive that Skittles was a pioneer and opened new doors for other companies and organziations. Instead of rejecting the new, they embraced it.

  4. elwhite2 says:

    I thought this online media campaign was really cool. At first, it may throw you for a loophole however, thats the point. Its nothing you would expect to find when you go to their website. You might think twice or try to re-type the URL address, thus making you pay more attention to what is going on. It is completely relevant to the popularity of social media networks and provides a place for people to talk about this campaign. I think this would probably only work for a company like skittles or some other food product. If it were an electronic companies website or something corporate, it might cause backlash, which in some situations is okay.

  5. lehanson says:

    This is an interesting post I must agree and it’s an interesting new spin on brand promotion. I do not think this style of Web site would work for every type of company but for products such as candy I’ll be curious whether this goes in the direction that the company wants. The layout is similar to social media sites which I imagine is what they were going for. The fact that there is no censoring is another interesting angle of this campaign. This change makes me wonder if their main goal is to simply create a buzz about Skittles rather than to sell.

  6. plepkows says:

    This is a very cool Web site. I am not sure how I never heard about it prior to this post. I think the blending of social media platforms makes the Web site appealing. However, in your blog you mentioned that the Web site is “paying off” for Skittles? But how do you know this? Has there been data that proves that sales of Skittles have increased since the launching of the Web site?

    Before we can determine the success of the Web site, we have to determine what the overall goal of the campaign is. It is important to remember that successful Web traffic is not synonymous with a successful campaign. As we have learned in classes, awareness campaigns serve as means to ends. And as evidenced in the case studies textbook, it seems that too often public relations professionals mistake process objectives for impact objectives.

    As for the future of corporate Web sites, melding traditional corporate homepages with mainstream, social media Web sites could be a beneficial move for companies to communicate effectively. However, before deciding to launch a social media Web site, a company must identify its stakeholders and target publics. Then, the company can determine the best channel of communication to reach these groups. For example, if you were the communications specialist at a company with an identified stakeholder group of persons of the age of 65+, than a social media Web site would likely not be the most appropriate channel of communication – whether or not candy is the product being distributed.

  7. Christine says:

    I know it’s annoying that you have to enter your age and agree to the terms of service but many of the sites they are directing you to have terms of service and Skittles doesn’t want to violate any of those. That would draw negative attention and divert the attention away from “Interweb the Rainbow.”

  8. kristenih says:

    It will be interesting to see how this campaign turns out. i don’t think this type of campaign would work for every type of company, but for a company such as this I think it is going to see positive results. I think it is clever in the fact that it is targeting a new genre, the genre of social media, which tends to be a younger crowd and the ones that consumes skittles. What a great way to target this stakeholder.

  9. bryantedleson says:

    Very cool website. I didn’t even know Skittles was being talked about that much, but thanks to social media it’s easy information to find out. I’ll be surprised if this type of site works for most businesses or even Skittles. However, since they’re main goal is to create buzz, i’d say it’s going to be pretty successful. They’re focusing their attention on targeting a new audience and in my opinion it’s a very clever campaign.

  10. haleypetersonasu says:

    This is GREAT! I believe what Skittles is doing is very smart and will have staying power. The fact that bloggers can say what they want to on the page gives the company a sense of honesty. They have nothing to hide. At the same time, Skittles is a widely followed candy company and why would people say anything bad about them? Do people really take the time to vent about candy? It seems petty leaving more room for more positive comments.

  11. jsaxarra says:

    Yeah, I actually enjoyed it so much that I chose it as a topic for one of my memos in 473. I agree with a lot of these comments, in that it was very clever on their part. As much as social media is surrounding/drowning us, it’s not all effective. Just about everyone has some sort of social media account/profile but I’d be willing to bet that about 90% of those people aren’t looked at as online gurus or anyone of importance. This little ploy by Skittles gave everyone a chance to comment, play around and recognize them for more than just a candy. It really put them in the mix.

  12. sbushaw says:

    I think this tactic is working well for Skittles…While talking about it in class I’ve never craved the candy more. One student even went out and bought a pack! Even though it gets consumers talking about the product I found the site extremely annoying to navigate. It left me thinking, “Seriously- is that it???” I think it was a risky but innovative idea that catapulted the brand to be a hot topic throughout all social media.

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