Monday, April 13, 2009

Skittles' Social Media Strategy

Skittles recently redesigned their website in an attempt to fully embrace recent trends in social media. To be more precise, they’ve scrapped their website entirely and now just show a Twitter search feed for “skittles.” Aside from the ambient Flash widget they display in the upper left-hand corner of the page, the website is almost entirely composed of content that Skittles (a brand of Mars Inc.) has no control over. The move to bring social media to the forefront of their marketing and advertising efforts reflects a paradigm shift in communication and messaging. The Skittles redesign shows that companies no longer control what is said about their brands through a high-touch relationship building model we’ve known for so long as public relations.

While the Skittles social media strategy is exciting and different, it's pretty clear they have no idea what they're doing. I'm looking for a way to follow Skittles on Twitter and not only is their no link on their website to their Twitter account, but it doesn't even look like they have an account. A crucial part of the company's social media strategy should be that they actually engage with users rather than simply ignore them.

This is the old Skittles website, featuring games, prizes and ringtones.Below is the new Skittles site, featuring a Twitter search for "skittles." Note that there is no way to follow @SkittlesRainbow, which is probably the reason they only have 231 followers and are leaving a huge opportunty on the table. I've just been notified that @Skittles is actually a cat that is using Twitter.