Skittles just traded 20,000 page views (in a good month) to their website for 600,000 Facebook friends. Not too shabby. But was it a good idea?
There has been crazy buzz about the new skittles.com . If you haven’t heard anything, you probably aren’t using the “Internets.” But anyway, Skittles has linked together different social media sites through a very simple and small navigation menu that floats over any of the sites. Essentially the Skittles brand is now in the hands of social media junkies.
Skittles has surrendered most of their power to talk about themselves. Anything written about them is immediately publicized without filters. Many critics have said this is a horrible idea. But I say, “Why?” You don’t have to be a genius to predict that some people are going to pair the word “skittles” with derogatory words and phrases in their Tweets. Sure, that’s not the best but at least Skittles isn’t trying to hide it.
There are also some people who don’t like that the new site doesn’t have any practicality of a normal corporate site. But nobody was going to their corporate site, anyway. Again I mention, compare 20,000 site visitors in a good month to 600,000 Facebook friends in three days.
You also have to consider how Skittles has been branding themselves the last few years. They’re known for their incredibly creative and off-beat commercials (my favorite). Everyone was surprised when a fruity candy company actually made themselves relevant with their new advertising. You would think most people would be prepared for Skittles to extend their branding to their online face.
I think the most important thing that Skittles has done with their new website is show that they care about what their consumers are saying. Not only are they listening to them now, Skittles is allowing everyone else to listen in, too. Skittles may not have as much control over their brand but they are trying to be as transparent as possible.
In conclusion, I have been craving Skittles like crazy since the new Skittles’ site hype. Effective? Absolutely.
We have already talked about the companies that screwed up this past year. Now we want to talk about those companies that are using social media the way they should be – to interact with their customers.
GM has a great blog that allows customer access to all things GM. Like any blog, customers are able to leave comments and give feedback on GM’s new developments. GM is also really good about tweeting. There is a Twitter feed on their blog so that their audience has the latest information possible.
Zappos‘ brand is all about customer service. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos is known for creating a company that truly values their customers and employees. Hsieh has said that they are all about listening to customers and trying out their suggestions. And he’s not just saying that. He has his own Twitter account that he regularly updates. 75% of their businesses is from repeat buyers.
Dell is one of the few large companies that is taking full advantage of social media. They’ve got the listening and engagement thing down. They have their own blog, “Your Blog” which provides information in a more personal, less corporate/markety approach.
Comcast is currently known as one of the best social media practitioners. After hearing customer complaints, Comcast decided to get involved in the conversation. Comcast can now be found on Twitter under ComcastCares. Comcast knows that listening to their customers is imperative to the success of their company. They have found through using Twitter that customers appreciate being able to communicate with a real person they can relate to.
Microsoft has had a very open approach to blogging, which has helped them lately with the news of a new Internet Explorer virus. Microsoft was actually the first to report the virus, starting a media storm. Security experts have advised users against using IE until the patch has been proven effective. Microsoft has dealt with this really well by responding quickly and being as transparent as possible.
Here are some honorable mentions of C-suites taking advantage of Twitter.