View free policies procedures examples from all manuals. No obligation, no credit card!
If you haven’t heard about the Skittles website relaunch yet, go check it out.
Monday morning, it was all anyone in the social media world was Tweeting or Blogging about. At first glance, it’s confusing. Did I type in the correct url? But on second glance, you think it’s ingenious. On third—you realize the downsides of this approach.
Utilizing social media to create a buzz about your company or brand is becoming increasingly important. But giving up complete control of your brand is dangerous. Let’s dissect the Skittles experiment.
- Age LimitationsWhen you first get to the website, you’re greeted by an obtrusive box asking you for your birthday. Free Skittles as a present? No.If you’re under 13 years old, you’re not allowed onto the site. Once you start to peruse the features, it’s easy to see why. You have access to anything ANYONE puts out there and tags with the word “Skittles” on a variety of social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and more dangerously, Flickr and YouTube. Imagine some of the photos and videos you could come across without trying. It makes sense the brand would want to cover itself on that issue, but when you’re trying to sell candy, does it make sense to cut out kids and ‘tweens?
- Spammer AbuseOn the very first day of the website launch, Twitterville had already run amok by trying to see what they could get away with. Every time someone Tweets the word “Skittles,” the post shows up on the Skittles “Chatter” page (which also serves as the sometimes homepage). You could Tweet something completely unrelated, push your own product, or speak negatively about the brand and still end up on the Skittles homepage. A dangerous prospect from a company’s point of view.
In brief, there is none. A hovering navigation box covers webpage content, and you can only minimize it to an unacceptable degree. You can’t move the box. Plus, the navigation is vague at best. “Chatter” directs you to the Twitter feed, “Friends” to the Facebook fan page, “Pics” to Flickr, “Videos” to YouTube, and all product links to “Wikipedia”(!?!?)It’s really a clever proposition, and speaking as someone involved in social media, I’m impressed by (and kind of envious of) the company’s boldness. However, there are still a large number of people who don’t understand some of these sites and are not familiar with the various interfaces. Some people simply don’t know how to use them. And while it’s great to have groups and networks through these popular sites, I believe centering your own website on them really limits your audience.
While it has certainly created buzz, we’ve yet to see whether the experiment will be successful. Many are waiting to see whether the public really is ready yet. I think if so, you’ll see many more sites begin to do something similar. We’ll wait and see—and continue to see you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our website.