Skittles has today pulled its new website and the experiment with ser generated content on Twitter. The new improved Skittles.com was launched on the 2nd March and with great fanfare the user was presented with a Twitter Search result page with the query "skittles" - which will display the buzz and news about skittles.
An example of how the OLD website looked is listed below
There are a number of positives to come out of this story from what I can see -
1) Like it or not Skittles has had a enormous amount of press in the last day or so; and all of that attention can not be a bad thing; I am sure then sign ups to the website and Facebook account have risen tremendously
2) In marketing circles the brand has generally been viewed as being brave for taking on Twitter as a sale medium
3) From an SEO point of view the number of backlinks to the website will have increase significantly
4) The website was changed quick smart and given the amount of bad press it may temper the backlash.
But the negatives are
1) The lack of moderation within Twitter is one its strength's yet if you want to underpin one of your websites with a Twitter feed for your brand make sure you have some for of moderation in place.
2) User generated content can drive really returns for a large brand; yet without the steady hand of a moderator hoovering over a delete button it can be like handing you brand over to the cyber nasties.
3) The new website has made some what of a splash in the last two days but mainly for all the wrong reasons and the bad press that cyber trolls bring to your brand can have major negative effects; for example I am sure there weren't many occurrences of the word "Skittlefisting" before the new site was launched but now there are 377 occurrences in Google. (and you don't want to know what that means!)
I have commented in my last post that I was not sure if this new site launch was a) laziness of the highest order or b) inspired genus. If the good people at Skittles had put a few more safety features into the launch I would have indeed called it inspired genius!
By Andy Redfern
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