Last week Skittles was abuzz on Twitter and other networks with its web site launch. What was unique about the launch was that it was not just a new layout, some neat Flash or animation with some coolness and wow factor. Instead the Skittles site was now a portal to Skittles pages on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook.

Now a lot of the initial chatter about this was somewhat negative. Skittles soon found that their choice for the home page, Twitter was a bad idea. Several Twitter users posted profane and obscene tweets to Skittles account. The use of Twitter as the home page had to be changed and Skittles also placed an age verification and terms and agreement in order to view the site.

But was Skittles crazy to take this approach? The brand received a large amount of buzz in two days with no advertising or PR. The portal to social networks allow consumers to directly connect with the brand and build relationships.

Of course the downside was exemplified by the Twitter home page, lack of control. Yes social media marketing can allow for great exposure at a low cost, but are we willing to sacrifice quality for it?

Will Skittles be the case study twenty years from now on social media and branding? And if so will be it positive or negative?

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.