The day Skittles made Twitter choke

Here's how everyday at Hatch PR starts:
1. Make coffee
2. Start computer, open work email
3. Turn on news (BBC, Sky and CNN in constant rotation)
4. Check Twitter
5. Check online news

Yes, that's right. Twitter has trumped online news in that order. That's mainly because Twitter has become a big source of my online news feeds. But in this regular ordering, rarely do sugary candies enter into the day until, perhaps, at slot 337, after lunch.

However, Skittles factored high on the list on Monday because when I got to number four, everyone on Twitter was talking about the new social media marketing strategy Skittles was using. In essence, Skittles turned its web page into a mini social media portal linking straight to a Twitter search on the brand. The rest of the website is a little dashboard sitting high on your screen linking to Skittles on Facebook and other sites.

Genius, I thought! I love it! No one would ever really have a reason to look at www.skittles.com, right? But now they've got the entire online media geekdom talking about them. And still talking. And still talking.

So much so, that Twitter then became borked later in the day and presumably it had choked on Skittles. When European Twitterers are still at work, and American Twitterers start waking up and logging on, it's high Twitter time - around 15:00 GMT everyday. Precisely when the choking incident happened.

But the other choking incident was when social media pundits started trashing Skittles. Lots of sarky, negative feedback was there to be heard. Apparently, it would appear that some social media people don't like taking a spoonful of their own medicine. I guess they don't like it when they talk all day long about how tech brands are most innovative and playful online, and then a candy company storms right into their party and outwits them all in the social media stakes.

I'd hereby like to distance myself from the naysayers and salute Skittles. It's sad that in the tech industry, very few brands would have the cahunas to disable their precious websites for one day and take a social media marketing strategy head-on like Skittles has. It worked absolute wonders for this candy brand and other companies should take note of the risks and rewards it entailed.

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