Skittles Going 990 TPH (Tweets Per Hour)

Skittles Showcased Social Media's Prowess

Skittles Showcased Social Media's Prowess

While many scoff at Skittles brand awareness campaign that occurred over the weekend, the bottom line is that it is the number one item being talked about on Twitter.  Hence, I say Bravo!   So what if ripped off Modernista’s idea?  If you can still produce results with the same or similar ideas, why wouldn’t you?  And produce awareness it certainly did. 

Skittles took and replaced it with what you would find if you performed a Twitter search for Skittles (e.g. go to and type in “Skittles” in the search field). 

This did exactly what they hoped it would do, it created awareness around Skittles.  This blog post is a sample of this very fact.  While the Twitter portion of this campaign received much of the attention, the item I loved most about it was the fantastic use of all the leading social media tools/sites.  As you will see from the screen shots provided, a user could select several areas to go to learn about Skittles and they all directed you to social media.  The following were the tabs and the corresponding site that they linked to:

  • Friends – Facebook
  • Video – YouTube
  • Photos – Flickr
  • Product – Wikipedia
  • Chatter – Twitter

What a great showcase for anyone in marketing to take it to their boss or CEO and say, here is what we need to be doing on each one of these sites.  This is why everyone in marketing and elsewhere is talking about the power of social media.  It’s no coincidence why Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) was on the Today Show this week. 

Should everyone go out and replicate the Skittles “hi-jacking” – – please no!  But, every good marketer will learn from it.   One key learning, as Brian Morrissey brilliantly points out in his article Is Skittles onto something? is that one of the main uses of Twitter is for brands to follow the chatter about their brand (in this instance using #Skittles).  The easiest way to do this is on

Skittles sent user to their YouTube page

Skittles sent user to their YouTube page

That is why I pointed out in my Search Engine Watch article 10 Ways Twitter Can Make Money  that Twitter can monetize taking the chatter about brands and presenting it into an easily digestable format to Fortune 1000 public relations and marketing departments.

On the Twitter front a simple calculation reveals the following.  In a 10 minute span there were 165 tweets made about Skittles.  That equals 990 tph (tweets per hour) resulting in 23,790 tweets in a day.  That is simple incredible!  Maybe we should start judging success on tph?  Or at least that is one data point.

This campaign also sent users to the Skittle’s Facebook Fan Page.  For those not familiar with Fan Pages they are a way for users to interact with your brand like never before.  If you don’t have a Fan Page for your company you should stop reading this and start one today. 

Today alone Skittles was able to add thousands of fans to their already strong base.  As of this writing Skittles had 583,000 fans and growing.  What’s so great about having these fans?  As a company/brand, you can message and ask them questions when appropriate.  It’s like having 583,000 contacts in your e-mail database.  That’s one small example of why social media is so powerful. 

Giving away Skittles as a gift on Facebook would have been smart

Giving away Skittles as a gift on Facebook would have been smart

Now, before we give too much of a love fest to Skittles there are a few items that could have been improved.  1) Why did I have to give my birth date to enter the site?  This isn’t a beer site is it (although we learned from tweets that many buyers drop Skittles in Vodka).  2) The link (Friends) that took you to the Facebook page was very slow and often timed out in IE 7.  3) It would have been cool if on Facebook they would have given away Skittles as the gift of the day – that would have taken this to a whole new level.  4) Most importantly, can I buy Skittles on the Web?  If so where?

However, all and all I love the fact that this truly showcased the top social media tools while generating a huge amount of brand awareness for Skittles.

One response to “Skittles Going 990 TPH (Tweets Per Hour)

  1. With all the talk about “What does it mean to be a social media expert?”, one thing is clear… is a social media expert. They created so much PR by taking a very bold move and saying “To heck with the critics!”

    Well done, and well done Skittles management for being so bold.

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