Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Social Media ain't about one-night stands, it's about relationships
I feel like I can officially state that I've been had.
About 5 weeks ago, Skittles made the 'bold' move of turning it's website over to social media. It turned the website into a landing page for its content on other social sites, and for the content that people are creating about the brand on Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The move was blasted by many, and I said that maybe we should hold off on the criticism, and give Skittles the benefit of the doubt and wait and see if this move was the first step in a larger strategy.
Five weeks later, we are still waiting to see 'what comes next'. My guess is that if we haven't seen it by now, that nothing comes next.
A few months ago, I was selected as one of the 'Pepsi 25', meaning I was apparently one of the first 25 people on the planet to see Pepsi's new branding (problem is, I'm a Dr Pepper lover). Aside from the fact that I'm not that fond of Pepsi, I haven't seen anything that's really built off of the buzz generated from this move. As with Skittles, Pepsi doesn't seem to have created an effective plan for capitalizing on the buzz generated by the initial splash.
And this seems to be the big problem. Too many companies are approaching social media as a tool to generate buzz, instead of as a way to connect with their customers. Want to use Twitter as a way to generate buzz for your product launch? Fine. Now what's your plan for leveraging that buzz and using Twitter as a channel to connect with your customers that are now paying attention to you?
Here's a clue; Know the only thing that customers HATE more than companies that ignore them? Companies that walk away when the customers are finally paying attention to them.
Don't be that company. Social media isn't about campaigns, it's about movements. The smart companies get this AND get the importance of using these tools in the same way that the people they are trying to reach AND for the same reasons.
Pic via Flickr user brucebeh
UPDATE: Love this comment from Nicole - "I can't help but look at both of these cases and see a common thread. Pepsi and Skittles both seem to view the tools as the key ingredient - when in reality they are just that, the tools. This is why I think may companies miss the mark when it comes to implementing social media because they focus too heavily on the tools as opposed to the communication and potential relationships that are enabled by them."
Nother UPDATE: Looks like the 'Anonymous' comment left in defense of Skittles, was from someone at Agency.com. The comment was left at 11:56 am, which seems to coincide with this visitor from Agency.com -
Come on. Why not just identify who you are and make your point?