Archive for the 'Skittles' Category


Are we ready for flu season?

Are we ever going to have a worry-free season? In summer, we liberally apply sunblock to prevent skin cancer. In winter, we wash our hands often to fight against viruses. The spring brings pollen and allergies to battle and of course fall is the best time to get vaccinated against common flu. With flu season right around the corner we wanted to bring attention to public health communication in social media by taking a look at a successful campaign.

Social media has become an integral part of immunization communication for many public health organizations, nonprofits and health care providers. The Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition (CCIC) has created an award-winning campaign, Immunize for Good, designed to answer parents’ toughest questions about childhood vaccines and reinforce a parent’s choice to vaccinate.

As a statewide nonprofit, CCIC works with community organizations, health care providers, public health departments, businesses and policy makers to ensure children get the vaccines they need to keep Colorado healthy. A 2010 national survey shows that while 88 percent of parents follow the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule, more than half, 54 percent, have concerns about vaccines. In response to these concerns, CCIC, in partnership with the Colorado Immunization Program and the Vaccine Advisory Committee of Colorado, launched this exciting and content-rich social media campaign in order to encourage parents to vaccinate and reassure them that they are making the best decision for their child’s health. Parents were informed about the benefits and potential side effects of the vaccinations thru Facebook and Twitter. The campaign was very successful, helping increase awareness of new studies proving the safety of immunization and helping answer questions for concerned audiences. This campaign showcases that social media can be a powerful tool to raise awareness for public health organizations and health care providers.

To learn more about what CCIC did to make a successful communications campaign, visit them on Twitter or follow them on Facebook. If you are looking for a way to learn more about social media and health communications, join me for a Coffee Talk session with the Colorado Healthcare Communicators on Wednesday, September 28. I’d be happy to discuss your organization and how social media might help reach your target audiences.


skittles tasting success with latest social media experiment?

skittlestwitterAs many of you already know, Skittles caused quite a stir in the social media world last week by posting real time “tweets” on their Web site. Originally, we didn’t want to write about this because it happened last week. However, I couldn’t resist commenting on this after reading what has been said since.

Marketing Pilgrim wrote a post recently stating that the Skittles Web site traffic experienced “a 1332% increase in web visitors on March 3rd.”  Pretty impressive considering only one day had passed since Skittles launched this social media experience.

Was this a complete success for Skittles? I don’t think it was because I think most of their traffic came from Twitter users. I also think it may have been a mistake for a brand of their size to expose their reputation to uncensored tweets. BusinessWeek published a recent article that highlighted some of the challenges marketers and companies will face as social media focused strategies continue to evolve.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Skittles campaign, the home page of the Web site originally showcased Twitter comments about Skittles in real time. BusinessWeek points out that, “Skittles was forced to rethink its social media strategy after users deluged the site with inane and often profane tweets.” Skittles has since had their Web address direct users to a variety of social media applications including their Facebook fan page, Wikipedia page and YouTube. I think this was a smart move because cycling the landing pages is keeping users guessing and potentially could get them coming back to the site in the weeks ahead.

This is clearly a lesson on how companies have no way to control what their customers say, and I think this is the ultimate challenge of using social media to create relationships with consumers.

Now for a lesson in why you shouldn’t get a transplant from a guy named Jose.

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