Netflix is a popular streaming service of award-winning TV shows, movies, anime, documentaries, and more that can be viewed on thousands of internet-connected devices all around the world (Netflix, 2021a). In the U.S. subscriptions range from $8.99 to $17.99 and at the close of quarter four in 2020 they had almost 74 million paid subscribers in the U.S. and Canada (Netflix, 2021b; Netflix, 2021, Jan 19). Their streaming service has become somewhat of an American staple, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when people are forced to remain indoors (Epstein, 2020).
To complement their services Netflix has a stellar social media presence and rather sizeable following. Currently they have 75 million followers on Facebook, 26.6 million followers on Instagram, and 11.1 million followers on Twitter (Netflix, n.d.-a, b, c). This is in large part due to their impressive social media strategy (Beer, 2019; Ramakrishnan, 2019). Social media strategists of every caliber can learn a thing or two by observing Netflix’s social activity.
As an aspiring social media strategist myself, I hope to help build a presence and following as impactful and successful as the streaming giant. In order to achieve this, fully understanding and measuring return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPIs) is necessary. Using Netflix as a role model I will simulate key steps in an ROI analysis by identifying possible objectives, goals, and KPIs to determine if their social media efforts are indeed creating value for them.
Identify company objectives.
First and foremost, clear objectives that align with business goals need to be developed so that there is some sense of direction for the social media efforts. Based on the Netflix business model and recent social content, the following objectives have been identified:
- Business conversions: Increase paid memberships by providing the sales team with high-quality leads through social media
- Brand awareness: Increase awareness of new releases and divert attention away from competitors
- Customer experience: Boost customer satisfaction of product
- Security and risk mitigation: Protect customers and organization from threats detectable on social media.
Netflix above all else is a streaming service. That is their money-maker. So, business conversions in the form of paid subscriptions should always be an objective. Informing about the latest releases and creating buzz around them is also essential to set Netflix apart from other streaming competitors like Amazon, Hulu, or Disney+. Excellent customer service can also help Netflix standout among other streaming services as well as generate brand loyalty and leads. Lastly, an objective dedicated to security and risk mitigation will help to keep their reputation intact.
Set SMART Goals
Establishing well-defined goals offer actionable counterparts to the aforementioned objectives. Goals that are SMART, or specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely help to focus efforts and increase the chances of achieving the goal (Blitch, 2021; Corporate Finance Institute, 2021). Netflix SMART goals include:
- Increase website subscription sign-ups by 250,000 in the U.S./Canada market in Q1 of 2021.
- Increase social share of voice and engagement by 2 percent by the end of Q1.
- Use social monitoring to identify and respond to customer service concerns within 1hour.
- Identify and address PR threats within 24 hours.
Determine social KPIs to track
Now that clear, well-defined goals have been been established, the social media key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics that help track progress toward the goals, should be selected (Clarke, 2019). The following are the KPIs defined by Hootsuite that will help Netflix determine if goals have been attained:
- Social media conversion rate- total number of conversions, or subscription sign-ups, that came from social media.
- Social share of voice (SSoV)- mentions in a reporting period divided by total mentions in the industry x 100
- Amplification rate- shares divided by followers x 100
- Virality rate- shares divided by impressions x 100
- Customer satisfaction score (CSat)- measures how happy people are with your product or service and utilizes a survey
- Net promoter score (NPS)- a reputation indicator, measures customer loyalty and also utilizes a survey (Clarke, 2019).
Social media will help to achieve these SMART goals and KPIs by acting as a medium for Netflix to draw in new subscribers, engage with current customers about the latest and trending Netflix offerings, and communicate directly with customers about their satisfaction. Currently, through their activities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter they marvelously appeal to their customers interests with their casual voice and humor while also fostering brand loyalty by participating in conversations and replying directly to customer grievances (Beer, 2019; Ramakrishnan, 2019). Should they continue on this path of being a refreshing, spirited, and conscientious social media presence I foresee them meeting and exceeding all of their business objectives, observing a favorable ROI, and remaining America’s most beloved streaming service (Casey, 2021; Cook, 2021).
Beer, J. (2019). Inside the secretly effective–and underrated–way Netflix keeps its shows and movies at the forefront of pop culture. Fast Company. https://www.fastcompany.com/90309308/by-any-memes-necessary-inside-netflixs-winning-social-media-strategy
Blitch, K. (2021). Week 9 Lecture: ROI, KPIs, & Social Listening [PowerPoint slides]. University of Florida e-learning. https://ufl.instructure.com/courses/417928/files/57714552?wrap=1
Casey, H. (2021). The best streaming services in 2021. Tom’s Guide. https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-streaming-video-services,review-2625.html
Cook, S. (2021, February 11). 50+ Netflix statistics & facts that define the company’s dominance in 2021. Comparitech. https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/netflix-statistics-facts-figures/#:~:text=As%20of%202020%2C%20Netflix%20users,billion%20collective%20hours%20per%20month!
Corporate Finance Institute. (2021). SMART Goal. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/other/smart-goal/#:~:text=A%20SMART%20goal%20is%20used,chances%20of%20achieving%20your%20goal.
Epstein, A. (2020). Netflix is as stable as any company on the planet right now. Quartz. https://qz.com/1881507/netflix-is-about-as-secure-as-any-company-on-the-planet-right-now/
Clarke, T. (2019). 18 Social Media KPIs You Need to Track to Measure Success. Hootsuite Blog. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-kpis-key-performance-indicators/
Netflix. (n.d.-a). Profile [Facebook]. Facebook. Retrieved March 14, 2021, from https://www.facebook.com/netflix/
Netflix. (n.d.-b). Profile [Instagram]. Instagram. Retrieved March 14, 2021, from https://www.instagram.com/netflix/
Netflix. (n.d.-c). Profile [Twitter]. Twitter. Retrieved March 14, 2021, from https://twitter.com/netflix
Netflix. (2021a). FAQ. Netflix Homepage. https://www.netflix.com/
Netflix. (2021b). Plans and pricing. https://help.netflix.com/en/node/24926
Netflix. (2021, January 19). Quarter 4 Shareholder Letter. https://s22.q4cdn.com/959853165/files/doc_financials/2020/q4/FINAL-Q420-Shareholder-Letter.pdf
Ramakrishnan, V. (2019). How Netflix’s social media strategy dominates the online streaming industry. Unmetric. https://blog.unmetric.com/netflix-social-media-strategy