Back in 1997, Reed Hastings, was tired of paying late fee charges for renting movies. He was tired of paying $40.00 in overdue fees for Apollo 13. So what did he do? He and his business partner Marc Randolph decided to create a mail order service for consumers wishing to “rent” “VHS (and eventually DVD’s) by charging $0.50 per rental, with late fees. Eventually it scrapped its mail-rental model back in the mid to late 2000’s as Web 2.0 evolved, favoring a streaming monthly subscription model. The rest was history.
Netflix has become what its CEO Reed Hastings as a “Global TV Network” through its streaming online monthly services in 190 countries (offering a mix of old TV shows, movies, along with original series and documentaries). Netflix is all over social media and offers a good example of utilizing the business to consumer (B2C) relationship.
Consider the following. Netflix has as of February 28, 2016:
- 1 million Instagram followers
- Over 1.77 million Twitter US followers
- Over 800,000 YouTube subscribers
- Over 21 million Facebook likes
Netflix’s social media channels uses many of the characteristics of a B2C relationship. One thing I noticed when analyzing all of Netflix’s social media channel was their use of continued imagery, and repetition. Their logo is splattered all over their social networking sites, especially on Facebook and Twitter.
Second, Netflix’s target market is quite large. Because they are a streaming service, they cater to a huge market, ranging from movie lovers, TV nostalgia buffs, and independent documentary lovers. For example, Netflix maximizes lots of imagery to tease fans for its streaming programing, including its critically acclaimed original series House of Cards. It uses Instagram creatively as it hypes its fans for the next season, due on March 4th.
Third, Netflix also banks of the emotions of possible users to buy its service. Viewers of the late 1980’s/early 90’s ABC sitcom Full House were excited to hear Netflix would reboot the show, under a new title, ironically called Fuller House. Netflix had heavily been promoting clips of the new show on social media outlets, including Facebook, and providing embedded video tweets with its theme song. This only wets the appetite of fans, who have been waiting for nearly 22 years since the original series went off the air to see their favorite cast members back in action.
Overall, Netflix will only continue to grow its B2C base, as it sees itself not only as a global TV network, but as a destination for unique new shows and rebooted nostalgia. Its social network channels will only expand this reach.