Become social…or risk becoming irrelavant

5 Nov
The Social Network

Netflix changes social strategy

This is the message from Facebook founder and social scion, Mark Zuckerberg.  It seems that Netflix, the company that is always a little paranoid about the future, has decided that it isn’t social enough.  As described in a recent Fast Company piece, Netflix has pulled the plug on its Netflix Community.  Apparently, the community concept is so 2004 and the concept of a social community has evolved quite significantly thanks to our friends at Facebook.  The real issue for Netflix is the need to embed social community building into its offering and not simply make it an awkward add-on to the movie service.  It says a lot about the kind of company Netflix is, as well as the kind of company it wants to be in the future.  Netflix is smart to understand that customers want to share and to connect, but they want to do so in a natural way that in consistent with the product experience.  What this means for Netflix is not clear, they are not yet showing the offering, calling it “nascent”.  But, that is OK.  Admitting that you have a problem is the first step.

What this means for all business is that simply checking the box of having a Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts is not sufficient if you want to truly reap the significant benefits that a strong social community can bring.  Every business should have a deep review and develop an  idea of what it means to be social for your business.  What does community really mean?  I have seen successful B2B and B2C social offerings across many industries…some you would never believe could be social.   What differentiates the good from the bad is the clear research and iterative revisions that make a vibrant social community.  Don’t put your head in the sand.  Act like a Netflix and admit you have a problem.  It will be your first step to NOT becoming irrelevant.

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