Education Public Relation

Lessons Learned from Netflix

By September 22, 2011February 8th, 2019No Comments

netflix_logoAll companies, whether they are active in social media or not, should secure the online names that could be used to protect or promote their brand. Unfortunately for Netflix, the company is learning this lesson the hard way. As many of you know, Netflix recently announced the separation of its online streaming and mail-order DVD services. This week, CEO Reed Hastings shared in a blog post that the DVD service will now be known as Qwikster – a name chosen because it “refers to quick delivery.”

But Netflix seems to have forgotten to secure the Twitter address of its new service. A guy whose name is listed as Jason Castillo has been tweeting from @Qwikster for months. And get this – his profile picture is a cartoon Elmo smoking a joint, and his tweets are filled with foul language and drug references. As said best by The Washington Post, “Hardly the first brand association that a company would like to make, and a major failure on the PR front.” Yikes.

qwiksterTechCrunch was the first to discover this PR blunder, observing that “The first thing many tech pundits do upon hearing industry news is check a prominent brand’s Twitter account to see if it’s active and on message. @Qwikster, obviously, is not representing Netflix at its finest at this point in time.” In addition, as of today, Netflix still does not have an official Web site for Qwikster, just a holding page that promises it will be “launching soon.” As a result, an opinion writer for Mashable called Qwikster the worst product launch since New Coke.

What’s the key takeaway? A company that secures the online usernames containing its brand names, as well as their most common permutations and acronyms, can control its image on social media channels when it interacts with customers, prospects, media and other key influencers. Company ownership of these social media handles also prevents unauthorized spokespeople from sharing harmful content and damaging your brand reputation.

If you haven’t already, spend five minutes today securing the social media handles for your company to avoid a “Netflix disaster” of your own. I recommend the use of an online tool that checks username availability to make the process super easy. There are two in particular that come to mind, KnowEm and NameChk. Both allow you to check for the use of your brand, product or username on hundreds of popular and emerging social media networks.