Brand Lessons from the Viral Netflix Twitter Thread

This last weekend, Netflix posed a slightly NSFW question to other brands: “what’s something you can say during sex but also when you manage a brand twitter account?”

Although the brand didn’t create “Netflix and chill,” they’ve certainly embraced it. Other brands were quick to hop in bed with Netflix on this one, and the results are memorable.

So, without further ado, we’d like to share a few of our favorites. Then, we’ll wrap it up and finish.

With some social media branding lessons for your credit union, that is.

Beware: Suggestive Content Below

Let’s be honest for a quick second. There’s very little of substance here for most credit union employees. But it will make for a very exciting and pleasurable time waster.

But for credit union social media account managers, this definitely counts as professional development research.

“What’s something you can say during sex but also when you manage a brand Twitter account?”

 

So, now I’m wondering what a “Mandalorian” is. I thought I knew. And while most intimate moments don’t call for more players—or such an audience—many more brands jumped in.

 

You can tell that the brand managers are really having fun with this. And you can also see that their followers are enjoying it too. We’re seeing tens of thousands of likes and a healthy number of retweets, too.

And, while likes and retweets aren’t the best indicators of brand engagement, they’re certainly better than crickets.

Some of the entries were very explicit:

 

Others played it a bit safer, allowing people’s imaginations to do some of the heavy lifting. If you look hard enough, there’s a double entendre in many brand slogans already.

 

Even some more serious and family-friendly brands got in the mix. Although, we agree with Adele that there may be some boundaries being crossed here…

 

And of course, did it work? Well, some brands got the kind of immediate reaction they might have only dreamed of before publishing. It’s hard to measure ROI on responses, but these have to be worth something:

 

Okay, so what’s the big idea?

Don’t worry—there’s more to this piece than a mere celebration of “that’s what she said” humor. There are some lessons to take from Netflix’s viral Twitter thread.

And these lessons can (and should) be applied loosely to credit union social media strategy.

 

Lessons from Netflix’s Social Media Game

So, what can we learn from Netflix’s Twitter thread?

Well, not too many. But there’s enough that credit unions should still pay attention.

1.    Have fun with it

Social media is not a good sales platform for financial institutions. And, with revised algorithms that limit your organic audience, it’s barely even a good place to advertise. (At least, not without paying.)

So, what gets traction?

Witticisms. Personal stories. Irreverence. Trenchant observations.

For people to pay attention to you, you have to be worth paying attention to. And if you approach social media like a chore, it will be a chore to read. If you have fun with it, so will your audience.

To get better engagement and brand awareness, you have to make your brand fun and accessible.

2.    Invite participation

Netflix’s question merely created an arena for Twitter account managers to showcase both their brand and their humor. The thread’s success was entirely a result of their followers’ humor.

If your credit union wants more social media success, consider inviting your members to participate in a low-stakes atmosphere. No polls. No open-ended questions. Just an invitation to keep a joke going (or something to that effect).

3.    Don’t be crass

Wait, what? After all those NSFW innuendos, we’re recommending not going there?

But no, you shouldn’t go there. Your credit union isn’t trying to sell alcohol or lifestyle goods—it needs to be trustworthy. People come to you for financial advice, not for fart jokes.

You don’t need to undermine that trust with blue humor.

4.    Don’t “be” your brand

As a social media or marketing professional, you understand the importance of building a brand. You can’t do something that would violate your brand’s identity or image.

But you also know that brands are basically just built by people following a general rulebook. Your social media can be a reflection of those people as much as that rulebook. And it should be.

Not only that, but so long as you follow your brand guidelines, the world is your oyster. You can even reinforce your brand—or breathe new life into it—by pushing the boundaries just a bit. The dissonance between expected brand behavior and actual brand behavior can remind people what exactly your brand stands for just as well as strict brand adherence.

So, don’t “be” your brand. Don’t embody it. Rather, represent it…

Through your own words.

 

Final Thoughts

Credit unions can learn a lot from the Netflix viral Twitter thread. But above all, the gist is this:

It’s getting harder and harder to distinguish oneself from the competition in the world of social media. People scroll very fast. You don’t have long to get anyone’s attention. One of the best ways to get it (and keep it) is by acting more like a human—and less like a brand.

Brand and social media management can take a lot of work. Finding the right content, scheduling posts, and responding to members requires a lot of organization and manual posting time.

Marketing automation can help with some of that (plus a whole lot more).

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