Netflix 'culture' guidelines get two thumbs up

In this era of social media, companies have made headlines (for better or worse) by way of their social media policies. With respect to this trend, I say Netflix should take Best in Show.

Netflix has posted its entire quasi-employee handbook titled, "Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture." It promotes everything you'd want to read in an employee handbook - freedom, flexibility and fun. Even if this was published as a marketing ploy, it's a darn good one.

Most impressive is Netflix's vacation policy. According to the middle pages of the vast document, there is no vacation limit for Netflix employees.






Wow, I know.

You may be asking, "What does this have to do with social media?"


Social media is about conversation. Most companies worry about maintaining social media channels and branding more than they do contributing quality content to the conversation. Here, Netflix has set itself up to be a conversation piece for social media enthusiasts. Search Netflix on Twitter and you can see that the publishing the guidelines have worked.

Intel gave Netflix some good competition last week by embracing transparency and sharing its social media guidelines publicly (See Intel social media guidelines.) Best Buy, too, started from the foundation and crowdsourced the requirements for its new Sr. Manager, Emerging Media Markets position, which spread like wild fire across Twitter. (Full disclosure: I used to work at Best Buy in college. I can alphabetize DVDs like a mofo.)

On the losing end, ESPN dug its own digital grave this week by telling employees they can only Tweet if it serves ESPN. (See Ric Bucher's Tweet and the Mashable article.) Da-da-da. Da-da-dumb.

Netflix is a clear winner because it managed to create so much buzz with (what appears to be) so little effort, simply by telling people want they want to hear. Leave it to the direct-to-you movie service to make an indirect social media move.

Netflix has created advocates through this simple effort and let them do the talking. That's a best social media practice that I give two thumbs up.