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@Qwikster: The Netflix social media fail

Neglecting the social media presence for its new brand, Netflix represented by stoned Elmo

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
September 19, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1f20

Say what you want about Netflix hiking its prices by 60 percent and say what you will about having a separate site just for DVD rentals, but at least the company got their social media strategy right.

Oh. Wait.

That’s right. One “Jason Castillo,” who represents himself with an avatar featuring Elmo smoking a joint, has been tweeting from the @Qwikster Twitter account since late April.

Qwikster, as you may have read this morning, is a soon-to-launch Netflix Web property just announced Monday as the go-to destination for DVD rentals, separate from the company’s streaming service. The site was created by CEO Reed Hastings in response to pressure from Wall St: stock in Netflix was in a freefall after the company cut its subscriber forecast by one million.

Unfortunately, the team behind the Qwikster launch apparently wasn’t very social media savvy. It’s usually a good idea to own the accounts on Facebook and Twitter for your brand... before you launch the brand.

Jason isn’t a frequent Twitter, but the posts he has managed to get online are pretty entertaining:

“Son bitch need to stop trying to be big lik forreal forreal”

“Damn so manny cute ass gurl”

Brilliant. But not exactly the image Netflix had in mind for its new DVD program.

There’s still no word from the company on how they plan to address this social media faux pas, but the truth is that it’s probably not really a priority. Though shares in the company were on the rise earlier this morning, just after Hastings announced Qwikster, they’ve sunk yet again to $151.79 (down $3.40 or 2.19 percent).

Less than a week ago, Netflix stock had nearly peaked at $185 per share.


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