Netflix: work SMARTer, not harder

Taylor Lawrence
3 min readMar 15, 2021
Courtesy: Netflix

In 2020, Netflix entertained more than 200 million subscribers worldwide by allowing users to stream their choice of 3,781 movies and 1,940 TV shows including tons of Netflix Original content. This is a big jump from the original mail-order movie rental model that Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph started back in 1997.

The company reported a marketing budget of $2.65 billion in 2019, a year before the global pandemic that forced millions to shelter-in-place with nothing but the internet for entertainment. But how can a company with that much money to monitor be sure that they are spending responsibly?

Courtesy: Klipfolio

By setting SMART goals and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, & Timely, and they are evaluated through KPIs, which are metrics and calculations that can help determine whether a goal is being met.

If you were in charge of measuring the success of Netflix’s social media campaigns, you could tell your boss that you are going to change Netflix’s social media following forever! Which sounds really cool, but how are you going to prove that you did it?

What if instead, you said you wanted to increase the conversion rate on ads promoting subscription signups by 20% in the second quarter? By adjusting your goal to focus on the conversion KPI you’re being specific. A 20% increase in subscription signups is measurable. Tracking your success during the second quarter of the year is timely. And now your goal is attainable and realistic and you sound less like an idealistic cartoon character and more like a Social Media Manager.

Determining which KPIs to monitor is best achieved once you understand the company’s objectives and priorities.

Courtesy: Netflix Futures YouTube

Netflix is clear and concise in both their Mission and Vision Statements.

Netflix’s Mission is “to entertain the world” and their Vision is “to continue being one of the leading firms of the internet entertainment era.”

Keeping both of these in mind when setting SMART goals for a social media strategy helps ensure that any plan of action meets the overall goals of the company and stays loyal to the Netflix brand and ideals.

An important KPI for Netflix to track may be their Social Share of Voice (SSoV), or how many people are talking about them versus their competitors. With a stated goal of being a leading firm of internet entertainment, they are probably pretty interested to know whether they are the most talked about streaming platform on social media.

A SMART goal for this KPI may be to increase their SSoV by 5% during the length of their next social campaign. A campaign to get people talking could be anything that piques interest: an announcement, a promotion, a special release, etc. To evaluate whether they met said goal, they would need to measure their SSoV at the beginning of the campaign, at benchmark times throughout, and at the close of the campaign.

As previously stated, Netflix’s mission is to entertain the world. One KPI related to that could be a post’s Virality Rate (the number of shares relative to the number of impressions). This SMART goal would likely revolve around tracking the Virality Rate of a set number of posts over a set time period to see what kind of content performs the best.

When combined, KPIs and SMART goals are a great way to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) of various campaigns, whether a company is really putting its money behind the right metrics, and where there is room for improvement.

Social media is ever-changing, as are social media strategies. The only way to stay on top is to constantly evaluate, re-evaluate, compare, and adjust metrics and methods until you find what works for your company.



Taylor Lawrence

Social Media Manager, Graphic Designer, Small Business Owner