As a social media manager, you lead a busy life. Your brain is probably fried and needs a time-out. In order to both entertain but also educate, here is our fun roundup of movies every social media manager should watch in their downtime. Most of the suggestions can be found on Netflix.
Here are 7 movies and 1 TV series every social media manager should watch
Starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the 2010 film loosely outlines the events surrounding the creation of Facebook and subsequent rise of the social network. While arguably not a 100 percent accurate, the film does does grant the audience insight on the beginning of a company that changes the way we connect with each other.
If not for the historical lesson of where Facebook came from, watch this film to see our favorite N’sync lead singer, Justin Timberlake play Napster founder Sean Parker.
A Tom Cruise classic from 1996, Jerry Maguire had us at ‘hello.’ If you haven’t gone down this rabbit hole before, here is why as a social media manager it’s worth a watch. Jerry Maguire is a successful agent with a major sports management firm. In a moment of truth, he has a crisis of conscience, and it dawns on Jerry that his firm needs to start thinking more about the long-term welfare of their clients and less about immediate profits.
Taking the leap to the world of social media, the moral of this movie translates into providing value to your audience before asking for the sell—meaning caring for and providing valuable content is what matters most. Instead of just selling your product, think about building long-term and valuable relationships with your audience.
On a more sombre and realistic note, The Square is a deeply urgent and emotional human chronicle of the Egyptian protest movement from the 2011 overthrow of military leader Hosni Mubarak through the ousting of Mohammed Morsi in 2013. It is a story of young people struggling to topple two regimes in order to build a democratic society.
Why we hold this film closely is that for us at Hootsuite, we believe social media can be a truly revolutionary form of communication that can change society. Hootsuite became a critical organizational tool in the movement.
As Ryan Holmes writes in his article, Why Social Media is (Really) Revolutionary: Looking Back At Egypt:
“The mass demonstrations that precipitated Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power were organized on Facebook groups. Demonstrators got the word out on Twitter, encouraging followers to hit the streets at predetermined times and locations. Eventually the government caught on, blocking access to Facebook and Twitter on Jan. 24, 2011, just as the crucial Day of Anger protest was building. But the censors forgot about HootSuite.
Our tech team began noticing a huge spike in sign-ups from Egypt that same day, as Egyptian users tapped HootSuite to circumvent the government ban on accessing Facebook and Twitter directly. We saw people using our dashboard to organize protests, share curfew info, reach outside media and monitor the status of family and friends. “
In effort to lighten the mood, our next pick is The Internship, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. They play salesmen whose careers have been made obsolete as a result of the encroaching digital world and the emerging field of social media marketing. Trying to prove that they can adapt to the online world, they somehow find themselves taking an internship at Google. From their first experience with Google Hangouts to similarly hilarious scenes, this film is a perfect example of the learning gap between social media savants and those who are just picking it up.
If you were to take anything from this film, it would be to answer this question: if you were shrunken down to the size of nickel and dropped into the bottom of a blender, what do you do?
Continuing down the comedic trail, our next pick is Chef. Starring Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman and Scar Jo (among others), this film follows a chef who loses his job as a result of refusing to compromise his creative integrity. He then starts a food truck and rides off into the sunset.
While this story is visually inspiring, we chose it because of what it teaches us about social media. There are both lessons on why you should avoid getting into a Twitter war with your critics as well as ways to successfully market your small business through posting rich content like videos and pictures that tell some sort of story.
Birdman is a drama starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis.The film follows Riggan, a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero (Birdman), as he sets out to reclaim his past fame in a new broadway play. His daughter, in a frustrated outburst, lays into Riggan expressing that the reason he is not relevant anymore is because he has outwardly and resentfully been opposed to the world of social media. The moral of the story here? If you want your business, project, or whatever it is you are working on to gain momentum, you have to be active on social. Not having an online presence is not an option anymore.
“You are doing this because you want to feel relevant again. Well guess what? There is an entire world out there where people fight to be relevant every single day and you act like it doesn’t exist. This are happening in a place that you ignore, a place that, by the way, has already forgotten about you. I mean, who the f*** are you? You hate bloggers. You mock Twitter. You don’t even have a Facebook page. You’re the one who doesn’t exist. “
This film is not available on Netflix.
Though not a feature film, this HBO series is a satire of the start-up world. For a social media manager, watching this sitcom will ensure that you are somewhat self-reflective in your social media practices. Hopefully after watching you’ll think of more creative ways to describe things like “growth hacking,” “disrupting,” or “being a ninja.”
Silicon Valley follows a hilarious and awkward group of engineers living together at a start-up incubator in the Bay Area. When the main character, Richard, develops a powerful search algorithm, he finds himself caught in the middle of a bidding war between a deep-pocketed venture capitalist and a maniacal tech boss.
This show is not available on Netflix
A cinematographic masterpiece by Spike Jonze, Her is set in the not-too-distant but distinctly stylized future of Los Angeles. Extending just a bit further then where we stand now, we follow a heartbroken Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), as he becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He subsequently falls in love with the artificial intelligence-based operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
Other than the film’s intention of being an commentary on what happens when technology intersects with human connection, the most relevant takeaway from this film has to do with Theodore’s career. In the world Jonze has crafted, people pay professionals (like Theodore) to craft handwritten personal letters for other people. Paying someone to simulate affection is the equivalent of not caring about the content/product that your company produces. For social media managers and anyone for that matter, Her teaches us that genuine feelings can’t be faked and that in order for content to resonate, it has to come from a place where you actually care about what you are pushing.
This film is not available on Netflix