12 Must-Watch Documentaries on Social Media's Impact

Discover the transformative power of social media through 12 insightful documentaries. Explore its impact on politics, business, and personal lives.

Jenn Pereira
December 11, 2023
social media documentary

Have you ever wondered how social media impacts our world? It is not just about posting photos or updates, it's reshaping the way we communicate, do business, and even perceive reality.

As an experienced digital marketer for 14 years, I have witnessed this transformation firsthand and have insights to share that will leave you stunned.

I have a carefully selected list of 12 video documentaries that explore different aspects of the social media revolution. These videos delve into its influence on politics, social change, business, and personal relationships, offering a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics involved.

So, are you ready to dive deep into the world of social media marketing? Let's embark on this journey together.

Documentaries Every Social Media Marketer Should Watch

1. The Social Dilemma (Netflix)

This hard-hitting documentary exposes the potentially devastating human impact of social networking, with industry insiders warning about the very platforms they helped to create.

Lesson 1: The intricate algorithms behind social media platforms are designed to keep users engaged for extended periods, potentially leading to addiction.

Lesson 2: The extensive data collection by these platforms raises alarming questions about privacy and the potential misuse of personal information.

2. The Story of Content (YouTube)

Engage in stimulating conversations with leaders of the social media and content marketing sectors, shedding light on how digital transformation has created a multitude of creative opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.

Lesson 1: The documentary highlights the importance of content as an integral part of any successful digital marketing strategy.

Lesson 2: It offers insights into how storytelling and providing value to customers can boost brand reputation and customer loyalty.

3. Generation Like (Watch on PBS)

Discover how young people interact with social media and how companies exploit their digital behavior for marketing, offering a peek into the intersection of social media and consumer culture.

Lesson 1: The film explores the broad impact of social media on the self-identity and self-worth of the younger generation.

Lesson 2: It reveals how brands cleverly use these platforms to create a unique form of interactive and participatory advertising.

By understanding how young people engage with social media and how companies utilize their digital behavior for marketing, you can strategically position your small business in consumer culture. This offers a unique opportunity to make an impact.

4. Influencers (Watch on Vimeo)

This short documentary explores the concept of influence and how it shapes contemporary trends in music, fashion, and entertainment.

Lesson 1: It provides an understanding of how influencers shape trends and change consumer behavior.

Lesson 2: The film shows how influence can be leveraged to achieve business and marketing objectives.

5. Us Now (Watch on Vimeo)

Citizens are demanding change to avoid social unrest, and creatives are bypassing traditional approval, using social media and crowdsourcing to redefine political representation.

Lesson 1: Social media can be a powerful tool for political mobilization and change.

Lesson 2: The documentary highlights the role of technological innovation in shaping community-driven governance.

6. Rise of The Superstar Vloggers (Watch on Youtube)

This captivating documentary delves into the world of superstar vloggers, charting their meteoric rise on platforms like YouTube and Snapchat.

Lesson 1: The documentary offers insights into the strategies and philosophies of successful vloggers, providing valuable lessons for aspiring content creators.

Lesson 2: It emphasizes the power and reach of user-generated content in today's digital age, illustrating the shift in media consumption patterns.

7. New Kings: The Power of Online Influencers (Watch on Youtube)

"New Kings" is a thought-provoking documentary that delves deep into the world of online influencers.

Lesson 1: The film explores the magnitude of influence that digital content creators wield and how it can be strategically harnessed for social and commercial benefits.

Lesson 2: It provides a peek into the future of digital communication, highlighting the importance of authentic and interactive content.

8. Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Watch on Netflix)

Delve into the captivating world of influencer marketing and explore its darker side in this enthralling documentary.

Lesson 1: This documentary serves as a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of unchecked ambition in influencer marketing.

Lesson 2: It sheds light on the role of transparency and accountability in maintaining trust within the digital community.

Marketing, when lacking transparency and integrity, can lead to disastrous consequences. This was evident in "Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened," which had severe repercussions for businesses, individuals, and the entire ecosystem involved.

9. Great Hack (Watch on Netflix)

This documentary takes a deep dive into the controversial use of personal data during the 2016 US elections and its significant influence on the results.

Lesson 1: The film exposes the potential misuse of data, emphasizing the importance of ethical data practices.

Lesson 2: It highlights the impactful role data-driven strategies can play in shaping public narrative and opinion.

10. Social Media Marketing: The Movie (Watch on Youtube)

This film provides a comprehensive snapshot of social media marketing.

Lesson 1: The documentary provides a range of perspectives on social media marketing, offering a wealth of knowledge and practical advice.

Lesson 2: It underscores the importance of staying updated with industry trends and adapting your strategies accordingly.

11. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Watch on Amazon Prime Video)

The documentary, with its captivating visual appeal, traces the life of Jiro Ono, an octogenarian sushi maestro who runs a Michelin three-star eatery in Tokyo.

Lesson 1: The film showcases the beauty and dedication that goes into creating the perfect dish, highlighting the importance of passion and attention to detail in any craft. 

Lesson 2: It showcases the power of personal brand building and how a compelling narrative can captivate audiences.

12. The American Meme (Watch on Netflix)

This documentary explores the phenomenon of social media influencers and the impact they have on society.

Lesson 1: The film delves into the world of social media fame, revealing the pressures and challenges that come with it.

Lesson 2: It sheds light on the importance of authenticity and staying true to oneself in a world where image is everything. It also reminds us to consider the potential consequences.

Watching social media and digital marketing documentaries provides valuable insights into personal growth and small-scale business ventures. These films can inspire innovative strategies to elevate your own entrepreneurial journey.

Bonus: Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (Watch on Netflix)

This documentary provides an insightful look into the world of personal development and motivational speaking. Although it may not focus entirely on social media, its central themes of effective communication and persuasion are of great importance to marketers.

Lesson 1: The documentary places emphasis on the power of persuasive communication and its ability to influence behavior. This is an essential lesson for marketers who need to effectively communicate their brand's message and convince customers to take action.

Lesson 2: The film highlights the significance of personal branding and the power of authenticity in building a loyal audience. This lesson is crucial for marketers in understanding the need to create a genuine brand image that consumers can connect with.

Your Turn...

These documentaries offer valuable insights for digital marketers looking to enhance their social media strategies and connect better with their audience. They emphasize the importance of personal branding, effective content and communication, and creativity in crafting captivating marketing campaigns. They remind us that successful campaigns are built on well-crafted stories and strong brand identities.

Take the time to watch these documentaries and gain the insights you need to elevate your social media marketing efforts. Keep learning, stay creative, and remember the power of persuasive communication in marketing. Don't underestimate it. Continuously refine your skills to create impactful campaigns that leave a lasting impression. Seek new ways to implement creativity and innovation, as they are key to standing out in the crowded digital landscape.

Let's consider this: Can using these strategies responsibly help us harness the power of social media for business without succumbing to its addictive nature? As marketers, can we start a trend that encourages responsible social media use while still leveraging its vast business potential?

Looking to boost your online business presence on social media? Subscribe to our blog newsletter or reach out to us directly for expert advice and support. We're here to empower your small business success! 👇👇👇

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About the author :

Jenn Pereira, Growth Marketing Lead at designstripe, has 14 years of digital marketing experience and a proven track record of driving website traffic from 0 to over a million monthly visits. Her impressive portfolio of Growth Hack Case Studies demonstrates a systematic approach to achieving goals through creative & innovative ideas, strategic planning, and focused execution.

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