The Movie “Chef” and Social Media

Note: I wrote this post back in the summer of 2015 on my LinkedIn, seems just as relevant then, as it is now.

Let’s face it. Social Media is one of the most misunderstood advertising platforms that currently exists. It’s so young, and changing so often, that I sometimes wonder how companies can require 8 years of experience on a resume. In two years, someone can know more about what trends are happening, than someone with 8 years experience(Twitter was founded only 9 years ago). Platforms will be popping up yearly, and it requires an individual who can research and be able to learn, establish and provide on a platform as early as possible.

Social Media is a mix between content, timing, and targeting. Researching social media and learning what other companies are doing may serve you better than an 5-hour class. If you really want to learn from experts, they are all around you. They are your kids, your significant other, your friends, yourself! There are hundreds of tricks and tactics to use, but you are generally creating interesting content, focusing that content to a target, and reaching that target by being social with established pages, groups and profiles.

Sorry about all that, the main reason you are reading this article is because I referenced the movie Chef and it’s use of Social Media.

Chef was released in 2014 and stars Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson. Favreau loses his restaurant job, and finds himself starting a food truck to bring his life back on track. He has a son from a past marriage, that helps him establish a Twitter profile, one of the main factors in his early collapse.

It is easy to say something, and have it read in the opposite context, just ask the previous Houston Rockets Social Media Manager. But Favreau’s character, Carl, doesn’t fully understand Twitter, and starts a small “Twitter War” between himself and a food critic. Ultimately, he starts his food truck, and his son becomes his media “manager.” Carl thought he was sending a personal message, when he sent one for the entire Twitter universe to see. A common mistake because my parents are still working on their Facebook skills. It really captures the generation gap that is visible within Social Media; this, from a business and personal perspective.

There are millions of others like me, who engulf ourselves with Social Media as a way to express ourselves, and read others’ expressions. We gain personal satisfaction from likes and shares, the same way a business does. We are all just marketing ourselves, our thoughts and our lifestyles.

The kid can do it better.

The child in Chef follows trends, he knows what to say, and he places content in the right places and times to generate a substantial following for the food truck. What we can take from this, is that there is a generation below us all that knows what is cool, and what is trending. Even the generation below me. They learn from others, and they are easily able to adapt to any platform. For the movie, Twitter and Vine are the most popular platforms used. We need to act like kids, and think like marketers. Knowing what’s hot, and knowing how we can use it.

Social Media takes a mind that can generate content, and be able to adapt to an ever-changing media space that has continuously become shorter and shorter; where the content that you display has a mere 10-second window to be obtained, comprehended and acted upon. Someone needs to know how the platform works, so that our character could send a private message, instead of causing controversy in his own life.

To come back to the movie, it really emphasizes the social barrier that lies between generations. The understanding that simplicity of content can gather crowds more than many over-analyzed campaigns. Your personality on Social Media is a direct reflection to your organization, and will tug at your target audience because they will feel what you post. They will admire your gains, and criticize your mistakes (and they will remember them too, and screenshot them, and share them). However, the movie really shows what amazing things Social Media can, and currently does. To put faces to an organization, create a following, and make each and every follower feel as if they are a part of something greater.

Watching this movie, I couldn’t take my mind off of the reality that was being acted out, as it pertains to Social Media. It is an art within itself, and takes a skilled marketer that has energy, patience and a strategic mindset to put 100% in each platform.

Trends will come and go, but as long as there is the internet, Social Media will never die. For a movie on Netflix, it is completely worth the watch.

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