“Warp drive, Captain!”
If you haven’t been following him on Facebook or Twitter, these are the words that most people remember George Takei by, as Mr. Sulu, the swashbuckling pilot on the original “Star Trek” series in the 1960s.
In recent years, Takei has taken on new significance. First, he has become a trailblazer in the homosexual community, becoming one of the first to marry his longtime lover (Brad) in the state of California during that short window when gay marriage was allowed. More recently, George built a new fanbase when he appeared on the “Celebrity Apprentice” this spring. His elegance and gentlemanly manners set him apart from the usual contingent of foul-mouthed celebs (or semi-celebs) who populate the show. He quickly became a fan favorite. When Donald Trump fired George early on, fans (new and old) were very sad to see him go.
George Takei, Social Media Maven
But George has distinguished him once again in a way nearer and dearer to my heart. He is, no questions asked, a social media maven. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told to follow him on Facebook, saying, “for an old guy, he REALLY gets social media.” As a caveat, I don’t really think of George as old, but considering that he is probably a contemporary (age-wise) of my parents, he is certainly more savvy than most people of a certain generation… you know who I’m talking about, those who see social media as an evil that will take away all your privacy.
Nope, George isn’t bothered by any of that. He is an open book, and uses his social media presence to boost his celebrity by connecting with fans. His most recent post on Facebook (see below) looks like this:
The stats on this post are astonishing: 58,000 Likes, 29,000 Shares, and 1,600 comments. What makes this even more incredible is that this is not even unusual for George Takei. Many, if not most of his posts have stats like this. George has 2.1 million Facebook fans, he loves them all, and clearly they love him back.
Learn from the Master
So what can we learn from what George does so well to help in our social media campaigns?
(1) Visual is king. Much of what George posts are visual images… in fact, I can’t remember the last time he just posted a link, a video or even a quote. People like visual images (which explains why Pinterest is so hot), so that’s what you should be posting.
(2) Humor is queen. I’d say about 90% of what George posts is funny (or is intended to be funny). Occasionally, he’ll post something that I completely don’t get, but clearly others do when I see the stats on them. People love to interact with posts that are funny. By the way, it’s not just the images that are funny… it’s also his clever comments that go along with them.
(3) Be passionate about what you post. What George posts that is NOT funny usually is political, and is (much of the time) about gay rights. Even if you don’t agree with what he stands for, it’s obvious that he cares very much about what he’s posting, and he just puts it out there whether it’s politically correct or not. While I think that is a personal choice, people respond well to passion.
(4) Post often. I see George’s postings several times a day (and at least several times a day, I see “XYZ friend has liked George Takei’s photo” in my ticker). The guy is prolific and I have no idea how or where he finds the time to post all the time, but he is truly committed to social media and he is a master of the art.
(5) Share posts you like, and give credit where it’s due. George admits “Sent to me by a fan” all the time. People like that. And can you image how honored you would be if George posted something you sent him?
I’m constantly amazed at what George Takei has accomplished on Facebook, but by following some of these steps, perhaps you can achieve some of this success as well.