Actor and gay rights advocate George Takei recently spoke at the National Press Club luncheon on LGBT issues. Among the topics covered in his speech “Embracing Change,” he spoke about his rise on social media and how he utilized the medium to promote his upcoming Broadway musical, Allegiance, to raise awareness on Japanese American internment during World War II.
His ever-growing Facebook Page currently has 4.8 million likes, and over 2.4 million people "Talking About" content posted on his page. His engagement with his fans is the result of a simple, yet tailored strategy, which he describes in his speech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTznghY_FeoFor Takei, his initial audience was a group of loyal "sci-fi geeks and nerds," who "liked" him because of his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek.
Also an outspoken LGBT rights activist, Takei knew he had a strong base of fans who supported him for his work in activism, a group he started tapping into after he set up his foundation on social media.
This might seem counterproductive if the issue you are trying to raise awareness for is a serious one, but there's no better way to reel your audience in than by making them laugh:Exhibit A:
To appeal to his audience of "sci-fi geeks and nerds," Takei explains, he would say "funny things about sci-fi and science itself and then occasionally throw some serious tidbits in."
Because he had already developed a loyal and engaged audience on Facebook, who "shared" and "liked" his funny posts, he could use that momentum to share meaningful information on Japanese internment, a strategy that proved successful for Takei.
"What I've learned is that there are a lot of people out there that you can reach via social media and the best honey to catch those flies with is humor. Something funny will also grab them," Takei concluded with.
Need more proof? Check out his Facebook Page.