George Takei is the best thing on Facebook.
It is true. Go check his page. I am not kidding. He is awesome. There is something about him, about the way he is using his Facebook page. It makes you want to gush about him.
A couple of months ago I realized that one of the funny photos my friend shared on Facebook, was originally posted by George Takei. I did not believe it. Sulu-from-“Star Trek” George Takei? The real one? I went to his page to investigate. It was true. It turned out that the majority of the funny images my friends were sharing were from his page. So, I went ahead and “liked” him.
Now, I am not a fan of “liking” pages on Facebook. I realize that in my business, I should not be saying this, but the vast majority of businesses and fan pages on Facebook are boring (except ours … and our clients’, of course). Besides, I am there to keep up with my friends, so I am very particular about when I will actually click that ‘Like’ button on a fan page.
But George Takei is brilliant. He is the perfect combination of gently political, informative and entertaining. His variety of posts offer something for everyone, whether about sex, religion, technology, science, politics, or pictures cute cats (nudge, nudge, Alexis). When he posts a photo or cartoon, his caption is almost always punny. And there is an ever-present undercurrent of tolerance. He mixes smarts and heart in such a captivating way.
I don’t know that anyone is better at engaging a fan base. When he posts a funny photo or cartoon , it gets thousands of likes in a matter of seconds. Wait a couple of minutes and the comments and shares of his posts reach into the thousands. He so easily earns your trust, that when he posts something political with an action item, he barely has to even make the suggestion and his fan base takes action. His role as an influencer is increasingly undeniable.
It is possible George Takei’s popularity is on the rise because he called an Alabama School Board member a douche bag. It could be one of his appearances on NPR talking about growing up in a Japanese internment camp. His advocacy of civil rights issues is definitely worthy of fandom. And of course, one cannot discount the enormity of the Star Trek fan base.
A couple of months ago, when I first “liked” his page, it had just over 400,000 likes. Eighty-eight percent of his followers were so intrigued by him that they were actively talking about it.
Even more impressive, on January 11, his fans surpassed 500,000. Exactly a month later, on February 11, he got his millionth fan. As I write this blog, he has 1,048,065 fans and 886,267 people talking about him. That is 85% – 85%!
To give a point of reference, Whitney Houston, on the Monday after her passing, had 2,038,390 people who “liked” her on Facebook, and only 41,057 talking about her. That is 2%. Arguably the biggest news in entertainment from over the weekend, and not only are 845,210 fewer people talking about her than those mentioning Takei, but with a fan base twice as big, still only 2% of them felt compelled to mention her on Facebook. I bet all of you know who Whitney Houston is, even if you do not care for her music. But you probably had to think, or maybe did not even know, who the heck George Takei is, or why I would write a blog about the guy who played Sulu on Star Trek.
But I am betting that will change soon. If you don’t know him, or ‘like’ him right now, you will soon.