How does a former Star Trek actor and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here contestant become the king of internet? Sitting on over 3 million fans on Facebook and 300,000 Twitter followers, George Takei may have earned his fame on the original series of Star Trek as Mr Sulu alongside Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mister Spock (Leonard Nimoy), but since setting up a Facebook page in March 2011, he has transformed himself into one of the funniest people on the internet and the most influential man on the internet. How does a 75 year old man become one of the internets most loved? Read my guide to how George Takei conquered the internet.
He’s mastered the meme
Cute cat pictures, science fiction tropes and funny videos, George Takei knows how the internet works and knows what his audience is. If it’s trending then Takei will probably have something on it.
He’s an internet meme in himself
As a former Star Trek actor, George Takei already has some serious geek cred and a hard-core following. Famed for his unique voice and distinctive “Oh My!” expression when surprised (it’s text message ringtone worthy it’s so distinctive), Takei frequently partakes in internet crazes himself. When 50 Shades of Grey was flying off shelves, did a hilarious dramatic reading of it. If he’s not finding something that’s trending, then Takei is trending himself.
He has a social conscience, but isn’t preachy about it
Openly gay, Takei is a big LGBT rights campaigner with strong involvement in the gay rights movement (his It’s Ok to be Takei initiative, is one example) and Asian American groups (he is on the board of the Japanese American National Museum). Takei chooses to combat bigotry with humour and will often share his ideals of equality, diversity and social inclusion through jokes. A recent photo he shared, showing that all parental set-ups are the same was ended with the punchline “apart from Batman”.
He engages with his audience
Interaction between the celebrities with large social networking fanbases and their fans can often be quite poor. Big names either never talk to their fans or simply use Twitter and Facebook to plug their products. George Takei talks to his fans on their level; sharing funny photos sent to him by fans and crediting them, giving his opinion on topics raised and even apologising if a grammar troll corrects him. It’s no wonder his post often receive 50,000 likes and 30,000 shares –spend a prolonged period on Facebook and Takei will pop up into your feed. He’s King of the Internet and we all love him. Keep on blogging Takei.