Everything I Needed To Know About Social Media I Learned From Star Trek

Everything I Needed To Know About Social Media I Learned From Star Trek

I am a Trekkie! Literally watched every single episode of Star Trek in every series, plus the movies as well. From the time that I first heard James T. Kirk utter those famous words I was hooked. After 25 plus years of Star Trek fanaticism I have come to an important conclusion.

If you do nothing else in your life, but base your business decisions on those famous lines, business would be off the charts awesome!

Star Trek mantra

Think about the original mantra from James T. Kirk. While it has been changed often over the years, the message remains the same.

Space, the final frontier. 

These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its continuing 5 year mission is to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilization.

To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Yowzer, that is awesome!

How to be a Social Media Trekkie

Have you ever noticed how most intelligent business owners look at social media as if it were from outer space? Watching them writhe at the edge of their seat in discomfort over words like Facebook and Twitter makes you think there is a Tribble outbreak or they were transported into the vacuum of space.

That does not need to be the case.

Once you are done, you will gladly don the four pips of Picard, Kirk, Janeway, Archer, and Sisko. Note: Four pips is a reference to the captain rank. Oh captain, my captain!

Voyages of discovery start with “action”

First, consider the idea of the voyages of the starship Enterprise. No one ever talks about the lurking Enterprise. In fact, the poorest rated show out of the bunch was Deep Space 9. I guess no one wants to watch a space drama where people do not move around that much.

However, throw Janeway in the Delta quadrant, and you have a runaway winner. Maybe it was the fact that she boldly declared that even though they were 70,000 light years away from home, they would never forget their Federation principles (More on the federation principles later). Then she told Tom Parris Warp 6, let’s go home.

Wow! Your entire life got turned upside down thanks to the Caretaker and your main concern is taking bold action to get your crew safely home.

Taking action, and deciding upon doing something with your business on social media fires your passion. It is this “action” that allows you to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Pioneers in business are so called, because they took action before everyone else.

Missions are your plan of action

Do you think that Captain Kirk or Picard would just aimlessly wander space until they found weird aliens that would always be eliminated in 60 minutes or less? Heck no! Kirk had a 5 year mission to explore strange new worlds. But of course, you must be saying. That is why he had more first contacts than any other star ship commander in history. It was his job. No scratch that! It was his mission in life for 5 years.

Can you imagine a Vulcan like Spock hanging around in the Federation if they did not have a plan of action? Of course not, that would not be logical.

You need to have a little bit of green blood in you, so you can sit down and work out what strategies and tactics will work best for your business.

Research the different social networks. Ask your current clients and prospects what social networks they frequent most. Then determine the best course of action for your business.

Seek out new connections, fans, and followers

If your business only flies on impulse, then you will never meet anyone. You need to go to at least Warp speed in order to reach out to people. Warp technology is the sign that a civilization is ready to connect with other species. Otherwise, the prime directive is to leave a culture alone and allow them to grow at their own pace.

Most cultures in Star Trek have a policy similar to the United Federation of Planet’s Prime Directive. The Prime Directive is the directive that no interaction be made with pre-warp civilizations first. While I want to modify this a bit for our discussion, it plays a very important role here.

Most people are afraid to reach out. They have their own Prime Directive, which keeps them in their comfort zone. That is why it is so important for you to be proactive in reaching out to connections, fans, and followers.

If you do not take the first step, then you should not expect prospects to magically appear at your doorstep. I am come on! This is not Harry Potter or something like that. Ooh! That sounds like a great article for another day.

However, with warp civilizations, you can take the initiative, just like Jonathan Archer did when he helped form the coalition of the United Federation of Planets between Humans, Vulcans, Andorrians, and Tellarites. He took the first step in a move that would align these various groups together into a harmonious whole.

Boldly differentiate yourself from your competitors.

I am pretty sure, Star Trek would never have created a cult audience if they only explored the Wisconsin Dells. No offense to the Dells, but people want to be inspired about the future. To do that you have to boldly go where no man has gone before.

This idea captures your imagination.

Well, then imagine how bored your prospects will be when you rehash the same old ideas in the same way everyone else did. Give it a little bit of pizazz!

This article is a perfect example. If I wrote the 5 steps to improve your social media today you probably never would have opened this article.

Instead, I am telling you how everything I learned about social media came from Star Trek. What other nerd could possibly do that?

Even Captain Kirk had Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu

Social media is a team sport. If you go into thinking what is in it for me, then you will never be able to create the dynamic, engaging business you need to succeed online.

Social media is about team building. That means your own internal team to help you produce content and engage with fans, followers, and connection, along with partners who can spread your message across the social media universe.

To do this successfully, you must cultivate these relationships like you do with new prospective clients. It also means, you need to spend as much time on social media sharing other people’s information as your own.

While I will admit that it is not always possible, do your best to help others. The more value you bring to the relationship, the more you can get back in return.

Live long and prosper

As with all strategies on the web, when you continually apply yourself to improving not only your situation, but those around you magical things happen. That is why whatever you do, you need to be prepared for the long haul if you want to prosper from social media.

Otherwise, you are like a Harry Kim hopped up on speed hoping and wishing for a worm hole back to the Alpha Quadrant. Generally does not happen! That is, unless you have a time travelling captain with access to a Borg transwarp hub. Alas, we must travel back to reality.

So, create a plan of action that can help you build your presence on social media. Then take action and create the connections you need to find the targeted clients you want for your business. Deliver tons of value, so you can help your prospective clients get a feel for how you can help them.

In the meantime, I have to ask. If you were to characterize your social media, which character would you be? Kirk, Spock, Janeway, Picard, Sisko, Archer, Riker, etc? Let me know in the comment section below.

Guest author: Andy Nathan is the owner of Smart At The Start, where he creates content and strategy for small business owners online. He also hosts a weekly show called Start Up Gap, where he talks with successful entrepreneurs about their stories between dreams and success. Feel free to get a free copy of his ebook 101 Tools To Succeed: Tools You Need To Succeed.
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  • JoelinPDX

    What’s a “Trebble”? Could you mean a Tribble? Fine Trekkie you are.

    • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan

      Oh my lord you are right! My sincere apologies! I was playing with the concept in my head when I wrote that. Will ask Jeff if we can change that. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Shaun G. Lynch

    Great post! Geeky as hell, but I like that in that in a blog post.

    I suspect I resemble the holographic doctor from Voyager: I know exactly how to deal with a myriad of issues with social media, but my capacity for outreach remains limited. I need to add a holographic emitter to my social media operations, by implementing a robust blogging strategy to get outside of my own sickbay.

    • http://andynathan.net Andy Nathan


      Thanks! We all need a holographic doctor, so we can be on all social networks at once. That would be very useful to have an automated system that powerful to operate our social media. We will have to ask StarFleet for that.


  • Karl Gephart

    Jeff, LOVED this post! Guess my character was taken, the holographic doctor. LOL! Afraid I have his sarcasm and limited reach (at least from my personal accounts vs biz)! Great analogies! Thanks!

    • Shaun G. Lynch

      I’ll let you know if I manage to find a mobile emitter on eBay.

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    This is such a very interesting article. In order to succeed in social media you have to feed your audience with the right information. This practice will not just add more followers but also serves as a stepping stone in creating a long lasting relationship with them.

  • M-D November

    FYI, the ship pictured above doesn’t come from Trek, but from the Stargate TV series.

  • Sam

    (Sorry if this posts twice)

    *to go boldly*

    I’m not a business owner or operator, but I’d say my social media presence fluctuates between Picard and Spock.

    DS9 the war seasons weren’t bad, but Voyager was by far the worst! Give me Kirk, Bones, Scotty and the rest any day and twice on Sunday.

    • Shaun G. Lynch

      I actually came to like Voyager, once I got over the anomaly of a captain with the voice of a chipmunk (sorry Kate… but you’re AWESOME on Orange is the New Black).

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    It’s now fixed :)

  • http://www.viewsboost.com/ ron

    great post, couldnt agree more to the fact that.. success in social media = Useful Info + Right Audience!

  • Victoria Gates

    I am like Dr. Beverly, I am the social media gal that helps others and never gives up on anything I need to figure out. Great post! (Also the Wisconsin Dells is totally Risa… it has its place. lol)

  • Andrew Hafey

    That moment when you’re talking about learning things from Star Trek and being a hardcore trekkie…and you post a picture from Stargate!!! :p


    Why are you using a photo of a ship that’s not from Star Trek?