Star Wars: 7 Social Media Marketing Lessons

7 Social Media Related Quotes From Star Wars

Star Wars Logo Star Wars premiered 35 years ago today in the US. It was the beginning of what was to become a six part story of man and machine set in space. As a story it contains elements that are relevant to today’s social media connected world that brings together men and women via machines.  (Here’s a link to the Star Wars website.)

Here are seven of this epic’s lessons for social media marketing.

  1.  “You must unlearn what you have learned.” Yoda in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. For many companies, social media requires unlearning many of the processes we’ve learned. As a communicator, it’s critical to get rid of the corporate-speak to sound like a real person. Actionable Marketing Tip:. Ensure your employees understand that they represent your brand on social media platforms. As a result, the language they use, the way they respond to customers and how they look, reflect your brand. Therefore, train your staff to present your organization consistently when they engage on social media.
  2. “I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.” Jango Fett, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. On social media platforms, everyone is part of the community and has something to contribute. Together we create something that’s bigger than any one individual. Actionable Marketing Tip: Contribute to the conversation and become part of the community and smaller groups. Help others and pay-it-forward.
  3. “I’m programmed for etiquette, not destruction!” C-3PO, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Mind your manners on social media platforms. Understand that others with whom you engage may not be native speakers of your language. Further, you don’t know what’s happening in the other person’s life.  What you take as a sign things are going well may be the opposite since people may show a very different public persona. Actionable Marketing Tip: Give others the benefit of the doubt on social media platforms. If you’re feeling emotional, step away from your computer because you may communicate something you’ll later regret. If you’re in trouble or need help, use an alternative means of communication and clearly ask for help.
  4. “Who’s the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?” Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. On social media, determine who is worth listening to and following and how they relate to your firm. Don’t just follow people because other people do or because they’ve got a large following. Examine what makes sense for your business. Actionable Marketing Tip: Set measureable goals for your social media plans to ensure they yield business results. Don’t forget to incorporate a contextually relevant call-to-action, unique trackable promotion code, and streamlined purchase process.
  5. “Fear is the path to the Dark Side.”  Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This saying epitomizes many businesses’ view of social media. Listening and engagement on social media platforms should be by their nature positive. You shouldn’t act out of fear or other negative emotions because your communications will convey these feelings. Social media is about the larger community, not your firm. The way to overcome your fear is to take the first step. Actionable Marketing Tip: Listen to the conversation. Don’t use social media to promote your business. Your comments and contributions should help the larger community. Remember social media isn’t another one-to-many promotional platform.
  6. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. This line is probably recited by many senior executives about social media. The reality is that prospects, customers and the public will say whatever they want about you and your organization whether you’re active on social media or in real life. Actionable Marketing Tip: Be part of the social media conversation, engage with prospects and customers to determine what the issues are and to respond appropriately.
  7.  “Either shut him up or shut him down!” Han Solo, Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back.  While many executives have these thoughts about vocal customers or firestorms on social media platforms, it’s the opposite of what you can or should do. Instead determine the customer issue, the influence the customer has and respond appropriately as soon as you can. Actionable Marketing Tip: Have a social media presence where your organization can engage with prospects, customers and the public on social media. Ensure there’s a process for getting customer service issues that arise via these channels into your existing processes so they’re answered. Further, have a crisis management plan ready in case you find your organization has an issue. (Here’s what to do in a social media crisis.)

These Star Wars quotes could be uttered within many organizations when it comes to integrating social media into the marketing mix. As professionals, we must give up control when we participate on social media platforms to pay-it-forward and support the community.

What are your favorite Star Wars quotes and how do they apply to social media?

“May the force by with you.”
Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Star_Wars_Logo.svg

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  • http://www.netzschnipsel.de/ Matthias-M.Pook

    What a funny and also intereseting idea! You must unlearn what you have learned is my favorite in this context. Have a sunny day… greetings from germany my social media blog http://www.netzschnipsel.de. 

  • http://twitter.com/CRMJen Jen Phillips

    Well, THANK YOU for this post! I’ve realized in the past year that just about EVERY presentation I give, post I write, training session I lead, strategic discussion I have (you get the gist of what I’m getting at) seems to refer to one Star Wars scenario or another. Most are Yoda-centric. My favorite? 

    “Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” Yoda, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
    There is no room for “taking a swag at it” when it comes to Social. Your communications are your brand. A fully formed idea includes evaluating the WHY, reviewing the risks against the benefits, and REALLY committing to the effort / initiative. If you aren’t committed, don’t. do. it. When thinking about the idea of trying v. doing…it just comes down to this: there isn’t a difference. If you’ve tried something, you’ve done it. The only difference is  your level of conviction. Your consumer, constituency, or prospects will not recognize (nor do they care about) the difference. Your results, however, will likely align with your level of commitment. 

    I appreciate the post – good stuff here! Thanks for feeding this Star Wars nerd’s soul. Jen