“Warp nine, Mr. Crusher.”
If you’ve ever watched Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) you’ve no doubt heard that statement many, many times. Captain Jean-Luc Picard telling Wesley Crusher to “engage” the ship, Enterprise, at warp nine in TNG lingo meant “going fast”. Warp nine seemed to always be tied to an important moment in the show. It was crucial for the Enterprise to get to its chosen destination when they went to warp nine. As fast as possible, the Enterprise would bypass planets, moons, systems, whatever, to get to their destination in time.
That’s warp speed.
When I think of social media today, I feel like I’m traveling at warp speed. Older platforms evolving. Newer platforms emerging. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Google+. Snapchat. Vine. Klingons. Romulans. Vulcans….oops….sorry, about that. Get my drift? There are so many aspects to the simple concept of social media. It’s not just number of platforms, but also how quickly each are changing. Many struggle to keep up.
When I’ve been asked about how to use social media effectively, my answer is:
- Know your AUDIENCE
- Develop a STRATEGY
- Work within your RESOURCES
Audience. Strategy. Resources. Makes sense, right? Now multiply that by five, ten, fifteen different platforms in the ever-changing world of social media and you’ll understand my warp speed analogy. We’re moving at warp speed in social media, particularly in sports.
Let me add a little more to my list above: ASSESS, ADAPT and LEARN
We can know our audience, develop our strategy and work within our resources, but that’s all for naught if we don’t assess, adapt and learn. Watch any TNG episode, you’ll see someone assessing the situation, adapting to the challenge and a learning a lesson. To get through each of those, they need to travel.
At warp speed.
Okay, maybe I’m stretching my TNG analogy a bit. What can I say? I’m a Star Trek fan.
In the digital age we are in, things are changing rapidly. Could any of us have imagined this is where we would be when Facebook or Twitter started? Not me. I could see potential, but that doesn’t mean potential turns into reality.
Over these last few years, I’ve had to change with the social media times. I’m heavily immersed in it on a near-daily basis between Twitter and Google+, (my two top platforms). It’s hard to keep up with it all at times. I feel as though I’m left in the Alpha Quadrant while the Enterprise is in the Gamma Quadrant. (Couldn’t resist another TNG reference)
I’m not always flying at warp speed. But, I know that if I follow my advice (audience, strategy, resources, assess, adapt, learn), I’ll be on the ship instead of being stuck in the wrong quadrant.
What about you? Do you feel like things are flying at warp speed in social media sometimes?