Facebook pays homage to ‘Star Trek’s’ 50th

As remembrance of the cult classic’s first episode circulates online, Facebook marketers target Trekkie audiences. Here’s what brand managers drummed up—and why.

Are PR and marketing pros also dedicated “Star Trek” fans?

Scroll through your Facebook news feed today to find out.

On Tuesday, users were prompted to add a custom “Star Trek” frame to their profile pictures. For fans of Facebook’s official “Star Trek” page, users’ Reactions offered a galactic opportunity to interact.

Here’s what those users woke up to:

From Facebook Messenger marketing lead, Lindsey Shepard:

In order to make [our customer reactions] understood by all Star Trek fans, we chose the most iconic and recognizable characters and symbols from the original Star Trek series, as well as the Next Generation. We also wanted to honor the original design and spirit of Reactions, so we needed visual cues that were easy to identify at a glance, like Geordi’s visor. This led us to our final cast: Kirk, Spock, Geordi and a Klingon.

The social media platform’s marketing department used the franchise’s 50th anniversary to tap into its Trekkie niche.

Shepard says the occasion sparked a sense of nostalgia for many users.

From Shepard on Medium:

When we caught wind that “Star Trek” would be celebrating 50 years this month, it got our wheels turning. We wanted to mark this fun, nostalgic moment and help the passionate community of “Star Trek” fans celebrate in some unique ways on Facebook.

For marketers, targeting the massive quantity of “Star Trek” fans in a single location (Facebook) presented a unique opportunity to engage.

From Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff:

A half century of “Star Trek” means that, for many people, there has been no life without the iconic franchise.

Branching into various communities has become a central focus for Facebook marketers in recent months.

Pending users’ reactions to Trekkie icons, marketers could use this tactic for future cultural anniversaries and events.

“We hope that people find as much joy in using these different celebratory elements as we have in creating them,” Shepard says. “We may test experiences like this in the future, and will focus on community and moment-driven events like this one.”

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