If NASA Were a Social Media Agency It Would Have Made Millions
At first glance, NASA’s social media strategy example may seem a little bit maddening but is nonetheless pure genius. The best example of this is what happened last July 14, 2015. The New Horizons spacecraft made the first historical fly-by on Pluto for 20 hours, sending the best and first pictures of Pluto that have been taken from a spacecraft. So, what did NASA do? They posted the best pictures on their Instagram account.
When it comes to studying what NASA social media agency uses to optimize their content, the study authors found that almost half ( 49.1 % ) of their posts contained one or more language barriers. This would suggest that the agency is indeed trying to reach out to its audience. Still, it is also doing so, hoping that most people will just click on the back button. A social media agency would not have this problem because they know exactly how to communicate with people who speak different languages and better explain their work. In fact, many companies specialize in translation, which can make all the difference when reaching out to an international audience.
In addition to this, social media sites are extremely crowded, making it tough to get your message out. Even though NASA might have great information, the chances are that hundreds of other people are posting the same info on the same topics. It’s hard to argue with results like this, but it does raise questions as to whether such an agency would make more sense than a regular PR firm. Not only would they probably cost less per hour to use, but they already know how to communicate with their target audience effectively.
NASA is a lot smaller than some of these bigger names, but it’s also true that its mission is far more important than being popular. These media agencies tend to focus on a handful of topics, and their clients have to work around those topics. This limits the reach of their work and makes it difficult to coordinate. A huge network of sources spread over thousands of social media outlets would allow NASA to do a lot more than it does now.
The other thing that a social media agency would do would be to provide an incredibly interactive platform for discussions between its customers and its employees. When you own a space program, sometimes you need to take time off from work to chat with your staff. But a regular social media site isn’t very conducive to this kind of interaction. You wouldn’t be able to have conversations about budget issues or future schedules, for example, because the site would be too busy to accommodate them.
If you were looking to streamline your organization, try looking into if NASA were a social media agency. Many large organizations have started using these sites to stay connected with their staff. Since NASA is so big, though, it might not be as productive as smaller social networks. The sites are also more expensive, which means that you’d spend less money if you were to use them. By keeping tight control over the content that your employees post on the site, though, you can be sure that only the most relevant posts will be allowed on the network.
With such a large number of staff and a lot of specialized equipment, NASA could have a social media agency to handle all of its communications. It also would have allowed NASA to save a lot more money than it does. Since there are so many specialized people involved in each mission, NASA is forced to buy everything in bulk, whether it’s food or equipment. It saves money because each piece is not purchased individually but as part of a team effort.
NASA as a Social Media Agency is Just Pure Genius
NASA’s use of social media as a public relations tool is pure genius! NASA is the most well-known organization on the planet. There are numerous social networking sites available on the Internet; however, NASA is a one-of-a-kind organization. NASA has established itself as more than just a “astronaut agency”; they have established themselves as a brand as well. Yes, you are correct. People are investing in NASA because they have established themselves as a “house brand!”
NASA can do so much more than just provide links to websites and images of space with the millions of applications available on the internet! It can function as a social community, complete with blogs, discussion forums, and even photo albums! It’s not as if NASA is planning to build a physical museum in the near future. It can, however, foster a sense of community, as astronauts travel from site to site to interact with one another.
NASA, as a social media agency, will provide an opportunity for anyone involved in space exploration to broaden their social network. That’s a significant amount of money. Consider what it would be like to have thousands of people following you around on Twitter. NASA can assist in disseminating information about their mission and future projects, as well as interacting with fans on social media. It’s similar to having your own fan club.
NASA’s role as a social media agency is also an excellent way to contribute to NASA’s research and exploration efforts. Anyone who has worked in space knows that getting supplies and equipment to the space station can be difficult if you don’t have the assistance of other people. Through the use of NASA’s Facebook page, one can stay up to date on the mission, see when supplies are running low, get a sense for the atmosphere over there, and communicate directly with the agency. In my opinion, NASA should take advantage of this extremely valuable service to the public.
A good NASA social media agency will be able to provide information to those outside the agency in addition to connecting NASA with the general public. A trip to the moon is a good example of this. Approximately how many people do you know who have even contemplated such a journey? They have a lot fewer resources than NASA, but they are still doing it. They require all of the assistance they can get, so why not allow them to have a good time while they’re at it?
The agency accomplishes this through fan clubs, which are organizations that NASA established specifically to facilitate communication between its science staff and the general public. SpaceX could easily use its fan club to assist in the promotion of upcoming events, the distribution of information about current projects, and the creation of a forum for the exchange of scientific ideas.
Consider the following scenario: If a major event is scheduled at NASA headquarters, the organization could use the fan club to post information on how to participate. Everything about the situation is positive for everyone involved.
Because of the widespread interest in the historic images of Pluto, NASA decided to post discussions and explanations from the science team on Reddit in order to provide more information about the science of New Horizons and Pluto. The agency then began fielding and answering questions on Twitter, as well as posting live press briefings, in order to generate more interest in the project. For good measure, the agency went completely insane on its Facebook page, posting everything it could think of and fielding even more questions about the NASA Pluto project.
In reality, this isn’t the first time NASA has had a project go viral due to its popularity. In terms of social media marketing strategy, the agency has something that reads almost like a brand-wide or Hollywood-style marketing blockbuster. Even more amazing is the fact that NASA is a public agency, and a government public agency at that, rather than a social media agency that is running a marketing campaign for a new product or brand.
Naturally, some would argue that NASA does not require a social media marketing strategy in the same way that brands and companies do because they are a well-known agency with a loyal following, some of whom are interested in NASA’s science and others who are simply curious about the agency. NASA, on the other hand, argues that people don’t just follow NASA because of Pluto, Jupiter, or the moon, but because literally millions of people are engaged in continuous research on everything from astronauts and rovers to their laboratories, as well as its scientists and personnel. In fact, it should come as no surprise that the majority of its followers and users on its 20 or so social media accounts are students and teachers, with the second-largest group of users ranging from their late 20s to their mid-50s as the second-largest age group. In fact, NASA’s social media team has already received a number of awards in recognition of its efforts in this area.
NASA Plays No Favorites with Any Social Media Agency
NASA, on the other hand, makes it clear that it has no preference for any particular social media agency or platform, which are all owned by private companies. Additionally, the agency’s social media team is never instructed to use social media to generate more revenue. NASA claims that it posts on whatever social media accounts it has to merely provide information about what it is doing, to keep followers up to date, and to reach the greatest number of people possible.
For sure, Pluto’s photo was not the most popular on social media during its history, but it did gain more than 300,000 new followers, which means 300,000 new people are becoming educated and learning more. This demonstrates that examples such as NASA demonstrate that social media should not lose sight of the fundamentals of what social media should be.