Being an astronomy geek, I have been following NASA’s web activities for years. All astronomy enthusiasts were excited to see NASA jump into the social media “universe” well before other well known organizations. The best part is that unlike other government agencies, it quickly became very active and even fun. NASA’s social media strategies and engagement tactics should be an example to other organizations, associations and non-profits that struggle with building awareness online.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was established by President Eisenhower in 1958. Unlike the secretive government agencies that formed the US intelligence community and military, NASA was intended to communicate openly with the civilian audience. Its goal was and is to encourage “peaceful applications in space science.”
NASA has profiles on all of the major social networks and its content and engagement strategies are appropriate for each individual environment. Here are a few of my favorite.
@NASA Image of the Day – @NASA posts a lot of fun multimedia on their twitter profiles.
Foursquare check ins in space – NASA partnered with Foursquare to allow astronauts to check into the International Space Station (video). Foursquare also has a badge for checking into the planet of Mars, but it will be a while before we can all unlock that one.
Building a community – The agency also has a strong social media focus on the website allowing people to “Connect and Collaborate with NASA.”
NASA does a great job at going beyond sharing content to building a strong following through many engagement tactics. It also uses multimedia, emerging networks and events to drive activity and awareness. Even those who find astronomy boring may change their minds when they take a look.