Being an astronaut or working for NASA is inarguably among the most popular ambitions for youngsters across the country, but NASA’s strong social media presence goes a long way in maintaining that cool in the eyes of the public, from daydreaming kindergarteners to deskbound adults.
Here are four examples of how NASA takes social media strategy to a whole new level:
1. NASA’s Win During the Oscars
Another man’s win can be yours, too! When the space-themed sci-fi thriller “Gravity” became one of 2013’s most talked-about films, you bet the real-life space experts were watching! NASA cleverly tweeted their congratulations to #Gravity (note the well-placed hashtag) upon their wins at the @OscarCeremony – and didn’t forget to add that trending hashtag for #Oscars2014, either! With that series of tweets, NASA put their name out where highly-searched terms were prone to be found by using appropriate hashtags, tags, and stunning photos. A tweet congratulating Gravity on its Best Director Oscar win was retweeted some 13,261 times and favorited by 7,200 accounts. Thirteen thousand NASA fans – or hashtag-searching Gravity fans – voluntarily promoted NASA!
2. NASA Scores During the World Cup
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As fans around the world tune in to World Cup 2014, a few fans out of this world will be watching, too. United States astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson and German astronaut Alexander Gerst will be cheering on their teams from some 230 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. The crew sent down a special message to wish good luck to all the players and teams as they compete in World Cup 2014 in Brazil from June 12 until the final match July 13. The astronauts have trained for years to work together as a unified crew, but the U.S. astronauts and their German crewmate are feeling a little friendly competition: their home countries will play against each other for a chance to advance out of Group G of the World Cup matches. USA and Germany face off on June 26 at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. Reid Wiseman, of NASA, and Alexander Gerst, of the European Space Agency, arrived at the space station on May 28 as part of the Expedition 40/41 crew and are scheduled to spend the next several months living and working in space until they return to Earth in November 2014. Steven Swanson arrived as part of the Expedition 39/40 crew on March 25 and is expected to return home in September 2014. Video credit: NASA #worldcup #iss #nasa #space #dlr #exp40
As the world watched Germany take on America in the Brazil World Cup, so were the German and U.S. astronauts in the International Space Station, and they didn’t keep their excitement to themselves! An Instagram video of floating astronauts gleefully somersaulting with a soccer ball was “liked” some 80.6k times. The hashtag for #worldcup would have led at least two countries’ worth of soccer fans right to their page.
3. When NASA engaged with William Shatner
In early August, a tweet from Star Trek’s “Captain Kirk”, actor William Shatner, was wittily responded to by the NASA twitter account, a move which should rightly earn the social media coordinator over at NASA a big pat on the back after all the media attention that the short exchange with Shatner garnered.
4. When NASA Uses Vine to Make Being a Nerd Cool
Engaging in social media is a two-way exchange, and often the best and most effective strategies involve interaction between the brand and the target audience. NASA did this right by showing they care about forwarding knowledge. Astronaut Reid Wiseman shot “the first Vine from space” and a short tutorial on how to create your own space-themed or solar cycle video was posted on the NASA website.
Clearly, NASA has the advantage of sharing many firsts from space–a plus to any campaign!
What are some of your favorite NASA social media posts?