by Mac Jaehnert (@macjaeh)
Social Media isn't rocket science, but rocket scientists can sure use social media.
This great piece by Adam Epstein in Quartz delves into how NASA has been so effective at building buzz online. Here are a few takeaways for what businesses can learn from NASA's success:
In 2009, astronaut Mike Massimino was the first person to tweet from space (@Astro_Mike) on a mission to the International Space Station. Apart from spell checking and verifying correct URLs, NASA allowed him, and all astronauts since, editorial control to post what he wanted. By not creating a burdensome editorial or approval process, astronauts and NASA staff have been able to communicate in near real-time (including Reddit AMAs) with the public.
NASA has done a fantastic job in attracting a devoted group of loyal fans who are eager to learn and share the latest news about the universe. By cultivating a strong online community, then hosting "NASA Social" events and rewarding those most engaged digitally with one-of-a-kind real world experiences, they're successfully turning fans into advocates.
While NASA does have primary social media accounts, their social ecosystem extends beyond their official channels, or their astronauts in space. One of my favorite new people to follow on twitter over the past couple of years has been Bobak "Mohawk Guy" Ferdowsi, a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab engineer who became a viral phenomenon for his unconventional haircut seen during the mission control broadcast of the Mars Curiosity Rover.
Any business or organization could certainly take a page out of NASA's social media playbook.