In the fall we held a special 2-year anniversary #cmgrchat with special guests from NASA. They manage a significant amount of social media assets and build their community through a variety of online and offline events.
Arguably one of the coolest and most progressive organizations out there and we were lucky to have a few members of their social team come and talk to us. We compiled a few of the takeaways and share how NASA does community.
We would like to thank @VeronicaMcG, @CourtOConnor, & @Stephist from NASA for their time & expertise!
Q: With the huge amount of fans/followers/friends @NASA has, how does your team handle the division of labor?
CourtOConnor Prior to major mission events (launches, landings, etc), we’ll draft a media plan with a division of labor.
CourtOConnor: On Twitter @NASA has 2.8 million followers, @MarsCuriosity 1.1 million, @AsteroidWatch 900k+
Stephist Strategy has been “call the ball.” We sit close & talk to each other when responding. Off-site, we call on phone
VeronicaMcG about 250 @NASA accounts exist. Team @NASAJPL handles approx 10. We can’t do 1 for every mission here (over 20).
Q: What is behind NASA’s strategy for building community via the #NASASocial events?
Stephist It varies from @NASA center to center. SM reps wear a variety of hats.
Stephist #NASASocial events help put the social back in social media. Remind us all of the humans behind the missions & followers
Stephist #NASASocial events are coordinated across centers & often coincide w/major mission events. Attendees selected randomly
VeronicaMcG Other strategy for #NASASocial is to expose newbies to the things that made us fall in love with space exploration.
CourtOConnor You can always find out about upcoming #NASASocial events here: http://t.co/ZnhuOmXu
Stephist Start planning events early; communicate frequently; get diverse array of speakers & don’t make people sit too long
CourtOConnor Overall strategy = increase understanding and enthusiasm.
CourtOConnor: Our focus is to keep people up-to-date with mission news and *why it matters*
Q: Is NASA focused more on growing the existing community or in finding new members?
Stephist Yes & yes. We must keep enthusiasm going among followers, but can’t grow a community w/o new members. There’s room for all
VeronicaMcG: Over 50-percent of our posts are @replies. It’s a two-way conversation.
CourtOConnor News drives followers. Sometimes it’s a slow boil, @MarsCuriosity grew by 800k in one week.
VeronicaMcG Many #NASAsocial attendees want to return for more. A small number get in multiple events. We like newbies + some vets
Q: How do you identify Brand Ambassadors and how do you reward or recognize them?
Stephist Repeat #NASASocial attendees often step up as community organizers. It’s a big family. See http://t.co/DIqbOYwV
VeronicaMcG The fact that so many #NASASocial attendees stuck together & became community organizers was an unexpected treasure.
VeronicaMcG 1st #NASASocial, in Jan. ’09, was a way to thank brand ambassadors, at that time our followers for @MarsPhoenix mission.
Want to find out more about NASA? Connect and Collaborate with NASA here.
This interview was taken from the #cmgrchat digest that took place on Wednesday September 12th.