NASA’s Social Media Content Development is Entertaining and Informative - (Archived)

More often than not, the government looks to the private sector for trend-setting achievements, but that is not always the case. Contractors can take a lesson from NASA’s book when it comes to developing content and delivering it via social media. The agency is having fun with their content, while at the same time showing off its innovative work.

The latter half of 2012 brought the latest entertainment craze, Gangnam Style. NASA jumped on board, posting a Gangham video parody that to date has well over 4 million views on YouTube.

Social Media is taking hold in all sectors these days due to the potential to quickly deliver content to the masses. NASA’s Gangnam Style video is a prime example of using creative, entertaining content to carry an educational message. The main factor is developing well-thought-out, relevant content. Social media is the means to spread the word and, much like a wildfire taking hold, great content will quickly catch on — people will share and discuss the topic.

That’s not to say that contractors aren’t using social media to their advantage. Aerospace and defense companies use Facebook and Twitter to promote and share news about their businesses and maintain a steady supply of informative YouTube videos. For instance, Lockheed Martin recently shared a test video of its ADAM High Energy Laser Counter-Rocket and or Boeing’s recent 747-8 series test video. While both are interesting, they still pale in comparison to the viral sensation that NASA created.

Most in the industry err on the side of caution when developing content, which results in strictly informational, dry content. Sure, they can be educational but are often lacking in engaging aspect which, even of in small doses can help draw in audiences and keep them coming back. NASA’s case shows that you can have entertaining, humorous content that also delivers a valuable message. That’s not to say that all content should be made in an attempt to go viral, but videos such as NASA’s draw attention to its core cause of promoting science, discovery and research.

As David Carr, editor at The Brainyard, stated in his recent article about social media in the government sector, “Loosen your tie and get ready to tweet, post your status and respond to posts from the voters.” Many agencies and contractors fully embrace content development and social media efforts. Is your content compelling enough to draw in your target audience or is it time to take a page out of NASA’s strategy and spice things up? With almost 3.5 million Twitter followers, close to 1.7million Facebook likes and 43 million YouTube views, it seems to be working for them.



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