OUR TAKE ON THINGS
Social Media - December 7th, 2011
More and more establishments both in the Government as well as the private sector are resorting to harnessing the social media and utilizing new tools and strategies to keep their image alive in the public imagination. And what better way to go public than involving the general public and getting them to blog, chat and tweet on important issues and letting them know their opinion matters?!
A path breaking approach of reaching out to a wider audience can be seen with reference to NASA. America’s premier space agency recently grabbed attention when it organized tweetups sessions for the mainstream – consisting of ordinary science fans, employees and businessmen who, far from being tech savvy celebrities, had barely a few followers on Twitter. The idea was to involve the whole community as against only those who wielded power and influence, according to a statement made by NASA’s social media manager.
Participants to the series of tweetup programmes were selected by lottery and cover a cross section of locals, ranging from shopkeepers to bakers to photographers. They were offered a glimpse into the space agency’s astro activities and asked to tweet their experiences to a variety of audience, along with images and videos.
By getting common people to post their tweets on some of the enlightening experiences they encountered at NASA, it was seen that their followers who comprised mostly friends & family members, got interested and tweeted the same to their friends circle, and with retweets and all, the whole operation gave wide publicity to the space agency that its hi-tech achievements, which otherwise would never have come to the limelight, were being heard and seen by the common folks. This way, NASA is said to have significantly increased its fan following on Twitter beginning with hundreds, expanding to thousands and now the agency’s Twitter population is reported to have reached more than a million, including the tweetup participant alumni.
Marketing analysts and professors are of the opinion that NASA took advantage of the social media opportunity by inviting the mainstream to generate public excitement, for they feel although the space agency has been doing significant research in rocket science & technology all these years, a large majority of the public was still unfamiliar with its developmental activities.
(adapted form a sci feature in The Hindu)