NASA Social Media: Crowdpromoting in Space

ISS-RapidScat will be delivered to the station on the SpaceX-4 commercial cargo resupply flight. Photo credit: NASA/Daniel Casper

Over Labor Day Weekend I received the exciting news that I now possess (temporary) NASA social media credentials and will be going to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida later this month to attend the media events and launch of the SpaceX-4 cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station. 

Needless to say, for a geeky wannabe like me, this is pretty much the ultimate.  Of course, I am not actually flying on the mission (it’s an unmanned rocket and I’ve not even been on a roller coaster without losing my lunch in years) but it’s still pretty darned fascinating and the experience of a lifetime.  (Bonus Cool Mom factor, although the boys claim they are beyond jealous and do not want to hear about it.)

It’s also a great example of Crowdpromoting, the marketing practice we’ve been honing for the last five years as Mass Innovation Nights. In that time, Mass Innovation Nights has helped to launch more than 650 new local products using social media.  From the very beginning we used the same plea/directions:  “If you see something cool, blog about it, Tweet about it, Like it, post a video or picture, or just tell someone.” With 200, 300, or even 500 people in a room, all on a mission to promote local innovation, magic occurs.  Magic in the form of hundreds of tweets, blog posts, Instagram pictures, YouTube videos and more, connecting the owners of new local products with potential customers and partners. Our work with GaggleAMP (join our gaggle) between the live events means that 300+ social media savvy community members are all helping to promote local innovation.

For the (expected) September 19 launch, NASA is assembling a team of 50 social media mavens, each with their own reason for attending, but with the united goal of cataloging and promoting this latest launch.  (The group is even collectively willing to be up far into the night/morning — the launch is expected to happen at 2:38 am, and we take the chance that the whole things will be delayed.)

But it is a smart maneuver by the NASA Social Media team.  Instead of relying on the internal team (who might happen to be a mite busy with all the goings on) deputize some folks with social media prowess and reach.  Get them there a few days early and educate the heck out of them.  Even people like me, without an in-depth knowledge of the program and space flight (other than what any other red-blooded American of a certain age who can vaguely remember being allowed to stay up past their bedtime in the late 60s and early 70s to see astronauts on the moon, knows) can be briefed.  And, you’d be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic team.

Watch for our Tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, Google+ and more, using the hashtags #NASASocial and #SpaceX4!!!