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Social Media Has Been Dominated By NASA In 2016

By Victor Thomson , Dec 22, 2016 03:47 AM EST
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Without any advertising budget, the U.S. space agency NASA is using influencers, live video and social media to share its exploration of space with fans all over the world.

NASA On Social Media

According to the website warc.com, Veronica McGregor, NASA's News and Social Media Manager said that the space agency relies entirely on organic reach on social media to grow its online audience. McGregor explained that NASA does not have an advertising budget and, therefore, the space agency has never paid for any media and never used a sponsored post.

McGregor made these statements in Bali, Indonesia, at the Socialbakers conference. According to her, the American space agency is not allowed to use government funds for advertising and for this reason everything it does is organic.

The agency was forced to set up its own social media presence by a drop in media coverage around 2008. Since then, social media is NASA's main way to reach the American public. Since science isn't a priority for many media outlets anymore, NASA found in Twitter a good alternative to get its message out. And, due to a proliferation of social media platforms in the year 2016, it is easier now to get the message out for free.

New Social Media Trends

NASA tries to take advantage of the chance to target young people with educational content, as real-time online platforms have become more common. Snapchat, Reddit and Facebook Live, among others, are spreading the message and bringing space agency's missions to life on social media.

According to McGregor, NASA started doing 360-degree videos with panorama images that were sent back from Mars by the Curiosity space probe. The first such 360-degree video was posted in February and in a very short amount of time got a million views on YouTube. Mark Zuckerberg reposted it on Facebook as well.

According to Engadget, John Yembrick, the agency's social-media manager, said that NASA employs now a dedicated team of social media experts with the task of handling 500 accounts across multiple platforms. The space agency is active on most major social media platforms, including teens' favorites Snapchat and Tumblr.

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