Nasa’s social media team on its mission to create out-of-this-earth content

Nasa's social media ccounts produce a stream of compelling space content

If any organisation epitomises mankind’s thirst for knowledge it’s Nasa, whose social media division is constantly looking for ways to reach new audiences interested in science, technology and space travel.

In the latest print edition of The Drum, we interview the marketers responsible for Nasa’s social output, on exploring new frontiers and unchartered mediums.

Whereas we once had famous footage of launches and landings as our must-see TV events, now we have live streams of Earth from the International Space Station, 360° videos of launches, and space photography documenting the distant corners of the galaxy.

As social media manager John Yembrick put it, the organisation can now “seed powerful content images and stories into people’s feeds”. Each post is tailored to a specific platform – visually striking images are published to Instagram, while Facebook and Twitter are more focused on the moment, publicising events, milestones and interesting snippets of information, and Stories, both of the Instagram and Snapchat flavour, provide a behind-the-scenes look at proceedings.

“We need to package space in a way that is cool and engaging,” said Yembrick, who added that Nasa is looking at ultra-high-definition video and virtual reality as two ways of doing this.

Also in its armory are its astronauts; Nasa’s influencers who reach out to fans with nuanced and inspiring personal tales from space. And they do so on a fairly ad-hoc, unmanaged basis. “We’re real people, doing this in real time. We don’t always have time to sit around or brainstorm the best ways to do things,” said Yembrick.

The full interview is published in the June issue of The Drum magazine.

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