Nasa's social media deputy talks IGTV, VR and govt control

Nasa's social media deputy talks IGTV, VR and govt control

From Facebook setbacks to Snapchat triumphs, what’s a marketer to do when it comes to navigating the rapidly changing world of social media? As the deadline for The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2018 approaches, we spoke to judge and NASA's deputy social media manager, Jason Townsend on Twitter about some of the latest trends hitting the social media scene.

He explains how impactful IGTV is to mobile devices, why social needs to be more integrated in the media mix, why shares are like gold dust and why Nasa can't just jump on any social platform bandwagon.

You must see lots of new platforms come and go, how do new platforms – like #IGTV for example– change the social landscape?

IGTV recognizes the importance of mobile devices in the social media landscape. So many platforms support vertical video, but few have made it the showcase product the way IGTV has. Will others follow? Time will tell.

Has social media finally moved away from being a ‘nice to have’ option and become an integral part of the marketing mix?

Social has to be integrated. Fans of your brand are already talking about you, even if you aren't on social. It's much healthier to be a voice in the conversation, assisting fans & putting your messages out than to not be. Use social to drive the conversation where you want to go.

Data is a huge talking point with all marketing. In your opinion, how do you successfully incorporate data into a social media campaign?

Shares are highly valued. Think about it: a share says someone liked your post enough to put it into their timeline w/ stamp of approval. Most-shared posts show trends over time. Glean lessons & apply on an ongoing, continuous basis.

Low performing content usually has common issues, too. Ensure you analyze user comments/replies since followers are usually vocal when it doesn't work. Break it down. Do Gifs get more RTs? Do video posts get more link clicks? Incorporate data to make smarter content.

Looking ahead, what do you predict will be the ‘next big thing’ in social and why?

Expect to see more experiential media-rich content on social. With more AR & VR tech getting into the hands of audiences, we'll see more content produced that takes advantage of this, allowing people to be embedded in to experience content in very new ways that are immersive.

When new platforms emerge, do you think it’s best to jump right in or hold back and let others test the waters?

Legally, NASA can't sign most term of services to jump right in. So when we begin a legal negotiation to create a government law friendly agreement with a company it is after a carefully measured review that a new tool has an audience we want to reach or features we think are a fit.

The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2018, sponsored by UGCA, are open for entry until Friday 7 September, download your entry pack now and be in with a chance to show the world your amazing work.

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