By Ricky DeMaio The Government. It’s very serious business. Important decisions are made there! Also, boring things happen there. I’m not one to passionately follow the legislative due process of and I’m already falling asleep writing this. So how can various boring government institutions get my attention and get me to care? Tweet at me, of course!
Being both “for the people” and “by the people,” it makes sense to engage with the people as well. And doing so where we spend our time is a great way to keep important institutions relevant. This is especially useful when it comes to agencies that seem particularly removed from our day-to-day lives. For example, let’s look at NASA for a moment.
In recent years, NASA’s presence has dwindled somewhat. From downsizing and budget cuts, to the closing of the space shuttle program, things weren’t lookin’ too great. But the Mars Rover Curiosity has a whopping 1,207,626 followers, and is retweeted an average of 500 times per tweet.
@MarsCuriosity makes science fun, mixing education with memes and internet jokes. I follow her because she’s funny, and while waiting for her next gag, I learn all about mineral analysis, photon particles, and other boring things that I don’t really understand.
Someone once said that “Corporations are people.” I guess you could say in the same vein, governments are people. But it doesn’t always feel that way. The Department of Agriculture is not someone I’d want to grab a drink with. But once again, @MarsCuriosity has so much personality, I can’t help but want to be her friend. She even speaks in the first person.
At the end of the day, @MarsCuriosity is making science fun. I’m engaged and entertained, and without even realizing it, I’m kept up-to-date with NASA’s Mars research program. After some less than stellar press over the past few years, @MarsCuriosity is bringing attention to NASA in a great way. It’s connecting a new generation with a legendary institution. For now, @MarsCuriosity tweets to us and checks-in from Mars. But maybe someday, a future scientist will be tweeting on Mars in person.
NASA uses Twitter to engage and stay relevant. How does your brand stay relevant today?