While social media is helping to stir digital presence and online exposure, many organizations find that their social presence is really about enhancing their exposure in the physical world as well.
At the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta in early June, John Yembrick, who heads social media at the NASA space program, talked about bridging the gap between the organization's presence online and its physical presence.
"Since 2008, we've been taking that online experience offline," Yembrick said. "We advertise certain events at NASA, and they are usually around high-profile things, like the Mars Curiosity landing. … We invite people to apply, sometimes as many as 1,000 … and we give them behind-the-scenes experiences that the rest of the public can't see in hopes that they will go out and share with their followers on social media on Twitter and Facebook. It really expands the reach of our content."
Yembrick said that by connecting the digital and physical worlds, NASA has boosted its exposure. So, for example, after NASA holds an event, it turns to its "ambassadors" or champions, who may post about their experiences on Twitter and Facebook. In this way, NASA allows its constituencies to spread the word about space exploration rather than evangelizing itself.
"If you bring one of your ambassadors, so to speak … these people that care about your content and want to talk about it, you have an outside influencer saying you're great," he said.
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