Using Twitter to Reward Your Biggest Fans – NASA’s Approach to Social Media
Sep 29, 2011
Brands and businesses are all over Twitter attempting to drum up publicity and support. But so many aren’t doing it right, or just aren’t doing enough.
Now there’s obviously a slew of “right” answers to the question “How do we best use Twitter?” (And there’s at least an equal number of wrong answers.) But I’ve found and experienced one of those right answers firsthand — it’s an unlikely source: NASA. Yes, that NASA.
Over the past few years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has embraced the short messaging social media channel in full force, in a fairly unique and hands-on way. They have now organized over 25 “tweetup” events, and there are a half-dozen more already planned for the near future. Most of their events circle around the launches of space-bound vehicles.
Prior to launches and other space-related events, NASA has lottery-like drawings to fill a finite number of spots, offering an unprecedented level of access to related facilities, and they typically culminate in the actual launch of a space vehicle nearby.
You travel to the site on your own dime, but then they give you a tour, let you meet and interact with some really smart, well, rocket scientists, and then conclude with a close, but safe vantage point of a launch.
On the simplest level, NASA is rewarding some of its biggest fans, and in return they get a bunch of “free” publicity. There’s no reason this couldn’t be done for any business or brand on a bigger (or smaller) scale. Assuming you have any followers already, they’ve already expressed interest in you, your company and/or your brand.
Reward them in some way, shape or form. A brewery, for example, could offer a brewery tour and give participants a taste of a new seasonal beer. A musician could allow participants access to an early listening party. The possibilities are endless and the access/final reward doesn’t have to be earth shattering, as it literally is in NASA’s case. It just has to prompt people who are already fans to become bigger fans, sharing on social networks, blogs and the like. Treat fans right and they will treat you right.
Make your tweetups a regular occurrence, and you’ve just added another motivation to follow you on twitter.
While your business might not have the end payoff of seeing a rocket leave Earth’s orbit, just selecting a handful of your followers, rewarding them with an insiders’ tour of your facility and hooking them up with some free schwag can be a great way to get your name out there. You’ll get more people following you on Twitter, and likely drum up some goodwill, by rewarding people who are already fans.