As things go in the public sector with various organizations and interests, companies who are focused on research, education and other interests as opposed to profits and bottom lines are not immediately thought of in terms of being successful when it comes to gauging social media activities. After all, public companies or those organizations with publicly-controlled interests (versus shareholders) would seemingly lean away from tools and applications that their for-profit counterparts engage in on a regular basis.
While this may be an unfair assessment of many public organizations, NASA proves it by ranking first in a study that took 100 public sector organizations and assessed the effectiveness of their websites, its use of mobile sites and social media sites and any efforts in their digital outreach program.
The report was conducted by Scott Galloway (a New York university professor), Doug Guthrie (dean of the George Washington School of Business) and L2 which is a think tank for digital innovation. The report was named the L2 Digital IQ Index for the Public Sector and involves strategic research and implementation from all three sources.
The report essentially gave the participating companies an “I.Q.” test in those areas to see how they measure against others in the field. By NASA having come in first place, their implementation of various tools and applications placed them ahead 26 points of their closest competitor.
NASA also effectively uses the Tweetup event application before they perform many of their launches, attracting hundreds, even thousands of curiously excited onlookers. They’ve also paired with other sites like Foursquare and Gowalla to make an even bigger impact in the social networking arena. Imagine looking down at your cell phone to see that NASA has “checked in” at one of their launch sites and is inviting you over. That’s a definite WOW moment!