Last night my wife Tracey was all over the Scott Kelly story – the American astronaut who has just touched down on earth after almost a year in space.
Kelly’s story really resonated with Trace, and she’s not even into space travel! She knew a lot of the details and a great deal of the back-story, including the fact one of the reasons he was picked for the mission was because he’s a twin (apparently this is so NASA can examine the differences between he and his brother post-mission).
If this story was reported by the TV news, for example, Trace may have pricked her ears up if the television was on at the time, but in all probability, it would have been very much a sideline story.
You’re invited! 300 days of a #YearInSpace today! Ready to @Reddit? Join me Sat., Jan 23, 4pm ET to #AskMeAnything! #nasa #space #RedditAMA #markyourcalendars #spacestation #iss #joinmeA photo posted by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on
However, this wasn’t the case – Kelly’s space adventure has been front and centre because (a) he’s active on social media as a real-life human being, and (b) he has also created some terrific content i.e. photos of earth, taken from the space station where he was based.
Kelly has been an excellent content creator given the obvious constraints of his circumstances! (That said, he had brilliant subject matter to work with). He was active on Instagram (971,000 followers), Twitter (one million followers) and Facebook (over a million likes), and even found time to participate in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit! P.S. NASA is pretty handy too in the content creation/curation stakes.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of people – like Trace – followed (and became invested in) Kelly’s journey.
It wasn’t one big kick-ass bit of content; there was no viral video that was planned and delivered that built Kelly’s audience. No, it was a body of work – a series of micro-moments published via social media.
In the end, it was good old-fashioned FAMILIARITY with a genuine human being – albeit one bouncing around in a space station – that resonated with the public. It was the ordinary things they he did (plus the extraordinary views of earth he managed to photograph) that captured people’s imagination and hearts.
So next time you pooh-pooh micro-interactions on social media, remind yourself they’re part of a bigger picture, and collectively they say a lot about you and your brand and your business (or cause or issue). And if you focus on human beings more than your product, so much the better as that familiarity over time can be a powerful way to build an emotional connection with your audience.
#SouthAfrica You always have a way of showing us something beautiful right down to the tip of your cape. #YearInSpace #Africa #earth #space #spacestation #iss #MondayMotivation A photo posted by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on
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