Social Media Platforms: NASA FDL
NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Demographic and psychographic data on the followers for the various platforms was not publicly available, but some general insights on Twitter followers were pulled together and included below.
- There are 1,410 followers on the FDL Facebook page and 1,362 people like the page.
- The most recent post on the page is from October 3, but prior to that there had not been a post since August 18th.
- The 2019 post with the most engagement was from April 11. Katie Bouman had updated her profile pic with the following text, "Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed." FDL shared this with a congratulations and 62 people liked/loved the post. Additionally, the post had two comments and five shares.
- There are 1,903 followers on the FDL Twitter page. This is also the only social media site that is promoted and can be directly accessed from the FDL website. There are only 15 posts (counted) from 2019 and the most recent is from June 26.
- The June 26 post was a picture of the group participating in FDL 2019 and was the most engaged post of 2019. The post had one comment, 18 retweets, and 56 likes.
- An unscientific scan of the bios of the Twitter followers found the following appear a significant number of times: PhD, science, machine learning, space, tech, student, research, and NASA. This may provide some insights into the people who are following the Twitter account.
- There are 55 subscribers on the YouTube channel and about 25 videos (counted) in total.
- The top viewed video from the last year was the FDL Europe 2019 Results posted about a month ago, with 170 views.
- FDL has 596 followers on LinkedIn.
- There are only two posts on the page and one announcing the opportunity to participate in FDL Europe received the most engagement, with 18 likes and one comment.
To find data on the demographics and/or psychographics of the people who follow the various FDL social media accounts, we first looked for any publicly available tools that analyze social media accounts, specifically for demographics. This led to an article on Buffer that identified 27 free and paid tools, as well as an article by Brandwatch that also identified social media resources. An examination of the various tools such as Hootsuite, Quintly, and Klear found that the limited free tools were mostly for social media accounts people own (not competitors) and although free trials were available, they required providing contact information and credit cards to access. Therefore, this strategy was not successful.
We did find one potentially helpful site called Zoomph which provides Twitter audience analytics for over 250,000 accounts. Unfortunately, @nasa_fdl was not one of them.
Next we searched the NASA FDL website for news, press releases, or other reporting on its social media accounts or strategies for the various platforms. This led to articles by Fast Company reporting on progress FDL was making with AI and partnerships with companies such as IBM, there were no details on strategies for social media.
Since there was no publicly available information available to determine demographics or psychographics for any of the social media platforms, our final strategy was to try to compile the information ourselves. To do this, we accessed the followers page for the Twitter account. Our idea was to scan the bios of the followers to see if there were any commonalities. With 1,903 followers, it was outside the scope of this request to scan them all, and the data we did find is very unscientific. Therefore, the information should only be used as general insights rather than as definitive demographic data. These insights have been included in the Twitter section above. Additionally, screenshots of the partial list of followers can be found on the attached Google document.