The US government space agency has invited 150 followers of its Twitter account to Cape Canaveral to attend a rocket launch. In return, it will be their job to 'tweet' live reports of the event as it happens.

Targeting positive influencers is one of the viral mechanisms on Twitter which companies use, and NASA has certainly taken this idea on board. The space agency has decided to ask 150 followers of its Twitter feeds to share the experience of a rocket launch on 8 September. The 150 followers invited to this ‘Tweetup’ will be taken to the launch base to follow the countdown step by step and then asked toshare their experience of the launch with their followers on Twitter. 

Getting the public at large on your side

Franck Perrier, the Managing Director of Idaos, interviewed by L'Atelier, thinks this approach "will pay off because Twitter has become the main channel of information, of scoops". He adds: "This social networking site will enable NASA to achieve truly viral dissemination of the information, cascaded via accounts which NASA has carefully selected for their breadth of influence". It is in fact worth noting that out of 800 followers who applied to take part in the ‘Tweetup’, only 150 were accepted.

Twitter, a multifunctional business tool

"NASA is hoping to obtain maximum visibility and backing from the public at large in this way, at a time when the U.S. government is imposing budget restrictions,” adds Franck Perrier, underlining that "on a broader view, Twitter is the best communication vehicle for an organisation such as NASA, given that the agency is very strongly linked to technology and aims to remain at the cutting edge of technology".