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Does Your Social Media Work Deserve an Award?
By: Christine Geraci
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If you're in charge of a social media presence — your own, your company's, or those of multiple different clients — stop what you're doing for a minute and ask yourself this: 
Does my work deserve the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award?
Okay, so technically you can't get this particular award unless your work has something to do with outer space. But this award — and its most recent recipient — gives social media professionals an example of something to aspire to that I just love.
The Space Foundation has announced NASA's social media team as the latest Public Outreach Award winner. NASA's robust social presence operates with the goal of communicating NASA's mission and making as many people as possible aware of NASA's work. NASA maintains presences on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, UStream, YouTube, Foursquare, Slideshare, and Flickr. It is most famous for NASA Socials (formerly NASA Tweetups) that allow NASA followers to meet up in person and interact with NASA staff.
The NASA social media formula may not work for everyone. But that's not the point.
Through deep thought, hard work, and effective collaboration, NASA's social media team has developed a world-class social media effort that works for NASA. 
Yes, keeping a sharp eye on the competition is important. But in the end, social media professionals need to craft and implement strategies that work best for their clients. How do you know those strategies work for the client? Some examples of what to look for:
1) The clients' online communities remain loyal
2) Their social platforms provide value to visitors
3) People engage
4) People speak in the clients' favor — or, they indicate informed consent for what the client is doing
NASA's social media team serves arguably the most scientifically and technologically forward organization on the planet. Yet they're clearly not in some sort of space race with the competition. They compete with themselves — constantly evaluating and reevaluating their work in an ongoing effort to make it better and more useful for NASA's followers.  
If you're in a space race with yourself, constantly trying to top your work, then your work will win, if it hasn't already.
What kind of award-worthy social media work are you doing today?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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