Professional Spotlight: Stephanie L. Schierholz (NASA)

Stephanie Schierholz is the Social Media Manager for NASA, buts that’s not all. This talented professional like many others also participates as a active member of other organizations. At the time of this article she is president-elect for Women in Aerospace, an inaugural member of the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020, and a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Stephanie earned her MBA at Georgetown University and also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and English.

Stephanie’s most recent work is in a new frontier at the Space Agency, as the Social Media Manager. It was during the Social Media World Forum in New York City that dbmei staff learned how NASA had a thriving social media presence and how it had been built by the brave souls who volunteered their time to generate a new communication tool for NASA. Unlike many other agencies and organizations NASA cannot advertise, which until recently left the agency at the hands of reporters. Now social media provides NASA with the opportunity to communicate and reach out to millions of followers. In addition to the recent TweetUps, they had the opportunity to do some location based services checking in on Foursquare, from SPACE?

Stephanie is passionate about change and everything space, but what you might miss is the underlying message about how she does that, it’s through communication.

While most can get lost in causes and ideas, Stephanie has stayed true to the core value that it’s all about communication. Stephanie sees social media as a “tool” that has done wonderful things allowing people and organizations to communicate. This was relayed intensely when she talked about both her experiences at NASA and with the British Council’s Transatlantic Network 2020. Stephanie shows great interest in communications being the tool to understand one another, in fact when faced with the question “What advice would you have for young people who face struggles and failure?” Stephanie immediately went back to her core explaining that critical evaluation has to be done to understand the “why” and ask questions to both yourself and the people around you.

Stephanie’s advice seems to consistently be about communication and exploration, she urges young professionals to reach out to experts but not be afraid to try something new, and again understand the “why” if someone is critical or when you face failure. Stephanie also warns to be careful, if you do something make sure you enjoy doing it because once you become the expert, it’s only natural that you’ll be expected to do that from now on.

As the President Elect for Women in Aerospace, Stephanie is passionate about opening the doors and setting up support systems by both men and women to help generate more resources for women to seek out careers in “everything from aviation to space and all that in-between”.

Stephanie was raised in Colorado, and has done quite a bit of moving around, but says she is enjoying the east coast for now, and in talking to her you can’t help but wonder if this star eyed professional has something more grander in mind for her future.

Stephanie Schierholz seems to be paving her way to something great, based on the roles she is in now and her passion for exploring new ones, you cann’t help but expect we will be hearing a lot more about her as time goes on.

As of today, Stephanie Schierholz is a passionate and professional contributor to society, social media and a role model for communicators everywhere.

Video: Interview done via Skype has been edited for sections to share on the post and via YouTube, the video is edited from the 45 minute original video to 15 minutes and includes sections thought important by the author. previous article on NASA from Stephanie L. Schierholz Presentation at Social Media World Forum North America:

#SMWF: NASA’s ‘Out-Of-This-World’ Social Media Engagement Success


Four Important Lessons Behind Successful Brand Marketing on Twitter

By now, hopefully you have read some of our stories highlighting the successes of brands using Twitter as a vital tool in their social media marketing campaigns.

These stories highlight how the success was achieved, but it is also highly important to learn what lessons some of the larger corporations have taken from their Twitter successes.  We can learn from the successes and the failures without having to experience the lows for ourselves.

@TacoBell Takes a Ribbing and Keeps on Ticking (or Tweeting)

Being a global brand, it is obvious that Taco Bell has its fans, and its fair share of detractors. This means that while they enjoy responding to their fans, they also have no issue responding to those who may not have positive comments or even those with simply curious ones.

The Lesson: Do not take yourself or your brand too seriously on Twitter. As long as you are accelerating the positive, embracing the negative will have a beneficial impact as well.

@DeltaAssist is Always Listening

Delta has promised that their Assist account will be listening around the clock, seven days per week. Listening isn’t really all there is to it. They are also responding to their customers complaints or questions, whenever and wherever they come from.

The Lesson: If your products or services are used outside regular business hours for your location, they are in the active business hours of other locations. Make sure you can be responsive whenever your customers need it, even if their location and business hours are not in your preferred time slot.

@CharlotteRusse Has it Going On

Charlotte Russe keeps it going on too. They not only send direct messages to new followers, often with exclusive offers, but they also regularly give away items, create discount offers, and run contest with valuable prizes from their Twitter account.

The Lesson: No one can resist a great deal. People will buy items exorbitantly discounted, sometimes even if they don’t need them. Also, consumers love contests and of course, the outright giveaway approach. Get attention for your brand or get off Twitter.

@JetBlue Goes Humble

Although they have many who tweet on their account, JetBlue encourages each of their Twitter management staff to integrate their own personalities into their Tweets and respond to customer complaints and request for assistance with a dose of reality and as much help and understand as possible.

JetBlue’s reps understand that many issues and delays relating to air travel can be a time for incredible stress for some passengers. To combat that, they encourage their staff to supply plenty of heartfelt ‘We are sorry!”‘s when needed.

The Lesson: Along with allowing your staff to showcase the people behind the accounts, you should never be afraid to apologize. Offering incentives for business mistakes or red tape are also great ideas too!

In many earlier DBMEi posts, we highlighted some of the businesses that were enacting full-on ‘listening’ skills into their social media campaigns. In such a short time, there are already many more, large and small who have followed suit. Each and every one of those has a lesson they have learned. Reach out and ask them yourself. When I did,

I received a response in six minutes. Personally, if I was flying JetBlue today, I would be pretty satisfied with a six minute response time, with a real person, instead of a conversation with a long series of different voice prompts or immense button mashing required.


Proven Successful Twitter Campaigns

5 Must Have Marketing Success Metrics

How JetBlue Used Twitter to Treat Me Like a Human

#SMWF: NASA’s ‘Out-Of-This-World’ Social Media Engagement Success

NASA has quite an impressive social media plan in place that has already created quite a social buzz. There innovative and interactive ideas has gained them a solid reputation for achieving success with social engagement. At the Social Media World Forum in New York, I had a chance to hear Stephanie L. Schierholz, Social Media Manager talk about what NASA has been doing with Social Media, and specfically location based services recently.

NASA Partners with Gowalla

Gowella, a mobile and web service, partnered with NASA in 2010 to provide them with an interactive contest where users check in via Gowalla to help locate four NASA-related virtual items. Those items were a NASA patch, a spacesuit, space shuttle, and a moon rock. NASA displays moon rocks from past moon missions at expositions, planetariums, and museums throughout the world. Moon rocks were easily located when users checked in to any location where an actual moon rock was on display.

Gowlla in collaboration with JESS3 created a special edition of a visual map to help users locate the moon rocks and the other required treasure hunt items could be found by checking in through Gowalla at any one of the over 400 science centers, observatories, nature centers, aquariums, museums, and planetariums that are part of NASA’s large Museum Alliance. Gowalla users that collected at least three of the four required items received a special pin in their digital Gowalla passport.

Plus, the first one hundred people who collected three of the four items also received a hardcopy version of the map in the mail.

Tweets from Above and Beyond

During this impressive social media campaign, NASA also had Astronaut Douglas Wheelock, or @Astro_Wheels, check in from Space Station announcing. “Houston, I’ve just unlocked FourSquares’ NASA Explorers badge.”

Check out the NASA Explorers Badge at FourSquare.

Campaign Statistics

This NASA social media campaign turned up some pretty impressive stats for Gowalla and Twitter. Gowalla had never had a past completed by so many, so quickly. Over thirty-thousand of each of the four required items were located through check-ins, and followers were increased by 4,278 during this campaign.

Since this campaign began more than 10,000 people have unlocked the NASA Explorer badge, and over 130,000 people now follow NASA on Foursquare.

Aside from the statistics, NASA’s campaign on Twitter has had other benefits as well. Some of the photos posted by any given @Astro to Twitpic can be what Douglas Wheelock referred to as ‘life-changing’ such as this photo of the earth’s aurora from space.


You Don’t Have to Be an Astronaut to Learn from NASA

Check out what the social media manager for NASA has to say about their relationship with Twitter and how they engage with their followers, as well as how you can engage yours!

Some lessons that NASA social media staff has taken away from their campaigns may help you as well.

  1. Use Twitter yourself first. Know the format and how it works. Get familiar.
  2. Identify the specific business case for your use.
  3. Locate new resources for growth.
  4. Keep the account active.

“You may not have a spaceship, but your company has a fan base. They won’t think of themselves as fans until they’re in a room with like-minded people. They won’t think of themselves as members of a community until YOU bring them together.”

-David Rosen, @davidhrosen (group VP, Makovsky + Company)



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