And the award for “Best Government Use of Social Media” goes to…. NASA!

For the second consecutive year, @NASA has won the Shorty award for its stellar work on Twitter. The annual Shorty Awards, for those unfamiliar, honor the best people, brands, and organizations on social media. And the April 8th awards show held at the TimesCenter in New York City was the Shorty Awards’ fifth anniversary. So, given that all U.S. Senators are on Twitter, and government agencies are quickly approaching this same echelon, the competition has only become fiercer. But, when you’re NASA, shooting for the moon is just part of a day’s work.

Behind NASA’s social media success

So, why did @NASA triumph at Sunday’s Shorty Awards? NASA’s official Twitter feed boasts the most number of followers of any government agency at 3.8 million, but in social media, quantity doesn’t always trump quality. For NASA, it was a combination of inspiring content and connecting with people on a personal level. For instance, NASA holds “NASA Tweetups” which give social media followers the ability to interact with NASA employees like engineers, astronauts, and scientists.

It is also no surprise that NASA’s Curiousity Rover won a Shorty Award. As we recently wrote about, the Curiousity Rover’s use of social media was both informative and humorous, checking in on Four Square at various locations on Mars with Four Square.

Of course, when NASA won the award for the second consecutive year, it was required to give an acceptance speech. However, unlike other awards shows, there needed to be no music to play the winners off the stage. Instead, NASA was limited to Twitter’s 140 characters. It Tweeted: “We’re sharing the universe 1 tweet at a time. Be inspired! Follow @NASA & RT if you love science and space. #ShortyAwards.”