The National Air and Space Museum’s digital engagement efforts educate and inspire audiences wherever they are, inside the Museum or beyond its walls. In 2016, the Museum launched GO FLIGHT, a new digital experience that delivers compelling stories of flight anytime, anywhere, and encourages people to explore how aviation and spaceflight transform their lives every day. GO FLIGHT places stories at the center of the Museum experience. Whether visiting the Museum’s website, using the GO FLIGHT mobile app, or engaging on our social media channels, people can discover personal connections with aviation and spaceflight by reading our timely and relevant stories or sharing their own; joining a conversation with experts; or engaging in online programs that invite audiences to participate in the Museum’s mission to educate and inspire.
Our new content strategy has generated a wider range of stories from our experts. Audiences have also shared their own personal narratives through our new “Share Your Story” initiative. The Museum published over 175 stories in 2016, a 51% increase over the previous year, and audiences shared over 142 personal stories. Views of this content have increased on the website, which received over 4.5 million virtual visitors, a 10.7% increase over 2015.
Audiences also continue to share compelling stories and engage in conversation with us on our social media channels. The Museum’s social media audience grew 24% in 2016. Our annual social media survey revealed 80 percent of our audience feels the Museum’s posts are interesting and engaging; relevant and connected to themes people care about; and thought-provoking and educational. Two of the Museum’s biggest social media events included the Star Trek 50th anniversary (#BoldlyGo50) and the Museum's 40th anniversary celebration (#airandspace40), which combined reached over 15 million people on Twitter with 80 million impressions.
We increased our use of video stories as well as live video via Periscope and Facebook to engage audiences in real-time programming. The most viewed Facebook Live with NASA Astronaut Christina Hammock Koch received more than 140,000 views. With over 80% of our social media audience located outside Washington, DC, we see increased audience engagement when content is tailored to audiences beyond the walls.
GO FLIGHT Digital Experience
The new GO FLIGHT digital experience connects people with compelling stories of flight. The integrated experience includes a new interactive wall in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, the GO FLIGHT mobile app, a re-envisioned website, and our social media channels that create a seamless Museum experience from any digital entry point.
The GO FLIGHT mobile app allows visitors to personalize their visit, viewing content based on where they are, by topics of interest, and saving favorites to create a personalized tour. Onsite visitors can use the app to explore the Museum and discover objects around them using a location-aware interactive map.
GO FLIGHT invites people to stay connected with the Museum and its stories. Wherever audiences go, the app delivers exciting stories from history and today; reveals surprising connections between the people, places, and objects of flight; and provides updates when new stories become available on the topics that interest the user the most.
Since launching July 1, 2016, the GO FLIGHT app has been downloaded over 20,000 times.
As we learn more about audience preferences and interests, GO FLIGHT will continue to expand and evolve, informing future digital experiences the Museum creates to reach audiences everywhere.