With 2012 over, we are going to start being bombarded with Top “whatever” of 2012 lists. Let me be one of the first to present you with a list of what I believe are the top 10 social media moments of 2012. These moments/events are not in any particular order.
1.) In March 2012, Invisible Children created a video showing the struggles of people in Africa and what they have been doing to stop it. Overnight, this video was shared millions of times, and #KONY2012 and #STOPKONY became international trending topics. Celebrities, like Oprah, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Bill Gates all began tweeting about the cause. At the time of writing this blog, the Kony 2012 video has 95,317,759 views on YouTube after being up only 9 months.
2. ) Oreo had a big year in social media (nice job, Oreo community manager!). With multiple viral messages, Oreo became one of the top brands on social media for showing personality.
My favorite example of brands having fun and showing personality was the conversation between Oreo and AMC.
With over 500 retweets, it’s always nice to remember that there is a person with a sense of humor behind the brands online. Oreo took a stand on June 25th by posting a picture of an Oreo cookie with rainbow layers of crème with the caption “Proudly support love!”. This support of Gay Pride Day caused quite the stir for Oreo, even after threats of boycotts, Oreo stood by their post. Today, the post is still gaining engagement with over 297,000 likes, 60,000 comments, and 90,000 shares.
3.) When Chick-Fil-A president, Dan Cathy, announced that he was “guilty as charged” of donating to anti-gay charities, the popular restaurant saw an explosion of posts on its social media properties. To try to fix the problem, Chick-Fil-A posted a response (that was more of a non-response, if you ask me), to Cathy’s remarks. This response fueled the fire and created multiple boycotts and angry responses. Without an official press release or responding to Cathy’s remarks, Chick-Fil-A paid the price for popularity on social media accounts.
4.) Hurricane Sandy or “#Frankenstorm” was one of the first large natural disasters to be documented on a variety of social media sites. Homeland Security, cities, and government agencies used social media to quickly get the word out about the state of the places hit and where people could receive help. During Hurricane Sandy and the following days, Instagram saw ten image uploads per second with a Hurricane Sandy related hashtag, which quickly spread to Facebook and Twitter. Users uploaded more than 800,000 images to Instagram using the hashtag, #Sandy. The website Instacane.com popped up to chronicle the disaster through images from Instagram. People began sharing their experiences with others through Facebook and Twitter. By sharing their stories in real-time, many people gained a comfort in social media knowing that they were not alone.
5.) 2012 was a big year for new social media platforms. Anyone, who has read any of my previous blogs or knows me, is aware that the biggest social media moment in my life in 2012 (other than beginning at Intrapromote, of course) was the discovery of Pinterest. Pinterest and Instagram became mainstream platforms that many people visit daily. Pinterest has passed LinkedIn as the third top social media site and is now competing with Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest hit 10 million unique United States visitors faster than any website has in the past. Instagram has taken off in 2012, as well. After being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in April, Instagram now sees 7.3 million daily active users. More than 5 million images are uploaded to Instagram every day. It’ll be exciting to see how these platforms continue to grow and improve in 2013!
6.) On October 15, Felix Baumgartner jumped from 128,000 feet above Earth to land on the ground in New Mexico. This event, which was sponsored by Red Bull, was called “Red Bull Stratos”. With YouTube live streaming the event, approximately 8 million viewers watched Felix plunge towards Earth. This YouTube/Red Bull event has the most concurrent live streams in the history of YouTube.
7.) The entire 2012 Presidential Election could be followed through a variety of social media platforms. Memes, videos, and images filled our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts leading up to the big day.
On Election Night, Twitter erupted with election and voting trends. Throughout the day, Twitter received 3,000 tweets/minute about people voting. At 10:16 PM on the night of the election, Twitter peaked with 20 million tweets about the election. This made the 2012 election the most tweeted event in U.S. political history. Top trending topics for that day regarding the election were #Election2012 and also #Stayinline. When President Obama announced the news of his victory, his “Four More Years” tweets had over 128,000 re-tweets within 10 minutes of being tweeted.
8.) Mars Rover, Curiosity, provided the world with the first real-time look at Mars. It has also been providing us with FourSquare tips, as it explores the planet! When the Mars Rover checked in on Mars, it became the first check-in ever on another planet and the second check-in in space.
9.) 2012 was the year of viral music videos and parodies. In March 2012, the world was graced with the musical stylings of Carly Rae Jepson and her hit “Call Me Maybe”. With 364,354,474 views on YouTube, this video went viral fast with thanks to social sharing. This video was not only shared throughout social networks like wildfire, but it also sparked many parodies. Everyone had their own take on this video, from the Harvard baseball team to the U.S. Olympic swim team.
Another video that spread quickly by means of social media is PSY’s “Gangnum Style”. The video was the first to hit 1 billion views on YouTube. Like “Call Me Maybe”, “Gangnum Style” has provided us with many parodies, including a few political versions done just in time by the popular humor site, College Humor.
10.) The 2012 Summer Olympics will forever be known as the first social Olympics. The International Olympic Committee put strict rules on Olympians on what they can publish regarding their Olympics experience. Even with the strict rules, many athletes saw their social media followings explode. Gabby Douglas’ Facebook fan count grew from around 14,000 to 600,000 in two weeks. When Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 200m final, Twitter saw 80,000 tweets per minute immediately following the race. Popular swimmer, Micahel Phelps’ Twitter followers grew to over 1 million throughout the course of the Olympics. When McKayla Maroney received the silver medal, instead of the anticipated gold, the image of her on the podium went viral quickly with the caption, “McKayla is not impressed”.
2012 was a great year for social media. Who knows what 2013 will bring!