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Social Media Highlights 2014

2014 was a great year for social media content. We witnessed photobombs galore, record-breaking selfies, and who can forget the ice cold accomplishment that was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Let’s have a look at a few of our viral highlights of 2014…

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Ellen’s Oscar Selfie

Back in March, Oscar buzz was all around, and perhaps the most star-studded selfie of all time was born on this night; The Ellen Oscar Selfie.

Jam packed with famous faces, the likes of Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Jared Leto and Kevin Spacey squeezed themselves into frame for what was to become the tweet seen around the world. Retweeted more than 3.3 million times, this is what you call breaking the internet… Literally, Twitter broke because of all the retweets.

Since then, celebrities and regular folk alike have tried to recreate this selfie’s success but so far, nothing has topped it.

The CIA Joins Twitter

Emerging from the shadows, the CIA left the morse code behind and joined the world of hashtags and 140 characters in June. Following the success of their first tweet, the account now highlights various significant dates in history, tributes and interesting facts (did you know that pigeon missions are still classified?) which makes the CIA seem more personable. Alongside their ‘On this Day’ style of posts, official statements and interviews are also posted to keep followers up to date with life in the CIA.

Check out the interview of Chief Information Officer, Doug Wolfe, on the use of Cloud Computing within the Agency here for some interesting insights!

#LikeAGirl – Always

Take note, this is how to successfully promote an issue and have your advertisment become a viral sensation in the one campaign. Always, the feminine hygiene product, decided to highlight what “like a girl” really means.

In a simple yet quite shocking way, Always released a video showing people of all ages and genders throwing and running “like a girl” then showing young girls doing the same thing. The differences were staggering and really highlight the impact of stereotypes.

In its first week, the video was watched 31 millions times and to date is just shy of 54 million views. Celebrities such as Sarah Silverman have also engaged in the campaign which was popular across all channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Vine.

The video has had millions of Shares and Retweets, and even caught the attention of various news outlets – including Time magazine – who took part in the discussion.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

During the summer we all went ice, ice crazy in the name of ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge was the viral event of the summer, if not the year, helping to raise more than $100 million in the name of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). While the official rules of the challenge varied, the point was to dump a bucket of water and ice over yourself before nominating some of your friends to do the same and donate money to the cause.

As with most viral hits, celebrities soon jumped on the bandwagon and got their freeze on! Perhaps two of our favourite challenges came from celebrities, Charlie Sheen and Patrick Stewart, and they didn’t even get wet!

As far as viral hits go, this was one of the best, and it raised a lot of money for charity.

Apple & U2 vs Everybody

Social media went wild in September when users accessed their iPhones, only to discover a distinct lack of storage space. The issue? U2.

To coincide with the anticipated release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, U2 and Apple teamed up to unleash a gift to the world in the shape of an automatic download of the new album, Songs of Innocence. There was just one tiny fly in the ointment, nobody wanted the album, and it was virtually impossible to remove it!

Distributed via iCloud, the album appeared in everyone’s playlists on all Apple devices without much hope of being able to delete it. Understandably, social media users weren’t best pleased, causing a huge backlash against both Apple and U2.

Users were not only annoyed at the automatic download, but also about their privacy. U2 have since made a very public apology and Apple have introduced a one click system to remove the album.

Looking Forward: 2015 & Social Media

Some great social media campaigns were created during 2014 and 2015 is set to be even better!

  • Video will take centre stage this year. Sharing videos via Facebook has never been more popular, so popular in fact that according to Social Bakers, Facebook video shares could soon surpass video giant YouTube.

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  • Facebook announced back in November 2014 that, as of January 2015, they would be changing the way businesses advertise to incorporate more paid advertisement into news feeds. The changes will see a significant suppression of organic reach posts and with Twitter looking to adopt a Facebook-like advertising algorithm, companies may be forced to embrace paid advertisement. It seems like the days of organic reach could be numbered. Read the update here.
  •  Niche platforms look set to continue in 2015. 2014 saw the rise of new platforms such as Ello gain immense popularity. Dubbed the “Anti-Facebook”, Ello promises to stay advertisement free forever and caters to those who are looking for a change from Facebook while still wishing to maintain an active social media presence. We’ll need to wait and see whether the excitement around the invite-only Ello will level out, but until then we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for the smaller platforms looking to grow.
  •  According to Social Media Examiner, 2015 will also see the rise of integration between different platforms for marketers. In the latter half of 2014 especially, we saw a lot of companies begin to intertwine their feeds to provide a more complex, but effective, marketing approach. With users active on several platforms at businesses should think about the best ways to drive traffic at all times. Posting an image to Facebook? Try and drive traffic to Instagram to see more like it, or link to your website to read the blog behind the image.
  •  On the subject of intertwining streams,  2014 saw a dramatic increase in the amount of visuals being used within social media streams and it’s set to get better in 2015 according to Groove. Posting videos and images are the best way to engage users, so the more the better. This is not exclusive to platforms like Instagram. With online tools like Canva, it has never been easier or quicker to create interesting and engaging images for all your social media platforms.

 And Finally,

  •  Direct buying will gain momentum in 2015. Both Facebook and Twitter will be introducing ‘Buy Now” buttons in the near future, which means it will be easier than ever for companies to promote products within feeds. We think this will be popular with smaller items such as music, books and films but has the potential to expand to allow the user to buy anything through social media.

photo credit: mdesisto via photopin cc

Written By Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley is our Client Service Executive, working to deliver top drawer content marketing and social media campaigns for our clients.

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