Normally I use this column to write about ads and marketing campaigns that have stood out and been a success for one reason or another.
This week though I want to look at something slightly different – the big hitters on UK’s social media last year, and what was the difference between the various platforms.
2012 was a landmark year for social media – Facebook got its one-billionth user, while Youtube received 1.5 billion visits to the Gangnam Style video.
According to research carried out by the BBC, Whitney Houston’s untimely death was the biggest story of the year across all social media platforms, while other big stories concerned the London Olympics, Hurricane Sandy and the US election.
But what were the biggest trends among each social media platform?
Twitter’s time-based hierarchy meant ‘in the moment’ news and sports events topped the list of most talked about topics last year – the Olympics, Euro 2012 and Chelsea’s stunning/lucky win in the Champions League, depending on which side of the fence you sit on, were the top trends.
Over on Facebook, which is less time sensitive and focuses on content types and relationships, the Diamond Jubilee and the US election were the big hitters.
And on Youtube, which has long moved past just music and film, to showing more emotive material and other forms of entertainment, the Kony 2012 video and Felix Baumgartner’s sky dive from the edge of space were among the most popular items.
So what can marketers, businesses and other organisations with a social media presence learn about these trends?
Well, looking at the BBC’s research, reaction times are hugely important and should be kept in mind when engaging with the target audience. Knowing how people go about using different social media platforms should allow marketers to gauge whether their campaign will be a success or not depending on which platform they target.
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