There’s no denying the power of social media. From boosting brand awareness, to creating a worldwide community, to starting a politically-charged movement, social media has the power to engage, provoke, delight and inspire.

Unfortunately, 2017’s social media feeds have featured less of the usual photos of food and nonsensical quizzes, and instead featured an unusual amount of tragedies, scandals, and privacy concerns. In many ways, 2017 has been a true test of grit for social media users.

With the aim of reminding everyone that social media can still be used in fun, creative, and well-intentioned ways, we’ve compiled a list of social media successes in 2017. Because some good, wacky, and encouraging things did come out of this tumultuous year. If you’re looking for some social media inspiration for 2018, look no further.


1. #KnowYourLemons Campaign by Worldwide Breast Cancer


At the beginning of the year, Worldwide Breast Cancer Foundation used social media for a good cause: education and early detection of breast cancer.  Truly embodying the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” the WBC launched a viral campaign around a sour subject, but through proper marketing (like their light-hearted hashtag #KnowYourLemons), made the topic easier to talk about. Not only did the charity educate thousands of women about a very urgent subject, they also created an online space for survivors to share their stories and raise awareness and donations. The non-profit surpassed their fundraising target by 317%, according to Digital Marketing Institute.



2. “Melt the Ice” Wix Superbowl Campaign


If your company has a zany social media marketing idea it wants to try, chances are the Super Bowl is the right time to try it. Earlier this year, website builder Wix launched a sweepstakes campaign called “Melt the Ice.” Broadcasted on Facebook as a live stream, the video featured a football helmet frozen in a giant block of ice, slowly being melted. Users had the chance to win $10,000 every day up until Super Bowl Sunday, with the final prize being $50,00 on game day. The only rules? Users had to change their profile picture to this image and submit it to Wix. Then they would tune in to the live stream to see if the ice had melted (which is when the winner would be announced). Watching ice melt may sound ho-hum, but the stream received over 232 million live views, or 7.6 billion minutes of live watch time.




3. Airbnb #WeAccept Superbowl Campaign


“We hope you consider joining us by sharing your home with someone who is displaced or donating to organizations that assist those in need,” Airbnb wrote on their website earlier this year. Airbnb took to social media to show their support for people from all walks of life, using the hashtag #WeAccept. They also aired a memorable Superbowl advertisement under the same title, featuring a montage of faces from all over the world. The ad played during the right place and the right time and was Airbnb’s way of taking a stance on recent political developments, while also strengthening their own brand image.



4. Taco Bell Snapchat Filter Campaign


Have you ever imagined what you would look like if your head was a giant taco? Neither have we, quite frankly. However, this is exactly what Taco Bell made possible. In honour of Cinco de Mayo, the fast food giant created a sponsored lens social media campaign that allowed users to turn their heads into a giant taco shell. The campaign was live for one day in the US only and was viewed 224 million times, making it the top campaign in the app’s history. The results were hilarious: snaps of users rocking a giant taco shell head, complete with the company’s signature bell sound and logo.


Taco Bell Social Media Campaign


5. ASOS Insiders Influencer Marketing Campaign


A genius example of a recent influencer marketing campaign on social media is ASOS Insiders. The British e-commerce site created a community of fashion influencers from around the globe by having them create Instagram (and some Pinterest and YouTube) handles under the company umbrella (“asos_”). These accounts are run by the influencers themselves and feature trendy guys and gals wearing different styled outfits while promoting a specific ASOS product. This influencer marketing focuses on authentic long-term engagement, as these brand ambassadors already have followings of their own where they offer fashion tips and style advice. 



6. Adidas Originals Influencer Marketing Campaign


We’re also a huge fan of the Adidas Originals social media campaign. Using the hashtag #ORIGINALis, they appealed to their target demographic by featuring influencers and hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Desiigner, and Stormzy in their social media posts. Adidas has long been a beloved brand of sports and streetwear lovers but the company steps up its game by having the latest and the greatest wearing their product.  This kind of influencer marketing confirms Adidas’ place as an emblem in hip-hop culture.


7. Hootsuite’s “Solar Eclipse of the Heart” Video


Although not specifically a social media campaign, we thought Hootsuite’s “Solar Eclipse of the Heart” post was worth mentioning in our list of favourite social media happenings in 2017. The Hootsuite social marketing team is known for staying ahead of the curve. This year they stayed relevant with a karaoke version of “Eclipse of the Heart” By Bonnie Taylor in light of the summer solar eclipse. The team created a video parody called “Social Eclipse of the Heart,” featuring its own employees, social media references, and their very own social media mascot, Owly.  Everyone was posting solar eclipse themed images, as well as Bonnie Taylor’s hit, but Hootsuite took it to the next level by personalizing the content to their brand.



8. RYU’s “What’s in Your Bag?” Instagram Campaign


Sometimes the best ideas are simple and low budget, like RYU’s  #WhatsInYourBag social media campaign. Focusing on user-generated content, the sportswear brand launched a social media contest for users to snap a photo of the contents of their bag. With the added enticement of a giveaway, the contest drove engagement like crazy for the Canadian brand. Hosting contests is still a great way to increase brand awareness online and many are quite easy to carry out. Check out our quick guide to running a social media contest.


9. Rice Krispies #TreatsForToys Campaign


What’s better than eating treats? Making treats in the shape of your favourite toy so that real toys can be donated to kids in need this Christmas! This is what Rice Krispies is doing with their annual holiday campaign. Customers are invited to make toy-shaped Rice Krispy treats and upload the photo to the Rice Krispies website or share it on social media using the hashtag #TreatsForToys. The more photos of treats shared, the more toys donated to kids less fortunate. Some of the best social media campaigns are the ones where users are asked to get their hands dirty and show off their creative side.



10. Spotify’s “Your 2017 Wrapped” Social Media Campaign


An annual highlight for both music lovers and social media enthusiasts alike is Spotify’s end of the year campaign, “Your 2017 Wrapped.” The music-streaming service compiles users’ music listening habits from the past year and then presents it in a delightful short web presentation. Who doesn’t like hearing about themselves? Spotify wraps up your most listened to tracks, artists, and genres and creates a shareable graphic to post on social media.

Part two of their end of the year marketing blast builds upon last year’s “Thanks, 2016… it’s been weird” campaign. This year it’s simply called “2018 Goals.” Although this ad campaign is not contained to social media, it’s worth mentioning as it’s widely talked about and shared online. Spotify is known for its quirky humour, which it mixes with user data and pop culture, creating ads like: “2018 goals: Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran songs on their ‘I Love Gingers’ playlist.” The campaign features 70 artists including Sam Smith and Niall Horan, and ads will run in 18 different cities.



Bonus: Moonpie’s Twitter Account This Year


If you follow Moonpie on Twitter, you’ll know that 2017 has been a strange year for the American confectionery company known for its graham-cracker-and-marshmallow treats. Moonpie is quickly becoming known for its daily whimsical references and self-deprecating humour on social media. It’s a daring move for a century-old company, but it works. Plus, it’s a blessed break from the otherwise accursed social media channel. Need some cheering up this season? Look no further than Moonpie’s latest tweets.



Best of luck with your social media efforts in the New Year! Stay positive, fun and inventive.

What were your social media highlights this year? Let us know in the comments below!