You’ve pulled down the Christmas tree, demolished the chocolates (or, like me, found a use for them), dusted down the gym kit and polished your social media bio.

Yes, here we are, a new year, new beginning. A new you: Happy New Year and Hello 2014.


But surely 2014 can’t have as much social drama, despair and discourse as witnessed and experienced in 2013. Surely not…

I for one am looking forward to building on my personal and professional development as the year progresses, and what better way to begin than blogging, on my train to work.

I thought it worth reflecting on some of the UK’s big social media moments of 2013 to offer some direction to my social 2014.

Some you’ll agree with, others you’ll remember, a few you’ll laugh at, and there’s bound to be at least one you forgot:

  • January: HMV staff live tweet their own sackings following the company entering administration, before control of the Twitter account was corporately recovered, receiving widespread interest not just across social media but also traditional media; Also this month, Vine, the app that allows the creation of short video clips, is launched by Twitter
  • February: Tesco horse meat scandal emerges, with escalating interest especially following their ‘hit the hay’ goodnight tweet. Gains widespread social and traditional media coverage followed by crisis management by the company that notably overlooked Twitter
  • March: Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart declared on Twitter that she’d donate £1 to Comic Relief for every retweet of her message ‘before 9pm’. Twitterati swung into action and she was soon, to her surprise, writing out a £14,000 cheque. The tweet was ultimately shared almost 20,000 times. Let’s hope Ms Mctaggart’s colleagues better understand the possibilities of social media, given that by the end of 2013, according to Yatterbox, UK MPs had sent almost 1 million tweets over the previous 12 months, up 28 per cent on 2012 and  238 per cent higher than the number of tweets in 2011
  • April: In social media terms, the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher was monumental, with Facebook ranking this one of the most talked about topics in the UK in 2013, reported The Independent
  • May: High Court rules House of Commons’ Speaker’s wife, Sally Bercow, did libel Lord McAlpine via Twitter, following a Newsnight report wrongly implicating the former Tory Treasurer in allegations of historical sex abuse. She was later ordered to compensate Lord McAlpine to the tune of £15,000
  • June: In what is seen as a move to challenge Vine, photo micro blogging site Instagram launches video-sharing capability; Also in June, Social media is described as ‘the worst menace to society’ by Turkish President Recep Erdogan following the taking of Istanbul’s main square by protesters – a reminder of not just the power of social media, but also the threat some in power believe it can carry
  • July: Andy Murray wins the Wimbledon Championships, the most talked about event on Facebook in the UK in 2013, The Independent recently reported
  • August: Entertainer, performer and singer Miley Cyrus’s twerking with Robin Thicke at the 2013 mtv video music awards generates  a new world record of 306,100 tweets per minute – leading to Oxford Dictionaries adding twerking as a listed word, along with selfie, later announced as Oxford’s word of the year
  • September: Adopting a guerrilla tactic, Hasan Syed spends $1,000 on promoted tweets, drawing thousands’ attention to the delays his father faced in having his bag returned by British Airways (BA). BA took four hours to respond, due to their Twitter account being manned during office hours only, by which time word was well and truly out – small, smart tactics with big lessons for businesses
  • October: British Gas host a Tweetchat with Customer Service Director Bert Pijls using the #AskBG hashtag, the same day it unveiled a 9.2 per cent increase in charges. Cue disparaging, sarcastic and humorous responses and widespread negative coverage
  • November: A unique social media conversation between UK brands takes place following a customer tweeting Tesco Mobile highlighting disparaging comments about their brand; to which Tesco Mobile respond then start a brand love-in as other companies become involved
  • December: British diver Tom Daley announces on YouTube that he is in a relationship with a man, a statement that attracted unprecedented interest across both traditional and social media – the clip alone has now been viewed over 10 million times

2013, what a year. May your 2014 be as healthy, fun and social as your ambitions allow.

Take it easy