Top 5 Social Videos of 2013

2013 was another big year for social video. If you read along with the HootSuite blog, you may have seen my series on Social Media and Storytelling which explored social video. Social video is different than broadcast video in that it is designed to be shared through social networks. There are six principles for social video directly influenced by social media:

  1. Listen first
  2. Be agile
  3. Engage with your audience
  4. Be emotive
  5. Build momentum
  6. Drive a viral effect. (if you are lucky)

There were several videos that attained “viral” status this year. After spending plenty of time on the internet and collaborating with a few of HootSuite’s viral video know-it-alls… we have come up with our Top 5 Social Videos of 2013:

Hadfield Space Odyssey

In May 2013, after five months in space, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to earth as something of a celebrity, especially to my daughters. During his time at the International Space Station, Commander Hadfield went from being an obscure space commander to an orbiting rockstar, thanks to his hundreds of inter-galactic updates on social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, which generated a lot of attention and made him a very popular man down on earth.

It was one of the most effective ‘campaigns’ on social media for 2013—from the hauntingly beautiful images of earth he took and tweeted out, to the first-ever music video made in space  (no less than a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” Hadfield sung while floating around the spaceship, guitar in hand.) Today, the video has 19.5 million views, and Chris Hadfield is seeing over 700,000 fans across five social networks, including Twitter where he had close to half a million fan followers. That kind of rapid, organic affinity is the Holy Grail of marketing today.

What Does The Fox Say

These lyrics sound like they would come straight from a children’s song — “Ducks say ‘Quack’ and fish go ‘blub’ and the seal goes ‘ow ow ow’” — but the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis posed a pretty crucial question to adults: What does the fox say?

The song was released in September and was originally a promo for Ylvis’ show’s new season, but quickly transformed into one of the catchiest songs of the year. The official video has over 276 million views, and nearly 750,000 comments. Their Facebook page is seeing over 330,000 followers, and they have even released a book, aptly named “What Does The Fox Say?” After watching the video it’s almost impossible to not catch yourself saying “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!”

How Animals Eat Food

“Wanna see how animals eat their food? Watch closely…” nearly 90 million views later, this slapstick comedy, by YouTube comedian MisterEpicMann is still making viewers giggle with the re-enactment of the ways animals eat food. Here you can see how a lizard, rhino, whale and even a kangaroo would prefer to eat their meals.

This video has helped MisterEpicMann’s career take off; he’s now seeing tens of thousands of follows on his Facebook  and Twitter pages, and has released 4 videos through his YouTube channel which have hit over 10 millions views a piece. Not too bad for “just a weirdo making YouTube vids with his friends for his friends.”

Chatroulette Wrecking Ball

If you have ever wondered what would happen if Miley Cyrus ran away, grew a beard and joined the circus? If you have, it was probably in the form of Steve Kardynal, YouTube comedian extraordinaire.

Not only did the comedian re-enact Miley’s Wrecking Ball video in his living room (yes, even the naked wrecking ball swing), but he did it through the medium of Chatroulette. Seeing the reaction of the viewers is wonderful, as their reaction matches your own while watching. Since it’s release two weeks ago (November 26), the video has already racked up over 78.5 million views. Pretty big numbers for a video of a hairy guy with a sledgehammer.

 Harlem Shake

One of the biggest trends this year had to be the Harlem Shake. If you search Harlem Shake on Youtube, over 6.6 million results will pop up: a group of sky-divers pumping their fists in a wild dance move while falling through the clouds; members of the University of Georgia men’s swim team doing similar moves underwater; a video of Norwegian Army officers standing in formation before breaking down into their version of the dance (and getting 91 million views).

This opportunity was just too awesome for the folks here at HootSuite, so we had to make our own:

Honorable Mention: Goats screaming Like Humans to Taylor Swift

When the Goats Yelling like Humans video came out back in February, people were hooked. The number of views started to skyrocket (now it sits at about 21 million views). The real magic didn’t happen though, until one user decided to remix this video and Taylor Swift’s song I Knew You Were Trouble. The conclusion was pure gold. Soon after, there were goat video parodies popping up all over YouTube, including versions of Katy Perry’s Roar and even Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball.

Today, there are multiple videos of Tay-Tay’s Trouble remixed with goats screaming like humans, some with millions of views. Who knew, that this hilarious parody would turn out to be a perfect (and yes, outrageous) mashup of two admired Internet stars.