WINNIPEG – Some of the most memorable stories this year were those that went viral online, making a mark on social media.
Social media specialist Susie Erjavec Parker joined the Morning News to share the top five stories of 2015 from a Canadian perspective.
“One of the stories that was obviously very popular this year was Justin Trudeau,” Parker from SPARKER Strategy said. “Syria is woven into that story as well… welcoming the refugees, I think was a huge way of showing social media to the Canadian public in a way they weren’t used to.”
Canadian artists also made history on social media in 2015, starting hashtags for hit songs like Justin Bieber’s #WhatDoYouMean.
“Justin Bieber, the Weekend and Drake combined have over one hundred million followers on Twitter,” Parker said. “When you look at Vine stars like Sean Mendes and Alessia Cara and then Carly Rae Jepsen… these Canadian artists have dominated music this year.”
Another trending hashtag Parker pointed out was #LoveWins, which started trending shortly after the U.S. ruling on same-sex marriage in June.
“A lot of themes this year in social media have been built around equality, human rights and accessibility,” Parker said. “You can translate that as well to #JeSuisParis.”
After the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris this year, #JeSuisParis went viral on multiple social media platforms, allowing people around the world to share their support.
“It was a way for the world to come together and share this experience and not just mourn but to help each other out,” Parker said. “Facebook check-in let people know they were safe and allowed them to reach family and friends.”
One picture still causing a stir on social media is the “The Dress” which took off when a washed-out dress photograph was posted online in February, causing millions of people to dispute whether it was blue and black or white and gold.
“It was a great example of how something can jump off your phone and into mainstream news and give people something to talk about,” Parker said.
Overall, Parker sees people using social media to bridge gaps and start important conversations about a wide range of events.
“With the connectivity that happens on social media it’s not just the connection that you and I are having in a closed room, it’s open to the entire world to see and I think that really gives us a different perspective.”