To round off 2018 here are some of the best social stories and campaigns we saw in December – including Facebook, OTRO, Raheem Sterling and Nike, and more.

Let’s dive in…

Refuge publishes poems to highlight domestic abuse in Christmas campaign

UK charity Refuge released some highly effective poems at the beginning of December in an attempt to address domestic violence, especially around Christmas time. But there’s a twist. The poems are reversible.

Initially, the poems read as normal and tell a pleasant Christmas family story however when the poem is read backwards the sentiment is completely shifted, telling the tale of the realities of domestic violence and abuse.

The purpose of the campaign is to “raise awareness of this growing epidemic, which is often overlooked during the festive season”, the company wrote on its blog.

Citing harrowing statistics like one in four women experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, two women a week being killed by their partners or ex-partners and, on average, three women a week committing suicide as a way of escape, this campaign is not only timely but also powerful in evoking an emotional response from its viewers.

You can read the full poems on the Refuge website

Nike makes Raheem Sterling the face of its new campaign highlighting racial inequality

Manchester City and England superstar Raheem Sterling has become the face of Nike’s new campaign in a bid to raise the importance of speaking out about racism in football.

The reactive campaign was spawned after Sterling was subjected to alleged racial abuse by a Chelsea F.C. supporter when Manchester City played the London club early in December.

Although Raheem didn’t react at the time of the abuse he was compelled to take to social media to address the treatment he and other black players receive at the hands of the British media.

View this post on Instagram

Good morning I just want to say , I am not normally the person to talk a lot but when I think I need my point to heard I will speak up. Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game as you can see by my reaction I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better. For example you have two young players starting out there careers both play for the same team, both have done the right thing. Which is buy a new house for there mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are, but look how the news papers get there message across for the young black player and then for the young white payer. I think this in unacceptable both innocent have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded. This young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an aggressive behaviour, so for all the news papers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all i have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an give all players an equal chance.

A post shared by Raheem Sterling x ???? (@sterling7) on

For Sterling, this was the first time he had addressed race publicly, using social media as his tool to do so, and to great effect with a lot of likes and supportive comments on both posts.

For Nike, this was the brand’s attempt to, again, make a stand and start conversation about prejudice in sport.

The campaign is a derivative of the well publicised and shared Colin Kapaernick campaign from earlier in 2018.

The attorney general of Washington DC is suing Facebook

On 19th December 2018, the attorney general of Washington DC filed a lawsuit against Facebook following its alleged misuse of user data following the Cambridge Analytica Scandal.

The lawsuit breaks down the areas in which the tech giant failed to protect and maintain its user’s data, had a “lack of oversight and enforcement of its own policies”, issued misleading statements and practices regarding third-party access to user data and its own access to user data.  

The count that Facebook is being sued on is based on its violation of the ‘Consumer Protection Procedures Act’ which the attorney general highlights most-tellingly as the “failure to disclose, or adequately disclose necessary information” to its users, in addition to putting “users at risk of manipulation” with the Cambridge Analytica scandal earmarked as Facebook’s most noteworthy faux pas.

Facebook had a turbulent 2018, with the UK Government fining the company £500k for its failure to protect user data back in October.

Tourism Ireland’s first global campaign for seven years

Tourism Ireland launched its brand new global campaign (for the first time in seven years) with its “Fill your heart with Ireland” activation.

The focus of the campaign was to highlight some of the lesser-known destinations in Ireland and Northern Ireland to audiences around the globe, with the aim of encouraging holidays and short breaks to the country.

The true innovation of the campaign comes in its production, where the couple featured in the video above connected to heart rate monitors and head cameras which recorded their holiday activities as they travelled around the country. The footage shown in the ad campaign is a result of what their heart rates rose most for during their travels.

This campaign was also featured in OOH ad and print ads in the US and UK respectively, as well.

The campaign hopes to build on the growing number of tourist that the country received in 2018, with a 7% increase in overseas visitors between January and November.

Facebook ramps up ad transparency in India ahead of 2019 elections

This image was taken from Facebook’s Newsroom

Back in October, Facebook reported that it would be rolling out an ad tool in the UK to provide users with greater transparency when viewing political ads. The tool has also been available in Brazil and now India.

The ad tool will work similarly to the one that was introduced in the UK with Facebook keen to encourage verification as early as possible to negate any delays for political advertisers in India as the 2019 general elections are a few months away.

Facebook also announced a new publicly accessible Ad Library which its described as “a library of all ads related to politics from a particular advertiser as well as information like the budget associated with an individual ad, a range of impressions, as well as the demographics of who saw the ad”.

It’s clear that ahead of India’s general election in the spring, Facebook wants to ensure that its platform is not used for any malfeasance and is taking every precaution necessary to appear agnostic – especially as its past lack of due diligence was called into question systematically in 2018.

OTRO enlists the help of football superstars to promote its platform

Football content creation and curation platform OTRO called upon some of the sport’s biggest names (and its most generous contributors) to promote the platform with an organic and paid-for-social campaign.

Stars including Leo Messi, Romelu Lukaku, David Beckham and Eric Cantona all feature in the video ad that the brand produced to explain the platform and how it works – highlighting its exclusive access to players, its new and original content every day and the fact that the platform is made by the players for the fans.

Although OTRO appears to be somewhat of a disrupter brand – as it pertains to social content –  it’s keen to encourage players to share their own content from the platform on their own social profiles to amplify its reach and attract new users (like me).

With 2 million likes on Messi’s post alone, it’s likely that we’ll be hearing a lot more about OTRO in the future.

Instagram gets in the Xmas spirit by giving users the #InstaGiftGuide

In an effort to help social shoppers using the platform for gift inspiration and purchases Instagram introduced its #InstaGiftGuide ahead of Christmas 2018.

This screenshot is taken from the Instagram blog

With a greater emphasis on brands in 2018 – with the introduction of and investment in shoppable posts and stories – and using one of the hallmarks of the social media platform – its hashtags – the company combined the two to create something equal parts fun and helpful.

Using the six most popular hashtags of 2018 (including favourites like #catsofinstagram and #oddlysatisfying) the #InstaGiftGuide matches these hashtags with gift-worthy products from 34 brands on the platform, providing both great gift options and a bit of lighthearted fun at the same time.

Instagram will also donate the gifts featured in the six #InstaGiftGuides to non-profit organisation Bottomless Closet – which helps disadvantaged women transitioning into the workforce.

…and the most tweeted about streaming tv shows of 2018 were?

2018 was a great year for Netflix as it boasted a streaming revenue increase of 36% in Q3 from a year earlier, and shares up 80% to boot.

With all of this love and attention, as well as growing competition from rivals like Hulu, Amazon Prime and YouTube, Netflix is still firmly the sector leader financial and also interestingly (although not surprisingly) on Twitter.

In a list released by the social media site of the top five most tweeted about streaming shows of 2018, Netflix produced four of them. These were 13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror, Stranger Things and Queer Eye. Two of which even made this user’s end of year ‘stan list’:

More from Business Insider.

Learn more

Econsultancy offers social media training and a Social Media Best Practice Guide.