2011: The year in tweets

December 16, 2011 11:11 am

The Message proudly brings you the content review of the year – as seen by social media content providers around the world

2011 was a big year for Twitter. Not only did it celebrate the five-year anniversary of the first ever tweet, but it also played host to some pretty extraordinary content – from the bizarre to the world-changing and the tragic to the joyful.

So check out what happened in 2011 – in tweets!

Queensland floods

While there were hundreds of thousands of heartwarming – and heartbreaking – tweets to come out of the Queensland floods, this one sums up the community spirit that helped get the state back on its feet at the start of the year:

@qldfloodsorg: If you can’t help out with physical labour over the coming weeks maybe you can help later on with a cuppa and a chat with survivors.

Christchurch earthquake

This tweet, sent moments after February’s Christchurch earthquake, describes the chaos and terror that was beginning to dawn on residents of the city. The magnitude 6.3 quake followed the 7.1-force shock that hit the NZ city five months earlier. The February quake was the second-deadliest in New Zealand’s history, killing 181 people and injuring hundreds more:

PolarBearFarm: My god this is bad #eqnz cathedral is down. People stuck in Forsyth Barr building, breaking windows, liquifaction everywhere.

Charlie Sheen gets content savvy

It was the year of weird for Charlie Sheen, who broke records as the person to reach one million Twitter followers in the shortest time – less than 24 hours. His first tweet lent credence to the idea that he was, in fact, driving the publicity train (rather than being dragged along underneath it), when he created the hashtag that remains synonymous with him. And don’t even get us started on #tigerblood


Japanese earthquake and tsunami

The Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami was one of the most devastating in history. Live footage, combined with the overwhelming tweet-traffic that was coming out of the region, brought it home to people all over the world. Japanese interpreter Aya Watanabe was so touched by some of the tweets and stories she heard coming out of the tragedy that she began to translate and tweet them to an English audience. The following tweet illustrates the strength, pride and courage that the Japanese people showed during this time:

‘Called my Mom to let her know I survived the quakes. She lives in Kagoshima, on Kyushu Island, a thousand miles south of Tohoku. Thought she was worried about me and wanted to calm her down. Instead of tears, what I got from her was a pep talk. “Know, with all your heart, the meaning of your being where you are, at this timing and age in your life. Do the best you can to serve others.” Mother, I am proud to be your son. I will live through all this.” – Translated by Aya Watanabe

Royal Wedding

The marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton captured many hearts and Twitter feeds for reasons that eluded us (at least, until Pippa Middleton’s bottom is taken into consideration). Even so, it was one of the most-watched television events in history – and one that made temporary monarchists of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

@SteveSkipper: Do I care about William & Kate, NO. The wedding, NO. The dress, NO. The cake, NO. Am I going to watch tomorrow? Absolutely!

Osama bin Laden’s death

Not only was Osama bin Laden’s death massive news throughout the world, but it was a tweet from a virtual nobody that broke the news to the masses. Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff for ex-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, tweeted the following at roughly 10pm on 2 May. It wasn’t until 11.30pm that President Obama held a press conference to announce the news – a move many believe was rushed by Urbahn’s thunder-stealing announcement.

Casey Anthony trial

The Casey Anthony trial transfixed America (and much of the world) with the sordid allegations that the 23-year-old mother murdered her toddler daughter and then headed out to celebrate with friends. When Anthony was acquitted of murder (but convicted of lying to police), social media platforms exploded with shock and outrage:

Steve Jobs’ death

You know you’ve had an impact on the world when your death actually ‘breaks’ Twitter. The social media platform was over capacity for a few hours after the news of Steve Jobs’ death was reported. In fact, the Apple visionary’s death and subsequent tributes managed to smash all kinds of online records out of the park, which is fitting for the way Jobs lived his life.

Colonel Gadaffi’s death

The news of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi’s death – along with a shockingly graphic video – spread like wildfire across Twitter. Incidentally, so did a variety of differing opinions on how to spell his name, something no twitter user seemed completely sure about.

Kim Kardashian’s marriage and divorce

Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries (a union that bagged her a nifty $17.9 million) dissolved in divorce to the resounding sound of the twitterati cleverly making cracks at her expense. The hashtag: #ThingsLongerThanKimsMarriage was soon trending worldwide and was all the motivation people needed to create some truly snort-worthy 140-character roasts.

Qantas grounding

After industrial action in October resulted in the entire Qantas fleet being grounded to force the striking workers back to work, the airline obviously thought it was in need of a bit of social media love…

Sadly, from a Qantas PR perspective, it failed miserably. Responses included the very witty: @AMonkeyInSilk: “#QantasLuxury Being in charge of Virgin Australia PR and knowing that Qantas is doing your job for you” to the blatantly unimpressed: @sunnybankian: “#QantasLuxury is knowing a $30 prize pack probably won’t buy off the Australian public”.

Russian upheaval

In a situation that is still unfolding, Russia is experiencing its biggest protests and revolutions in 20 years. As with as the popular uprisings in the Middle East, Twitter is doing its bit to spread the anti-government message:



The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.







  • Content Marketing News & Views Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective buyers, listening to you from their home, on their way to work, during their lunch break or maybe even at the gym. This is the power of podcasting, and it’s one of the fastest growing and exciting marketing mediums available to businesses in 2017. It’s […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing Features The Power of Personalised Content

    The Power of Personalised Content

    With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories. Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics. When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the […]

    Read more →
  • Features Social Media The Latest Social Media Fails

    The Latest Social Media Fails

    There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings. Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties. When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off. But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand? We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder. Everyone’s Goal: Good […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy. Here’s another one. We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy. The first agent who came […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing How to Make Your Content Actionable

    How to Make Your Content Actionable

    Content is not a magical formula that will make your target audience find your product and then breathlessly buy from you. The power of actionable content comes from your ability to attract the right audience, enabling them to interact with you and then to elevate that relationship to the next level i.e. for them to become a customer. So, how do you make your content actionable? Most importantly, you must give the reader, viewer or listener a sense of how they […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views The Stupidity of Silence

    The Stupidity of Silence

    It always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.

    Read more →
  • Email Marketing Features What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    It’s no secret that smartphones and tablets can no longer be ignored by email marketers—and there aren’t many more marketers out there doing so. It is a massive part of customer communication and revenue, but do you know just how massive? The following statistics come from all corners of the globe, and from many different industries. While they keep changing everyday, some are quite shocking. Here’s a brief description of everything you need to know about the power of email […]

    Read more →
  • Digital Marketing Features How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    Digital marketing has changed the media landscape forever and marketing budgets are being spread across channels – mainly digital – that previously didn’t exist. The problem is that optimisation is not as simple as it was before; if you’re not careful, your spend can get out of hand. By optimising each of your channels, you can reduce your media spend and achieve better results – all the while proving a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spend. […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance. Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far. So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign. Know Your Audience Contrary to the opinion […]

    Read more →