The Most Discussed Topics on Facebook in December [Infographic]
In what will come as no surprise at all, to anyone, Christmas and New Year were the biggest topics of conversation on Facebook in December.
As you can see from Facebook's chart, 'Christmas', 'New Year's Eve', 'Christmas Eve' and 'New Year's Day' were the dominant topics of discussion across The Social Network for the month (the size of each dot determines the total share of conversation for that topic). Those results pretty much go without saying, right? Anyone could have guessed that Christmas would be the most mentioned and discussed issue in December, and we can't really learn anything or gain much insight from a table reflecting that.
So let's try something different - below is the same chart with all Christmas and New Year related conversation taken out:
That's a much more indicative chart of the evolving topics that trended across Facebook for the month - yet, even then, the one major dominant force (see what I did there) is pretty predictable, with discussion around the new Star Wars film garnering the most attention in the period.
The return of the beloved film franchise has set all kinds of records, including 'Biggest Worldwide Opening Weekend', 'Fastest Film to $1 Billion Gross', 'Highest Grossing Film of 2015'. The hype and excitement surrounding the new installment reached fever pitch in the days surrounding its December 17th release, and it's no surprise to see that reflected in Facebook's conversation data for the month. I've even read that Disney's spent a lot less on Star Wars promotion than they normally would on a new movie, purely because so many advertisers were willing to pay them for tie-in rights - which effectively means they've been paying Disney to do their promo work for them.
Outside of Star Wars (which skewed towards younger men, a positive sign for the next generation of the franchise), Steve Harvey's 'Miss Universe' flub generated a lot of Facebook discussion, particularly amongst younger women; the death of Motorhead lead singer Lemmy Kilmister resonated with young men; while Walmart's financial challenges ensured it stayed top of mind for many U.S. Facebook users (you can also see Aldi rising in discussion, peaking mid-month).
While at a surface glance this info interesting, where Facebook's monthly hot topics reports can really add value is in understanding what topics are resonating amongst your target audience. Now, ideally, you'd track this type of data in real time so you could jump onto any trending discussion and maximize your exposure, but even in retrospect, such insights can provide great pointers towards the topics of discussion of most relevance, and resonance, amongst the people you want to reach.
For example, while seeing UFC fighters (Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor) ranking highest among younger men is little surprise, would you have guessed that conversation around rock band 'Metallica' would skew so young? Or that 'acapella' would resonate so strongly amongst older women?
Maybe you're aware of such trends already, but it's worth taking note of where the conversations are gaining traction, among which audiences on the platform, and using that to develop an improved understanding of your target market and what they're interested in - and what they're looking to share and discuss on Facebook more specifcally.
(Interesting to see Donald Trump generating more discussion amongst Canadian and U.K. users than in the U.S.)
Each of the individual reports has a more in-depth breakdown at the links provided.
In addition to the monthly discussion peaks, Facebook's also released their December video spotlight report, looking at some of the best, most engaging examples of video content uploaded to Facebook for the month. As noted by Facebook, the videos selected for this listing adhere to the key best practice principles they look for in Facebook video ad content, which are:
1) Highlighting the brand or product value early in the video
2) Delivering relevant messaging effectively with sound off
3) Using a display-quality thumbnail
If you're looking to boost your Facebook video game, you could do worse than to take cues from these examples, all separated by specific industries.
Facebook's full December Hot Topics and Monthly Video Spotlight reports are available here.
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