Friday, January 6th, 2017 | 7 min read
With the new year comes, of course, new resolutions. Maybe you want to get a raise at work, move across the country, or be more friendly to your siblings. Perhaps you’re vowing to travel, or save for retirement more aggressively.
Last year, we used social listening to see what people resolved to change in 2016. We found that being happy was the number one New Year’s resolution, topping exercising and losing weight, quitting smoking, unplugging from technology, and working harder.
Happiness is once again the top resolution this year, but the path to happiness is not the same across the board. We listened, and found that goals varied geographically as well as between genders. Here are the key takeaways for New Year’s resolutions in 2017.
Happiness (and the pursuit thereof) accounted for over a quarter of the social conversation around New Year’s resolutions. Closely behind that, people vowed to spend more time reading and being with their families. Weight loss and and eating better accounted for 9% and 8% of the conversation, respectively.
In New York City, the resolution breakdown was slightly different. In both the Big Apple and around the world, people care (almost) equally about being happy, exercising, and reading more. In New York however, learning something new was ranked higher than the rest of the world, above weight loss, eating better, and family time.
Of course New Yorkers are not the only people on the path to self-improvement. Across the country (and across the pond) people made resolutions in equal or greater numbers. Examining the worldwide social listening results unearthed some interesting tidbits.
London and Los Angeles, ever the coastal trendsetters, accounted for nearly half of social New Year’s resolution chatter globally.
If we consider population size as a variable of the top 10 most engaged cities, the results are slightly different. Adjusted for population, Atlanta had the highest rate of engagement around New Year’s resolutions, followed by San Francisco and LA.
When broken down by resolution, you can see that there are some differences in how men and women are planning to improve themselves in the coming year.
The topics that displayed the biggest differences between genders were getting organized, and traveling more. Women accounted for nearly 65% of the conversation around getting organized (we’re at peak stuff and many want to Kondo), while men accounted for approximately 56% of the conversation around traveling.
The more extreme differences in New Year’s resolutions between genders present challenges and opportunities for brands hoping to help people reach their goals for 2017.
Financial institutions or travel agencies, for example, would be wise to recognize that men are more likely to be focused on saving money and traveling. Brands that align with the concept of minimalism and owning only possessions that make customers happy, could consider targeting more female audiences.
In this day and age, wearable technology is an obvious extension of exercising, and has become extremely popular among consumers seeking to reach their fitness and weight loss goals. It is, thus, an interesting lens through which to examine the public’s goals for 2017.
In the conversation surrounding wearable technology for exercise resolutions, Fitbit was the most discussed device – the number one spot for hashtag mentions in the category.
There was also a lot of love for Garmin, Nike+, and Apple Watch, which were the #14, #24, and #29 most mentioned hashtags, respectively.
Men were far more likely to discuss their fitness resolutions in regards to wearable tech on social, comprising two thirds of the relevant conversation.
The conversation around wearable technology and weight loss differs slightly from the technology and exercise discussion. Fitbit was still the most talked about solution, followed by Nike+ (#8), Apple Watch (#9), and Garmin (#14).
In regards to weight loss, wearable tech solutions were discussed more than exercise-based resolutions – the social conversation around wearable technology is more heavily associated with customers wanting to lose weight than to track their exercise alone.
Knowing this could change the way that these solutions are marketed to customers – perhaps shifting the offering away from activity monitoring, and toward achieving weight loss goals.
The gender balance of the weight loss and wearable tech conversation was equal.
The difference in wearable tech conversation between exercise and weight loss, as well as between men and women, has some interesting implications. More of the social conversation around wearable technology is in association with losing weight, but if a brand wanted to market their wearable solution to people hoping to monitor their exercise level, they could market more to men, who own more of the social voice than women.
Fitbit dominated the conversation in both instances, which is telling of its popularity among customers prioritizing both exercise and weight loss. Nike+ and Apple Watch’s proportional climb in the weight loss category potentially indicate greater customer interest in those products for that specific purpose (over general exercise).
While the public resolved, like last year, to be happy above all, this year reflected an increased focus on exercising, reading more, losing weight, and spending more time with family.
Recognizing resolution trends – and the associated nuances in audience demographics – can help brands better understand what sorts of things people are trying to accomplish in the coming weeks and months.
A proper social listening solution can empower companies to have greater insights into the needs of their customers (and future) customers not just at the beginning of the near year, but every single day.
We pulled in over 1.6 million mentions of New Year’s resolutions from December 14–January 3, then sifted through those social conversations to break down the resolutions by topic. We paid special attention topically to the week surrounding New Year’s, when most people are talking about their resolutions on social. Gender and location of mentions are specified by customers on each social platform, not Sprinklr software, and are not always included in customer profile information.