Hot Topics: United States August 2016

Americans said goodbye to Summer 2016 by posting about what they love, what they lost and the issues they felt were most worthy of debate. It’s been a fitting close to a summer full of highs and lows.

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Celebrations

Women on Instagram celebrated Women’s Equality Day, which marks the US Constitution’s 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Many reflected on how far women have come and how far they still have to go. Younger women on Instagram also celebrated World Breastfeeding Week, taking place across 120 countries to promote cultural acceptance of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life.

Big wins
Passion for the UFC was on full display on Instagram, as younger men posted about Conor McGregor’s epic victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202. And as the Rio Games drew to a close, men and women of all ages took to their feeds to revel in the successes of their favorite gold medal magnets: Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

Screen stealers
The box office and music chart hit “Suicide Squad”was high on younger men’s radar on Facebook. Meanwhile, lovers of spectacle took to Instagram to talk about the MTV Video Music Awards, which featured a highly praised re-creation of Beyonce’s visual album, “Lemonade.”

In commemoration
People of all ages on Facebook and older people on Instagram celebrated the life and death of American actor and comedian Gene Wilder. He was remembered for his roles in ground-breaking comedies, like “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles.” Women on Facebook also mourned the loss of Juan Gabriel, the charismatic Mexican singer who smashed barriers in Latin American music.

Noise makers
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick captivated men on Instagram when he triggered an NFL movement by kneeling during the “Star Spangled Banner” in protest. Young men on Instagram were also in awe over Frank Ocean’s sudden release of his lauded album, “Blond.” And Wizard Entertainment, host of the comic convention Wizard World, was at the center of a “will they” or “won’t they” debate when news got out they would include a guns manufacturer (final answer: no, they wouldn’t).

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What it means for marketers

Facebook and Instagram posts are a reflection of the things that matter most to people and offer opportunities for brands to create meaningful connections through people’s passions and shared causes. Marketers have the chance to form real relationships with audiences when they genuinely contribute to what people care and talk about.