Despite fierce competition on the sporting and political field, love conquered all among Australians in February. On both Facebook and Instagram, Valentine’s Day was the most-talked-about-topic, particularly among women as they used the platform to share their special moments on February 14th.
Other causes for celebration included Chinese New Year, especially among an older audience, while younger women embraced Facebook’s Friends Day by sharing picture galleries created by Facebook. The nation looked ahead in anticipation of Sydney’s Mardi Gras coming up in March, with both the festival and LGBT communities trending with men and women alike. This discussion was further bolstered by Adidas’ ongoing campaign against discrimination towards LGBTIQ athletes.
A number of new films this month gave Aussies of all ages the chance to share their views on social media. Marvel’s “Deadpool” was released to rave reviews, trending on both platforms. On Instagram, “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds rated highly among men of all ages, while comedy actor Kevin Hart was popular after stopping in Australia to endorse “Ride Along 2.” The release of the second “Zoolander” movie also had people talking, particularly when its titular character was seen Down Under scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Australians were also glued to events on the sporting field. The American Super Bowl and its 2016 champions, the Denver Broncos, were widely discussed across both platforms, while the return of the Australian rugby season had people talking on Instagram.
A different kind of clash captured the attention of older males in February, as Australians followed the news of the US primaries. Both Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders trended on Facebook. On home turf, Australian politics were also a topic of interest among men and women of all ages. People turned to Facebook to share their views as Malcolm Turnbull considered the date for a national election, and NSW’s Premier, Mike Baird, was frequently mentioned in relation to Sydney’s controversial lock-out laws.
Whether people used Facebook and Instagram to debate politics, share film reviews, cheer on a team or celebrate a holiday, this month’s Hot Topics reminds us all of the power of the personal brand. While many of the actors, teams, sports personalities and politicians discussed this month formed part of a wider event or discussion, their individual cause, viewpoint or persona was just as important—as was their ability to be distinguished from their competitors.