The Year in Google Search – 2018

It’s important for marketers to keep current on topics of interests and trends around the world. This research gives us a good idea of what people are thinking, and what they like and need. Often, past trends can also be predictors of the future.

What did the world search for in 2018? Well, besides our usual searches for love, the meaning of life, and how to vote, the citizens of the world used Google’s search engine to keep current on topics including sports, celebrities, world events, food, entertainment, and more.

The lists are not only tracked globally, they are also tracked on an individual country basis. Globally, some of the most searched for topics included the World Cup, Meghan Markle, Sylvester Stallone, Tristan Thompson, Avicii, Black Panther, Demi Lovato, Royal Wedding, election results, and Hurricane Florence.

Top searches in the U.S. also included the keto diet and unicorn cake (yes, it’s on the list). Australia was interested in bitcoin, and Canadians queried about how many ends there are in curling (ten).

Google processes two-out-of-three Internet queries each day. These queries give marketers a good snapshot of trends around the world.

Take a look – which of these topics did you search for in 2018?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Before showing the Google results, poll students as to what they think the top searches were in 2018. Why those topics?
  2. Next, show the Google site: https://trends.google.com/trends/yis/2018/GLOBAL/
  3. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different Top 10 List topic. What are the trends from that topic?
  5. How can these trends be used to develop new products?
  6. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source:  Google Trends. Year in search 2018.

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Facebook Year in Review – 2018!

There has been increasing criticism of the use of social media, particularly in politics, but nonetheless, social media also helped recognize and promote positive events as well.

One of the best things about the end of the year is the opportunity it gives us to reflect on the past, while we prepare for the year ahead. In the spirit of reflection, Facebook released its summary of the world’s top moments and events that generated the most buzz in 2019.

Among the top news and issues of 2018:

  • International Women’s Day – generated a wide-ranging discussion about issues, causes, and topics that impact women around the globe.
  • March for Our Lives – spear-headed by survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting generated action around the world, with more than 1 million people interested and more than $2.5 million raised through Facebook fundraisers.
  • Political engagement – the U.S. Midterm Elections and the Brazilian Presidential election were topics of intense focus and conversation about politics and voting around the world.
  • Sports – The World Cup engaged 383 million soccer fans and Super Bowl 52 engaged another 62 million people.

The top moments of were measured by how frequently a topic was mentioned in a single day on Facebook made between January 1 and November 11, 2018.

Which national and global events did you follow and share last year?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  2. Bring up the site and show the video: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/12/facebooks-2018-year-in-review/
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different Facebook topic.
  4. What are the trends from that topic?
  5. How can these trends be used to develop new products?
  6. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source: Neman, S. (6 December 2018). Facebook’s 2019 year in review. Facebook.

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YouTube Rewind for 2018!

No year-end review of social trends in 2018 would be complete without reflecting on the last 12 months, and watching the top trending videos of 2018 on YouTube.

Some of the top trends of 2018 have a short impact on society and trends, but many others have longer-lasting implications for companies and marketers. Among the most popular trends:

  • Fortnite – one of the year’s most popular video games rose to #2 in watch time and views globally.
  • Kylie Jenner revealed her pregnancy and the video became the #1 trending video of the year with more than 75 million views.
  • SpaceX had 2.3 million people who watched its live stream of launching, and landing its rocket.
  • The royal wedding’s live stream generated more than 11 million live views, setting a single day record in 2018.
  • FIFA World Cup was one of the biggest global sporting events and the videos generated more than 300 million hours of watch time.

View these videos and consider the social trends that they started and the implications for marketing. Are these a preview of future trends, or have they already become passé?

What will 2019 hold for marketers?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss YouTube’s appeal to viewers. Poll students: What do they watch, and why?
  2. Show Web site: https://rewind.youtube/
  1. A list of top trending videos in multiple categories can be found at https://rewind.youtube/top-videos.
  2. Assign student teams to one of the categories of videos.
  3. Give each team 5 – 10 minutes to pick out what they consider to be the video that most influenced consumer trends in 2018.
  4. Next, have each team brainstorm on how to expand from the lifecycle of the trend.
  5. Debrief assignment by showing the top video from each category.

Source: YouTube

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