If you’re thinking about giving New Year’s resolutions a tough pass, you’re not the only one.
To be honest, the social chatter about New Year’s resolutions has been slow to take hold in 2020. We used Sprout Social Advanced Listening to learn what caused this muted response and only found 27,208 messages on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit from November 14th – December 14th. For comparison: One month’s data on Halloween generated 13 million messages on Twitter alone.
There are a few factors that are likely to cause the 2021 target conversations to decline. For starters, people are tired. The allostatic burden of the pandemic, the controversial presidential election and the ongoing struggle for social justice has stressed and exhausted many people.
my list of New Years resolutions for 2021:
– MAD, Pharm.D. Etc. (@shelldash) December 8, 2020
People also have to grapple with the unpredictability of 2021. As the future is increasingly changing, there is a good chance that people will fail to make resolutions because they may not be able to keep them.
I don’t think I’ll have New Years resolutions this year. I’ll just keep singing, “This too will pass.”
– Catherine Russell (@ catherinerusse2) November 25, 2020
Brands are always on the lookout for the latest trends, but with the ongoing impact of 2020, marketers will need to adjust their approach to these trends in 2021. Instead of asking about people’s goals, acknowledge the craziness of this year and let people know that it is okay to skip resolutions this time. Or provide a distraction by adding humor to the bleak situation. To learn more about what people have to say (or say not to say, in this case) about New Year’s resolutions, we looked at the insights of listening. Here’s what we found.
Keep it social
A closer look at the New Year’s resolution meeting on Twitter shows that people are finding ways to joke about the year ahead. Of the 14,664 tweets we analyzed, 48% were positive, while 37% were neutral and 15% were negative.
Some people suggested that not having a 2020 New Years goal was the right step …
The New Year’s resolution didn’t pay off this year.
– Melissa is judicially recognizable (@MelissaFloBix) December 4, 2020
… While others shared, they unexpectedly fulfilled their purpose.
On the plus side, my new year resolution was to make my own lunch and bring it to work every day. I can safely say that I totally outperformed this one …
– Amatey Doku (mateAmateyDoku) December 6, 2020
One thing we can all agree on is that we’ve had plenty of time this year to crush (or completely ignore) our goals. The word “time” appeared in 1,073 Tweets with various use cases, with some using the word to indicate too much time spent at home and with family – joking, of course.
January 1, 2020 New Year’s resolution:
I will spend more time at home with my family.
January 1, 2021 New Years resolution:
– I just sat down. (@anxiouscougar) December 3, 2020
For brands contemplating jumping on the bandwagon of resolutions, don’t be afraid to embrace the absurdity of 2020 and acknowledge that now may not be the time for goal setting. A post about motivation and “new year, new me” might seem insensitive when people deal with disruptions to their vacation plans and stress from the pandemic. It never hurts to double-check what people are saying online before starting your post and get into humor when your brand is forced to say something.
Can we all agree not to make New Year’s resolutions this year?
– Betches (@betchesluvthis) December 3, 2020
#Goals and #fitness are still in the game
Even so, some people are still optimistic about 2021. A YouGov poll found that 44% of American adults believe 2021 will be a better year for them than 2020. And even after a chaotic year, 58% of consumers plan to keep making their New Year’s resolutions.
One person posted on Twitter that they have a head start on their resolutions before the New Year.
I start my New Years resolutions on December 1st so that they become >> routine by January
– Ken ???? (@kenadipaige) November 30, 2020
This optimism is particularly prevalent on Instagram, where 5,737 posts contained hashtags such as #Goals and #Motivation. Another popular topic on Instagram is exercising with 4,356 Instagram posts that include #Fitness, #Health, and #Goals. Given that many fitness trainers and influencers use Instagram for their business, it’s no surprise that New Years breakup tip posts are dominating the Instagram conversation.
Ready or not, 2021 is almost here
It is fitting that after a turbulent year, people are anxious to see a New Year. Although the chatter about goal setting is muted, brands can still find a way to acknowledge the transition to 2021. If the past year has taught us anything, it is that a little humor goes a long way and jokes about resolutions put some ease into a person’s timeline.
Of course, resolutions are just one of many traditions that will accompany the New Year – and it is unlikely that it will be the last custom influenced by global events. As you think about the rest of 2021, social listening can help you figure out how people are reacting to or adapting to particular traditions. To see what more of the insights social listening can bring, check out our article on consumer brand wiretapping or contact us today for a free Sprout listening demo.