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A year in review: social media stats for 2019 (insights by Quick Search)

A year in review: social media stats for 2019 (insights by Quick Search)

Let's rewind to 2019. I want to look at a year in review with Quick Search. This recap will highlight some of the biggest events, social media campaigns, trends, and stories from the year, and the data behind them, as brought to you from a year in Quick Search.

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What is Quick Search?

Quick Search gathers data from blogs, news, and social media, allowing brands to analyze any topic or keyword. Perfect for competitive analysis, trend research, content ideation, or taking a look back over the last year. Well, 13 months to be precise. I’ve used it to analyze some of the biggest events of 2019.

Four top fives

And no year in review would be complete without including some of the top fives. They’re dotted throughout the post, or click straight to them with the links below.

Top five most retweeted English tweets 2019

Top five most mentioned brands on social media 2019

Top five most liked English tweets 2019

Top five most used emoji on social media 2019

Year in review: January

The start of the year on social media was defined by an egg. On the fourth of January, an innoculous egg appeared on Instagram with a simple mission - to be the most liked image on the network.

This egg is more liked than Kylie Jenner.

With a world record of 18 million likes, held by Kylie Jenner, it could have been a tough egg to crack. But the egg did it. In under 10 days.

Year in review with Quick Search Record breaking egg

The shape of the record breaking egg mentions across January.

The idea didn’t drive much conversation at first, with just some minor news coverage at launch on January 4. But by January 12, people were fanning the virality, encouraging people across all social networks to get on Instagram and like it.

The trend quickly spread across all social media channels.

After that, the virality was inevitable. The image quickly hit the target, hitting the news with 6.7K news mentions with 741K engagements. But of course, the story doesn’t end there. The egg has now amassed over 53 million likes, and continues to drive mentions to this date, notably for its partnership with Hulu to promote mental health and social media.

Year in review: February

In February, we had the 2019 Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. We know now that the best picture was awarded to Green Book. But could we had used social data to predict the Oscar results?

For this, we would want to define the film people were the most positive about on social (without news and similar, so we get people’s opinions away from reviews). The 5 leaders are shown below, in February on the lead up to the results:

Year in review with Quick Search Oscar movies

Comparing the mentions of the top 5 Oscar nominated films.

No clear winner yet, but we can go further. We could look at the most positively mentioned film (Roma with 28K mentions), but what about people that may agree with a post, but not write one themselves?

That leads to engagement rate. The amount of engagement (likes, shares, etc.), that relate to positive mentions. And the winner: Green Book with an engagement rate of 4.6 (Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born came joint second with a rate of 4.1).

Ok, there’s no guarantee that this would work again. But it can give you a clear strawpoll of what people will like and engage with.

During Oscar time, everyone's a critic. But that sentiment could help predict results.

Year in review: March

One of the most engaging posts for March was something as simple as a GIF.


That’s one happy ape!

With 86.6M Alexa pageviews, and 3.2M Facebook shares, this brief clip of a twirling ape was crazily popular.

With the rise of meme culture, and the use of GIFs to express yourself on social media, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most popular images of 2019 would be something so random.

And once the internet gets hold of something like this, well, it’s easy to see why this could so easily be shared.

One GIF gave birth to millions of social posts.

Year in review: April

Another picture that rocked social in 2019 was this one of the Black Hole from April.

NASA shares their pic of the black hole, to rapturous results.

With 2.8M mentions in April alone, this photo got people talking. With numerous stories being told about this scientific breakthrough.

For some, it was about the technological development that led to this point. (607K engagement).

How tech changes over time.

For others, it was an opportunity to demonstrate the successes of women in science. (508K engagement)

Credit due where credit’s due.

And some used it as an opportunity to engage with a trending story, and turn it into engagement for their brand. (60K engagement)

Dunkin’ Donuts managed to hack the trending news story.

Either way it was a story that united the internet, and created a moment in history that everyone wanted to be part of.

Top five most retweeted English tweets 2019

1 - @MrBeastYT - 1.2M retweets

A bit spammy. But it worked.

2 - @egg_rt_record - 1M retweets
3 - @BTS_twt - 852K retweets
4 - @nicholastmusic - 795K retweets
5 - @wa_wado - 716K retweets

Year in review: May

In May, Wendy’s finally caved under the pressure of customer feedback, and announced they would be bringing back spicy chicken nuggets.

But there was one catch:

2 million people wanted spicy chicken nuggets back.

A simple example of engagement grabbing. But it worked. The tweet spread across the internet, and soon gathered over 2.2M likes.

Year in review with Quick Search Wendy's virality

How Wendy’s tweet travelled across social media.

Wendy’s understands their audience, and what they crave. So they knew how to turn those insights into a viral campaign. No wonder it was the most engaging post from May.

And the message just kept giving. The brand tweeted about spicy chicken nuggets just 27 times in 2019 (so far), and for that, they gained over 4.4M engagement.

Year in review: June

Never, ever underestimate how simple content can really engage your audience.

In June, Blossom, a video content creator, made the most of Facebook Watch, releasing a simple lifehack video on peeling food.

Who knew fruit could be so appealing?

Looks simple.

Yet it was one of the most engaging posts for that month. With over 7.8M engagement, and a phenomenal 391M views.

Who would have thought peeling corn could have been so appealing.

The trick was that the channel gave viewers what they wanted. Easy to follow, simply produced content, that gave the audience something new.

It’s a tactic that consistently paid off for the brand throughout 2019, driving nearly 30M engagement from just 130 Facebook posts.

Top five most mentioned brands on social media 2019

1 - Netflix

Netflix won in the most mentioned brand on social contest.

2 - Amazon
3 - CNN
4 - Spotify
5 - NBA

Year in review: July

In July, social media was alive with mentions of World Cups, with the FIFA Women’s World Cup held in France, and the ICC Cricket World Cup, held in the UK. With 5.5M mentions of the tournaments in one month, peaking on the night of both finals.

Year in review with Quick Search World Cup mentions

The flow of mentions of 'World Cup' in July 2019.

Looking at the US market, the winners of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, you would expect that tournament to dominate mentions. Especially since the US didn’t compete in the ICC Cricket World Cup. But mentions of cricket compared to soccer (or football) were still fairly high in that market.

Year in review with Quick Search World Cup Soccer vs cricket

The split of mentions of the World Cup between soccer (blue) and cricket (pink).

You should always keep an eye on your audience, as even the biggest events may not be relevant to them. Coca-Cola hedged their bets, by sponsoring both tournaments, with over a quarter of mentions of the World Cup related to the brand being driven by the cricket rather than the soccer.

Year in review with Quick Search World Cup Coke mentions

World Cup Coca-Cola mentions driven by either cricket (pink) or soccer (blue).

That’s a quarter of their brand mentions they would have missed if they hadn’t analyzed their audience, and ensured they targeted everyone relevant.

Year in review: August

In August, sport was big on social again, as Vegemite and Marmite battled over the Ashes.

A bit of harmless banter between Vegemite and Marmite.

Harmless, but it helped drive brand engagement for both products in August. But who won?

Year in review with Quick Search Marmite vs Vegemite

On a global scale, Marmite (purple) drove more mentions and engagement than Vegemite (pink).

Marmite took the lead globally in mentions and engagement. But what about their local markets. In Australia, Vegemite took the lead, with 5.2K mentions compared to Marmite’s 1.8K. But it helped Marmite get its highest ever number of mentions in 2019 in that territory.

The same can be said about the UK. The home brand dominated in share of voice, but Vegemite gained their highest number of mentions from 2019 in the UK from the campaign.

Campaigns like this may not make a huge difference on a global scale, but can help improve a brand’s recognition in more specific regions, and help break open a new audience of consumers.

Top five most liked English tweets 2019

1 - @pewdiepie - 2.3M likes

Everyone likes a wedding

2 - @BTS_twt - 2.3M likes
3 - @Wendys - 2.2M likes
4 - @bricheeseyy - 2M likes
5 - @BarackObama - 1.9M likes

Year in review: September

In September, Chicken Noodle Soup hit the viral mark. Burt maybe not quite as you’d expect.

On September 27, J-Hope released the single, Chicken Noodle Soup, and the phrase hit 3.8M mentions in under a week.

No wonder. J-Hope is a member of BTS, who have a huge social media following, with 1.7 billion mentions, and 4.7 billion engagements in 2019 to date.

Year in review with Quick Search BTS

How much BTS was mentioned in 2019. To compare, Chicken Noodle Soup (pink) peaked with 3.8M mentions.

The video was a huge success with fans, with 100M views and 6.2M engagements so far. It even started its own viral challenge, with fans replicating the dance moves across channels like Instagram and TikTok.

The song drove a hashtag challenge, gaining even more engagement.

#CNSChallenge drove another 2.3M mentions in 2019, showing how important new video channels like TikTok are for driving brand engagement if used correctly.

Year in review: October

Halloween is a global event, especially big in the US, Japan, Europe, Brazil, and South Korea. In October, it was mentioned over 27.5M times.

Year in review with Quick Search Halloween heat map

The spread of Halloween conversations in October.

But what was the big trend for Halloween this year? Let’s take a deep dive.

Year in review with Quick Search Halloween word cloud

A look at the most mentioned hashtags associated with Halloween.

Filtering through the top hashtags relating to Halloween, and skipping over the obvious or generic ones (#costume, #spooky, #win), the one that stands out is #Pokémon.

Yes, this year, Pokémon Pumpkins (Pokékins? Pumpémons?) were big. With people across the world carving their favorite Pokémon from pumpkins.

There was one clear winner…

A smoking Gastly with 156K engagement.

The hashtag created a lot of free user-generated content for the brand, and demonstrates a simple way brands can get their own audience engaged during the haunted season.

Top five most used emoji on social media 2019

1 - 😂 - 1.3B mentions

2 - ❤️ - 658.4M mentions
3 - 😭 - 657.6M mentions
4 - 😍 - 383.2M mentions
5 - 🔥 - 327.3M mentions

Year in review: November

November started off with a feel good story with buckets of generosity. Due to a marriage proposal at KFC.

View this post on Instagram

So this just happened @kfcsouthafrica

A post shared by Kg Hobyane Malobola (@glen_zitos_lifestyle) on

Now that’s an engaging engagement!

The brand worked hard to track down the happy couple, with #KFCProposal trending with over 624K mentions. Soon, brands from across the region were offering their services to create a wedding day to remember, including Lexus,, Huawei, Puma, CastleLite, and many more.

These brands understood a viral story when they saw one, jumping in to the positive engagement that it was driving.

#KFCWedding has 770K engagement, with a broad range of brands linked to it.

Year in review with Quick Search #KFCWedding

The brands most linked to #KFCWedding.

Year in review: December

Finally, in December, we have to include one of the biggest marketing events of the year: Christmas.

But when it comes to your Christmas campaigns, when is the best time to start?

By analyzing conversations relating to people getting excited for Christmas (with phrases such as can’t wait ‘til Christmas, or Christmas is coming), you can chart the excitement from consumers around the season.

Year in review with Quick Search Christmas Graph

The shape of the excitement about Christmas across 2019.

Using last year’s data to predict the last weeks of this year, and by scaling all results from 1 to 100, it’s easy to see when Christmas really starts.

The first spike was late July, when the first Christmas pre-promote started.

A festive bake so enticing other brands tweeted about it.

The second was mid-September, when the 100 day countdown began.

The 100 day countdown stirs up more Christmas excitement.

Then from the end of October, Christmas is here to stay until January.

And once we hit the 60 day mark, Christmas is go!

If you’re wondering when to start next year’s festive marketing (or when to put your tree up), this will help you understand whether you’re ahead or behind the curve.

2019 recap

That’s a brief wander through 2019 with Quick Search. Now, it’s time to start thinking about 2020. Grab our Sink or Swim strategy guide below, and start planning how you can be a trending brand next year.

Year in review with Quick Search CTA