Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 | 4 min read
Since its inception, Valentine’s Day has morphed into quite a beast – spending varies substantially by state, but in the US alone consumers were projected to spend a cool 18.2 billion dollars. Clearly some enjoy celebrating the holiday as Hallmark intended, but a backlash to traditional activities and the associated consumerism has also emerged.
While discontent with its commercialization is nothing new – people have been critical of it since as early as 1847 – there’s recently been a rise in people celebrating Galentine’s Day and Singles Awareness Day.
We were curious about how social conversation differed around the three adaptations of Cupid’s favorite holiday. Here’s what we found.
The most commonly used hashtags for each holiday include those for Valentine’s Day, suggesting that people often talk about Galentine’s Day/Singles Awareness Day in conjunction with their more conventional sister.
One interesting takeaway is that #love was in the top five most used hashtags for each holiday. This suggests that no matter which people celebrated – their partners, their gal pals, or their freedom – they were ultimately celebrating the loved ones in their lives.
Men and women were talking about Valentine’s Day and Singles Awareness Day with nearly equal frequency. The real discrepancy in conversation was around Galentine’s Day (no surprises there) where women accounted for 85% of the conversation.
Discussions around all three holidays were predominantly positive. Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day saw mentions of being happy and being in love over 90% of the time.
Some of the conversation around Singles Awareness Day was about breakups or being sad, but the sentiment was still in favor of positivity and love.
Our topic analysis is based on conversation around all three holidays, and demonstrates that Valentine’s Day dominated over the other two. People most commonly wrote about gifts, flowers, chocolate, and surprising their loved ones.
It should be noted, however, that many spoke of love in relation to being single.
The top popular emojis gave us perhaps the most insight into how people felt about each holiday. The Valentine’s Day emojis were relatively straightforward, and the similarity between those used for Galentine’s Day suggests that women are genuinely pleased to be spending the day with their best friends.
The top emojis for Singles Awareness Day paint a more nuanced and conflicted picture, which was reflected in our sentiment and topic analysis as well. Some are genuinely delighted to embrace their singledom and celebrate their freedom, but others are a bit more torn up about it.
While conversation was dominated by Valentine’s Day over the other two holidays, people were certainly engaging in both alternatives. Sentiment around all three was positive, though there are mixed feelings surrounding Singles Awareness Day.
Ultimately, each option allows people to celebrate whomever it is that they’d like, and Saint Valentine’s legacy of love lives on.
We tracked mentions of Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, and Singles Awareness Day from January 31st through February 15th using our Core Listening solution. We also turned on Sprinklr Display on February 14th.