Sentiment Analysis Shows That Valentine’s Day Is For Singles – Really

Kimberly Surico |
 03/04/16 |
3 min read

Valentine’s Day is a holiday without much ramp-up time – meaning, the conversation on social doesn’t pick up much until a few days before February 14. So should brands rely on last year’s data for insights then?

Not completely, of course, but brands CAN get some clues on where to focus their search, and then use real-time data to verify whether last year’s trends might continue. Let’s compare some data from 2015 and 2016 to see how this works.

Here are some stats from February 14 2016:

  • 9 million mentions of Valentine’s Day
  • 38 billion impressions of V Day tweets
  • 4 million were positive and 188 thousand were negative
  • Netflix was the top brand mention with over 125,000 mentions
  • One of the top hashtags (over both years, actually) was #happyvalentinesday

Overall, the conversation was positive – which might lead one to believe it was all happy couples posting to social media, but that’s not the case. When weighed against the topics Chocolate, Travel, and Engagement, Single Life was the most active topic. And with Net Sentiment at 51% and passion intensity at 31% – it’s clear not ALL singles were bitter or sad or sitting around feeling sorry for themselves, even if some were.

I wish nothing but the best for you

The hashtag #happyvalentinesday made up just over 28 percent of traffic on Valentine’s Day 2015, but our sentiment analysis found this was often being used ironically, with social users tagging unromantic pictures or jokes with some snark.

This year, #happyvalentinesday was yet again one of the most popular hashtags used among singles, with over 11,000 mentions. Other popular hashtags about being single seemed to indicate being at peace with it – i.e., #single, #love, and #me.

And while singles were enjoying the sense of community Twitter offered, users who were engaged weren’t tweeting much at all. Use of #happyvalentinesday among engaged people in 2016 drove just 770 mentions.

The surprising takeaway here? If you want to engage social users on Valentine’s Day, it’s better to target those who might be feeling left out. Everyone else is too busy living happily ever after to tweet about it.

50 shades of sentiment analysis

Many of the singles took things even further on Twitter by making fun of their own lack of romance. Netflix was one of the most mentioned brands in 2015, with many joking about “Netflix and chilling” alone.

And there were jokes for those in relationships as well – like this 2016 tweet from parody account GSElevator:










A video-game company engaged in real-time social listening could turn that unusual Valentine’s Day reference into a real “moment” for their brand.

Monitoring social for those brand mentions and their real intentions reveals that not everyone on Twitter takes things seriously when it comes to Cupid. Still, there are those fantasizing about their perfect mate.

In 2015, Fifty Shades of Grey was a top mention, mainly talking about the character Christian Grey as being a good choice for a Valentine. The film was released just days before the holiday, so it’s no surprise social users, single or involved, had him on their minds.

Do we really need Valentine’s Day?

In 2016, without a good movie crush on hand, there were a good many singles tweeting about, well, being alone. “Alone,” “Lonely,” and “ForeverAlone” were among the top ten hashtags used this year. For all the singles with a sense of humor about their marital status, many would rather not be faced with these thoughts each year.

This was the case in 2015 as well. You can imagine the sentiment shared isn’t suitable office reading – but here’s a version that hints at the negative emotions:


Simply put, the singles who hate Valentine’s Day REALLY hate it.

In 2016, 61 percent of negative tweets by singles were directed at removing the holiday altogether. Some even floated the idea of replacing it with a second Thanksgiving Day, which isn’t such a horrible idea. Other big mentions were “get rid of,” “ban,” “not celebrate,” or “give up.” The bright side is for brands and marketers: In that data alone, there is an entire new audience you can engage.

And why not? Couples, and those who love the holiday, have long been catered to, so maybe it’s time to engage the singles. Then again, 2017 could be an entirely new ballgame. You’ll have to keep listening in real-time to know for sure.

Want to find out what consumers love and hate – and how you can use that info to better engage them? Request a demo of Audience 3D™ today.

Image from Jackie

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