Love in the digital age: examining social media’s impact on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has become a lucrative opportunity for businesses, both big and small, thanks to the rise of digital marketing strategies. Influencer collaborations, targeted advertisements, and themed content have become staples of Valentine’s Day campaigns as brands compete for consumers’ attention in the crowded digital space. Influences in particular play an influential role in shaping consumer behaviour. One international study of more than 1,000 influencers revealed that consumers seek gift recommendations from the influencers they follow. 

Valentine’s Day has roots dating back to Ancient Rome and gained mainstream popularity in the Middle Ages. Named after Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr who defied Emperor Claudius II’s marriage ban, the holiday became synonymous with expressing affection through handwritten notes and small gifts by the 18th century. The Industrial Revolution facilitated the mass production of Valentine’s Day cards in the 19th century, laying the groundwork for the commercialization we witness today.

In today’s digital age, Valentine’s Day has transformed from a simple celebration of love to a complex web of consumerism. The influence of technology and social media on the way we celebrate love and romance becomes increasingly evident. From virtual dates to curated playlists, tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z are redefining traditional notions of romance, and brands are taking note. 

The advent of technology and the subsequent boom of social media has revolutionized the way Valentine’s Day is celebrated and perceived. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook have become essential tools for individuals seeking inspiration for romantic gestures and gift ideas. From curated gift guides to influencer-sponsored content, social media has created a digital marketplace where expressions of love are commodified and curated for public consumption.

Millennials in particular are increasingly treating themselves and their pets. According to the same international study, 38 per cent of them purchase gifts for themselves and 12 per cent for their pets. Brands can capitalize on this trend by offering exclusive deals and promotions targeted at self-gifting and pet owners.

Valentine’s Day presents a significant opportunity for mobile marketers to capitalize on increased user engagement. App installs surge in the days leading up to the holiday, with dating apps experiencing a notable increase as individuals seek companionship. Food and drink apps also capitalize on consumers’ desire for culinary delights, with food delivery app installs rising as people opt for intimate dining experiences at home. Social media engagement peaks on Valentine’s Day, providing an ideal platform for brands to connect with their audience and drive user engagement.

Valentine’s Day reflects the dynamic intersection of tradition, consumer behaviour, and technological advancements. By targeting a wider audience than just couples, offering enticing deals, sending Valentine-themed push notifications, engaging on social media, utilizing email marketing, collaborating with influencers, and embracing Valentine’s Day clichés, brands can maximize their visibility and engagement during this love-filled season.

Associate News Editor (Volume 50) — Karine is currently completing her bachelor’s degree specializing in Digital Enterprise Management at UTM. She has been involved with The Medium since 2022 as a contributor. She hopes to contribute to society's efforts to provide authentic and factual journalistic media to educate her readers during her time at The Medium. Her goal is to take her interest in ongoing research within the business and technology field and explore ways to share it with others through this platform. In her spare time, she enjoys going on walks, FaceTiming her family, and painting sunsets with her friends. Moreover, she passionately pursues the chase of the Aurora Borealis, seeking to experience and capture the breathtaking beauty of these natural light displays. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.


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