As our regular readers will know, we're always keen to point out the opportunities that Twitter presents when related to calendar events.
There are few better dates on which this is evident than today - Valentines Day in the UK.
We've been monitoring all the phrases and words you'd commonly associate with the day of romance.
The results are interesting on a number of counts. Firstly, they show the sheer volume of potential Twitter gives businesses of all varieties to track down their possible audience.
Secondly, we're astonished to see the number of users who still don't fully (or remotely) understand what a truly Trending topic is.
Finally, we smiled when we noted Cadbury's had taken the opportunity to exploit both of the above! More is revealed below.
All phrases directly related to Valentines Day had been quietly showing signs of movement for a few weeks now. Major movement started to become apparent in the last week though, with Monday 11th February seemingly the date when people realised the date was almost upon us.
Traffic in a single hour on the evening of the 11th saw over 2,000 mentions of Valentines Day.
The spurt in tweets began as the day itself arrived at midnight, with over 5,000 tweets before 1am mentioning "Valentine".
By mid-afternoon the whole of the UK, or at leasts its Twitter contingent, was wide awake and had given the term "Valentine" in excess of 120,000 mentions.
However, we've probably not even seen the peak of this yet. As families, partners, wives and husbands arrive home it isn't uncommon to see a mid or late-evening surge again.
Phrases and opportunities
"Valentine" is, of course, a very specific word. So the real volume of traffic is to be found in phrases more generically connected with the day.
Florists, restaurants, card retailers and other businesses might be interested to see the growth associated with these words over the last few days.
"Love" - a common word on any day online saw a use increase of 100% today.
"#ValentinesDay" - first appeared around the 8th February in any real measurable volume but rocketed to over 50,000 appearances in tweets today.
"Happy" - by virtue of it commonly being used to wish someone a "Happy Valentines Day" appears in more than double the number of tweets it generally would.
"Roses" - from virtually nothing a week previously, the UK traffic for Roses alone soared in the few days leading up to the big day itself. Throughout the course of today, mentions have remained high with well over 5,000 specific hashtag mentions.
"Flowers" - perhaps an obvious contender, but we never cease to be amazed by how many Florists overlook the power of Twitter. Well, the word "Flowers" has seen a threefold increase over the last month, building gradually towards today when it has peaked at approximately 1,000 mentions an hour.
"Florists" - this is perhaps the funniest of all volumes. Somewhat surprisingly "Florists" hasn't seen a gradual build in growth. Instead, it has witnessed a collosal and very swift spike in activity - with 3,500% (yes, 3,500%) increase in mentions from 6am this morning - for a solid 2-3 hours! We think we all probably know what that is!
"Restaurant" - the peak of this phrase/word has almost certainly not been reached yet, but it has still enjoyed a gradual rise throughout the day. What's unusual is that it isn't seeing particularly big spikes in mentions over that which it normally would - and that's unusual for today. Perhaps the economic climate is holding back romantic ambitions and plans?
"Chocolates" - fear not Ladies! In place of restaurants is a noticeable rise in the mention of chocolates! Five times the normal volume of tweets in fact! We hope you enjoy them!
What we found particularly interesting was the myth that seemed to surround the #HaveAFling hashtag that appeared in Trending Topics in the UK. We noted hundreds of Twitter users say how awful it was that people had got the "HaveAFling" hashtag trending.
They hadn't. It was a rather clever Promoted Tweet from Cadbury's, related to their Creme Egg (yum) product.
Remember, the little orange box and arrow, along with the word "Promoted" mean it isn't trending - someone has paid for you to see it!
Yet again, the opportunities that have built over the weeks before today have been very clear. Twitter presents a vast array of potential, audience capture and research, not to mention an interesting insight into British characteristics and behaviour.
If you know how to use the platform, how to monitor traffic and how to connect with an audience, the business opportunities can be seen by all.
Our research this year was restricted entirely to UK trends and posts.
If you're a client of ours who'd like the full list of words and volumes, just drop a line to your normal support contact.