Last minute lockdown Valentine marketing ideas

Have you left it late to think about your Valentine’s Day marketing? No plan yet for your social media? Even if you think the opportunity has gone don’t let one of the key dates in the marketing calendar slip.

It’s not too late to whip up a post or two to celebrate the most romantic day in the calendar – even a simple social post aimed at driving engagement and showing a personable side to your brand is better than letting Sunday February 14 pass with a mere whimper.

It is estimated that in 2021, us Brits will spend around £926 million on Valentine’s Day, that is significantly down from last year’s £1.45 billion (!) with 76% of us (that’s 40 million) planning to celebrate in some way, despite challenges faced by the national lockdown.

The usual Valentine’s spend (approximately £35 per person in 2021) goes on gifts, cards, jewellery, romantic hotel stays (oh, how we long for one of those right now), dinner dates and alcohol, but in lockdown our spending habits have shifted and this year more people than before are planning to spend Valentine’s Day without spending a penny.

With an audience likely to be dialled into their smartphones for much of the weekend, there’s a critical opportunity to take advantage of an audience that would usually be out spending money and connecting to them via social media.

If you haven’t yet planned your Valentine’s posts, or haven’t managed to get beyond a stock picture of a heart or a man with a bow and arrow floating on a cloud, you still have time!

Here’s a few ideas to consider:

Ask the audience

When you’re really stuck for content, turning to your followers is usually a good place to start – depending on what kind of organisation you are you’ll be surprised at how much content your customers are willing to share with you, with the added bonus of boosting your engagement.

For example – try to think of a Valentine’s question to ask that fits with your business. If you’re in the food sector, you could ask:

  • Have you ever been to proposed to over a meal? We’d love to hear about it/show us your pix
  • Is it acceptable to be proposed to while on a date?
  • What’s the best/worst date you’ve ever been on?
  • What’s your favourite romantic meal?

If you start to get replies to these questions, ask if you can use the pictures and share them as fresh post or post them in your Facebook/Instagram stories. Take a look at the example below, where Harlyn Sands Holiday Park asks their guests for their favourite pictures and generates more content to share from the results.

Try using a poll or a quiz to make the content even more interactive.

If you can’t think of a way of relating your question to your sector, concentrate on engagement and keep it simple – “How did you know they were ‘The One’?”, “How you meet your significant other?

Use past reviews and say thanks for the love

If you really are stuck, reviews are a great way of dipping into your content stash for inspiration. The overwhelming majority of us shop by checking reviews first – so reading reviews isn’t going to go out of fashion anytime soon.

Post your favourite reviews of the past few months with a caption along the lines of: We’d like to say a huge thank you this Valentine’s to everyone who showed a little love to us over the past year. Here’s a selection of our favourite comments – it means so much to us every time you leave a review and we’d like to thank each and every one of you.

Make a little graphic of your favourite reviews – take them from everywhere, TrustPilot, Google, Facebook, or create a simple video slideshow using a programme like Animoto.

Sales & Ads

Do you need to shift stock before it dates on February 15th? Spend a little on a paid promotion today and you’ll capture last minute buyers who haven’t been to the shops and probably haven’t been caught up in the cupid hysteria.

If the prospect of running social media ads puts you in a cold sweat don’t over think it. Spend a little budget on boosting a post to your page followers first so they all see it and then do some simple targeting from there.


Always a winner – if you can offer a Valentine’s prize, this is a great feel good opportunity to show off your products and create engagement.

Ask your followers to share a picture of how they are celebrating this weekend (maybe with your product) and tag who they’d share the prize with if they win.

Read our guide to competitions for more.

Spark Wanderlust

If you can’t offer your usual product or service because of lockdown – maybe you’re a holiday park or leisure bookings – it doesn’t hurt to play on nostalgia and market bookings for later in the year.

Eg – ‘we loved when we used to be able to do xyz’ or ‘remember when we first fell in love with our product/service, can’t wait to get back to normal!’

Or post a few of your most beautiful images of your venue or most romantic settings and let the pictures do the talking with a simple heart emoji in the comments.

A quick video

Really stuck for ideas? Wish everyone a happy Valentine’s and thank your customers for their support during the most difficult of circumstances. You’ll be surprised with the results! (in a good way!).

Don’t Forget…

  •   The stereotype of a male buying for their female partner is no more, in fact Valentines’ consumers are just as likely to buy for themselves, their children, co-workers, friends and even pets, opening avenues for many more businesses to make the most of Valentine’s opportunities.
  • This could be the perfect opportunity to share those self-care tips for single people or those separated this Valentine’s due to Lockdown (25% of couples living apart are planning to hold ‘Virtual Valentine’s Dates’ this year)
  • Use hashtags on your posts, you could create your own to track how your campaign is doing and use more popular #’s to boost your posts visibility – #ValentinesDay2021 #LoveInLockdown
  • Monday is Single’s Awareness Day – a whole other opportunity!

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