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You don’t have to look far to see evidence of the growing popularity of yoga in our culture. But did you know there’s an entire day devoted to celebrating this ancient practice?

The fourth year of International Yoga Day was yesterday, on June 21st. Here’s a look at social sentiment surrounding the holiday, and best practices for applying social analytics to any holiday important to your audience.

Notice It’s Not National Yoga Day

The first, albeit it obvious, thing to note is that unlike many commemorative days, this one is international. Also called World Yoga Day, and International Day of Yoga, International Yoga Day was originally proposed by India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.

Not super surprising given that India is where yoga originated, but noteworthy with regard to the focus of your social analytics. It’s tempting to look in your own backyard – and important to – but sometimes it’s smart to explore sentiment on a global level.

Our NetBase Pro search of keyword variations of “International Yoga Day” and “World Yoga Day” was set to English-language posts only, but these posts came from all over the world. Why is this important? Well if you’re a global brand, the answer is obvious.

If your business is more localized, it still doesn’t hurt to compare trends across regions simply for the sake of being able to converse with the more worldly members of your audience.

As it turns out, the bulk of conversation is localized to the U.S., then India, then the U.K. Also noteworthy, men are the demographic majority, 59% to 41%.

Which Conversations Are Getting the Most Chi?

Before you can decide how to approach a holiday, event, or trend, you’ve got to know what has people talking most passionately. Sentiment analysis doesn’t stop at “like” versus “dislike.” The intensity of emotion is crucial – and you need the balance of both yin and yang.

Where is the love, obsession, and passion – or hate, disgust, and revulsion – and what’s driving it?

Let’s start with positive Attributes:

The most popular term, “program” is related to a tweet by India’s Prime Minister, the man behind the holiday himself, Narendra Modi:

FRI stands for Forest Research Institute. It’s not a yoga studio or center – like, say, Kripalu in Massachusetts. This serves to highlight the integration of yoga in Indian culture as compared to other countries.

It’s not like Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is hosting yoga for International Yoga Day – though maybe they should. Just look at that engagement. Modi’s influence is strong, as you’d expect.

But what else do social yogis love? Standout terms like –

  • Way to gain mastery
  • Transform body positively
  • Achieve happy mind
  • #wellness healing
  • Make you fully alert
  • #reduce stress
  • #relax

– and more are pretty self-explanatory. And what’s the common denominator? At its core yoga is about health and wellness – which intersects with all kinds of subcategories, like fitness, nutrition, medicine, and spirituality.

And don’t forget the world’s comfiest pants. There are entire Tumblrs devoted to yoga pants – though they’re not quite suitable for work, or this post. Still, if that’s your niche…

Meanwhile, what are the negative terms about? They’re a smaller part of the conversation, but important nonetheless.

The idea that yoga is “weird,” “difficult,” or “makes you smug” is information you can work with. Whether that means bonding over sharing those opinions – or offering ways to combat them – is up to you, and dependent on your brand goals.

Just remember, yoga is a journey, not a destination. There’s really no such thing as “#fail”:

How Do People Celebrate #IDY2018?

The aforementioned journey is personal, and yet yoga is often done in a group setting. Adding the word “event” to our search shows us just how much gathering happens in the lead up to International Yoga Day – and where:

In front of the Eiffel Tower…

India, of course…

Even China…

Wherever you are, it would seem, there’s yoga to be had. And people to inspire you.

Yoga apparel brand Lululemon is a major influencer in this regard, shining light on amazing practitioners in their Instagram feed. Like veteran and Warrior Spirit Retreat founder Dan Nevins – who just happens to be a double amputee. If he can do yoga, surely anyone can.

In fact, 5 of the top 6 most popular media posts belonged to Lululemon – save a few sharing a talk by author/mystic Sadhguru, like this one. How’d they do it? By focusing on events and people outside their brand. Smart strategy. If they were your competitor, you’d want to borrow this one.

Lead from the Heart

International Yoga Day may not be a holiday that matters to your brand, but it’s not hard to find one that is. Whatever your idea for reaching out, whatever trend you’re hoping to leverage, social sentiment is the key to everything.

It will tell you where to focus your efforts, so your brand doesn’t lose its balance. It will show you the people in your corner, and help you heal consumer wounds to keep relationships intact.

You just have to listen. Namaste.

Our sentiment analysis tools give life to your image analytics, customer experience analytics, and more. Reach out and we’ll show you how!

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