If you’ve used Facebook at all during the last few years (and seriously, who hasn’t?) you know about how useful it is to find out your friends’ (or enemies’ (or acquaintances’ (or anyone, really))) relationship drama. Yeah, you know what I mean.

Relationship status changes are probably the most commented upon in all of Facebook-dom. Whether it’s a rough breakup or an engagement, people notice them and count them as important (even if “It’s Complicated”).

Just recently, infographic wiz David McCandless released the product of some research he has been doing on how often and on what days the words “Break up” or “Broken up” are mentioned in Facebook status updates. The results are pretty interesting. Take a look.

Facebook Breakup Frequency Graph

This graph shows the correlation between time of year and week that "Break Up" or "Broken Up" appear in Facebook Statuses.

At least people are decent enough to not break up with their significant others on Christmas Day, but they break up in great numbers two weeks beforehand. Probably to avoid buying expensive gifts for their girlfriends. Or boyfriends. Whatever.

Also, people tend to break up with significant others before large social events (notably spring break) and on Mondays (another reason Mondays suck and should be boycotted).

So why is this important for leverage social media marketing? I mean, it’s just breakup info, right?

Technically, right. But all information is useful if you know how to use it.

Say you’re advertising a certain product on Facebook (let’s say chocolate or something for an easy example). Using this information, you could tap into the primal urge of all dejected, cast off ex-significant others: Chocolate binging!

Think about it! Run Facebook ads and post statuses positioned towards jilted and discarded lovers during peak breakup times during the week and year (fluctuating accordingly depending on the season and the graph), and you could catch a greater portion of the “too-sad-and-miserable-to-eat-right” crowd! It could increase your sales, no?

And it’s totally adaptable to your service or product! Just be creative, and use this knowledge to better understand your market and their relationship cycles, so you can better serve them (or convince them of their need for your service).

Or just send the graph to your friends so they can laugh at it too. Either way, it’s cool.

Jamie Bates