Social Media Sentiment Analysis: Why it Works
Thursday 26th October
by Beth Perrin
Social Media Sentiment Analysis: Why it Works
Thursday 26th October 2023
As a customer service representative or community manager, you should hopefully understand just how crucial it is to respond promptly to the comments and enquiries your brand receives online. However, responding isn’t the only activity you should be focusing on - tracking the sentiment of your brand’s social media presence is just as important. This involves sorting both your private messages and public comments into positive, negative and neutral categories to see what you’re doing well and which areas need work.
Sometimes referred to as opinion mining, sentiment analysis reveals how your audience feels about your products, services and content, while also providing you with highly practical data that you can use to inform key business decisions and make effective operational changes. In fact, 71% of social media marketers say they are able to share social insights with other departments.
Basing business changes on guesswork instead of real data can lead to wasted time, money and resources for you and your team, as well as disappointment for your customers. That’s why it’s essential to build an in-depth understanding of what your audience really wants and needs before going ahead with any major developments. Today, we’re outlining some of the main reasons why you should be measuring your brand’s social media sentiment.
How Do People Feel About Your Products & Services?
One of the biggest advantages of social media sentiment monitoring is that it enables you to get instant feedback about your products and/or services. Is there a trend in negativity surrounding a specific item? Are customers enjoying your latest collection? Without a comprehensive sentiment strategy in place, you won’t know how well your business efforts are being received by the public.
If a product is garnering lots of praise and positivity, it’s a clear sign that you’re doing things right and are generating your desired ROI. On the other hand, if a particular item, service or process is the target of many complaints and is evidently making customers unhappy, it’s time to make some substantial changes to improve its performance.
Sentiment analysis also allows you to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing - both good and bad. You can compare and contrast how people talk about your brand with how they talk about others in your industry, and find out if similar brands are offering products, services or experiences that you aren’t.
You can also discover how your competitors speak to their own customers: what tone of voice are they using? How are people reacting to those conversations? This analysis can help you identify gaps in the market and opportunities for you to get one step ahead.
Analysing the sentiment of your competitors’ audiences can also act as a safety blanket, shielding your business from future crises and PR disasters. For example, seeing a controversial marketing campaign go badly for a competitor will warn you to steer clear of making the same mistake.
Discover Your Best Performing Offers
Another benefit of tracking your brand sentiment is that it enables you to see which of your offers, deals and discounts are gaining the most traction on social media. Ultimately, the aim of sharing special offers with your audience is to surprise and delight them - and incentivise purchases, orders or bookings - so it makes sense to monitor whether they’re successfully achieving these goals.
Some common examples of negative sentiment surrounding offers are:
• The discount isn’t sufficient
• Issues when attempting to enter a voucher code on your website
• The deal should apply to a wider range of products
• A competitor’s offer provides a better saving than yours
Carrying out sentiment analysis means you can A/B test these offers, pinpoint which ones your customers are happiest with and therefore which ones are giving your business the highest ROI.
Human-Led Sentiment Analysis
The majority of modern-day sentiment tracking systems rely on NLP (Natural Language Processing) and computer-generated algorithms to detect the emotions behind language, which can understandably lead to unreliable results. That’s why we decided to launch Human Insight, the first ever sentiment analysis service to be run by real people, not bots. Our dedicated team tracks all of our clients’ incoming messages and comments on social media, manually logging their sentiment to outline how their businesses are being talked about online, while also identifying recurring enquiry topics to see which questions customers are commonly asking.
This human approach means we can give our clients much more accurate data than AI-based sentiment trackers, which often struggle to interpret the sentiment of comments including language features such as sarcasm, exaggeration and non-standard spelling and grammar, which can lead to the wrong sentiment being detected.
Clients using Human Insight have been able to make both large and small scale business changes based on the data we’ve collected for them, which has boosted the positive sentiment surrounding each of them and has reduced the level of negativity they experience online. Additionally, as many of our Human Insight clients are nationwide brands with multiple locations across the country, our data has made them aware of site-specific concerns and has helped to highlight their best and worst performing branches.
While at its core it may seem like a simple task, social media sentiment analysis involves more than just sorting comments into positive or negative boxes. It’s all about using that information to build a defined picture of how your brand is perceived by the public that will allow you to make necessary improvements and give your customers what they really want.
Customer emotions and reactions are often complicated, varying widely in intensity and in the way they are expressed. That’s why we always encourage businesses to use our unique Human Insight service instead of AI-based sentiment tracking systems that can’t reach the same level of depth and understanding as our team. If your current sentiment monitoring process isn’t achieving the results you need to make impactful brand changes, contact us to find out what we can do for you.
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