Are people talking about your business online? Do you know what they are saying? What about how to analyze the sentiment of the conversations so you can make better marketing decisions?
In this post, I’ll show you more about what sentiment analysis is and the various ways you can use it to better serve your customers. Sentiment analysis goes beyond social listening on social media platforms and explores mentions of your brand anywhere online – from review websites to search engine results and more.
What Is Sentiment Analysis?
According to Techopedia, sentiment analysis is, “a type of data mining that measures the inclination of people’s opinions through natural language processing (NLP), computational linguistics and text analysis, which are used to extract and analyze subjective information from the Web – mostly social media and similar sources. The analyzed data quantifies the general public’s sentiments or reactions toward certain products, people or ideas and reveal the contextual polarity of the information. Sentiment analysis is also known as opinion mining.”
How to Use Sentiment Analysis to Improve Your Business
With sentiment analysis, businesses can track how people are receiving their brand and how popular it is, perception and anticipation of new products or services, your overall reputation, and rant detection.
Prevent and Manage a Public Relations Crisis
You can track online mentions in real-time, making it much easier to identify a potential PR crisis as it unfolds so you can get ahead of it. If you see an increase in negative sentiment, you can take a deeper look into things, and if you determine it’s needed, take the action to defuse the situation before it escalates.
Word gets around quickly on social media, and negative comments will always gain traction much faster than positive ones. If you don’t deal with the unhappy customers quickly and professionally, they may share their unhappiness on their social media profiles with their friends and the general public. And when that happens, you could have another stream of people coming to your brand page to share their thoughts with you, too.
A lot of social listening tools out there send notifications of new mentions and then allow you to use filters to show only specific sentiments, so you can prioritize the comments you need to address first and which ones you can wait on. Because you’ll get alerts in real-time, it’s important to have customer service available to address things as soon as possible. For larger brands, this means a near 24/7 staff keeping an eye on things – and for smaller brands, it means checking as often as possible during your business hours. Failing to catch things quickly allows them to escalate before you even take notice of the first negative mention.
Learn About the Competition
While you’re in the process of monitoring of your own brand mentions, you can also use it to track your competitors’ mentions to see how your business compares. Negative sentiments toward a competitor can sometimes offer opportunity for your company. If for instance, you find something missing in their product, you may find a way for your product to fill the void.
Paying attention to where the competition is getting positive mentions can also help you find areas where you may need to improve.
When you see that the same people are talking about your business, you can start to take notice of potential influencers you may want to work with on an influencer marketing campaign. Some sentiment analysis tools will assign influencer scores to online mentions so you can filter mentions based on the strength of the influencer.
Instagram is by far one of the most popular social platforms for influencers, and you can identify potential influencers by looking at the comments in the positive mentions feed. If you’re feeling up to the task, you may even be able to change the mind of influencers who have left negative comments.
Before reaching out to any influencer to talk about partnering together, take time to vet them. Any influencer you choose to work with needs to have a high engagement rate – regardless of the size of the following. The more engagement in terms of reactions and comments (real, meaningful ones) you see, the more their audience is paying attention. The larger the audience, the less engagement influencers typically get, so don’t be afraid to give smaller audiences a chance.
Leverage Customer Feedback to Improve Service
Sentiment analysis makes it easier to find out what people like and don’t like about your brand, products, and services. It also helps you see what people think from the moment you launch something new – whether it’s a new campaign or a new product.
If you find a generally positive sentiment in regards to the new product, celebrate it and show your appreciation. If you’ve recently redesigned your mobile app and find that most people hate it, get ready to change it. Customer input may not always be what you wanted to hear, but it’s critical to respond to what they say so you can learn more about what they want – then give it to them.
Using sentiment analysis can help you get a consensus about what your customers are thinking so you can take action on relevant suggestions. For example, you can use customer feedback to inform future product designs by making improvements to the features they didn’t receive well and enhancing the features they love.
When you start using sentiment analysis to get a better look at the way people feel about your brand and its products or services, you’ll be able to make your marketing budget work harder for you by making smarter investments with your resources.