Measuring sentiment has long been a practice of public relations professionals. Clips from publications and other media could be gathered and scanned for client brand name mentions. If the context of the mention was positive it received a positive sentiment score, if negative, then it received a score in the negative column.
Now with the proliferation of social media, measuring sentiment has been extended to online media.
However, the measurements are tracked and tabulated using automated sentiment technology. So using a social media monitoring tool that features an automatic sentiment technology will then allow you to find social mentions related to particular keywords (for example, your brand name).
The tool then analyzes the words in proximity to the keyword and determines whether the context of the mention is positive or negative. If it is unclear, the context is determined neutral.
For example if you searched for sentiment related to the term “iphone” and one of the results was an update from a Twitter user who tweeted, “My iphone connection is really bad,” then the sentiment would be scored as negative. A positive mention would be a tweet such as, “I love my iphone.”
It should be noted that automated sentiment technology will vary in terms of accuracy by the brand of social media monitoring platform you use. In the 70 percent range tends to the average. Of course, measuring sentiment with humans can be very time consuming and is also subject to inaccuracies as interpretation of certain social mentions can be hard to interpret.
Measuring sentiment can have great value for a brand, especially in terms of looking a trends. For example, if you can filter through the social mentions and discover a trend of negative mentions in regards to a feature of your product or service, it would indicate a weak point that needs to be addressed in your organization. In other words, an opportunity for improvement, which can then lead to increased customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty which can lead to increased positive word of mouth. In other words, turning negatives into positives.
We’ll give some examples of measuring sentiment in The Social Media Road Trip Workshop.
See you on the next stretch of the road.