Social Sentiment: Find out What it is and How to Track It

Social sentiment helps you understand customers’ attitudes toward your brand. It also gives you a clear view of the “health” of your competitors online.

Social Sentiment: Find out What it is and How to Track It

Are a lot of people talking about your brand on social media? That’s great!

However, just because people are talking about your brand doesn’t necessarily mean the reception is positive.

This is why you need to track social sentiment.

If you want to maximize your social media marketing efforts, you’ll need to know what social sentiment is, why it’s important, and how to track it.

    What is Social Sentiment?

    While it’s good to know how many people are talking about your brand on social media, it’s also vital to contextualize that activity.

    Social sentiment is a metric used to measure the attitude customers have toward your brand.

    People are constantly expressing their feelings toward brands in posts and comments on social media.

    By measuring the emotions behind this activity, you can understand if the attitude toward your brand is positive, negative, or neutral.

    Why is Social Sentiment Important?

    Measuring social sentiment is important for several reasons.

    If you’re not paying attention to the attitudes users have about your brand, you’re missing out on key data that could indicate changes you should make to your strategy.

    Social Sentiment is Vital to Tracking Your Brand Health

    If your brand has a positive social sentiment, it indicates that what you are doing is working well.

    However, if your social sentiment appears to be negative, it indicates that you need to make some changes or address a problem.

    While nobody wants people to have a negative view of their brand, negative social sentiment does allow you to recognize problems with your brand and take steps to fix them.

    By taking those steps, you can improve your social sentiment and brand health.

    If you continually track your social sentiment, you can also deal with any crisis that may come up. For example, perhaps you launched a new product and noticed your social sentiment had a negative spike. 

    This could indicate there are some problems you need to address with your new product.

    People are Constantly Looking for Recommendations on Social Media

    Since people are constantly turning to social media to help them decide what product or service to use, monitoring your social sentiment is a must.

    If the conversation around your brand appears to be negative, users won’t be likely to purchase your product or use your service.

    The attitudes toward your brand that show up on social media can help determine how much new potential customers should trust your brand.

    By monitoring social sentiment, you can understand how much those potential new customers might trust your product and take steps to increase that trust.

    Social Sentiment Helps You Research Your Competition

    Not only does measuring social sentiment help you track users’ attitudes towards your brand, but it can also help you track users’ feelings towards your competitors.

    If you can understand the things people dislike about other brands, you can take steps to prevent yourself from making the same mistakes other brands make.

    Also, if your competitors seem to have a positive social sentiment, you can implement some of the strategies they use to improve your own social sentiment.

    As a digital marketer, you should always be on the lookout for new strategies and ways to make your brand better. Paying attention to competitors can help you do that.

    How to Track Social Sentiment

    In order to monitor your social sentiment, you’ll need to know where people are talking about your brand and the metrics you should track to conduct your social sentiment analysis.

    Social sentiment analysis is the process of collecting data regarding your customer’s feelings towards your brand.

    1. Consider Where People are Talking About Your Brand

    If you want to know what people are saying about your brand, the first thing you need to do is consider where people are talking about it.

    Obviously, you can start with the basics like comments and replies to your posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    These are the easiest to monitor since you’ll likely get a notification whenever your brand is mentioned.

    You should also be sure to monitor any feedback you receive from your website, like on-site reviews or feedback forms.

    These are great avenues to get a better understanding of your customers’ thoughts about your brand.

    Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’re paying attention to third-party site reviews. These include Reddit, Yelp! and Google.

    You won’t get notifications from third-party sites, which makes them a bit trickier to monitor.

    However, make sure you are regularly checking these sites for mentions of your brand so you can address any criticism directly and better understand your customers.

    Potential customers will likely check out multiple social media sites before deciding whether or not they should trust your brand, so be sure to monitor all potential avenues of criticism.

    2. Calculate Your Net Sentiment

    Net sentiment is the total value of the attitudes being expressed toward your brand on social media.

    You can calculate it in one of two ways.

    First, you can add your total positive social media mentions to your total neutral social media mentions, and then subtract your total negative social media mentions from that total.

    The second option is to simply subtract your total negative social media mentions from your total positive social media mentions.

    Which option you decide to use to calculate your net sentiment will depend on how much weight you want to give neutral mentions, which will depend on the goals of your brand.

    In either case, you’ll obviously want your net sentiment to be a positive number. The higher the number, the better your brand health is.

    If your net sentiment is negative, it indicates you need to make some changes, and these changes will be indicated by the content of the negative mentions.

    Remember, every brand will have at least some negative mentions because all customers are different and have specific preferences.

    However, you should use the content from your mentions to make changes to your strategy so you can maximize your number of positive mentions, and build the biggest net sentiment possible.

    3. Calculate Your Net Promoter Score

    Customers can typically be placed into three categories. These categories include promoters, passives, and detractors.

    Promoters are users who are excited about your product and likely to recommend it to others.

    Passives are customers who like and are satisfied with your product but not excited enough to go out of their way to share or recommend it to others.

    Detractors are those who dislike your brand and are likely to damage your brand’s reputation by writing negative things about your brand.

    These categories are similar to the three categories you use to determine your net sentiment (positive, neutral, and negative).

    Unsurprisingly, you can calculate your net promoter score in a similar manner to your net sentiment.

    Simply subtract your total number of detractors from your total number of promoters. The higher your net promoter score is, the better.

    Having a high number of promoters is key because promoters are likely to share your content and get your product in front of new potential customers.

    Tools to Monitor Social Sentiment

    You have two options when deciding how to monitor your social media sentiment. You can either track the data manually, or you can use a tool to aggregate the data for you.

    Tracking Social Sentiment Manually

    Manually tracking your social sentiment is the more time-consuming method.

    If you’re managing a large brand, there will be a lot of data to sort through. For example, you might need to sort through every mention and assign a score to each one.

    The higher your average score is for all of your mentions, the better your social sentiment.

    If you carefully understand the attitude of each customer toward your brand, it will be easy to pick up on trends and know how to adjust your strategy accordingly.

    Using a Sentiment Analysis Tool

    If you’re managing a large brand, it will likely make more sense to use a sentiment analysis tool.

    While using a third-party sentiment analysis tool will cost some money to use, it may be worth the investment if you don’t have the time to analyze the data manually.

    These tools use specific words to monitor the sentiment toward your brand.

    For example, if a mention uses a term like “bad experience”, the tool will track that mention as a negative sentiment.

    On the other hand, if a mention uses a term like “perfect” or “excellent”, it will track that mention as a positive mention.

    By automatically aggregating negative and positive mentions, the third-party tool will make it easier to calculate your net sentiment and net promoter score. 

    MonkeyLearn, Brandwatch, Awario and Hootsuite Insights are examples of relevant tools.

    Wrap Up: Social Sentiment is Vital to Tracking Attitudes Toward Your Brand

    Having a lot of mentions on social media is great for your brand, but only if those mentions are positive.

    By monitoring the discussion around your brand online, you can get a better understanding of what is and isn’t working for your brand.

    There’s a lot more you should know about data monitoring if you want to create a great digital marketing strategy.

    To learn more about data monitoring and how to make the right strategic decisions for your brand, check out our market intelligence eBook!

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