How to use social media sentiment analysis to get the competitive edge

It is crucial for brands to know how your audience feels about your products and messaging. To achieve this, performing a social media sentiment analysis is a great place to start. This article will take you through what a social media sentiment analysis is, alongside the importance of uncovering your social media insights. You will also discover the best practice tools to measure and monitor your social media sentiment.

Without completing a social media sentiment analysis, brands cannot understand how customers and the general audience feel about their products. By the end of this blog, brands will have a strong understanding of how to improve customer relationships and satisfaction, alongside how to track the current opinions of products and competitors.

What is social media sentiment analysis?

According to the London School of Economics and Political Science, “In the United Kingdom, there are about 42 million Facebook users, 16 million active Twitter users, 21 million LinkedIn users, and around 35.6 Youtube users per month.” This number continues to grow. Within these platforms lies a treasure trove of data which can reveal a whole realm of insights about how customers perceive a brand and it’s products.

Source: Hootsuite

Using machine learning and natural language processing, social media sentiment tools such as Salesforce’s Radian6, Pulsar and Global Web Index are able to analyse content published across the social media landscape and, to categorise it according to the topic or sentiment (positive or negative).

Sentiment analysis tools use natural language processing AI algorithms to categorise comments, content and reviews online into positive, negative, and neutral emotions. This helps to give an emotional reading of how well a brand is doing. 

Social media sentiment analysis tools are able to analyse comments, reactions, reviews, and brand mentions across the internet to help you understand the issues, needs and desires of your customers and help you identify areas for improvement. You can also use social media sentiment analysis to help you to build more effective marketing and messaging

Social media analysis and its importance
This diagram shows how Hitachi identified and addressed problems in their customer service by using social media monitoring and sentiment analysis to identify and resolve structural issues in how their customer service teams were operating. The same method can be applied to any industry and sector.

Why is social media sentiment analysis so important?

1.      Develop audience insight

Every business can benefit from knowing more about what their customers really think. As a result, understanding what your customers think and feel about your products and services can inform marketing strategy, product innovations and improvements to customer experience. 

2.      Prepare for any PR issues

Social media insights allow brands to track online mentions in real-time, thereby enabling them to identify any looming issues early on. This makes it a very helpful tool when you want to identify a possible public relations crisis before it becomes full blown. If a brand sees a spike in negative sentiment, the team can investigate, attempt to remedy the issue and prepare their PR strategy.

3.      Competitor analysis

Aside from monitoring your own data, you can also gain a lot of information by tracking your competitor’s social media sentiment. Positive feedback will help you understand where your competitors are succeeding. Similarly, negative reviews will help reveal their weaknesses which are ultimately opportunities for your own business to outperform the competition and grow market share. 

What are the best tools to monitor and measure social media sentiment?

  • Hootsuite Insights – This tool automatically analyses all your social media accounts, platforms, forums, news sites, and blogs to surface the stories, influencers, trends, and sentiment related to your brand. You can find out how consumers feel about your brand and filter the content by language, location, and time. Additionally, you can set up monitoring by keywords such as brand, product, or competitor names to get quick data.  Hootsuite Insights provides an easy-to-read meter, so you can quickly see how your business is performing in terms of social media sentiment
Google insights shows easy to use user interface for consumer insights
  • Quick Search from Talkwalker– If you have the budget to use high-end tools, one of the best is QuickSearch. This tool is part of the customer service tool platform known as Talkwalker. Quick Search works by telling you how people feel about your social media channels. It collects comments, mentions and engagements, along with several other data points to help you understand how your customers are responding to the brand on social media.
Quicksearch from Talkwater user interface for consumer insights
  • Digimind – Digimind helps you track your social media presence by analysing any relevant conversations about your brand. The tool will aggregate information from more than 850 million websites and sources, giving you a comprehensive view of your brand. Digimind is available within the Hootsuite app directory.
 Digimind user interface for consumer insights
  • SysomosFor companies with a global reach, the social media monitoring solutions of Sysomos can help brands observe how people view their company. Sysomos also allows companies to know who the key influencers are, and how campaigns are doing in the market. Sysomos can monitor more than two dozen social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
Sysomos dashboard for consumer insights
Enterprise level social media monitoring and sentiment analysis tool
  • Radian 6 – Radian6 is a social media monitoring and analysis tool which can provide an automated solution. It tracks conversations across various online channels. It is also primarily used by corporations to listen to the web for social mentions and keywords and to gain insights.
Radian6 dashboard
  • Pulsar –  Pulsar promises to be the next generation social listening tool to allow brands to take data insights to a whole new level. The tool goes beyond text mining and keyword tracking by allowing brands to map audiences and track how their content is being engaged with. 
Pulsar tool dashboard for customer insights
  • Global Web Index – GlobalWebIndex offers deep profiling of digital customer behaviours and supplies valuable consumer insights on a global basis. 
Global web index dashboard for social media insights

It’s all about the context

Social media sentiment analysis will provide you with some very valuable information about your brand. By understanding what your customers say and feel about your brand, you can improve your business, retain existing customers and gain new ones. With the help of social media sentiment tools, you’ll quickly be on your way to making sure you provide the best customer experience and overtake your competition.  

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About James

James is an award winning digital strategist with over 20 years experience helping challenger brands and market leaders (Unilever, Diageo, MasterCard, HSBC) launch and scale their data-driven sales and marketing. Connect on Linkedin

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