Successful public relations and marketing has always revolved around managing the way that people think about your brand and its products. Historically this meant conducting costly market research or focus groups to gather feedback from a small section of your customer base.
Social media platforms allow you to gain insight from the market as whole however — instantly reducing the amount of time, effort and cost associated with finding out what your customers really think.
And a large part of that process is understanding social sentiment.
What is social sentiment?
Social sentiment simply takes this process a step further, looking at the way people talk about your business, paying particular attention to:
- What is being said
- How it is being said
- Who is doing the talking
Listening to the market in this way will help you understand whether people are satisfied or dissatisfied, and provides an opportunity to get involved with the conversation.
Why does social media sentiment analysis matter?
Social media has become a crucial part of many consumers’ buying process. In fact, one-third of consumers use social media for product research.
But why do they use social channels?
- They can quickly assess available products and services
- They can gather genuine feedback from other customers
- They can see how your business supports its existing customers
So if prospective customers can find this information quickly and easily, it is vital that your business does what it can to improve and maintain its online image.
Sentiment analysis is absolutely vital to managing customer experience, particularly for dissatisfied clients. By identifying disgruntled customers early, your business can reach out to them and try to address the situation. This not only avoids embarrassing complaints by customers on social platforms, but also gives your business a chance to demonstrate its outstanding service in a public forum.
In many cases, your unhappiest customers can be turned around to become your biggest fans.
So anyone searching for information will also see just how well you treat your customers. 40% of clients begin shopping with a competitor because they heard about the company’s good customer service.
Automating social media sentiment analysis
As well as monitoring your existing customers, your social team needs to be able to keep an eye on the rest of the market too. Factor in multiple social channels and the process becomes increasingly complex and time consuming.
Your business will need to investigate the use of a social media management platform that can not only monitor what is being said, but also the sentiment behind each statement. Automating this process then frees up your social media team to focus on how best to improve customer service, prioritizing those cases where sentiment is negative.