Do you know how your customers are feeling right now? Thanks to social media, you know how at least a few folks are feeling. For instance, there’s Karen in Austin who’s loving the new yoga pants she just purchased from you. They were featured in an Insta post of the most perfect downward dog pose… On a mountain… At sunrise… EVER. Meanwhile, Ben in Denver has been viciously rage-tweeting at you for the past 4 hours for your predatory business practices (he had to pay an extra $5 for 24-hour expedited shipping on his new leather sneakers).
But that’s just two very vocal people out of thousands of potential customers on social media. Loyal advocates and pissed-off screamers aside, what about everybody else? Are they happy, disappointed, angry, indifferent? If you’re not monitoring social media sentiment about your brand, then you might not know. Monitoring social media activity — direct mentions of your brand — is different than monitoring overall social media sentiment.
What Is Social Media Sentiment and Why Is It Important to Monitor?
Social media sentiment is the aggregate tone or emotion conveyed in the majority of posts that are directly about AND indirectly related to your brand. Social media sentiment is all about the feels: do customers generally have positive, negative, or neutral feelings about your brand? Social media sentiment is a strong indicator of brand health, provides you with a benchmark of how customers view your brand as it compares to your competition, your industry, and the market in general, and most importantly can help you build your business strategy.
How Is Social Media Sentiment Monitored and Measured?
Monitoring social media sentiment involves tracking all of the social media posts that are directly about and indirectly related to your brand across the major social media channels. Monitoring direct mentions of your brand is straightforward enough, but monitoring posts that are indirectly related to your brand is where monitoring social media sentiment gets tricky. Posts indirectly related to your brand can be about any number of topics including your competitors, their products, your industry, related industries, and even general market trends and forecasts. What specific topics are important will vary depending upon your individual business.
After determining what topics are important to monitor in addition to your brand mentions, you have to aggregate all of the relevant social media posts over a select period of time, review them, and assign their general tone a rating — either positive, negative, or neutral. Based on the dominant rating of the majority of posts, you’ll be able to determine your social media sentiment score.
Obviously social media sentiment monitoring can be time-consuming and costly, but that’s where a social media sentiment monitoring tool like the Etailligence platform can save your organization a lot of time and effort. Etailligence monitors real-time direct and indirect activity relevant to your brand across all social media channels and provides you with an immediate social media sentiment assessment score.
Big Takeaway: It’s All About the Feels
Social media sentiment is more than direct mentions of your brand on social media. It’s the overall feeling — positive, negative, or neutral — that customers have about your brand, and it can tell you whether or not your brand has a healthy reputation. Although monitoring social media sentiment can be costly and time-consuming, with the right tool it can provide critical insights about your business and help improve your strategy.