A Guide to Social Media Sentiment (Includes 5 Sentiment Analysis Tools)

A Guide to Social Media Sentiment (Includes 5 Sentiment Analysis Tools)

Enter: Social media sentiment. Social media sentiment is the attitude and feelings people have about your brand on social media. Measuring social sentiment—often referred to as social sentiment analysis—is an important part of any social media monitoring plan. It helps you understand what someone behind a social media post is feeling. What types of social media posts are audiences responding to? Sentiment analysis is also helpful when monitoring keywords. How to measure social sentiment with Hootsuite Hootsuite Insights leverages the power of machine learning to fully automate social media sentiment analysis. Go to the Hootsuite Insight dashboard and click on Add Stream on the bottom left of the sidebar. Your audience is going to tell you what they want to see from your brand. When you find the influencers you want to work with, add them to your stream and see what they share and who they engage with.

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social media sentiment

Imagine your business just released a product—and everyone is talking about it on social media.

There are thousands of Instagram posts, Facebook posts, and tweets tagging your business and talking about the product. There is seemingly no end to the chatter.

Is all of this social media buzz:

A) Great!
B) Bad

The answer: You need more context.

Enter: Social media sentiment.

Social media sentiment is the attitude and feelings people have about your brand on social media. It adds context to all the @-mentions, comments, and shares.

It’s important for brands to listen carefully to what is being said about their business online. And even more important to know whether the talk is positive or negative.

Sentiment analysis tools can help with this.

Let’s take a look at what social media sentiment is exactly, the metrics you can use to measure it, and the tools you can use to improve it.

Table of contents

What is social sentiment?

Nick Martin, Hootsuite’s own global social engagement specialist, gives a great definition for social sentiment:

“Social media sentiment is the perceived positive or negative mood being portrayed in a social media post or engagement.”

That means, contrary to popular belief, not all exposure is good exposure.

While you might be feeling great about the 10,000 mentions your brand got on Twitter last week, you’re in trouble if those callouts are complaints.

Measuring social sentiment—often referred to as social sentiment analysis—is an important part of any social media monitoring plan. It helps you understand what someone behind a social media post is feeling. Knowing the emotion behind a post can provide important context for how you proceed and respond.

Why is social sentiment important?

1. Provides audience insight

Marketers benefit from having as much information about their audience as possible. Understanding your audience’s reactions to your posts helps you plan strategically for future campaigns and content.

For example, imagine your social media team is running a campaign about your brand’s new body wash—and it features microbeads as scrubbing agents.

After the product’s launch, your social team notices the majority of the sentiment is negative due to the environmental impact of microbeads.

Since your team paid attention to social sentiment, you can take action (removing the product from stores, making a public donation to a recognized environmental organization, etc.) and adjust messaging accordingly.

Monitoring sentiment also helps the brand refrain from sharing any tone-deaf messaging.

2. Supports customer service

Monitoring sentiment is critical for customer service and support representatives.

“Users in these roles can monitor dissatisfaction and react effectively before more negative sentiment spreads,” says Martin. “This is especially important for B2C [business-to-consumer] organizations like hotels—businesses that are reviewed online. When you’re public-facing and rely on positive reviews, it’s important to be tuned-in to what people say and expect of your brand.”

This serves another purpose too—you have a unique chance to turn a bad customer experience into a positive one.

3. Informs brand messaging

Public relations and corporate communications professionals need to be aware of brand perception.

Using sentiment analysis, you can take the temperature of an audience before sending out any message.

How? Simple: By taking a look at your competitors’ social sentiment.

When you take a look at a brand with a similar audience to yours, you’re able to take a look at what your target audience responds to.

Let’s say you’re a company that makes shoes. You might want to take a look at the social sentiment of brands like Nike, Adidas, or Puma to see what they’re doing to bring in positive sentiment. And, more importantly, what they’re doing to bring in negative sentiment.

What types of social media posts are audiences responding to? Are they funny? Serious? Helpful? How can you emulate the posts with positive sentiment on your social account?

On the flip side: What types of content receives negative feedback? What’s wrong with them? How can you avoid this in your own posts?

Sentiment analysis is also helpful when monitoring keywords. In addition to seeing what the general public has to say, you can find influencers and thought leaders relevant to your industry.

Say you’re researching the keyword “online coaching.” With good social sentiment analysis tools (more on this later), you’ll be able to see which influencers are championing online coaching. These are the same users who you can partner with to promote your products or services.

You’ll also be able to see the influencers having positive discussions about your brand, and use this information to build relationships.

5 social media sentiment analysis tools

While vanity metrics such as follower count and likes are easily tracked, measuring tone and sentiment can be trickier. The following tools can help.

Quickly and easily filter mentions and sort by sentiment using Hootsuite Insights. You can also track sentiment by keywords and set up automated assignments by chosen keywords.

For example, you could set up your Twitter mentions on Hootsuite to scan for tweets containing positive terms such as “thank you,” “love,” and “amazing.”

You can also be sure to search for sentiment-signaling emojis, such as the thumbs up or smiley face.

Hootsuite Insights provides an overview of sentiment with an easy-to-read meter. This allows you to quickly see how your brand is doing from a sentiment point of view, and monitor for any changes.

Hootsuite Insights dashboard

Digimind

Digimind helps you closely monitor your social media presence by identifying and analyzing all the relevant conversations about your brand and competitors.

It pulls information from more than 850 million web sources, so you know you’re getting a comprehensive view of sentiment toward your brand.

You can also analyze mentions and apply filters to highly customize your sentiment analysis process.

Digimind is also available within the Hootsuite app Directory and can be added to your Hootsuite dashboard.

Digimind in the Hootsuite Dashboard

Brandwatch gives users access to insights and data from over 70 million traffic sources. Along with engagement and monitoring capabilities, you can quickly see the tone of posts and data being scanned. This allows you to analyze how certain content performs, and…

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