What is a Sentiment Analysis? How Do I Conduct One?

What is a Sentiment Analysis? How Do I Conduct One?

It’s really exciting when you get a lot of social media engagement.

If it’s good engagement, that is.

Not all press is good press, and not all social media engagement is good engagement. Sure, you might suddenly get a bunch of shares and reactions to your posts, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. People might really hate what you share.

But how do you tell?

You can find out by conducting a social media sentiment analysis.

What is a sentiment analysis?

A sentiment analysis gauges your customers’ feelings toward your brand, products, and services.

In other words, a sentiment analysis recognizes that your customers are more than just data. It gives you a way to look at their interactions with your brand and tell if they like or dislike you.

You know all of those social media shares you’re getting? You won’t know if it’s good until you analyze what people are saying about your social content and your brand.

That’s the point of a sentiment analysis. It lets you know if the exposure you’re getting is actually good exposure.

So do you want to know if your customers like you? Conduct a sentiment analysis.

Want to know if you’re meeting your customers needs and if they’re happy with your services? Conduct a sentiment analysis.

When you conduct your sentiment analysis, you’ll be able to adapt and change to what your customers actually think about you. Depending on what you find, you’ll be able to:

  • Make business changes your customers will love

  • Prepare for future social media campaigns

  • Get insight into what’s working and what’s not

  • Share content your social media followers will enjoy

  • Much, much more. The benefits are endless.

How do you conduct a sentiment analysis?

Now that you’re sold on conducting a sentiment analysis, how do you actually do it? How do you actually tell how your customers feel about your brand, services, and products?

It’s simple. Use social media to your advantage.

Social media is where people have conversations about your business. This is where they talk about what they like and don’t like, including what they like and hate about your business. You need to analyze these conversations to see what your customers actually think.

But to analyze what they say, you need to first find what they’re saying.

That’s simple, too.

If you hop on your favorite social media, you can use their search function to find what your followers are saying.

First, let’s pick some keywords to search. Sprout Social recommends searching for these keywords to start: “best, love, perfect, amazing, worst, hate, ugh, bad, avoid.”

We’ll use IGN, the popular gaming blog, as an example.

Hop on Twitter and search “amazing @ign”. When you do, a bunch of Tweets pop up. Here’s four of them:

ign-sentiment-analysis-amazing.png

If IGN were conducting this sentiment analysis, all IGN would have to do is put these Tweets into context. What Tweets are these people replying to? What are they actually saying is amazing? This would give IGN a good idea about what they’re followers like about what’s being shared.

Now let’s search “hate @IGN.”

A lot of Tweets pop up here, too. Here’s a guy who isn’t too happy with something IGN posted:

ign-sentiment-analysis-hate.png


Now IGN could analyze what their customers don’t like just by looking through Tweets with the keyword “hate.”

You can do this for yourself. Hop on Twitter and search “keyword @your_business_profile”.

Your results will vary based on how big your social media presence is. But that’s okay. You can only analyze the conversations people are having. But you can get great insight even if only a few people are talking about your business.

Let’s Make This Efficient

It can be hard to manually search for a ton of keywords and keep all of your results straight. Thankfully, there are some tools you can use to make a sentiment analysis a whole lot easier.

Hootsuite recommends five tools designed for conducting a sentiment analysis. They are HootSuite Insights, Digimind, Brandwatch, Mentionlytics, and Rapidminer. I recommend looking into these tools if you want to keep your sentiment analysis organized and efficient.

What are some ways you keep track of how your customers think and feel about your business? How do you think you can use your customers’ sentiment to your advantage? Tweet me about it! @_Jaroldo_

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