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What is Social Sentiment? | How to Monitor Social Sentiment

What is Social Sentiment? |  How to  Monitor Social Sentiment

Analyzing social sentiment is like reading the minds of consumers and the public. Brands need to know what people really think. They need to know the feelings, motivations, and concerns that drive choices. 

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are endless resources of conversations, shared thoughts, and experiences, and when people discuss brands on social media, they are often brutally honest. 

Sometimes it’s positive:

Twitter screenshots showing positive sentiment

But sometimes not:

Twitter screenshots showing negative sentiment

In this post, we delve into social sentiment, what it means, and how it’s gathered, analyzed, and applied by brands and businesses, large and small. We’ll also give some tips and techniques on how you can reap the benefits of social sentiment analysis for yourself.

What is Social Sentiment?

Social sentiment is a measure of how the public perceives a brand, a product, or a particular topic. Social sentiment is not only about likes, shares, and engagement on your online sites. It adds context by evaluating the emotion, tone, and language used behind the audience’s interactions. The goal is to get a deep understanding of the overall sentiment or attitude of the masses toward the subject matter at hand.

Paying attention to social sentiment is a smart move to ensure your customers’ voices are heard loud and clear. While social media platforms allow people to freely express their thoughts and feelings, whether positive or negative, this has a direct and immediate influence on the business’s reputation in the digital landscape.

Imagine this scenario: multiple customers leave reviews on a coffee shop’s Facebook posts complaining about the unacceptable quality of coffee, terrible service, and unwell-decorated store. These online collective voices can cause negative vibrations to spread on social media, resulting in lost customers and brand reputation, and the realization that your product or customer service may be falling short.

Unhappy customer holding a coffee cup

With social sentiment analysis, you can take this a step further by analyzing the collective emotions, attitudes, and opinions of this diverse group of people. This can extend to gathering social sentiment data on keywords that are indirectly related to your brand, like competitors or certain products or trends, to help you plan strategies, product campaigns, and offers. 

Before your brand launches its next product or campaign, it’s worth gathering as much sentiment data as you can, to end analyzes it to ensure you’re putting out something that’s being discussed in a positive light.

Understanding Social Sentiment

As we have a grasp of what social sentiment is, the next step is to stay ahead of the game in the digital realm by understanding the variables that contribute to social sentiment. 

  • User-generated content, such as posts, reviews, testimonials, and opinions. These authentic voices can directly sway the overall sentiment surrounding a brand or topic as consumers speak their minds. 
  • Comments on social media platforms give us a window into insights into customer perceptions. Importantly, it stays on your online page where everyone can see it. Even a single comment can change how your digital neighbors see your brand, influencing overall sentiment. 
  • Reactions, including likes, dislikes, shares, and all those cool emoticons people use, also contribute to social sentiment. They’re like instant feedback on how people really feel about your content or brand through concrete symbols.

When ​social sentiment is all about getting inside people’s heads and understanding their thoughts and feelings. The data we get is like a vibrant rainbow spectrum of colors, ranging from bold and solid like red to interesting combinations like orange. We’re talking about a wide-ranging layer of emotions here – whether it is regret, impressed, surprise, or everything in between. We can sort these ideas into three main sentiment types.

  • Positive: reflects favorable opinions, positive emotions and attitudes towards a brand or topic 
  • Negative: represents dissatisfaction, criticism, or negative experiences 
  • Neutral: indicates a lack of strong positive or negative emotions, often indicating a neutral stance or indifference
Mandala AI dashboard showing sentiment analytics

Positive sentiment can be a game-changer for businesses, taking brand advocacy and loyalty to new heights. When people love what you do, they become your biggest fans! On the flip side, negative sentiment isn’t all doom and gloom. It’s actually an opportunity for growth and improvement. When you address concerns and resolve issues, you can turn those frowns upside down. And let’s not forget about neutral sentiment. It’s like a blank canvas, indicating areas where you can make an even bigger impact. So, whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral sentiment, each one offers a unique opportunity for businesses to shine and thrive.

Importance of Social Sentiment 

How does social sentiment matter to your business? Well, let’s dive right in and explore why social media sentiment is a big deal for your business.
1. Brand reputation: Social sentiment has a direct influence on how people perceive your brand. It’s like the buzz

that can either make or break your reputation. So, when people are saying good things about your brand on social media, it boosts your reputation. On the flip side, negative sentiment can quickly tarnish your image. It’s all about building that positive vibe and leaving a lasting impression.

2. Customer perception: Social sentiment shapes how customers see your business. It’s like their collective opinions and feelings forming a picture in their minds. Imagine yourself as a customer, when you see many of your Instagram followers and Facebook friends raving about a new Italian restaurant, you’re more likely to view that brand favorably. But if people start dissing the place, you might raise your eyebrows and question what the brand offers. So, it’s crucial to keep an eye on how customers perceive you and make sure it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

3. Purchasing decisions: Believe it or not, social sentiment impacts decision-making. Let’s take that Italian restaurant example again. When people see positive sentiment surrounding a brand, it boosts their confidence and nudges them toward making a purchase. On the other hand, negative sentiment can be a major turn-off, leading potential customers to look elsewhere. So, if you want to drive sales and grow your business, paying attention to social sentiment is a must.

Mandala AI dashboard showing positive and negative sentiment

Role of Social Sentiment

Alright, we’ve covered how social sentiment can shake things up in your business. Now, it’s time to explore the important role it plays.

1. Identifying trends: Social sentiment helps you spot the next big thing before it hits the mainstream. It’s like being in the know about what’s trending and what people are buzzing about. By keeping an eye on social sentiment, you can catch those rising trends early on and stay ahead of your competitors. It’s like having a crystal ball that reveals the future of your industry.

2. Gauging customer satisfaction: Social sentiment gives you a direct line to your customers’ thoughts and feelings. It’s like having a hotline to their happiness meter. By analyzing social sentiment, you can see if they’re jumping for joy or feeling a bit underwhelmed. It’s a powerful tool to gauge customer satisfaction and identify areas where you can make improvements. Happy customers mean repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

3. Improving products or services: Social sentiment is your secret weapon for a product or service enhancement. It’s like having a personal coach that tells you what’s working and what needs a little tweaking. By listening to what customers are saying on social media, you can uncover valuable insights. You’ll discover what features they love, what bugs are bugging them, and what new ideas they crave. This information helps you fine-tune your offerings and create exceptional experiences that keep customers coming back for more.

How to Monitor Social Sentiment in Real-Time

Keeping a close eye on the pulse of public opinion in real time is absolutely essential for businesses. It helps businesses stay in the loop, catch emerging trends, and address customer feedback without delay. Let’s walk through a simple, step-by-step process to monitor social sentiment in real time.

1. Set up social listening tools: Utilize social media monitoring tools that allow you to track mentions, comments, and conversations related to your brand or industry. They’ll gather all that relevant data from different social media platforms and neatly organize it for you.

2. Define keywords: Time to find the magic words that matter to your biz! Identify keywords and phrases that are all about you and your industry. It could be your brand name, product name, industry lingo, or even the hot topics of the moment. These keywords are like magnets, attracting the conversations that really matter for your business.

Keyword suggestions in Mandala Analytics campaign set-up

3. Establish sentiment analysis: Now you need to sort out the sentiment; whether the mentions are positive, negative, or neutral. You can roll up your sleeves and review each mention yourself or let smart tools with natural language processing algorithms (NLP) handle it for you.

Mentions gathered over time including the share of different sentiment

4. Monitor real-time data: Keep an eye on the social media platforms where your target hangs out. Watch out for real-time mentions, comments, and what’s hot right now. Here, social listening tools still have your back. It will send you alerts and notifications whenever there’s a major shift or a spike in sentiment.

5. Analyze and interpret the data: Take a deep dive into the data you’ve collected. Look for hidden gems like customer opinions, preferences, and emerging trends. Also, spot patterns, recurring themes, and sentiment fluctuations to get the whole picture.

An individual mention on the Mandala AI dashboard, showing positive sentiment

6. Take timely action: Based on the insights gained from social sentiment analysis, you can jump in front of any issues, improve products or services, or adapt your marketing strategies to meet customer needs. This could involve engaging with your audience, responding to feedback right away, and leveraging positive sentiment to strengthen your brand reputation.

Social Sentiment Tools

Now that we’ve got the hang of monitoring social sentiment in real-time, step-by-step. It’s time to put our plan into action. But hold up! You might be wondering which tools are the real deal in this ever-evolving world of social sentiment. Here is the ticket for you to bring your business to a new height: Mandala Analytics from Mandala AI 

Mandala Analytics is a one-stop solution when it comes to collecting a bunch of relevant data from all over the internet. The system digs deep into billions of mentions and even tracks mention data from a whole year back.

Focusing on insights for sentiment analysis, the real gem here is the Advance Analytic feature of Mandala Analytics, which takes sentiment analysis to a deeper new level. Forget just sorting things into positive, negative, and neutral. This tool gives you detailed levels of negativity and positivity. This means the more deep data you have, the easier you can spot the areas that need your attention and make them shine!

Having Mandala Analytics is like having your own AI-powered secretary by your side, making data analysis a breeze.

Benefits of social sentiment analysis

Are you delivering the kind of top-notch service that meets customer expectations? Does your brand receive positive feedback or just leave them feeling meh? You’ll never truly grasp what you’re nailing or messing up. With sentiment analysis, you can answer these questions concretely.

A store clerk handing a paper bag to a customer and smiling

Sentiment analysis is like a magic wand when it comes to products or services, customers, and businesses. It helps with a wide range of marketing and business decisions.

1. Gaining Insight: By analyzing social sentiment, you get a front-row seat to what people are saying about your brand, products, or industry. This helps you understand what kind of content your target audience prefers, what messages really grab their attention, and even what kind of service they’re expecting from your brand. It’s like having a secret decoder that unlocks the keys to connecting with your audience on a whole new level.

2. Making informed decisions: Armed with the insights from social sentiment analysis, you can make informed decisions that hit the bullseye. When you know what your customers love or hate, areas to improve. You can address customer concerns, improve products or services, and fine-tune your marketing approaches in the next step. 

Sentiment shown as a proportion of the overall data gathered - Mandala Analytics

3. Adapting marketing strategies: By monitoring real-time social sentiment, you can spot trends as they emerge and adjust your marketing strategies in a flash. Or If your targets are saying that a certain influencer doesn’t vibe with your brand and message, it’s a sign for you to take a step back and rethink your choice. With this valuable insight, you can come up with a better plan and make sure your marketing hits the right notes.

Starbucks’ repairs the damage (a case study)

Here is a great example highlighting the importance of social sentiment for your business 

In 2018, Starbucks, the global coffee company, faced a major incident when an employee at one of their stores in Philadelphia called the police on two black customers who were just chilling and waiting for their friend, without buying anything. This incident blew up on social media, causing a whole lot of anger and people even called for boycotting Starbucks altogether. It’s a tough time for Starbucks, obviously. 

The exterior of a Starbucks coffee branch with a sign.

Based on the sentiment analysis findings, getting negative voices, Starbucks took several steps to fix the situation and win back public trust. They issued a public apology, closed thousands of their stores for a day to conduct racial bias training for employees, and initiated ongoing diversity and inclusion programs. These actions were in direct response to the sentiment analysis, which revealed the importance of addressing the concerns raised by the incident.

The impact of Starbucks’ social sentiment analysis and subsequent actions was significant. They were able to rebuild their reputation and regain public trust over time. By actively listening to social sentiment and taking appropriate steps, Starbucks demonstrated its commitment to addressing social issues, fostering inclusivity, and showing that it valued customer feedback.

This example showcases the power of social sentiment analysis in helping businesses understand public perception, identify potential crises, and take timely action to mitigate the negative impact. It highlights the importance of leveraging sentiment analysis to make informed decisions and drive positive change in response to customer sentiment.

Put social sentiment to work for your brand

Understanding social sentiment can be incredibly helpful in recognizing how your brand is performing and being viewed by customers. Social media platforms have given businesses access to a large audience; the insights provided by sentiment analysis tools can help you customize your approach to your specific customer base in the digital realm. Whether it is marketing strategies, product and service development, or customer service. These tools guide you to make changes that will lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction. By leveraging social sentiment analysis, you’ll be light-years ahead of your competition and able to strengthen your brand reputation.

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