Your audience may be feeling socially sentimental

Feeling sentimental? The correct term is social sentiment. It’s not what you’re thinking. However, brands can get a temperature reading how their audience is reacting to the brand. By using algorithmic calculations, social sentiment gathers data on social posts, comments, and behaviors and buckets them into three categories: positive, neutral and negative. As marketers, it is important to understand how our customers are feeling about our brands. But is this a good read and is it useful?

Social what?

Social sentiment is a good temperature reading on what’s being discussed in the social sphere on your brand. Here are some things that are important and not so important related to social sentiment:

  1. Be responsive, not impulsive. According to a study from Engagement Labs, brands shouldn’t rely solely on social listening and sentiment. It is important to listen and be responsive however studies reflect that online and offline conversations don’t always correlate so listen to comment just don’t change your entire campaign or product for a couple of days of negative chatter.
  2. Dig deeper. Although social sentiment gives you a temperature reading on positive, neutral or negative comments, not all measuring tools identify conversations the same way. Each platform uses different calculations from very broad to specific measurements surrounding the context of the conversation. A tool called Meltwater Social, allows you to customize some of those listening calculations so that your brand is not caught up in negative conversations that may not even have to do with any of your products.
  3. Order the combo. When taking a look at a brand holistic image, social sentiment is not your end all and be all. It’s good for an initial direction however use a combination of tools that include surveys and a brand tracker to get the full picture

Your audience is sentimental, and they do go through sentimental social mood swings about your brand and products. That is why it is important to not overact, dig deeper and use a combination of tools. Make sense? How are you using social listening? Share your thoughts and comment below. And don’t forget to read up on other marketing-related geeky stuff on my blog.