Social media sentiment tracking can be an invaluable tool for gauging consumer interests and opinions on a brand, person, product or service. For instance, you can scan blogs, articles, comments, reviews, tweets, status updates, and other forms of social media data to get an idea of the mood and emotion of internet users based upon their text. More sophisticated social media sentiment tracking can break down even more information. For instance, if a user says, “I like X brand shoes better than Y brand, but they are too expensive,” the text can be analyzed and provide a customer’s price elasticity, alternatives to similar products, as well as brand preference.
If you are just getting started with social media sentiment tracking, you may want to try some of the free services available out there first. Social Mention and Sentiment140 (Twitter only) are two of the easiest services available that can display social media data results. You can simply enter a search term, such as a brand name, your own name, or anything you want to research, and the program will display results of any social media that contains the search term that you entered.
Social Mention is particularly easy to use and provides organized metrics including top hashtags, sentiment measure (positive, neutral, negative), top users posting about your search term, as well as thumbnails of videos containing your search term.
Sentiment140 is also pretty straightforward, but you will need a Twitter account to access it. Once you have logged on to the service, you simply enter the search term that you want to look for, and it will display the results. The results consist of full tweets that are color coded based upon whether they are negative (red) or positive (green). However, you definitely will want to read through the comments yourself to double check results because the classification system is far from perfect.
If you need a more professional social media sentiment tracking service, you may want to consider some of the digital marketing companies that are available out there. Sophisticated services like Attensity360 and Lithium Customer Intelligence Center have specialized algorithms to gauge customer sentiments across a multitude of channels. Most will also have some sort of human oversight as well, so the results will be more accurate.
Please note, however, that almost every social media data search tool will not be able to distinguish sincerity from sarcasm, ‘trolling’, and other forms of ironic statements. You will want to take this into account before engaging in social media sentiment tracking.