Sentiment analysis tells the story behind the numbers behind the words. Right? *smile
Well, do you remember how in the It’s not about the nail movie they had two stories for the same event? There’s this woman complaining to a man about her ongoing headache. The guy promptly comes with a quick fix: taking out the nail she had IN her forehead. Only, now, she gets mad because obviously her pain “Is NOT about the nail!”
In other words, who’s right? The customer whose dog ate the Fit Bars left on the porch by the delivery company and who is now asking for a refund or the provider who didn’t even deliver themselves? (it’s a real example from Tom Bilyeu’s @Nutrition Quest story he talks about it somewhere in his interview with Noah Kagan)
Both examples showcase listening and how, sometimes, there’s a meta-story there to complicate things read make everything more fun. In the “It’s not about the nail” the meta-story is “Please listen to me whining. I need to know I have your support”, whereas, in Tom’s example the meta-story is “I want another case of Fit Bars, but without paying for them”.
It seems that, in time, we’ve lost our ability of being direct, honest and polite at the same time. It doesn’t take a genius to know that in both life and business, LISTENING and deeper understanding are key to a successful relationship.
Startups are tough, yes. I had this epiphany a couple of days ago (No , not that they’re tough) as to WHY they are. It’s because startups are like relationships. Only, instead of building a relationship with ONE right person, you need to do it with an entire “tribe”, audience; and then, obsessively work on it day in and day out.
So, the questions we want to answer with this article are:
- How do you get to know your customers’ “real” problems?
- How do you use that in your advantage?
What is Sentiment Analysis?
We might see sentiment as a meta-message we’re sending. Or receiving. It’s the emotion behind what we say. Take the short, but suggestive question “You’d think?”, for instance. I know of very little cases in which it doesn’t come together with a substantial dose of sarcasm. (Usually, they’re people who just have their grammar a bit messed up) That’s because the correct, detached and objective form is “Would you think that?” Now, this is a genuine interrogation. In both cases, either the sarcasm behind “You’d think?” or the neutral objectivity of the second question point out a sentiment. This is one of the easy cases in which grammar tells the difference. But we don’t always use grammar to express certain feelings, do we, now?
The Wikipedia general and more comprehensive definition describes it as a mean to “determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic or the overall contextual polarity of a document”. Whether we judge, express an emotion or aim to imprint a feeling, we usually use our tone for it.
Sentiment analysis becomes monitoring and interpreting the meta-stories behind what we say. Into the deeper layer, social sentiment analysis pictures the emotions we hide behind an online, a social media mention such as a review. *wink
Social sentiment analysis tools, thus, work on finding ways to read into that tone and depict the sender’s emotional opinions. Bluntly and in part, these instruments know if your reviews are sarcastic or not. Yeah, buddy, they got you!
So, the main question on all our minds, now, is “To what extent do social media user relationships influence sentiment analysis”? In other words, we’re touching the homophily (a.k.a “love of the same”) concept, which is, according to Wikipedia, “the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others”. In these relationships, individuals tend to share common characteristics, such as beliefs, values, education, etc. They ease communication and foster more rapid connections.
In conclusion, close people have the same opinions. This way, our networks/subcultures influence our purchasing decisions, leveraging on either our need for group approval or the need to stay current and in trends.
Social Sentiment Analysis will become Intention Analysis
Lately, research is heading beyond knowing how much irony you (as a customer) add to your reviews into how that attitude contributes to your buying intention and the effective act of purchase and, even more, depicting what exactly incentivises you to actually acquire it/them. So, we’re dealing with two main social directions: one that focuses on the individual and one that oversees the networks and groups he’s part of.
- INDIVIDUALLY – The individual is still the center of most marketing efforts. The new web personalization techniques and strategies foster and strengthen this one-on-one approach of online entrepreneurs. There is great importance to our willingness and determination to actually buy what we’re talking about.
- COLLECTIVELY – Another critical factor in rearranging and analyzing everything is represented by the groups we’re part of. Social media amazingly speculated around our collective mentality and individuals’ main drive to come together. The fact that relationships have the power to influence our purchase behavior is of great interest today. The subcultures we’re building and navigating today have a great potential and easily exploitable commercial dimension.
The added value of getting to know the two perspectives stands in understanding our customers more deeply and anticipating their needs more accurately.
4 Ways Social Sentiment Analysis is useful to us and our businesses
- Sentiment Analysis eases communication with customers by adding context to networks and social interactions.
- Sentiment Analysis increases engagement rates by bringing more clarity to relationships with our customers. When we understand what they’re expressing, we understand what they want and where we stand. This way, we can make it a relevant two way conversation and increase engagement rate.
- Sentiment Analysis improves bottom line statistics by improving customer service and the marketing strategy.
When communication is more clear and relevant, we get to know our customers’ real problems. Thus, we can come back with a timely solution. Focusing on customer delight rather than just customer service makes the difference in bringing more sales.
When we know our customers’ real aches, we focus on finding the best way to solve just that. This not only improves the products/services we offer, but it adds important points to pro product messaging, as well.
As we already know, it all starts with the problem. When we have the right problem in mind and we know whom we’re talking to and what they want, we get to validate our solution, serve it smoothly and generate more sales.
- Sentiment Analysis boosts online reputation by gaining more from your brand’s reviews. Being able to see exactly what they mean, facilitates grouping positive and negative reactions so you can deal with them separately.
How to fit Sentiment Analysis in your Online Reputation Management Strategy
Your complete Online Reputation Management Strategy should include sentiment analysis. Here’s an example:
Take into consideration these 5 steps:
- Brand Monitoring and Conversation Analysis – you can find plenty of tools to assess your brand so that you know the current opinion of your brand.
- Sentiment Analysis – based on the monitoring, you can analyze and differentiate whether the current impressions are positive or negative. You would be amazed on how many people discuss brands on social media.
- Negative Comment Management – if you are out there, it almost impossible to only have good reviews. This step is where you identify and separate the bad reactions from the good ones. And sure, you need to handle the negative feedback with care. Hint: you should check our article here for more information on feedback gathering.
- Reputation Building – start building your brand up.
- Strong Brand Presence – solidify your brand by building social media presence and ensuring you’re on all relevant channels, engaging your customers.
It’s one of the most logical 5-step approaches to Online Reputation Management – see what’s out there, separate positive from negative, focus on positives and keep on doing that. It easily explains and highlights the role of Sentiment Analysis in your overall strategy, that being to decode whether the general opinion can be depicted ad litteram or not.
In conclusion, whether the customer is always right or wrong it’s less important than making him/her happy. It’s really NOT about the nail, but about what they say it is. The sooner we identify what they really mean when they review our brands or give us feedback, the sooner we can start building a stronger reputation based on positive pillars.