Social Media is the wild frontier of the contemporary business world, a place where huge success and catastrophic failure sit side by side, a shifting landscape which requires constant vigilance and engagement to survive. The key to success lies in understanding your customers’ likes, dislikes, wants, intents and even their innermost feelings, and targeting your social media presence so that it gives people more of what they do want and less of what they don’t.
Luckily, social media users are constantly expressing themselves: on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and Google+, existing and potential customers are generating a vast trove of valuable marketing data, but how can enterprise make use of this chaotic mass of opinion?
Sentiment Analysis is the collective name given to a variety of techniques all aimed at mining the gold beneath the social media landslide. The most modern and accurate techniques make use of software based on Natural Language Processing (NLP), which assesses the nature of feelings and opinions, even taking into account tone of voice, sarcasm and irony, before organising statments into positive, neutral or negative sentiments.
The resulting data offers businesses of all kinds an incredible resource, and a powerful insight into what customers really think and really want. But how does this knowledge translate into value for your company?
The first benefit is a deeper relationship with your customers. Using Sentiment Analysis, you can create a targeted customer service approach which gives customers exactly the service they want. As well as satisfying your customers and promoting positive word of mouth, this kind of evidence-based business structuring can lead to major efficiency savings, generating material value for your company.
This kind of empathetic customer engagement is of course highly desirable, but what about more concrete, immediate benefits?
One of the most incisive aspects of Sentiment Analysis lies in the potential for gaining commercial intelligence. As well as analysing sentiments about your own company, you can discover what consumers think of your competition, and develop ways to differentiate and improve on rival services, ensuring that when it comes to customer satisfaction, you are always one step ahead. For companies who wish to build or rebuild a brand, sentiment analysis is an indispensable source of inspiration and a fantastic metric of brand success.