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Social media sentiment: What are people saying about your brand?

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SocialMediaImage(1)Word of mouth is an important aspect of marketing and in the construction industry, in particular. Local construction markets are often a small world, and potential customers and project partners typically trust the opinions of friends and colleagues about working with your company. When word of mouth is taken online via social media and customer review sites, it becomes amplified as it reaches a larger audience.

This is why establishing a presence on social media channels and crafting messages only scratches the surface of a solid social media strategy. Measuring the success of your posts and any posts mentioning your brand comes next. However, a simple tally of your social mentions only shows how many people are sharing your messages and talking about your brand online. It’s incredibly important to know what they are saying—is it positive or negative?

Social media sentiment

Social media sentiment is the attitude and feelings people have about your brand on social media. It adds context to comments, shares and all mentions of your brand. Without this context, the metrics you collect can be misleading. For instance, did a popular post generate comments because the majority of your audience was pleased with your message—or were they disappointed or angered?

What do your customers think your business is doing right? Where do they think you can improve? How are your messages influencing the way your followers feel about your company?

Social media sentiment analysis tools can be used to answer all the above questions.

Sentiment analysis

Sometimes called opinion mining, social media sentiment analysis is the process of defining and categorizing opinions in a given piece of text as positive, negative or neutral. In other words, it is all about digging into posts to find the meaning behind them—to understand how your audience feels about your brand, your services and your messaging.

Most social media platforms provide sentiment analysis tools, as do many third-party social media management platforms, like HootSuite and Sprout Social. Depending on the platform, you can track posts, mentions, keywords and/or hashtags and identify sentiment based on descriptive words (and even emojis) used in reference to your brand. For instance, "great project team" would be identified as positive, whereas "awful customer service” would register as negative. "Bought this product" would be considered neutral. You can generate reports that include total engagements, total mentions and the numbers or percentages of positive and negative mentions.

You’re tracking sentiment. Now what?

By following trends and investigating spikes in positive or negative sentiment, you can learn more about

what your audience wants, and what people expect your brand to deliver. It can uncover perceived company strengths that can be emphasized in marketing efforts and social posts, and it can alert you to any issues that need to be addressed to enhance your image and improve services.

It also gives you a clearer idea of the kinds of messaging to post on each social network that will resonate with your target audience—and what types of messages to avoid.

Tracking and analyzing social media sentiment also can help identify public relations crises—large or small—in their early stages, giving your team time to prepare a response, tweak a product or service, or reverse course altogether. Or, the solution could be as simple as reaching out to an unsatisfied customer to resolve their complaint.

Need help developing a social media management strategy that includes sentiment analysis? Contact AOE today!

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