Use Sentiment Analysis to Keep a Close Watch on Customer Opinions

Tallying up your online mentions is a great way to get an indication of your brand’s reach. But unless you’re able to understand the meaning behind those mentions, you could risk losing current customers or gaining new ones.  The benefits of sentiment analysis can help to identify pain points, brand monitoring, and assist in better overall decision making.

However, a manual search and analysis of brand conversations is a tedious process and takes a lot of time. If you don’t respond quickly enough, your brand could potentially miss out on a huge opportunity. Worse, a misstep or mistake could easily become a disaster if it goes viral on social media.

Sentiment analysis—also known as opinion mining—uses artificial intelligence to collect and analyze what people are saying about your brand online. It’s a technique that is able to determine whether what is being said has positive, negative, or neutral undertones. This machine learning technique combined with data science gives companies an accurate and real-time understanding of the meaning and context (text classification and data visualizations)underlying the words people use online. Using opinion mining at scale helps businesses better prepare for both opportunity and crises.


How Can Marketers Use Sentiment Analysis to Benefit Their Brands?

AI opinion mining has several applications that give companies a significant advantage over the techniques used only a few years ago. It wasn’t even until 2015 that Google began using AI and deep learning to understand user intent and customer experiences.[1] Today, the overwhelming majority of companies are using AI and machine learning,[2] and marketers are actively using real-time natural language processing to better understand their customers and competitors and gain actionable insight.

Here are just some ways sentiment analysis can help your brand thrive and grow.

PR Crisis Management

Before the rise of the internet and social media, a business had time to handle a PR crisis, given that it already had a crisis management plan and team in place. Today, news of a company’s error can travel quickly on social media and escalate into a global problem if it’s not addressed immediately.  Reputation management has become much more important and machine learning algorithms allowing for deep dives into social platforms allows for quicker response times like never before.

The current polarity in our culture has caused many to carefully scrutinize brands’ behavior as well as other aspects of their marketing campaigns. If news of irresponsible actions gains traction on Facebook or Twitter, brands can easily find themselves in a defensive position with very little warning. AI-powered sentiment analysis alerts businesses to online discussions and allows them to swiftly take control of the situation before it causes extensive damage.

Customer Service

We live in an age where immediacy rules. We’re so used to high-speed internet downloads that if we don’t receive a quick reply to our complaints, it doesn’t take long for impatience to turn into anger. 

Becoming alert to customer service problems can help brands avoid a PR crisis, as described above. But brands can also improve their reputations with speedy and helpful responses. When customers notice that you go out of your way to resolve issues, that will help your brand earn trust—one of the essential components of SEO. Positive brand experiences will also aid in customer retention and favorable word-of-mouth – overall customer success.

Campaign Optimization

Opinion mining shouldn’t be a substitute for data analytics and testing. But real-time monitoring of your marketing campaigns can give you a good sense of how people are reacting to your brand on a large scale.

Use the insights you receive from campaign monitoring to help you get into the minds of your target audience members and learn how specific demographic segments feel about your messaging or promotion. You may have enough information to make immediate tweaks or decide to use that information when developing your next campaign.

Competitive Analysis

In a crowded marketplace, it’s imperative that you know what your competitors are up to as part of your market research and media monitoring. And insight into what people are saying about your competitors’ brands can give you an advantage when you’re developing your marketing and messaging strategy.

You may see an opportunity to go after a disgruntled market segment or one you hadn’t considered before. Or you could learn why your competitors’ customers lean toward specific brands, and then make changes to either your product or the way you promote it.

Finding (and Monitoring) Influencers

There are many ways to find appropriate influencers for your brand. Some of these methods include searching for keywords and hashtags on social media posts, following or subscribing to blogs and social media accounts, and using influencer databases to locate influencers in your niche. 

But brands can take the influencer vetting process one step further with sentiment analysis. Opinion mining not only finds the social media accounts that use your keywords but digs deeper to identify the ones that reveal positive conversations and engagement around those words to provide better customer experiences.  Natural language processing and machine learning techniques integrated into modern tools are key features that allow for better data analysis. 

How Can You Start Using Sentiment Analysis?

While it is possible to conduct your own analysis by collecting and analyzing your brand mentions, using this method will not permit the kind of quick results that make AI-powered (artificial intelligence) opinion mining so advantageous.  These advanced applications of sentiment analysis put you at an advantage when utilized correctly.

There are many available sentiment analysis tools that also use deep learning to understand human language that will suit your unique marketing needs and budget parameters. It’s best to review your current marketing strategies, identify where you’re falling short, and then research the tools that will bring you closest to delivering on your goals. Many, if not all, of the tools allow you to try a demo version before you buy.

Whichever sentiment analysis tool you ultimately select will give you an edge in understanding your customers and competition. You’ll also find that your business will be better prepared to provide the level of service that consumers demand. Brands that don’t prioritize consumer sentiment will likely be at a great disadvantage both now and in the future.