Unlocking the benefits of sentiment analysis

by Melissa Cronin, Marketing & BD Officer

Published on
April 4, 2019

Sentiment essentially relates to feelings: attitudes, emotions and opinions — something everyone has and seems all too willing to share online.

In recent years, there are numerous instances of brands and individuals caught out and negatively impacted by ‘keyboard warriors’.

As more and more people jump on the sharing bandwagon to express their every thought, feeling and opinion, what opportunities do organisations and brands have to firstly listen to what their customers, clients and target markets are saying, and secondly (perhaps more importantly) react to — or even better — proactively address concerns and comments?

Sentiment analysis can provide insights into consumer behaviour — it can help you unlock what customers want, what they like and dislike about your brand/product/organisation, and so much more.  Here, we look at four ways sentiment analysis can improve your communication strategy and strengthen your brand’s reputation.

  • Be proactiveThe information you get from sentiment analysis provides you with the means to optimise and alter your communication strategy based on your target audiences’ wants, needs, thoughts and feelings. By listening to what your target audience is saying, and filtering that knowledge with other business data and insights, you can better predict reactions — leading to better targeted campaigns and improved results.
  • Test your market and measure ROIThe success of your communication strategy or campaign shouldn’t only be measured in followers, ‘likes’, comments or views. Success should include metrics based on the number of positive discussions your brand/product/organisation is featuring in among your target audience.Sentiment analysis allows you to see the positive and negative discussions occurring online in real time, providing you with new data and insights to quantify your campaign’s success.
  • Protect, enhance or reform your reputationIn today’s business world, it is an absolute must to pay attention to public perception and your brand’s reputation. When a new campaign/product/project is launched, it is the role of the communication strategy to ensure the message shared is targeted, relevant and hitting the mark with key stakeholders. With sentiment analysis you can gauge real-time how your audience is reacting, easily identify those messages and tactics that worked, and determine if you need to change or maintain present course and speed.Additionally, sentiment analysis can help businesses identify influencers within your target audience — and provide you with a platform to engage them to help further protect and enhance your reputation.
  • Crisis managementIn a crisis situation, constant monitoring of all media is crucial. Sentiment analysis can provide real-time insights into online conversations which can help you prevent (or at least mitigate) further reputational damage and start the rebuilding process.Better yet, if you have sentiment analysis in place, you can detect potential issues based on what your stakeholders are discussing, and potentially shut down and manage an issue before it even occurs.The data and insights provided by sentiment analysis can play a vital role in shaping your business. Since people freely express their opinions about brands, products and organisations online, there is no better or more cost-effective way to capture content from a wider audience, and understand the rational (and irrational) behaviours, opinions and mindsets of stakeholders than with sentiment analysis.

    Rowland’s Data and Digital team has developed a proprietary sentiment analysis reporting platform to justify communication, marketing and engagement activities, and predict future communication outcomes. Our analysis is underpinned by millions of data points, harvested through open-source online channels, and our experts can analyse and interpret the data to help better inform you on the current sentiment and perceptions towards your brand, products and industry.