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How sentiment insight helps you get to the heart, soul and feel of social media engagement

We live our lives online. Have you looked at your total amount of screen time on your mobile recently? If it’s more than three hours per day, you’re not alone. The average person spends nearly two-and-a-half hours on social media each day. And each time we log in, we leave a trail of comments, likes and shares in our wake.

The vast amount of data social media sites rack up can be complex and difficult to parse. Social media marketers need to untangle this web and make sense of how different facets of social interaction relate to each other, and connect to the brand they are promoting.

Audience insights are the gold that drive creative moments of genius, but mining them out of a dense seam of social media data can be tricky. One approach that we love here at Zavy is layering data with sentiment, giving numbers real meaning and leading to greater understanding of what your audience is thinking and feeling.

Data + Sentiment = Valuable Insight

Numbers alone can’t tell you how people are responding to your social media posts. Think of it this way; measuring likes, comments and mentions can tell you people are talking about your brand. Sentiment analysis can tell you what they are saying.

More food for thought; you can inflate numbers of interactions through advertising, but you can’t artificially increase sentiment. Spend can increase the number of people seeing your posts, but if they don’t like what they’re seeing, that won’t influence how they feel about your brand. This is all the more reason to use sentiment as a metric. It can help you understand how people are feeling about your content, before you put valuable marketing budget behind it.

Here at Zavy, we have found that layering sentiment atop carefully curated data, can help find that ‘bullseye’ insight or ‘aha’ moment that can guide social media marketers to brilliant strategies and actions.

Real people, real feelings

Social media is fertile ground for searching for sentiment-focused insights. Two-way conversations flourish on social media, with people sowing the seeds of their emotions with each reaction, like, or comment.

In this jungle of sentiment, brands have the opportunity to see the impact of their brand in real time and actively engage with both positive and negative sentiment – there are learnings in both. Honour your audience by responding to the sentiment they express; this will have the effect amplifying good impressions and countering the bad.

Perhaps the simplest, and most effective part of monitoring sentiment is that it’s a tangible reminder your customers are more than a collection of data points. They are real people with thoughts and feelings which exist in the real world and not just online.

If you can understand your customers’ emotions and anticipate their needs, you can forge powerful relationships and establish lasting brand loyalty.

Tracking sentiment in Zavy

Zavy’s platform uses net sentiment scores to take money or ad spend out of the equation. This allows you to zero in on how people feel about your brand regardless of reach or engagement stats, which can be easily but hollowly inflated by advertising or boosted posts.

The dashboards easily identify sentiment scores for posts from your own channels and those of other brands in your competitive set. It’s a fresh and insightful benchmark to consider, adding an extra dimension to your social media marketing. It means that no matter where you sit in your category, whether you’re the incumbent or the start-up trying to break in, you can analyse sentiment on equal footing.

Following trends in positive and negative sentiment, and extracting the relevant insights, can help you hone your messaging to ensure you’re delivering the type of content your audience wants.

Let’s look at some examples…

When you have consistently high sentiment, people will stick with your brand through the ups and downs

Whittaker’s, with their community of avid chocolate lovers, have cultivated consistently high sentiment among their Facebook followers. Knowing they have this positive emotional support helps them to strike the right tone and deliver not so great news without the risk of damaging their brand.

In October, Whittaker’s announced a price increase on Facebook. For many brands, this would incur an outpouring of disgruntled comments and angry emojis. For Whittaker’s the response was not only a huge number of interactions, but 30 percent net sentiment – above average for their posts across the past three months. Comments on the post reveal enduring loyalty and love for the brand, with consumers happily taking onboard the price increase and thanking Whittaker’s for their transparency in reporting the increase – testament to the two-way conversation Whittaker’s has established with their followers.

Sentiment can help you focus on the opportunity areas

When we look at current events sites Re: News and The Spinoff side by side, we can see an interesting comparison between number of total interactions – shares and comments are represented on the vertical axis, and the size of the bubbles correlates to the number of likes – and net sentiment. Both of these current events sites have similar number of followers on Facebook.

Below, you can see that The Spinoff is generating a larger number of interactions overall, but that Re: News is ahead of the The Spinoff in terms of sentiment. So for Re: News, they are striking the right note with an arguably smaller but more engaged audience, driving up the positive sentiment around their posts. Paying attention to the types of posts that sit to the right of the axis could help Re: News cultivate enthusiasm and loyalty among their followers and eventually grow their share of voice on social media. Their beautifully crafted video posts on young trans people in New Zealand are obviously a great example of the kind of content their audience is passionate about.

If you want to learn more about how you can use sentiment to get the heart of your brand’s social media presence, get in touch with the Zavy team today.

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