media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg here. It is time to tackle an important subject that not many people give attention to — social media sentiment.

In a recent global survey, 92% of the 28 000 participants said that they trust word-of-mouth from their friends and family, and 70% said that they trust online consumer reviews. This means that 70% of your followers will go research before they purchase a product from you. That is why it is vital that your social media sentiment should be associated with positive feedback and happy clients.

What is social media sentiment?

Basically, social media sentiment is the emotion that you provoke from your online consumers. It is all about how they experience and react to the content that you are putting out.

Social sentiment can be divided as follows:

To develop a deeper understanding of what the social media sentiment means, you can further divide the categories into the following subcategories:

  • Happy
  • Satisfied
  • Excited
  • There can be a delayed response
  • No response needed
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Frustrated
  • Needs a response as soon as possible
If you divide the responses you get into these subcategories, you will be able to understand where the main problem lies with your products and services instead of just seeing an overall negative response.

Negative social media sentiment — let’s fix it!

Everything on social media happens quickly; one moment, people love your brand, and the next moment, a client posts about how bad your service was — and it escalates.

When people have a bad experience with a brand, taking the issue public on social media is often a way to gain attention and get the issue solved. People love to share their ’two cents’ on social media, so of course there will be clients piggy-backing on a post that says how terrible your services are.

This is why is it so important to understand social media sentiment and how it affects your business.

How can you fix this issue? Defuse the bomb ASAP

The most important thing in dealing with negative social media posts is to respond as soon as possible — or else. Social media tracking service amaSocial offers ‘reaction lists’ that can aid brands in dealing with critical social media mentions.

Reaction lists notify you instantly when a post requires your immediate attention so that you can speed-up your response time and safeguard your brand’s reputation.

These lists can be created to notify you, or your team, when a particular word or phrase is used regarding your brand (think profanity or other crisis-related words), or when a particular person mentions your brand (like a prominent industry journalist or blogger).

Technology is expanding at an incredible rate, and artificial intelligence (AI) can do all the calculations and statistics for you. But, this doesn’t mean that the human aspect is unimportant — especially when it comes to sentiment.

The question here is why? Why is the human aspect still so vital? Firstly, humans need to train the AI systems to look out for certain words or phrases (this is called feeding the AI training data).

Secondly, humans are still needed to interpret some brand mentions that use images and emojis. AI systems cannot fully understand emojis and sarcasm, which means that when a client posts about how great a product or service is, but they accompany what they have said with the eye rolling face emoji, it is obviously meant in a sarcastic way.

When looking at the feedback from social media, it’s important to take note of what was said and how it was said. Even if the words used are positive, the emojis may tell you otherwise.

With your amaSocial reaction lists in place, you need to keep a close eye on what’s going on with the content that you put out. When people are saying good things about your brand, a delayed response won’t negatively affect your brand. But if a person posted something dragging your brand’s name through the mud, you cannot afford to postpone your response.

The moment your reaction list alerts you to a negative mention, you’ll need to defuse the bomb. If you don’t respond with speed, other people may start engaging with the post — and that is not the kind of engagement you want!

Your word choice affects your social media sentiment

When putting together content on social media, you need to remember that the words you use will affect your social sentiment and how people interpret the message.

For example, if you start a social campaign called ‘Help us put a stop to fraud’, the word ‘fraud’ will automatically be linked to a negative sentiment, but in context, it doesn’t mean or represent something bad.

To get a better understanding of your social sentiment, you’ll need to put the stats that you receive from your social media into context in order to better understand the sentiment that is evident in your online presence.

Once this is done, you can start with your bullet-proof strategy, ensuring that your social media sentiment remains positive.

Do you feel that what people are saying about your brand on social media is important? Let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want to know why social media is so vital for a successful business, go have a look at this Infographic: 2019 South African social media stats.
*Image courtesy of Pexels