Sentiment analysis, often powered by natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI), is a computational method used to identify and quantify the emotional tone conveyed in text, video, or image content. Sentiment analysis plays an important role in determining a brand's online reputation by assessing the sentiment of customer feedback across many online platforms, such as social media, review websites, and blogs.
Online reputation is substantially influenced by public sentiment towards a brand, which can rapidly change based on customer experiences and perceptions. Sentiment analysis provides insights by identifying and categorizing these sentiments into positive, neutral, or negative. It allows brands to understand their audience better, identify areas of improvement, and proactively manage issues that might harm their reputation.
In addition, sentiment analysis is used to gauge customer loyalty, monitor brand mentions, track the impact of marketing campaigns, and even analyze competitors.
The ability to measure and react to these sentiments in real-time allows businesses to stay ahead of the curve, build stronger relationships with their customers, and ultimately foster a more positive brand image.
Leveraging Sentiment Analysis
By using sentiment analysis, you can uncover what might be hiding within the depths of your review pages. If the overall sentiment is positive, maintaining vigilant monitoring might be sufficient. However, if it's negative, here are a few tips to find out why:
Engage with your customer service team: Often, there may be underlying issues within the company that you aren't aware of. By addressing problems at the source, you can decrease the volume of negative reviews.
Remove reviews that violate TOS: When reviewers infringe upon a site's Terms of Service (TOS), the content can often be eliminated. For instance, Yelp will remove irrelevant reviews, inappropriate, present conflicts of interest, violate privacy, are promotional, or present intellectual property issues.
Proactively seek reviews: Use review management tools to automate requests for recent customers to share their experiences with your company. If they report a good experience, guide them to leave a review on a particular review site. If the customer indicates a bad experience, address it immediately.
Tools for Sentiment Analysis
- Idiomatic: A customer feedback analysis tool that uses AI to extract insights from customer interactions, helping businesses understand customer needs, improve their products, and boost customer satisfaction.
MonkeyLearn: Leveraging machine learning, it enables businesses to extract and classify data, analyze sentiments, and gain actionable insights to drive strategic decision-making.
- IBM Watson Tone Analyzer: Leveraging AI, this tool analyzes text to understand emotional tone, language style, and social tendencies, thereby providing detailed sentiment analysis.
Lexalytics: A robust sentiment analysis and text analytics platform which processes text in many languages, identifying sentiments, themes, and entities to help businesses glean insights from unstructured data.
SentiSum: An AI-powered sentiment analysis tool designed to deliver customer insights, pinpoint issues, and track overall customer sentiment, promoting better customer experiences.
Critical Mention: A real-time media monitoring platform that tracks brand mentions across multiple channels, facilitating sentiment analysis, crisis management, and brand awareness.
Brandwatch: Provides powerful social listening and analytics, tracking online conversations about brands, competitors, and industry trends for strategic decision-making.
- Hootsuite Insights (UberVu): A part of the Hootsuite family, it delivers real-time social media monitoring and analytics, including sentiment analysis, helping businesses understand audience perception and sentiment trends.
Repustate: Offers multilingual sentiment analysis and text analytics, aiding businesses in understanding customer sentiment and intentions across multiple data sources.
Brand24: A social media monitoring tool that delivers real-time insights about brand mentions and sentiment, improving online reputation management and response times.
Talkwalker: A comprehensive media monitoring tool that uses AI to analyze sentiment, spot trends, and measure the impact of social conversations on brand reputation.
MAXG: A data-driven marketing and sales recommendation tool that uses sentiment analysis to optimize marketing campaigns and increase ROI.
Social Searcher: A free social media search engine that allows businesses to monitor and analyze public sentiment about their brands across social media platforms.
Rosette: An AI-based tool that offers text analytics, sentiment analysis, and entity extraction in multiple languages, uncovering meaningful insights from unstructured data.
Social Mention: A social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content into a single stream, providing real-time analysis of sentiments and trends.
The Impact of Online Reviews
Online reviews and ratings are probably the most visible form of sentiment measurement. After all, we all use them to decide where to have dinner. Review sites have amplified the influence of customer opinions and made them accessible to vast audiences. Websites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and Glassdoor have become pivotal platforms for expressing and understanding customer sentiment.
According to a BrightLocal study, 91% of consumers read online reviews, and 84% trust them as much as personal recommendations. 74% of people say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Put another way; positive reviews are a direct reflection of sentiment – they're live public reputation monitoring.
Example of how reputation affects revenues
Consider the restaurant industry as an example. Yelp, a popular online review site with hundreds of millions of unique visitors, is often the go-to source for diners researching where to eat. Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in a Yelp rating led to a 5-9% increase in revenue for independent restaurants. This means a jump from a three to a five-star rating could potentially boost revenue by 10-18%. The influence of Yelp is so profound that even minor improvements can dramatically increase a restaurant's revenues.
Reviews and sentiment over the long term
The impact of online reviews also shapes a business's online reputation over the long term. Negative reviews can deter potential customers, with a 2018 study finding that 94% of consumers reported avoiding a business because of an online review.
For instance, a restaurant might be known for its delicious food and outstanding service, but a series of negative Yelp reviews about long wait times could tarnish its reputation. Potential customers, swayed by these reviews, might decide to dine elsewhere, causing a decrease in foot traffic and profits for the restaurant. I have done it, and you probably have as well.
Effect of Reviews on Hiring
Online employee reviews on Glassdoor also significantly impact businesses, especially in terms of talent acquisition and retention. A study by Software Advice found that 48% of job seekers used Glassdoor at some point in their job search. If a company has poor reviews and low ratings, top talent might be discouraged from applying, leading to potential challenges in hiring and an overall decrease in the quality of applicants.
In contrast, businesses with positive reviews and high ratings on these platforms are more likely to attract customers and top-tier employees. A five-star rating on Yelp could lead to a bustling restaurant full of satisfied diners, and a high Glassdoor rating could attract highly skilled applicants eager to contribute to a company's success.
Reputation and Sentiment Analysis FAQs
What is Sentiment Analysis?
Sentiment analysis is a technique used to identify the emotional tone of an online mention of your brand, including social media posts, online reviews, and blog articles.
Why is Sentiment Analysis Important?
Sentiment analysis equips you with the ability to quickly respond to feedback (both negative and positive), create a more compelling marketing strategy, gauge the impact of your social media efforts, forge more influential brand partnerships, stay ahead of the competition, and accelerate growth.
How Can I Measure Online Sentiment?
You can measure online sentiment by monitoring web pages and social media mentions, as well as search listings, to understand how people feel about a brand. Tracking these mentions enables us to perform detailed sentiment analyses, identifying and categorizing the general attitude toward you or your brand.
About the author
Kent Campbell is the chief strategist for Reputation X, an award-winning reputation management agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Kent has over 15 years of experience with SEO reputation management, Wikipedia editing, review management, and strategy. Kent has helped celebrities, leaders, executives, and marketing professionals improve the way they are seen online. Kent writes about reputation, SEO, Wikipedia, and PR-related topics, and is an expert witness for reputation-related legal matters. You can find Kent's biography here.