9 Questions to Ask About Social Media Sentiment

Looking at the sentiment of social data can be a very useful way to help get a snapshot view of consumer perceptions, quickly dig into a pile of potential customer servicing opportunities and provide another layer of filtering to identify insights into the complex ways that people discuss and emote about topics.  Sentiment scores are a standard data enrichment piece for enterprise-ready social media and monitoring solutions, and a few free tools offer lightweight, less accurate versions with their functionality.

So as a business, what kind of questions should you keep in mind while evaluating social sentiment solutions when choosing a social listening platform?  Here are 9 questions you should answer for yourself when evaluating what a specific software solution has to offer.

  1. What are my social media goals and how does sentiment fit into the equation?
  2. What type of reporting do I want to do and how does sentiment help me do that?  (At the industry level, brand level, or for very specific issues?)
  3. Can I segment, filter, search, and sort by sentiment in the platform?
  4. How refined do I want my sentiment—Are Positive and Negative enough or do Mixed and Neutral sentimented scores matter?
  5. Is my subject matter more contextual, or does a simple keyword/phrase match identify relevant content?  The more contextual the subject matter is, the more time you or an analyst will be spending reading content for relevance to the subject matter, and sentiment will be potentially less meaningful.
  6. How does the software define accuracy for sentiment and based on what criteria?  Is this the same for all vendors I’m considering?  (Read the Visible Technologies® white paper Measuring Social Sentiment; Assessing and Scoring Opinion in Social Media)
  7. How is sentiment applied? At the phrase, sentence, paragraph, or document level? Does it depend on the context of the query?  Does this make sense for the type of subject matter and depth we want to understand?
  8. Was the sentiment system built for social media? Is it based on the unique communication styles and forms of social media data?
  9. Does the platform allow me to override or otherwise earmark a sentiment score I disagree with or want to report differently?

 

What other questions do you feel are relevant when evaluating sentiment as part of a social media monitoring program?

 

~Jackie Kmetz

Social Intelligence Crusader

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