Qualitative social media monitoring is all about sentiment analysis or opinion mining. Sentiment analysis refers to the application of natural language processing (NLP), computational linguistics and text analytics to identify and extract subjective information in source material.
Generally speaking, sentiment analysis aims to determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic or the overall contextual polarity of a document. The attitude may be his or her judgment or evaluation (appraisal theory), affective state (that is to say, the emotional state of the author when writing), or the intended emotional communication (that is to say, the emotional effect the author wishes to have on the reader).
The rise of social media such as blogs and social networks has fueled interest in sentiment analysis. With the proliferation of reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression, online opinion has turned into a kind of virtual currency for businesses looking to market their products, identify new opportunities and manage their reputations. As businesses look to automate the process of filtering out the noise, understanding the conversations, identifying the relevant content and actioning it appropriately, many are now looking to the field of sentiment analysis. If web 2.0 was all about democratizing publishing, then the next stage of the web may well be based on democratizing data mining of all the content that is getting published.
So what tools are out there? Here are a few:
- Alterian SM2 is a more in-depth than some other social media monitoring services. Alterian provides advanced user behaviour statistics, demographics, location, positive or negative tone, and trending topics for your brand as seen across a host of social media outlets and websites.
- Attentio is multilingual tool, which means you can receive results and understand the buzz about your brand worldwide.
- BrandsEye helps you manage your online reputation by finding all of your brand mentions, the reputation of their source, the sentiment and even flags mentions that you may require immediate attention.
- Brandwatch allows you to find out how many mentions your brand has across the internet, where they are coming from, and how far the comments have reached.
- Collective Intellect goes beyond monitoring what is being said about your brand online, and analyses specific posts and snippets of posts to get the true sentiment surrounding your brand. Additionally, they identify who the influencers are for your brand.
- Heartbeat is geared more towards brands interested in the day-to-day monitoring of buzz, as opposed to in-depth market research. Though the amount of information is more limited with this tool, the user-defined dashboard makes it easier for marketers to quickly find the information relevant to them.
- Lithium Social Media Monitoring is similar to Google analytics and monitors virtually every online social media channel and provides you with an overall score of how well your brand is doing.
- PeopleBrowsr, via the products Research.ly and Analytic.ly, offer sentiment monitoring, trend reporting and audience profiling. Their main claim to fame at the moment is their recent announcement that they provide 1000 days of Twitter history.
- Sentiment Metricsis a tool for bigger businesses, enterprises and B2B marketers. The tool monitors your brand’s presence not only on social media sites but on blogs and forums as well. Additionally, their profiles of users who are talking about your brand allow you to engage with people interested in your brand.
- Radian6 is a social media monitoring tool that gives you a complete platform to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social web.
- Social Mention is a free web-based application that lets you search popular channels such as blogs and micro-blogs to find brand mentions and analyses the sentiment towards your brand. You can also set up alerts so that you will be told any time someone mentions your brand.
- Social Radar is a listening tool that allows you to visually see information flow between influencers, identify key conversations and determine tone. Additionally, Social Radar’s historical data about your brand goes back to 2007, so you can see how your influence has changed over time.
- Sysomos MAP provides access to millions of conversations dating back to 2006. The software helps monitor what people are saying about your brand, determine sentiment, and identify influencers. MAP also provides detailed demographic and geographic information and competitive analysis.
Sentiment analysis, together with opinion mining, is becoming a promising topic in the field of CRM 2.0. As a direct consequence of the concept of Web 2.0, CRM 2.0 refers to all CRM solutions where the customer becomes active with the products and services provided by the enterprise. As customer profiling becomes more effective and enterprises can move towards one-to-one marketing.
Social media has become an important source of information for enterprises: the word-of-mouth effect can be highly positive or highly negative, as far as prospect customers’ sentiment towards brands and products is concerned. Thus, it is clear that sentiment analysis and opinion mining will shortly become a key component of modern and more innovative CRM solutions.