How Important is Sentiment Analysis in Business?
Have you ever wondered what your customers think about you? There are many basic tools, such as sites like Yelp that provide a simple 1- to 5-star rating. But what if you want to go deeper?
Sentiment analysis is a powerful tool for determining public opinion. Used correctly, it can provide opportunities for growth that you’d never expected. Here’s everything you need to know about sentiment analysis in business.
What is Sentiment Analysis in Business?
Sentiment analysis is the practice of analyzing text to determine what the person was thinking when they wrote it. It can also be performed on spoken word, as long as the spoken word has been converted into a transcript. This type of analysis can give business a deep insight into their customers.
Businesses use sentiment analysis to determine customer sentiment in several ways. The most basic method is to record interactions with customers. Live phone calls, emails, and chatbot communications are a treasure trove of data. Companies can also gather data from social media comments, blog posts, and review websites.
Sentiment analysis isn’t performed by human beings. Instead, companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning to evaluate sentiment. Natural language processing algorithms allow software to read between the lines and unlock the emotions behind the text.
How Can Sentiment Analysis Help My Business?
Now that we know what sentiment analysis is, let’s talk about its practical applications. What are the benefits of sentiment analysis, and how can it take your business to the next level?
Traditionally, it’s been difficult to tell how well a marketing campaign was working. You could offer a discount code to track the source of some sales, or keep track of clicks on an online ad campaign. But outside of tracking short-term sales bumps, it could be tough to tell how your customers felt about your ad.
Using the power of social media, businesses can track customer sentiment about specific ads. This allows you to re-tool your ad campaigns and promote ads that resonate with your target audience. You can even float trial balloon ads on social media to decide which ones to push out to a broader audience.
You can also do the same thing for competitors’ ads to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Researching Sentiment on Social Media
Until recently, measuring brand sentiment on social media was pretty basic. You could look at the ratio of likes to dislikes, and monitor the number of shares and comments. These can provide some insight, but all they really tell you is that people are talking about your business. Unfortunately, not all buzz is good buzz.
Sentiment analysis tools can evaluate whether customers feel positive, neutral, or negative about your brand or product. Of course, you may still need to parse this data. Are people unhappy with your entire brand, or are there clusters of angry customers in certain locations? Similarly, customers may like your brand, but they’re upset about a particular product or service.
Crisis management is the practice of damage reduction following a PR disaster. PR disasters may come from outside the company, or they can be self-inflicted.
A good example is Gillette’s 2019 “The Best Men Can Be” ad. The ad attempted to address issues like bullying and sexual harassment, but the tone of the ad put off many viewers, and was perceived to be anti-male – not a good look for a razor company. The video received more than 1.5 dislikes on YouTube, and Gillette quietly retired the ad.
Shortly afterwards, they released a new ad with a more positive message “#MyBestSelf,” with a father teaching his transgender son to shave. This more positive ad received a warm reaction from the public.
Gillette was able to absorb their customers’ response, absorb a short period of negative public relations, and come back stronger with an ad that really connected.
Monitoring Digital Conversations
Sentiment analysis isn’t just about advertising and public relations. It can also help you better serve customers who are already happy. Let’s say you’re a retailer and you notice a certain product going viral. You can use that information to get ahead of demand and increase your stock before the wave of new sales hits.
You can also determine why a given product or service might be underperforming. For example, maybe people like your pre-workout supplement but the packaging is inconvenient to use. That would be invaluable information that you could use to grow your sales.
Types of Sentiment Analysis
There are many types of sentiment analysis, but they’re generally grouped into five types. These are:
- Graded analysis – Graded analysis is the most basic type of sentiment analysis. It involves measuring specific customer ratings, such as star ratings on a review site. This can also include opinion mining – social media monitoring designed to track mentions and gather real-world user feedback.
- Emotion–detection analysis – This type of analysis involves attaching emotions to words. For example, words like “love” and “great” would tell the AI that the writer is experiencing positive sentiments, while words like “hate” and “awful” would indicate a negative sentiment.
- Fine-grained sentiment analysis – Fine-grained analysis involves breaking down sentences into smaller parts for the AI to parse its meaning. For example, the AI could read the statement “I loved the supplement, but the lid kept popping off.” It would associate the ideas of “the lid” and “popping off” and derive a negative emotion.
- Aspect-based sentiment analysis – Aspect-based sentiment analysis is similar to fine-grained analysis, and is most often used for chat bots. If a bot detects that a person needs help, for example, it can transfer them to a customer service agent.
- Intent analysis – Intent analysis can determine the general purpose of a text. For example, it can distinguish between a question, a new bulletin, and a complaint.
All these sentiment analysis algorithms can be powerful tools to grow your business. The ideal approach – or combination of approaches – will depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
Want to get an insight into your business’ sentiment analysis? Take a look at VizRefra. You can upload plain text documents or web pages, and the artificial intelligence will provide you with an analysis.
Of course, an AI can only go so far. You need to take that analysis and use it to improve your business. To that end, VizRefera offers consultation services. If you want more insights into your business’ sentiment analysis, give them a try!