• Natalie Markovits

How to use sentiment analysis to measure and build your brand reputation

Updated: Jun 22

In today’s world, reputation is everything. Consumers don’t just base purchase decisions on objective elements like price, location, availability, but based on how they feel about your brand.

According to research, 83% of consumers say they want a compassionate connection with brands, and the word “compassionate” means sharing feelings, highlighting the role of emotions in driving purchases. Another study reported that 39% of consumers say they make purchase decisions based on trust, and when asked what influences their shopping choices, 38% said trust in the brand itself is the driving factor.

Women holding megaphone talking to a large crowd.
Your customers are talking, you better listen.

That being the case, it would be risky to ignore your reputation and hope it takes care of itself. Savvy business leaders keep track of how consumers feel about their brand on social media and other open media, and take steps quickly if they see consumer sentiment begin to drop. Here’s our guide to using sentiment analysis for brand monitoring.

How to measure brand reputation

Select a method for brand monitoring

There are a number of different potential methods for monitoring the sentiment around your brand. You can pick just one approach to sentiment analysis for brand building, or use a combination of them.

  1. Run a survey. A survey is a slightly old-school approach to monitoring your brand, but asking customers how they feel about your brand is a direct way to track their attitudes.

  2. Track organic traffic. In theory, organic traffic rates should reflect the success of your digital marketing, but you can’t always know which part of your marketing strategy is driving clicks.

  3. Apply brand searches. When you search your brand, you’ll see the balance of positive or negative mentions and get an idea for what people like and dislike. But searches often aren’t powerful enough to truly reflect brand sentiment.

  4. Use sentiment analysis tools. Using these dedicated tools allows you to monitor customer attitudes in real time and respond appropriately. Sentiment analysis helps you accurately identify opinions and emotions, and follow engagement on social media platforms. You should also be able to trace how the audience feels across the web, on review sites like TrustPilot and marketplaces like Google Play and Amazon as well as in social media.

Set your KPIs

Like every marketing campaign, you need to select Key Performance Indicators for measuring your brand reputation. By tracking these KPIs, you can determine how your brand reputation is changing over time. Some of the main KPIs to track include:

  • Total engagements with your brand per day/week/month

  • Total brand mentions

  • Positive and negative sentiment towards your brand. You can calculate your brand sentiment score by calculating positive mentions as a percentage of total mentions, or use a tool that does this automatically

  • Organic traffic through Google Analytics

  • Brand search volume

  • Direct search volume

Wooden table with a graph drawn on a paper.

Establish a benchmark

Once you’ve decided on the KPIs you’ll follow, you need to fix a benchmark for each one of them so that you can measure your progress.

How to use sentiment analysis data for brand building

Your journey isn’t over once you've fixed on an effective sentiment analysis strategy. You still need to put your sentiment analysis insights to good use to improve customer experience and strengthen your brand reputation.

Improve your marketing efforts

On a basic level, sentiment analysis can help you understand what your audience wants and deliver more of it. Use sentiment analysis to analyze market reactions to a new product or version, and then tweak it accordingly.

It’s also useful for tracking the impact of a marketing campaign and then doubling down on the most effective elements and changing those that are weaker.

Understand the voice of the customer

Discover the voice of the customer by identifying the wording that people use and the topics that are most talked about in relation to your niche or brand. Then use these topics and tone in your marketing strategy to forge stronger connections, or rephrase some of your marketing efforts into language that’s more easily understood and that taps into the general market attitude.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

With sentiment analysis insights, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses to play up your strengths and correct your weaknesses. Compare your profile with that of your competitors to see where they are racing ahead, and even adopt some of their tactics (with your own company’s adaptations, of course) to bolster your own marketing strategy and product decisions.

Defuse a crisis before it develops

Social media monitoring helps you with crisis management, since it enables you to spot negative mentions, and then respond swiftly and effectively before momentum builds up and you’re facing a catastrophe.

Discover new leads

Finally, sentiment analysis enables companies to discover new prospects who need your solution, product, or services, but don’t yet know about your brand. Use social listening to identify them and target them with a well-placed promotional offer, voucher, or marketing campaign.

Sentiment analysis drives stronger brand building

Understanding how people feel about your brand requires you to identify the best methods, apply KPIs, and establish benchmark measurements to track your progress. Sentiment analysis tools can help make this easier and faster, but it’s still up to you to apply insights to strengthen your marketing campaign, understand what customers want and the voice they use, prevent negative mentions from snowballing into a crisis, and spot new leads to target in the right ways.

How Affogata can help

Affogata offers opinion mining that makes it easy to understand how your customers feel about your brand. You can choose which keywords you want to track in addition to your brand name and industry, including specific combinations. The sentiment analysis platform uses machine learning (ML) to track them even when they aren’t used as a hashtag.

The Affogata platform picks up on every brand review and social media mention, whether or not they tag your company’s handle, as well as running media monitoring for mentions that could otherwise fly under the radar. Advanced data mining enables it to spot instances across the web.

Users also benefit from the ability to set benchmarks that distill positive and negative mentions into a single brand reputation score, making it simple to track progress. You can view a word cloud of the top words associated with your brand, and see a list that automatically prioritizes the most-talked about topics in connection with your brand.

Sentiment analysis glossary

What is sentiment analysis?

Sentiment analysis is the process of understanding how people feel generally about your brand, your social media presence, or specific products that you offer.

What is brand sentiment?

Brand sentiment means the emotions that people feel towards your brand, generally classified into positive, negative, and neutral feelings.

What are sentiment analysis tools?

Sentiment analysis tools use machine learning and data mining for emotion AI, which detects consumer emotions from social media posts, reviews, and other online content.

What is media monitoring?

Media monitoring is the process of tracking all the content that’s expressed about your brand, whether it’s on social media, blog posts, or review sites.

What is the voice of the customer?

The voice of the customer means gathering feedback from your target audience so that you can understand the needs, concerns, and expectations of your customers and speak in the tone and style they prefer.

What is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring involves consciously tracking times when your brand is mentioned on social media or elsewhere online, so as to stay aware of what people are saying about your brand and proactively monitor your brand reputation.

What is social listening?

Social listening is the process of listening to what your customers say on social media so that you can keep up to date with their thoughts and opinions about your brand, your industry, and your vertical.

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