by Russ Ward (@russcward)
I thought that I could concentrate on Social Media Sentiment to be an emotional indicator of a community about a brand, product or service however others doing academic research on the subject have found that Sentiment is more than just an emotional indicator.
Pragmatically one can say that Social Media Sentiment detail:
Is good to know – to be aware of.
One can use this information as a talking point with peers and clients.
Can provide a trend of community or customer preference status.
If you are willing to pay attention to it you can expect preferences to change over time in some way.
Can provide testimonial examples of reported experiences.
Real comments can be lifted from public domain conversations and used as real life examples of individual perception.
Can provide an indication to the depth of penetration when combined with reach data within a given community.
A sentiment percentage could be generated by a few dozen posts or by a few hundred thousand posts which indicates larger penetration of a population and hence a deeper engagement.
But the real enlightenment comes from breaking news as follows:
In a recent study reviewed at the Haas School of Business in the University of California Berkley, PHD student Vito Sciaraffia confirmed a correlation between NetBase’s Social Media Sentiment ratings and Customer Satisfaction Ratings within different industries.
To my knowledge this is the first study to conclude any relationship between these two factors, which means there is an entire new implication for Sentiment monitoring.
This compelling study essentially used a methodology to compare the NetBase Social Media Sentiment data from their Insight Scorecard to the quantitative America Customer Satisfaction Index to conclude that there is a strong correlation between the two indices. In a White Paper from NetBase (reference 1), Elliot Bricker discusses the study findings and is well worth the review as the study encompassed leading US industry players (Bank of America, BMW, Charles Schwab, Delta Airlines, eBay,E*TRADE, Expedia, Hershey, JP Morgan Chase, Kellogg’s, Kia, Kraft Foods, Kroger, Lincoln Mercury (Ford), Nestlé, Netflix, Newegg Orbitz, Publix, Safeway, Southwest Airlines, TD Ameritrade, US Airways, Wells Fargo, and Whole Foods).
Based on Elliot’s paper Customer Satisfaction assessment and monitoring has just undergone radical change. The question is, are all Social Media Sentiment analytical metrics the same? I doubt that there is the same level of rigor in semantic assessment in all of the available Sentiment tools in the market.
While Sentiment percentage may indicate Satisfaction we still need to understand the underlying issues that cause the level of sentiment.
Reference 1 Bricker, “Can Social Media Measure Customer Satisfaction”, March 2011.