Should you analyze social media sentiment? 5 questions to help you decide

Not every company should measure online sentiment. Use this guide to decide whether it’s best for you, and how to evaluate your findings.

Whether they bill themselves as listening tools, measurement services or media monitoring firms, there are now more than 150 companies pitching social media measurement services. Almost all offer sentiment analysis—the art (or science) of gleaning how people feel about your brand by reading what they say.

Should you do sentiment analysis at all?

Yes, it’s the latest shiny new measurement toy, but it’s not always possible, or even useful. Carefully consider these two questions before you decide:

1. Do people express any sentiment at all in discussing your brand?

You can’t measure sentiment if it’s not there. For many sectors (marketing a B2B product, for instance) it may well be that all the conversations out there are factual discussions. It may not be possible to glean any sentiment out of the conversations.

2. Do you have any direct interaction with customers?

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