10 Tips: Tap Consumer Sentiment On Social Networks
July 10, 2012 08:30 AM Facebook and Twitter can serve as real-time consumer focus groups, but watch out for 'channel biases' and think beyond your brand. Follow these 10 pointers for effective use of sentiment analysis technologies.
Tip 3. Watch Out For Channel Biases
Consumers react to different entities in different ways through different channels of communications. At the American Red Cross, Banafsheh Ghassemi, VP of marketing and e-CRM customer experience, says the patterns of interaction differ by phone, postal mail, email, and social media. Comments on Facebook and Twitter about Red Cross are typically positive, she says, but when people take the time to write an email or send a letter, chances are it's negative. "They either didn't like something or they wanted to express an opinion or make a suggestion," Banafsheh says.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had the opposite experience with social networks during his recent election recall fight. Sentiment analytics vendor Topsy Labs found that tweets related to Walker generated a very low -1.999 sentiment score, while his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, registered a relatively neutral 0.932 score. Yet Walker carried 53% of the vote to stay in office.
"In Walker's case, Twitter wasn't representative of the electorate, and it points up the need to choose your data carefully and interpret it with these biases in mind," says analyst Seth Grimes of AltaPlana.