Social sentiment and emotions factor large when it comes to how buyers make purchasing decisions. According to Harvard University professor, Gerald Zaltman, “Humans are driven by feelings. So, if you want the consumer to remember your product or brand, they must be engaged and impassioned by the interaction with your company. Emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors, and also, decision-making in general.”
This ties into social sentiment — the online, ongoing commentary about your business. B2B buyers display social sentiment when they share emotions and attitudes about brands on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Reddit. By following social sentiment, B2B brands measure different emotions behind the online words and social media mentions about them.
Social Sentiment Provides Context
Social sentiment does more than look at how many people who talk about a company. It goes further by adding context and measuring the tone of conversations, shared comments, mentions, and overall online engagement. Instead of letting valuable business intelligence slip under the radar, consider prioritizing social sentiment to translate signals about feelings into actionable business data.
Along the same lines, social sentiment provides insights about behavior of target audiences. Analysis of social sentiment data determines what’s working well and what isn’t, what customers love and hate, and which improvements to make. Overall, looking at social sentiment data is a significant way to make the voice of your brand’s customers heard inside your own business — where it can drive improvement.
Social sentiment is valuable especially because it represents how buyers feel and where they stand with your company and your offerings. Use of social sentiment as a targeting tool is commonplace in B2C, and now it’s gaining fans in B2B. B2B marketers value the ability to track and understand negative, positive, or neutral opinions, thoughts, and views about their company.
Sentiment Analysis Pairs Well with Intent Signals
B2B brands naturally are interested in how customers feel about their business and offerings. Sentiment analysis retrieves details about perceptions regarding a brand, service, or product by using natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics. One way to wrap your brain around sentiment analysis is to imagine it as a subset of social listening.
Additionally, sentiment analysis delves into various emotions surrounding a company’s mentions, whether negative, positive, or neutral. Usually, this exposes motivations and desires behind purchasing decisions and the intent behind online searches. Our AI tools include social media behavior and sentiment analysis in our intent data practices.
Four Ways to Use Social Sentiment Analysis
If you care about positive image and brand reputation, social sentiment becomes a worthwhile pursuit. Marketers gain detailed information about customers and prospects, as well as their views about your competitors.
Use social sentiment insights to benefit your B2B company in these ways:
1. Assess your brand reputation’s overall health
To understand how customers and prospects feel about your products, services, or brand in the moment or in the past, measure your brand sentiment. It’s crucial to ensure your marketing efforts are received in a positive, productive manner.
2. Effectively handle or head off a crisis
If something is off with your brand, or if there are shifts in your reputation’s health, social sentiment can pinpoint this. Sometimes, brands encounter negativity from customers, and not only can negative online posts escalate, they may also reveal a developing crisis that should be dealt with quickly.
Thanks to social sentiment insights, a brand’s public relations team can use the gathered data to discover a problem’s source, and then establish a plan to combat online negativity before it snowballs out of control.
3. Conduct competitor research
To further understand how your brand, product, or service is perceived compared to your competitors, consider researching their sentiment situation. Use what you learn to improve conversations about your brand, products, or services. Use sentiment analysis to head off or counter competitive talking points.
4. Advance marketing efforts
Measuring social sentiment often and taking action on lessons learned can help your team produce new and engaging marketing strategies, while staying current and informed about ongoing opinions and needs. This knowledge can motivate your team to even better results.
B2B Brands Find Value in Sentiment Analysis
For many reasons, consistent sentiment analysis around buyer emotions, behavior, and intent is worthwhile and advisable. To recap, overall, B2B brands find social sentiment value in four main areas:
- Identify buyer expectations
- Deliver customer service
- Refine and clarify marketing strategies and techniques
- Better understand how buyers differentiate you and competitors