What your audience says about you online is important. Their voices have the power to sway opinions on your brand or company, for better or worse.

Consider that a single customer complaint posted on social media can influence others up to five times more than a positive comment.

Once you define, measure, and analyze customer sentiment, you can use excellent online customer service to change any negative customer experience into a positive one.

Defining Social Sentiment

Social sentiment refers to the emotion, attitude, or tone of a social media user when they post a comment online regarding your company, your product, or your service.

This message might be posted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or on any other social media platform.

When a customer mentions you, they may be praising, complaining, offering suggestions, or asking questions.

You should be aware of all these responses in order to quickly identify what the customer needs and give an appropriate response that will create positive buzz about your brand.

Measuring Sentiment

Measuring customer sentiment can be tricky. Although your company may sometimes be tagged in an online post, often this is not the case. You will need to go out and look for mentions of your brand.

Once you’ve found all of the relevant comments, each of them needs to be assigned a score (e.g. positive, negative, or neutral) so that you can see the wider picture of how people are experiencing your brand.

Perhaps the easiest way to gather and measure all of this data is to use a cloud-based customer experience (CX) optimization platform. Such a platform will search for online reviews related to your company and provide easy access to these social reviews and voice of customer (VoC) with little effort on your part.

Analyzing Sentiment

What exactly should you be looking for once you have measured your online sentiment?

  • A dramatic downward shift
  • A sudden spike
  • A comparison to your top competitors
  • A trend after a product launch, marketing campaign, or new initiative
  • An overall view

Again, perhaps the easiest way to analyze sentiment is with a cloud-based customer experience (CX) optimization platform, since reassessing regularly is key to helping you truly understand how the online community experiences your company.

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Responding To Sentiment

Changing negative sentiment happens one customer complaint at a time, and it needs to be done quickly. There is no sense in letting an unhappy customer stew, a negative review gain traction, or a public relations crisis get out of hand.

Here are some strategies to employ when you come across indications of negative sentiment:

  • Don’t delete negative comments unless they are disrespectful. Acknowledge mistakes openly and genuinely. This prevents further blame and helps to focus the attention on finding a solution.
  • After an initial response, communicate with the disgruntled customer one-on-one and out of the public eye. This prevents others from chiming and escalating the problem.
  • Personalize your response by using a conversational tone and including the customer’s name.
  • Empower your customer service representatives to fix the problem right away, if possible. Encourage them to go the extra mile in order to gain back the customer’s trust.
  • Once an issue is resolved, follow up within a couple of days and gather feedback.

Finally, don’t neglect your pleased, positive, and passionate customers! They’re just as important as those expressing negative sentiment. They deserve a personalized “Thank You” for their patronage.

When your company gathers, measures, analyzes, and responds to customer feedback on social media, your company will improve its social media sentiment.

How Can You Use Social Media to Improve Feedback?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Brooke Cade
Brooke Cade is a freelance writer who’s committed to helping businesses and sales professionals build stronger connections with their customers. In her spare time, she enjoys learning more about InMoment.com—her CX platform of choice—reading books/articles on industry news, engaging on Twitter, and exploring her local neighborhood coffee shop.

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