If, after gathering all the data on the film previously mentioned, we found positive sentiment from a younger than expected demographic, we would recommend adjusting future marketing (merchandise, DVDs, and social content, etc.) in that direction. Also, we may find that conversations about movie X often contain references to another movie, actor, and TV show, etc. How can those elements be connected later on?

The time and money involved with performing an in-depth sentiment analysis is a waste if you let the data sit on a desk. Analysis is the true value. One client commissioned a sentiment analysis report about a concern that it was seen as being a necessary evil in its industry. Our analysis proved the client right, but it also highlighted how and where we can affect the conversation. After 3 months of a targeted social media strategy, the client’s positive sentiment rose 150%, and its negative conversation dropped 60%.


As with any marketing program, your first step should be to declare a goal. Do you want info on your company as a whole, a specific product, your executive team, or perhaps a competitor? You may want to start small and start tracking a specific campaign. In this case, the next step is to determine a timeline (e.g., last month, last quarter, or last year). By limiting the timeline, your keyword selection process becomes easier. Identify all iterations of words you want to find and test. Ideally, you will end up with a list of words that is as short as possible but as long as necessary. Your SEO team may be helpful here-remember: garbage in, garbage out!

Now, you are ready to start. Hopefully, your chosen tool has a trial period or demo. You want to be sure that you are comfortable using the tool and all its features. Gather and process your data in a meaningful way, and present your findings to all key areas of your organization. Most often, we present our research to the CMO, COO, and occasionally the CEO. Lastly, make a plan for addressing your audience. Reconsider any planned campaigns and programs based on your findings and move forward.

Sentiment analysis is an amazingly valuable tool available to everyone. Even companies that have yet to post a single word on Facebook or register a Twitter handle can benefit from sentiment analysis. I always say that if nobody is talking about you (or your competition) today, they will start tomorrow. Are you listening? Are you acting on what you hear?