5 Platforms for Analyzing Customer Sentiment

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Scale iconIn a day and age where “bad” means “good,” and “sick” means “great,” it’s understandable why the average retailer or brand might have trouble deciphering the true meaning behind the messages posted by customers online. To help marketers gain a better understanding of what people are truly saying about their companies, a number of hyperlocal vendors are stepping in with tools that automatically analyze customer sentiment on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Using natural language processing, these sentiment analysis platforms are able to detect the true meaning and emotion behind many of the reviews and comments posted by consumers online. Sentiment analysis platforms can be an excellent tool for crisis managers, as well, and they can provide businesses with valuable data on the preferences of their most influential customers.

Here are five platforms that businesses can use for sentiment analysis.

1. Bottlenose: Get real-time alerts when brand sentiment begins to change.
Viral stories spread at the speed of light, however crisis managers who stay on top of sentiment and trends are better able to stave off disaster. Bottlenose combines information from many different sources (including Tumblr, Instagram, forums, Facebook, and WordPress) to give clients a better picture of what the world is thinking about any topic. Using a combination of sentiment analysis and demographics, businesses are able to understand the cause of online trends. (For example, what caused consumers to start complaining about a new product release?) Bottlenose’s enterprise product, Nerve Center, uses a proprietary “Trendfluence system” to help marketers tell if any positive or negative trends are headed in their directions before those trends become full force movements.

2. BehaviorMatrix: Understand your customers’ emotions.
As an applied behavioral analytics company, BehaviorMatrix provides brands, retailers, and public figures with data and analysis to measure consumer emotion, along with perceptions and social momentum. Rather than focusing on what consumers have already done—for example, purchased shoes at Macy’s — BehaviorMatrix focuses on the motivations behind those actions, and what consumers are most likely to do in the future. To gather this information, BehaviorMatrix mines content on consumer-focused platforms, including social media, and uses a proprietary SMARTview tool to convert qualitative conversations into quantitative insights.

3. Swipp: Measure sentiment from digital campaigns.
Some businesses are more interested in learning what customers really think of their web advertising campaigns and blog posts than what customers are saying on social media platforms. For these businesses, Swipp offers a widget that gauges customer sentiment and turns hundreds or thousands of opinions into single summary scores. Swipp’s widget can be embedded in web advertising, websites, videos, and blog posts, and the information gleaned through this widget provides businesses with insight into how customer sentiment has shifted over time. Organizations can use Swipp to gather sentiment data from social streams on Facebook, as well.

4. Poptip: Use sentiment analysis to stay ahead of industry trends.
Poptip works with brands, organizations, and content companies that are looking for better ways to understand public opinion. Using real-time natural language processing, the company’s Zipline product goes through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram and identifies users who are posting about relevant topics and phrases. For example, a beauty brand may learn that people who are posting about “nail polish” on Twitter are also frequently using the terms “yellow” and “orange.” This information might influence what nail polish colors the brand chooses to promote in future campaigns. Poptip also provides clients with a “PopTip score,” which is meant to pinpoint phrases that are important both because of what is being said and also who is doing the posting.

5. Radian6: Analyze conversations and gain insight into customer trends.
Agencies and enterprise organizations can use Radian6 to gain insights from social media conversations. The Salesforce product identifies conversations happening about a user’s company, products, or competitors on social media, and analyzes the mentions for sentiment, demographics, and trends. Positive, negative, and neutral posts are aggregated, making it easier for social media managers to streamline workflows when they’re responding to hundreds of messages each day. Brands can spot trends at the macro level, and they can track sentiment changes over time.

Know of other platforms that businesses can use for sentiment analysis? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.