Bad Buzz or Major PR Crisis? How Sentiment Analysis Protects Brands




2024 communications trends predict increased vulnerabilities to brands as risk factors such as culture wars and “cancel culture” rise. For brand, marketing, comms, and PR professionals, this means that vigilant brand protection is more important than ever. The best first line of defence? Comprehensive and real-time sentiment analysis across online and social media.

In this blog, we’ll dive more into why this is the case. In addition to that, we’ll guide you through HOW to conduct online and social media sentiment analysis. These steps will include the necessary sentiment analysis tools and strategies to generate the best outcome.

What is sentiment analysis?

First things first, what is sentiment analysis? Sentiment analysis (also known as “opinion mining”) is the process of determining the emotional tone behind text across online media and social media. It involves analysing and categorising opinions expressed in a given piece of content as positive, negative, or neutral.

Why is it important for protecting brand health?

With real-time sentiment analysis, you can gauge public perception, understand customer sentiment, learn of changing sentiment, and identify negative mentions. Those are just a few of the key benefits.

Overall, this analytical approach to monitoring brand mentions is vitally important for protecting brand health. With it, you’ll be better equipped to maintain a healthy brand awareness, reputation, and perception.

Ultimately, systematically conducting online and social media sentiment analysis enables both proactive and reactive brand defence. Below are a few of the key ways you can achieve this.

Proactive Issue Resolution:
  • Identifying negative sentiment early allows brands to address issues before they escalate. This could be with customer concerns, bad reviews, misinformation, or negative publicity.
  • When running your analysis, you can choose to focus on sentiment surrounding a specific campaign, rather than your overall brand. In this instance, sentiment analysis can help you evaluate campaign impact by measuring audience reactions. If you detect negative sentiments, you have the power to be proactive! You can make any campaign adjustments needed to better align with your audience and produce better outcomes.
  • Tracking changing sentiments over the long term is another big benefit of sentiment analysis. This will help you follow changes in how audiences perceive your brand or how you’re being talked about across media and social channels. This type of insight can be extremely beneficial in shaping new campaigns and strategies. On top of that, you can spot potential issues very early, as they take form.
Reactive Issue Resolution:
  • When systematically analysing the sentiment behind your brand mentions, you’ll see real-time feedback on how your brand is being perceived by audiences. This will enable you to identify and respond to any negative brand mentions as they unfold.
  • You can also conduct real-time sentiment analysis surrounding products, services, or campaigns. This will enable you to respond to feedback quickly which will demonstrate a strong commitment to your customers.

Improve your crisis management strategies with sentiment analysis

While real-time sentiment analysis provides insights to maintain a healthy brand, it’s also necessary for crisis identification and prevention. In a crowded, media heavy world, knowing what people are saying about your brand is incredibly important. So the quantity and quality of insights you gain from your analysis matters tremendously. And as we said earlier, it’s your best first line of defence. It’s what gives you the foresight needed to spot a crisis in the making or identify it as it lands.

Essentially, it can be the differentiating factor between two different scenarios. One in which an unnoticed media mention escalates into a crisis and causes reputation damage. And one where you mitigate the issue before it can escalate.

Studies reveal corporate reputation and rumours among the top three areas making businesses feel vulnerable to crisis. This is a positive indicator that now is the best time to develop a strategy to counter this vulnerability.

Which leads us to the actionable steps you can take with the guide below! These steps outline how to conduct online and social media sentiment analysis of your brand reputation. We also share the sentiment analysis tools you should use as leveraging tech for this work is essential.

How to conduct comprehensive online media and social media analysis of your brand reputation

Getting started:
  1. Choose the right sentiment analysis tools: First and foremost, it’s important to invest in the best sentiment analysis tools and tech for your brand’s needs. Remember the quality and quantity of insights you want matters greatly so you’ll need a tool that provides this and more.

Onclusive’s award-winning social listening platform provides data coverage of 25+ global and regional social media channels. In addition to that, you gain data coverage of 850M+ online sources including TikTok & LinkedIn. Two years of past data is also available. This means you’ll have a large quantity of insights at your fingertips for a robust social media sentiment analysis.

  1. Define objectives and key metrics: Once you know what sentiment analysis tools you’ll be leveraging for your work, set your objectives and identify the key metrics you want to measure. These could be based on overall brand sentiment or more specific. More specific subjects could be events, campaigns, social issues, or even themes.

Once set, track when peaks of negative sentiment activity related to them arise through keywords, topics, or hashtags.

  1. Determine sentiment categories: Define sentiment categories that align with your brand’s goals. Common categories include positive, negative, neutral, and potentially mixed sentiments. Tailoring these categories to reflect specific nuances relevant to your brand will help you collect more valuable information.
Do the work:
  1. Data collection: Now it’s time to gather all the relevant data from your chosen sources! Ideally, your sentiment analysis tool covers all social media platforms so you have an in-depth view of everything relevant. This can include mentions, comments, reviews, and articles related to your brand.
  2. Conduct sentiment analysis: Finally we reach the point where you’ll conduct your analysis of your collected data. Automated tools are your best option to efficiently process this large volume of data, providing a comprehensive overview.

With a tool such as our social listening platform, AI tech does the heavy lifting. It automates smart tagging, mainstream and social media sentiment analysis, and visual listening. It works for you, differentiating between sentiments and categorising them into relevant buckets.

Social listening empowers you to be proactive with real-time sentiment analysis alerts. These alerts are how you’ll immediately know if there’s a peak in negative sentiment around your brand.

You can also organise your data even further with customised dashboards and filters. This allows you to filter and sort your categories (brand mentions, campaigns, etc) by geography, reach, engagement, and tone.

Keep it going:
  1. Generate insights and reports: Turn your sentiment analysis results into actionable insights. Generate reports that highlight key findings, trends, and areas for improvement. Data visualisations graphs, such as those offered with our social listening platform, can make complex data more accessible. In fact, we offer 900+ data visualisation graphs. Additionally, you can leverage either pre-built or custom dashboards for a unique report that’s built for your needs.
  2. Implement actionable strategies: Using your analysis results and reports, take what you’ve learned and put it into action! Using the insights gained and your pre-built or custom reports, identify actionable steps to boost your brand health. Any positive sentiments you’ve learned, you can enhance. And any negative sentiments you’ve identified can be addressed.
  3. Track changing sentiment over the long term: Keep the momentum going by tracking changing sentiment of stakeholder opinions over the long term. You can achieve this best with insights solutions that harmonise human analysis and tech to provide more than just a snapshot of sentiments.

Our Insights and Consultancy services provide brands with a long-term view of key opinion leaders and influential stakeholder groups. Through this service, our experts leverage heatmaps to grasp how stakeholder groups respond to your messages, evolving with time. Based on this data, they provide recommendations tailored to your goals. This allows you to focus your resources strategically and refine your comms strategy. These experts will act as an extension of your team, ensuring your brand shines in ever-changing mainstream and social media.

With these insights and real-time sentiment analysis, you’ll be well equipped to avoid PR crises and maintain a healthy brand.