There’s been a long standing debate on what social media metrics matter the most and how we should be tracking them.

Since the inception of Facebook Fan Pages and company Twitter accounts, success was initially defined by the number of followers or fans a company had on their accounts. So many of us who manage social media accounts, started tracking and strategizing around this metric.  But focusing just on volume seemed somewhat flawed. Of course large brands will have a large following; these brands are recognizable and reliable so it’s difficult to say the number of followers directly indicates the success of their social media presence.

Since strictly measuring the number of followers may not be as important as originally thought, the measurement quickly grew to include the number of actively engaged followers on a page. These being the followers posting on your page, commenting on your posts, and participating in any activity the company utilizes on the page. This is certainly a better way to measure social media presence but there’s still some inconsistencies surrounding this. While engagement is essential to a thriving community, it doesn’t tell the whole story of what is happening on or around your company’s social media presence.

Here is where social media sentiment comes in, sentiment is important and
should be a main focus when evaluating your company’s social media presence and strategy. These 5 reasons can give you insight on why sentiment is so powerful and why you should be tracking it.


1. Sentiment Can Help You to Understand Your Audience

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Using sentiment to understand your audience can be incredibly eye opening. Are you actually targeting and engaging with the correct demographic? Who are the people mentioning you positively and which ones are mentioning you negatively? By tracking the sentiment on mentions of your brand, you may find opportunities in areas you hadn’t considered before. 


2. Learn from Past Successes
Did you recently launch a social media campaign with great success? Find out why people liked this particular campaign by reviewing what they said
about it over social media. This sentiment can help to identify what characteristics of a campaign are a home-run with your audience.

3. Learn from Past Failures
Using sentiment analysis to learn from past failures is a must. People reach out to social media when they have a problem or grip. This information should be harnessed to understand the reasons your customer base did not enjoy a product release, campaign, or design change and then used to your benefit in the future.

4. Compare Yourself to Others in the Market
If you have taken the step to start tracking your own sentiment, don’t stop there. While tracking sentiment about one topic or brand is great it’s beneficial to track competitors and competing products to see how yours fare in the marketplace. Account management and engagement products, Viralheat for one, can help you do that and they make it easy to compare sentiment and view sentiment trends on one or many topics.

5. Work to Improve your Sentiment
It’s difficult to know you have a problem without tracking it first. Once you have started to track your online sentiment you can view how you’re trending and decide if you need to work to improve your sentiment.