5 Impressive Business Applications Of Sentiment Analysis
By Nas Mouti, PhD
LAST UPDATED 9 months, 3 weeks ago
Sentiment analysis is a subfield of text mining, itself a subfield of machine learning and data science. It consists of analyzing text with natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to determine its favorability to a brand, an object, or a person, as well as the emotion it conveys. Sentiment analysis is still a new field and is evolving and getting better every day. Despite it being one of the most active areas of research, it is already used by businesses and government agencies to monitor online media. Sentiment analysis has the potential to revolutionize marketing and PR by providing professionals with a massively powerful tool to gauge their audience's opinion and interacting accordingly.
1 - Reputation management and online brand monitoring
A brand is not made by its product; a brand is made by its marketing and general perception. Therefore, it is paramount for any business who is serious about their brand reputation to constantly monitor what is said about it. It is important to determine not only how many people are talking about your brand, but also how favorably they are talking about it. A good marketing team will also identify promoters and detractors of their brand, and figure out ways to interact with them.
2 - Monitoring your own message
It can be sometimes difficult to gauge the tone of our own message, or how it is perceived by others. This is why it can be beneficial to either have somebody else proofread our writing, or equip ourselves with tools to review it. Tone detector, for example, is an Outlook add-on that relies on sentiment analysis to detect the tone of outgoing emails.
3 - Investment intelligence
Some hedge funds and trading agencies monitor blog articles and social media mentions immediately after product launch to get an idea of the general reception of the product before other investors and either buy stock or dump it. This is done by first scraping those items then processing them with sentiment analysis software. The same can be done to obtain measures of the general opinion of the economy, such as the general outlook, and whether consumers are feeling optimistic about the future.
4 - Market research and competition monitoring
Measuring the general opinion of your brand is not very useful when done in a vacuum. It needs to be compared to other values. This is why it is a good idea to measure your competition's social media engagement metrics as well as their online reputation and strive to out-compete them. Monitoring your competition can also give you good opportunities to score points with their followers and pick up some of their dissatisfied users. You may also be able to mine other insights from both your audience and theirs and discover things they like that are not obviously related to your product and use that to target other users that fit the profile.
5 - Crime prevention
We often hear that criminals announced their malicious intentions on social media before committing their crimes and that nobody thought their threat was serious enough to report them. With sentiment monitoring, law enforcement agencies are able to identify potential threats online and act accordingly before tragedy hits.
Despite it being a new technique, sentiment analysis is already widely adopted by the market and I expect its boom to continue for the foreseeable future. Novel ways to improve it are being published by the research community every month, which makes me believe that we will one day see algorithms that read emotion from text better than humans do like we see in other fields like medical imaging. Curious how sentiment analysis may benefit your business? Hit me up through the contact form and I'll gladly chat with you about it.