One thing we learn from a very young age is that being liked matters. From being chosen on the best football team to getting that dream job ahead of someone equally as capable, being seen in a positive manner and with positive sentiment is of notable benefit.
The same is true for brands and if people have a high opinion of your services or product, then they’ll find it more desirable and be more inclined to purchase it.
In this day and age brands tend to deal with people on a one-to-one level mainly over social media. So, creating positive sentiment on social media around your brand is important – in fact it matters a lot!
What is Brand Sentiment?
For those not in the know, sentiment is the general emotion or feeling attached to a brand or more specifically a post or piece of content. At the most basic level it’s measured as positive, negative or neutral. The more positive sentiment there is the better for the brand and the better for the brand’s reputation.
You may not know the sentiment surrounding your brand – however there are numerous tools out there to measure it, analyse mentions around your brand and evaluate whether people see it in a positive or a negative light.
Sentiment can always be improved and we’ve no matter how good (or bad) feeling around your brand is, follow these tips and watch it improve.
Be Where Sentiment is
A lot of brands find that there is negative sentiment around them in the places their fans are but they aren’t.
Different brands and their fans and detractors can be active in different areas. Being active where there is negative sentiment allows you to participate in the discussion and change opinions. By researching where these conversations are taking place and then discussing situations, remedying problems and informing people you can really impact positively on your brand. If you’re not making the effort or not on a specific platform; then you can’t alter opinions, or expect to change things for the better.
Listen Before you Speak!
Even though we’re told to engage with our audience constantly via social media blogs, we’re not told to listen enough. Listening to what customers have to say and then responding to their specific queries and needs and providing what they want will bring a lot more satisfaction than just talking a lot. We’re all familiar with the ‘know-it-all’ at parties who talks a lot and bores everyone in sight – don’t be that brand.
One great example of a brand listening to its customers and making a change was Maker’s Mark whisky. Upon deciding to lower the alcohol content of its whiskey from 90-proof to 84-proof it witnessed a revolt about the proposed change from loyal fans and even brand ambassadors. It reversed the decision and kept it alcohol content at 90 proof and in doing so saw a raft of positive sentiment hit its Facebook page to higher than original levels. It’s a very successful example of a brand listening to what its customers want via social media and responding in an apt manner.
Turn a Negative to a Positive
Yes, it’s true that some people are just cranks; however a lot of people that are negative about your brand may be so for valid reason. Responding to negativity by trying to resolve the issue and doing so in a transparent manner shows you not only listen but care about your brand. Often the effort to make things right sees a greater positive sentiment occurs than the original negative sentiment. Turning a negative to a positive can really benefit a brand and often only takes one smart reply.
Plan for Controversy
At Fusewave we believe that by having a customer complaint plan in place you have a way of dealing with customers that works, is consistent and is efficient. Almost half of all customers prefer to complain over social media and by not offering a level of service that quickly addresses the complaint in a prescribed manner you’re going to land your business in trouble. Have a dedicated plan in place to deal with them quickly and keep the sentiment positive around your business.
Ignoring problems often makes for spiralling negative sentiment. Of course, addressing issues before they can even become negative is the key to great customer service. So, if you know there’s a potential issue or negative news story doing the rounds – address it a manner that’s as transparent as possible and limit the potential damage.
These tips will help you improve your social sentiment and increase the likeability of your brand online and in doing so help your brand flourish.