With the increasingly significant digital revolution that has taken place in recent years, there are undoubtedly a whole host of new opportunities for brands to reach their customers. Social media continues to go from strength to strength and play an increasingly important part in people’s lives. Recently Facebook, the largest social network in the world reached the milestone of two billion users which is truly incredible!
Many of the other largest social networks each boast hundreds of millions of users themselves, with some of these having been started less than ten years ago. In addition to this, in much of the developed world, high speed internet is now standard so that movies, TV shows, music and games can be instantly streamed. Plus of course smartphone use is extremely widespread, meaning that people are now walking around with the equivalent of a powerful computer in their pocket.
What does this all mean for brands though? Given the right training and resources, savvy marketing teams can now take advantage of this digital revolution and reach people in a variety of new ways. While traditional forms of advertising are becoming less effective (TV, print, radio), smart phones are such a huge part of many people’s lives that they can barely leave their house without their them.
Added to this that social media use is so prevalent (and for many quite addictive), that you have a perfect remedy to reach your potential customers. People have their smartphones with them almost constantly and check their social networks, email and the internet multiple times a day. This is where you have a ready source of people’s attention.
With the growing popularity of social media, there is a growing trend for individuals to interact and engage with brand accounts either by commenting on or sharing photos, videos and text posts by brands, or by publishing their own content and posts. The big benefit for brands is that by being active on social media and engaging with their followers, this can actually act as free advertising as people are willing to share the brand’s content or their own with their followers.
Widespread Online Opinions
Often when someone has an especially positive experience with a brand, such a hotel or resort, they will happily post a positive recommendation to their followers with a photo or video. They may also write a TripAdvisor review or blog post. In this sense social media and other digital sources such as blogs and review sites can be very beneficial for brands looking to reach a wide audience. These photos, videos, reviews, social media updates and blog posts have the potential to reach an audience of hundreds, thousands or even millions of people if they end up going viral!
The flipside of this for brands, is when people are unhappy with the service they have received. While people like to post positive posts or reviews about their experiences, they are often even quicker to take to social media or other digital platforms such as blogs, review sites or forums to discuss a negative situation they have faced. These online grievances can also end up go viral and spread like wildfire across the internet, severely damaging the reputation of a brand causing a significant dent in the profits of a company.
There is an Online Conversation , With or Without You
Ultimately social media and the online world can be a double edged sword for brands, as it can be both a fantastic way to reach potential new customers and increase profits and business, but on the other hand there may be a negative conversation being held. What many companies and brands often don’t realise is that there is a conversation going on online about their brand, whether they are part of it or not. If your team are not monitoring what is being said about your brand or engaging with this conversation, then they are basically giving everyone free reign to say what they want no matter how falsified the claims may be.
This is why it is vital to monitor online sources to gain accurate opinion data, to gain the true picture of how your customers and others view your brand. Social media, blogs, review sites and other online sources can offer your marketing teams a vast swathe of useful information that can prove invaluable to finding out your customer preferences, trends related to the sector your brand sits and most importantly how to adapt to create the best possible experience for your customers.
If your brand is not taking advantage of all this information that is now available across the internet, then it is missing out on a significant opportunity for improvement and growth. This kind of information was not as readily available or easy to obtain before the digital revolution, as people might discuss your product or service in small groups among friends or family. Now these opinions can be shared with potentially billions of people, especially if it is coming from a celebrity or influencer.
What is Opinion Mining and How Can it be Used?
Up until very recently, all of this data floating around in the digital space was largely unusable. It is being constantly added to and growing daily as people add their thoughts and feelings about brands and organisations to social networks. Generally they add their honest and raw opinions for the whole world to view which includes your marketing teams. From all of this widely available and free data, a new science has emerged: opinion mining.
In basic terms, opinion mining involves analysing text online to discover the opinions individuals have regarding a brand, organisation, political party and more. This can include how people feel about a new product launch from a resort or hotel for example. All text online can be analysed and mined for opinions, with the obvious choice being social media. Other sources such as web pages, forums, survey responses and call centre responses can also all be mined for opinion too.
Prior to opinion mining, there was the more rudimentary practice of sentiment analysis. While this was also useful to an extent, it only really showed whether people felt negatively or positively towards a particular topic. By comparison, opinion mining gives a deeper and more nuanced analysis, allowing you to find out not just how people feel but also what is driving them to feel that way.
Why should your brand bother opinion mining?
By picking up and analysing correctly what some individuals are saying about aspects of your brand online, such as the new rooms in your resort, then you can more widely understand the opinions of the wider silent majority. The opinions expressed by a select group is more than likely to reflect the wider sentiment. This allows your marketing team to analyse not only the general opinion but also what is the driving force behind these feelings.
Through accurate opinion mining your team can discover key information which exposes either critical weaknesses or strengths at your brand, allowing the relevant changes to be made. This can be vital for making important strategic changes to help bring a business back to profitability or help reclaim market share.
This data can be broken down significantly in a highly nuanced way to gain extremely valuable insight. For example your resort or hotel might want to find out what people feel about the food choices you offer, what they think of the prices, whether the booking process on your website is straightforward or whether your staff are helpful or not. All of this kind of information can be gathered and analysed through opinion mining, in order to make the relevant changes necessary.
In order to help your brand discover this important information, it is recommend to enlist the help of an outside company to do this. BrandsEye is the world’s leading opinion mining company and can assist your brand analysing the online conversation that is being held. The BrandsEye opinion mining system is different to most others offered in the market, as it is not just reliant on AI or computerised systems which are still not sophisticated enough to understand the nuances of natural human conversation.
Instead their accurate data is powered by the BrandsEye Crowd which involves a team of people who analyse text from a variety of different sources to discover the opinions surrounding your brand and what is driving them. The BrandsEye Crowd works in conjunction with advanced computer systems which are also constantly improving in terms of their understanding of how people converse such as the use of sarcasm, metaphors, swear words and unusual language.
The team at BrandsEye accurately predicted both the US Election result and Brexit by analysing online sentiment across social media and other sources. They work with a number of big name brands such as Adidas, Uber and Capitec and many others, plus global organisations, international broadcasters, governments and more.
Start Opinion Mining now!
The online conversation that is happening right now, with or without your brand’s involvement should not, and cannot be ignored. It is vital that your marketing team get involved and don’t waste the valuable data and insight that can be gained from the growing field of opinion mining offered by BrandsEye.
Can your brand really afford to ignore a potentially damaging conversation on social media to get out of hand, before your team even realises what’s happening? Are you going to let your competitors take the advantage by gaining access to all this incredible data, while your brand is just letting it go to waste? Find out how people really feel about your brand and take control of your future with opinion mining today.
By Simon Turkas