With enough planning and data, you could easily apply a dollar value to each of your prospective customers. You could also calculate the ROI of a campaign and uncover your actual customer acquisition costs.
What you can’t do is calculate the ROI of your social engagement efforts with any real accuracy.
This is because there’s so much more depth to social media, and your engagement usually isn’t transactional.
Marketing metrics for calculating ROI are still important, but I highly recommend adding social engagement and customer sentiment metrics to the mix.
Customer Sentiment and Your Brand
Sentiment involves the emotions and feelings that motivate a customer’s action (and inaction). When you monitor sentiment, you’re trying to measure the tone and context of conversations with them.
That measurement provides insight into how your customers and followers feel about your brand and the products or services you sell.
Measuring Sentiment in Your Audience
It takes a little bit of science and a whole lot of interpretation. Measuring sentiment can also be time-consuming, depending on the metrics you want to examine. There are some tools that can help, but given the subjectivity of emotion, tone, and actions people take, these tools only provide the initial data from which you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.
Insights within social channels are the tools I primarily rely on for gathering data. To supplement those outlets, I use Google Alerts and
Why Measure Sentiment?
Just because you’ve had a spike in social reach and brand mentions are off the charts, doesn’t mean everything is peachy. If I see tweets flying out on any given day that includes phrases like, [email protected] just got the last order from me, ever” then I would know there’s a problem.
Think about how customer sentiment might shift if you went from 5% of brand mentions to 75% negative brand mentions.
The primary benefits to measuring sentiment include:
Warding off crises before they get out of hand
Monitoring dramatic shifts in your brand’s health
Finding key areas for improvement
Measuring the success of product launches and campaigns
Noticing trends in engagement and identifying the sources
Determining the lasting influence of your campaigns after completion
Here are ten metrics I use to track and measure customer sentiment.
1. Comment Velocity
You can usually see how well a campaign or post is performing by the velocity of incoming comments. This is especially true when you strike on something your audience is passionate about (or against). When the velocity of new comments skyrockets, that should be a good indicator that something has triggered the audience, in either good or bad ways.
Comment velocity can mark the start and end points of the discussion, but on its own, this metric doesn’t reveal much about sentiment. To develop a better understanding of where your audience is at, note the comment velocity in conjunction with the tone of the comments section.
2. Tone of Comments
Most comments you receive in social outlets will likely be positive toward your brand, or at least neutral. When velocity climbs, and you earmark the start and end, assign that period a score. The score should be based on the ratio of positive, neutral, and negative comments.
Once you’ve assigned a score, you can compare the post-event sentiment of your customers to their pre-event sentiment to determine what kind of influence that event had on your audience’s overall perception of your brand.
For channels like Twitter and Instagram, static ‘likes’ are indications of positive approval. For those channels, simply measuring the velocity of those reactions can be sufficient.
With Facebook’s reaction system you have a wider range of possibilities including both positive and negative. Thankfully, the platform’s insights allow you to sort reactions by the responses. These measurements can be great indicators of your overall audience response to a specific campaign.