How Does Sentiment Analysis Work?

Sentiment analysis is an automated process that determines the emotional tone behind a message.  These artificially intelligent bots are trained on millions of pieces of text to detect if a message is positive, negative, or neutral.

Sentiment analysis works by breaking a message down into topic chunks and then assigning a sentiment score to each topic.

For example, take the following social post:

I tried out the new Dell G5 Gaming computer. I was really impressed. The graphics card was a little disappointing, but it’s hard to beat the G5 at that price.

A sentiment analysis tool would break this into topic chunks and then assign a sentiment score to each topic, depending on a pre-determined scale:

  • Dell G5 Gaming computer…really impressed = +4
  • graphics card…disappointing…= -2
  • hard to beat…that price = +3

The bot would then sum up the scores or use each score individually to evaluate components of the statement. In this case, there was an overall positive sentiment, but a negative sentiment towards the graphics card.

Sentiment analysis isn’t easy though! Think about the following sentence:

I’m SO happy my flight was delayed.

AI-powered sentiment analysis, including AI-powered search, struggles to detect sarcasm, despite constant improvements through advances in AI and input from human judges. Nonetheless, it will likely continue to enhance its ability to discern sentiment over time.

Sentiment Analysis in Social Media

Sentiment analysis is powered by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. In the context of social media, sentiment analysis is used as a social listening method to determine the public’s general feeling about your brand.

For example, social media monitoring tools like Keyhole track and measure social media mentions of your brand in real time to determine how people feel about your company.

The Benefits of Using Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis has many beneficial applications:

1. Gauge Public Opinion in Real-Time

If you launch a new marketing campaign, product, or service, you can quickly track public opinion in real-time. For example, if everyone hates the jingle in your new commercial, it may be time to go back to the studio…

2. Conduct Market Research

You can also use sentiment analysis to benchmark your brand against competitors, or to research what’s hot on the market. If people are feeling negatively about your brand but love your competitor, you may want to pivot your strategy.

3. Track Your Customer Service

If your brand uses social for customer service inquiries, you can track the positive negative impact of your support efforts. For example, how often your team is able to shift a customer’s negative sentiment to a positive one.

To get started with sentiment analysis tracking, start your free trial of Keyhole today.

Related Articles:

The Ultimate Sentiment Analysis Guide

How Do you Measure Brand Awareness on Social Media?