The best sentiment analysis tools
Us humans, we’re clever. We read words and know whether they’re giving a positive or negative vibe. We see beyond sarcasm and understand the true sentiment. We get slang. All good, if you’re analyzing a couple of tweets. Listening to your entire audience? You’re gonna need help. Here’s my pick of the best sentiment analysis tools for the job.
Why is sentiment analysis important?
Positive or negative?
Brands use sentiment analysis to find and measure customer opinions and attitudes towards their brand, products, services, campaigns. Analyzing sentiment on social media provides an excellent source of data and will provide insights that can:
- Determine brand reputation
- Improve customer experience
- Stop issues becoming a crisis
- Determine future marketing strategies
- Improve marketing campaigns and product messaging
- Identify brand influencers
- Test business KPIs
- Generate leads
Cool, no? Social media sentiment analysis will improve your bottom line.
It’s more than tracking numbers. A surge in mentions could be perceived as a good thing. Particularly if you launched a new product, posted a new article, sent out a press release. But, are they positive mentions or negative?
The image above. You see the problem?
Using inaccurate sentiment analysis data can prove catastrophic. Choosing the right tool is essential. A tool that gets sarcasm. That reads the comment from John Doe and understands that he's being sarcastic. He's having a pop. He's being negative. So you have to choose the best. Some social media analysis vendors state that their sentiment analysis algorithm will be, at best, 50-60% accurate.
What is sentiment analysis?
Sentiment analysis - opinion mining, text analysis, emotion AI - determines the emotional tone behind words, to understand the attitudes and opinions being expressed. As humans, we do this instinctively - without thinking.
How about content online?
Social media has given consumers a virtual soapbox, from where they can shout their opinions. Good and bad. While humans instantly recognize the sentiment behind a single comment, how should we cope with the explosion of content shared on social media?
Here’s some of what we’re dealing with:
- 600M+ tweets per day, that’s 6,000 every second
- 400 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute
- 500,000+ comments posted on Facebook every minute
We need tools to help. Sentiment analysis tools use natural language processing (NLP) to analyze online conversations and determine deeper context - positive, negative, neutral. These tools mimic our brains, to a greater or lesser extent, allowing us to monitor the sentiment behind online content.
AI-powered sentiment analysis is a hugely popular subject. It’s far too big to dig deep in this post. If you’re interested in reading in more detail, check out - The practical guide to sentiment analysis.
Here’re some awesome sentiment analysis tools. Take them for a spin!
Sentiment analysis tools
Quick Search | Social media search engine
Quick Search gives you an instant overview of your brand online. It’s a social media search engine that offers extensive coverage of social networks - including news sites, blogs, and forums.
McDonald’s vs Burger King - the battle of the sentiment.
This screenshot shows the comparison of two major burger bars. Looking at 13 months of sentiment data, shows that McDonald’s has 62% negative sentiment compared with 40.5% for Burger King. The social media search engine allows you to dig deeper and find the source of this negative sentiment.
Quick Search identified the cause of the slump, and gave a negative sentiment score.
YouTube video ridiculing McDonald’s.
- Quick brand overview - the KPIs that matter - engagement, volume, sentiment, demographics, and geographies
- Find real-time trends - identify emerging trends to boost your content
- Content ideation - create viral content that resonates with your audience
- Competitive intelligence - compare multiple brands to benchmark against competitors
"Quick Search provides such an easy and user-friendly opportunity to deep dive into your competitors' social sphere; letting you harness their strengths and weaknesses to improve and cultivate a winning marketing strategy. For a specific breakdown of the importance of this, you should definitely check out Talkwalker's latest article on the necessity and implications of competitor analysis for your business and brand."
Christina Garnett (@RoanokeMaven) | Marketing Media Maven
Hootsuite Insights | 100M+ sources in 50+ languages
Automatically analyzes all your social media platforms, news sites, forums, and blogs to reveal insights that include influencers, stories, trends, and sentiment.
Find out how consumers feel about your brand and products, then filter by location, language, and gender. You can also monitor by keywords. For example, set up Twitter mentions show tweets that contain positive sentiment. Including terms such as - thanks, love it, cool, awesome. Emoji can also play a part, with thumbs up, smiley face, clapping, recognized as positive sentiments.
You can also check out online conversations happening on news sites, blogs, and forums. Insights can access real-time data from 100M+ sources in 50+ languages.
Rapidminer | New areas for business expansion
A data science software platform that provides text mining to help brands perform sentiment analysis. Online reviews and social media posts can be analyzed, plus official publications and documents. Brands can identify trending topics that are buzzing with consumers and customers, collect feedback on product launches, and find new areas for business expansion.
NCSU Tweet Visualizer | Sentiment Viz
This is a cool freebie for Twitter sentiment analysis. Type in your keyword and the Tweet Visualizer pulls out recent tweets for the past week. Note that the time range is shorter for more popular subjects.
When you hover your cursor over a dot, you can see individual tweets from identified Twitter users, and see where they appear on the sentiment spectrum.
You have a choice of views:
- Sentiment - emotion in the tweet is estimated - blue indicates negative, green for positive
- Topics - automatically clusters tweets into related topics by with machine-learning algorithms
- Heatmap - a grid with mapped tweets - red for more than average number, blue for less
Measuring pleasure, activation, and dominance.
- Tag Cloud - common words indicating emotion, with the more frequently used displayed larger
- Timeline - the number of tweets and when they were posted - green for good, blue for not so good
- Map - location of posted tweets on world map
- Affinity - frequent tweets, people, hashtags, and URLs
- Narrative - time-ordered sequence of tweets that form conversations
- Tweets - listed by date, author, sentiment, and content
The tool uses a pleasure and arousal rating to estimate sentiment for an entire tweet. For a free tool, it’s great. For a free tool, there are limitations. It will struggle with slang and sarcasm. But, it’s absolutely worth taking a look at.
Sentiment Viz offers far more than can be found on most other free sentiment analysis tools.
MeaningCloud | Global polarity value
The sentiment analysis API implements a detailed, multilingual analysis of content from several sources. Determining if it displays positive, negative, or neutral sentiment - or if not possible to detect. Phrases are identified with the relationship between them evaluated. This identifies a global polarity value of the text.
- Global sentiment - general opinion expressed in tweets, blog posts, reviews
- Sentiment at attribute level - analyzes the specific sentiment of each sentence
- Identification of opinions and facts - distinguishes between objective and subjective
- Detection of irony - identifies comments where sentiment is opposite to what’s said
- Graduated polarity - rates from very negative to very positive
- Agreement and disagreement - identifies opposing opinions - contradictory, ambiguous
This sentiment analysis tool allows users to upload custom dictionaries for use in sentiment classification, and there’s also an Excel add-in for Windows. Languages currently covered are English, spanish, French, Italian, Catalan, and Portuguese.
Social Mention | 100+ social platforms
A real-time search platform, that while basic, monitors 100+ social platforms including FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, and Google+. Plus, blogs and news sites. It aggregates user-generated content, allowing you to track and measure what consumers are saying about your brand.
Easy to use, type in your brand, industry, competitor and let Social Mention do the rest. The report you’ll receive ranks results by sentiment - positive, negative, neutral - top keywords, top users, top hashtags, and sources.
It’s free and it gives a lot. Just don’t expect pretty.
Sentiment Analyzer | Computational linguistics
This sentiment analysis tool uses computational linguistics and text mining to identify the sentiment behind text.
It’s a free tool, so it has its limitations. It doesn’t get sarcasm at all. But, give it a go, it’s fun.
It was trained with a collection of 8000+ samples of text, and works best with American English post-1990. You need to remember that it judges the overall sentiment score, so regardless of length, it considers the entire sample.
SentiStrength | 16,000 social texts per second
SentiStrength is a free sentiment analysis tool for academic research. Although, you can apply and pay for the commercial Java version or license for the online version. The free tool runs on Windows only.
It offers automatic sentiment analysis of up to 16,000 social web texts per second, with - it claims - human level accuracy for English.
SentiStrength reports two sentiment strengths:
- -1 (not negative) to -5 (extremely negative)
- 1 (not positive) to 5 (extremely positive)
Why two scores? Apparently, research has revealed that humans process positive and negative sentiment in parallel - mixed emotions.
The website ain’t pretty, but there’s a lot of interesting stuff to read. Including several case studies. I’d suggest you take a look and see the tool in action.
Sentigem | Sentiment calculator
Wow! Easy to use sentiment analysis tool for English language documents or blocks of text. Sentigem is currently in beta phase, so may be buggy. But, it’s worth persevering.
It’s fast - analyzing large amounts of text in seconds. Calculating the sentiment of the content and assigning a value of positive, negative, or neutral.
You can sign up for free, with a business email address, then activate your account with the link you’ll be sent. You can then register for an API key.
Give it a go!
Social Searcher | Real-time search engine
Real-time search engine for Twitter, and Google+. Includes filtering options that include post type, social channel, and sentiment. Each result has a color-coded button indicating positive, negative or neutral sentiment.
- Unlimited history - direct access to social mentions history: pagination, sort by date, popularity, social network, sentiment, content type
- Comprehensive analytics - post distribution by week, day, and hour, sentiment, links, users, keywords, hashtags
- Language recognition - sentiment analytics in English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Dutch, Spanish
- Email alerts and notifications - new social mentions
There’s a 14-day free trial, and free version of this tool that offers 100 real-time searches per day, and two email alerts. The paid plans are great for startups and small businesses.
The best sentiment analysis tool!
These are some of the best sentiment analysis tools I've found. If you're looking for a single sentiment analysis tool that'll give you all of the above, and more - hashtag tracking, brand listening, competitive analysis, image recognition, crisis management - Talkwalker's Quick Search is what you're looking for.
Sign up for a free demo below. You will not be sorry. Promise.