October 25, 2014

5 Free Ways To Track Twitter Sentiment

twitrratr

We’ve seen a lot of great improvements in our ability to track and monitor social media over the last year. One area where it’s still lagging, however, is in the area of sentiment analysis. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are still ways to track associated brand sentiment if you’re a business looking to do so.

Here are five easy-to-use Twitter sentiment analysis tools that can help you break down whether or not a tweet is positive, neutral or negative about your brand.

Twitter Search

When it comes to sentiment analysis tools for Twitter, this is about as rudimentary as it gets. Twitter Search doesn’t allow for any real sentiment analysis, however, you can create saved searches for tweets that mention your name + :),  :(, or with a question mark. You can then either check the search daily or subscribe to it via RSS. These searches will give you a very basic look at whether or not people are associating your brand with positive or negative terms.  It may also alert you to questions that you can pop in and answer.   It’s pretty basic, but the fact that it’s basic may make it perfect for some small business owners.

Twitter Sentiment

Twitter Sentiment is among my favorite ways to monitor brand mentions on the site. You enter in a search term and the tool will highlight all positive and negative tweets that contain that term. They’ll also create a pie chart that shows you the ratio of good to bad tweets, as well as a line graph that lets you chart the number of positive/negative mentions and how its fluctuated over time. You can save your search by logging in with your Gmail account.

Two features I really like about Twitter Sentiment is that it allows you to search by a specific date range and it also allows you to reclassify tweets in case the tool misread the sentiment. Many of the sentiment analysis tools don’t allow you to do this, so it’s a pretty neat feature.  Once you reclassify something, Twitter Sentiment will use your analysis over their own and show it to others the same way.

Social Mention

Social Mention represent many people’s preferred way to track sentiment analysis because it’s built into a social tracking tool that lots of people already use. Social Mention will give you a meaty look at how specific terms are being used in social media, tracking:

  • Strength: The likelihood that your brand is being spoken about in social media.
  • Sentiment: The ratio to positive vs negative tweets.
  • Passion : Percentage that the people talking about your brand will continue to do so.
  • Reach: Measure of the range of influence.

You’ll also be able to see the hashtags most often associated with the term (which can often be interesting), the top users who mention you (great intel), keywords most often used and lots of other great info. Social Mention also makes it really easy to export this data so you can mash it up however you’d like. The reason I prefer Twitter Sentiment over Social Mention is because Twitter Sentiment gives you the ability to manually reclassify tweets and because they automatically graph the results for you. I think it makes it more useful, however, Social Mention does offer a lot of unique data that may make it more valuable to some business owners.

Twendz

Twendz is still in beta (which means it can be a bit wonky) and uses a combination of keywords and symbols to compare and cross reference against a dictionary to make an educated guess on the sentiment of the posts. Once you enter in your search term, the tool will measure tweets as positive, neutral or negative and give you a look at the keywords most often used alongside your term. As a user, I find Twendz a bit cumbersome, but it does offer SMB a nice visual-friendly way to monitor sentiment.  You’ll also get a rotating view of the tweets mentioning your term in case you want to respond to any. There’s a fee-based PRO service for Twendz which will give you a bit more functionality, like the ability to identify key Twitter influencers, top trends and heightened emotions that provide actionable insight.

Twitrratr

Twitrratr is a site dedicated to ‘tracking opinions on Twitter’ and does a pretty good job doing so. To accomplish this they built a list of positive keywords and a list of negative keywords that they cross-reference against whatever term you search for. Based on that, they’ll populate three columns to help you see tweets labeled as positive, negative or neutral. I’m actually a fan of this service. I think the layout is really smooth and they do a pretty good job matching up sentiment.

Above are some of the best (free) ways to track sentiment on Twitter. Any tools you’re currently using that I may have missed? If so, I’d love for you to share them in the comments.

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Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

23 Reactions

  1. I’m always amazed at how many free tools there are for Twitter. Determining sentiment isn’t easy and yet they do a pretty good job. Kudos to the programmers for that.

  2. Good morning. I have a new twitter tool coming out in April – sentiment filtering is one of the features. http://bit.ly/TweetProbeFeatures

    Reclassifying tweets is crucial – all tools will eventually offer this.

  3. Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing those valuable tools!

    Twitter has managed to become so attractive that there are plenty of amazing apps out there to track almost everything what is going on, becoming this essential for businesses to take advantage of and incorporate to their strategies.

    To add some value to this, I recommend people starting with Twitter apps to join the conversations on Startups.com and place their own questions about how to take the maximum out of them!

  4. Hi Lisa,

    I think the fact that automated Twitter sentiment analysis is not very accurate is worth mentioning here. According to an article by measurement “goddess” Katie D. Paine, the best automated Twitter sentiment tool (which I believe in her assessment was Social Mention) is still only 70% accurate which is quite a large margin of error, particularly if companies are making business decisions based on the data. (Sorry–I’m trying to dig up the link, but her site seems to be down right now. Google “Kdpaine twitter sentiment” and you can find it)

    That being said, there is definite value, and they are a lot of fun.These tools can provide interesting insights, but I wouldn’t place bets based on the analysis. :)

  5. Useful post on twitter tools. Thanks, I’ll use some of this info.

  6. Lisa,

    This is very useful post for someone looking to understand the current climate of social media measurement and monitoring tools, especially those new to the industry.

    If you have a chance, please also take a look at Biz360. We are a monitoring platform, and also provide sentiment analytics for: Twitter, blogs, online news and online forums. We classify our sentiment into 4 types: positive, negative, mixed and neutral, and you can read about our approach here:

    We also allow you to understand aggregate sentiment, or by channel (Twitter vs. blogs), isolate specific date range, override machine assigned sentiment, and toss the result completely. You also get a nifty tag cloud to help you understand what’s going on inside the topic, as well as top authors and sources reports, to help you manage your outreach and blogger / influencer relations.

    Ping me offline if you want to see a demo of Biz360 Community!

    – Maria Ogneva
    @themaria @biz360

  7. To leave out TipTop http://FeelTipTop.com when I assume you know about it diminishes this article greatly. I am sorry to be so blunt.

  8. I really like this post, this is very usefull information, thanks!

  9. These are very helpful resources to improve Twitter content for any business owner. Thank you for the information.

  10. Jacob Hico Camarena

    This is a short and to the point. The problem with most of the sentiment trackers and third party analytic tools in general for Twitter is that they are not recording every real-time tweet. It is usually a sample of the data and not very reliable. The most successful FREE tools for Twitter are icerocket.com and trendistic.com. No, they are not sentiment trackers but they are the most reliable at what they do. I completely disagree with Shyam Kapur, tiptop is not a reliable source, it is not in chronological order nor in real-time. Good post, if users have time to cross-reference the data they may be able to get a bit closer to some data that can be used for internal reports.

  11. This post is downright dangerous in the advice it gives. Most of the tools you cite are notoriously inaccurate and anyone making decisions on them should have their judgement questioned by senior management. Twitterratr is not only out of date (I plugged in KDPaine and found the most recent posts to be June) and its definition of negative is just bizaar. Twitter Sentiment is more current, but it rates my own Tweets as negative. The notion that there is a free and easy way to measure sentiment in social media is about as valid as suggesting that there is free and easy way to demonstrate financial stability to your board of directors. It just isn’t true. Measurement must be accurate and relevant and in order to determine accuracy and relevancy requires human judgement. You are misleading your readers to suggest otherwise.

  12. Great post Lisa!

    Chatmeter actually offers a service that does just this for you. It could be of great use for small businesses and agencies that want an easy way to track and respond to social media, across multiple outlets. Definitely should check it out!

  13. Try http://www.getsentiment.com . Another twitter social media sentiment analysis website.

  14. I got inspired, here’s my version of a free twitter sentiment app with maps, sentiment shadow, real time updates and a sentiment cloud. http://www.peekatweet.co.uk/ Hope you like!

  15. Hi,

    Twitrratr is not working I guess… :/

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