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 + :),\u00a0 :(, 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.\u00a0 It may also alert you to questions that you can pop in and answer.\u00a0\u00a0 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.\u00a0 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.\u00a0 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.