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Social media sentiment analysis for global brands: a how-to guide

With more than 5 billion social media users worldwide, global brands have more and more opportunities to engage directly with their customers beyond traditional outreach tactics. But how do you keep tabs on how your followers and customers feel about your brand and the type of content they like when you don’t speak their language?


Local community managers are an essential piece of the global puzzle. They engage with your community on a daily basis, handle queries, boost engagement, and build loyalty. Baked into all of these international social media management tasks is monitoring conversations, keeping an ear to the ground, and building on local insight through regular sentiment analysis.



What is sentiment analysis?


Sentiment analysis (also called ‘social listening’) is a report of how your audience perceives your brand’s communication on social media and the general feelings and emotions that they associate with it. This is an integrated part of a community manager’s role, who not only monitors content performance, but also engages with followers and fields queries. Community managers scan comments, DMs, hashtags, tagged posts, and mentions to see what the general perception is and gather all the metrics to back it up, resulting in a report that offers real insight into the market.


Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social also offer in-built monitoring tools that can help identify best-performing posts and which platforms bring you the most traffic and conversions. However, these tools won’t detect sarcasm, emojis, memes, or positive comments, which we all know is the real language of the internet. So while these tools are helpful to identify patterns, it’s important to have a local expert analyse the nitty-gritty. 


Ad-hoc reports can also be done about your latest campaign, and can give you a post-mortem on specific events like a series premiere or launching a AAA video game. This can be targeted to the brand and content itself, but also more generally to the social media sphere in each market, as we can see in the example below.



What can you include in a sentiment analysis?


  • Date range or topic

  • Number of followers

  • Top organic posts

  • Top content, product, or topic

  • What’s working (highlights), i.e. the type of content or topic that encouraged engagement and made people react positively

  • What’s not working (lowlights), i.e. any issues that your audience might have encountered

  • Key takeaways, i.e. suggestions, questions and recommendations from CMs on the type of posts or content that went well, and what can be improved or changed based on local trends. This helps draw conclusions from the social listening, backed up with examples.   

  • Examples of local comments, with an English back translation


What can you do with the information in a sentiment analysis report?


Measuring the engagement and overall sentiment of your audience is a key tool to get a pulse on your local audience and how they perceive your brand. But the benefits don’t stop there. You can:


  • fine-tune your content by pinpointing the type of content your followers enjoy most and interact with, finding what’s hot and what’s not, improving engagement and quality. You’ll gain inspiration for new content and identify areas for improvement. Get recommendations for collaborations with local influencers, as well as most active times on social media to plan future campaigns.

  • build local communities by interacting with your customers and using their feedback to tailor your content to their preferences, you can show responsiveness and consideration, and address their concerns, allowing you to build long-lasting relationship with your local audience and improve customer care.

  • prevent crises by detecting potential issues that could lead to poor brand perception before they arise. Monitoring social sentiment can help you spot and solve the problem early, preventing it from snowballing. Being responsive and transparent in times of crisis can contribute to your brand being perceived in a positive light.


As they interact directly with you audience on a daily basis, community managers have a strong feel of your audience, their preferences, as well as emerging trends in-market across various languages and countries. Their sentiment analysis brings invaluable insight about your brand, improves quality of content and customer care, and identifies new trends and opportunities for successful campaigns.

Want more tips on sentiment analysis and multilingual community management? Check out our eBook: International Social Media Management in 2023!


Written by: Marie Thouvignon, WIT Account Manager & Kelsey Frick, WIT Account Director


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