Using social media to assess public sentiment

Using social media to assess public sentiment

July 24, 20181 min read

Large corporations, government agencies, and political campaigns increasingly are using social media listening platforms and software to monitor public sentiment online. According to research from David Schweidel, associate professor of marketing, and Wendy Moe (U of Maryland), the information gleaned from social media can provide useful insights for decision making, but only if the “comments are measured appropriately.” Since prior marketing research has focused on one social media venue or failed to acknowledge the differences in multiple social media venues, Schweidel and Moe discovered that these measurements of public sentiment fell short. Instead, they analyzed brand sentiment for an enterprise software company and a telecommunications business across a variety of social media platforms. Accounting for factors that varied across different social media platforms, the authors derived a measure of general brand impression (GBI). They showed that general brand impression was a leading indicator of shifts in brand tracking studies and stock price movements. Taken together, Schweidel and Moe’s “measure of GBI effectively captures movement in the underlying sentiment toward the brand.”


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  • David Schweidel
    David Schweidel Rebecca Cheney McGreevy Endowed Chair and Professor of Marketing

    Marketing analytics expert focused on the opportunities at the intersection of marketing and technology

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