Why do consumers participate in social media? To hear some doctors tell it, they do so mostly to grouse and gripe but the reality is that the majority of people are not complainers online.
In fact, if you were to ask people to describe their feelings after engaging in social media, 76% would respond in the positive while just 21% would respond negatively. That’s among the findings revealed in “State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012,” a new report from the data-driven experts at Nielsen. When asked to characterize those feelings, the top 5 positive words they used were (in descending order):
Conversely, the 5 most commonly used negative words, also in descending order, were:
- Wasted time
Such indicators of sentiment are echoed by the fact that the vast majority of online reviews are also positive. According to a study by DemandForce, 87% of people surveyed said their reviews were positive all or most of the time compared to just 2% that were negative most or all of the time.
Here at RealSelf, we see similar evidence that refutes the idea that people go online only to complain: Out of 25,000 reviews analyzed, approximately 80% have reported that their experience was, indeed, “Worth It.”
Put it all together and it becomes increasingly apparent that social media is not the domain of some angry mob, but rather, a dynamic world made of people who are connected, informed, amused, excited and energized: Now, those are people worth socializing with.
Online dialogues are overflowing with actionable data
Every time someone posts something on social media — an update, online review or response to a blog post — it can provide insight as to what’s important to them. Knowing what excites them vs. what leaves them feeling angry or indifferent can help you fine-tune your marketing to ensure your messages are providing what they’re looking for.
Consumer sentiment was just one aspect of the Nielsen report; we’ll look at some of its other findings in a subsequent post.