Great question by Paul Dunay: Is sentiment making brands stupid? As the writer points out we are increasingly obsessed with using monitoring tools as virtual tea leaves to try and read the sentiment of the markets towards our brands. Mentions have become the new money – and machines now break those mentions down into chunks of data and attach a ranking to them that brand managers read as gospel.
But, Dunay argues, the premise is a false one because “most people can’t agree on the spirit or intention of a tweet anyway and they never will”, meaning brands could be giving greater credence than warrented to metrics that are easily lost in translation.
The direct risk from such an approach is that brands essentially treat social media as polling booths for their strategy, and are then unduly influenced in their thinking by the flood of opinions ebbing and flowing across the social universe.
It’s important to listen, we’re all agreed on that, but if brands then look to appease everyone and to compromise and tailor their offerings to suit, they will risk becoming everything to no-one.