Sentiment analysis is a strong text mining tool to interpret the polarity of a comment, article, or any content that needs to be analyzed. Sentiment analysis can help discover how people feel and can be applied to everything that has words in it, from customer reviews to social media posts to any article in the world.
Social media is one of the information sources that people use most. People will not only look for information on social media, but also leave a comment or reaction when they have an opinion about the topic. In this case, social media is a convenient way to figure out how the general population feels about a certain topic.
The best thing about tracking sentiment on social media is that it will provide people’s real-time reaction to the latest information. We can even track the change in real-time reaction by monitoring the latest posts released and the reaction to those posts.
If we would like to track how people feel about a certain topic, first, we pull out all the possible social media posts related to it. You can get the data from Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or any other possible sources you would like. The second thing we need to do is to collect all posts, content and, if possible, how people reacted and commented to those posts. Once we have all the data collected, we can move on to the analysis part.
The posts and the comments/reaction should be analyzed separately when doing the social media sentiment analysis. Analyze the polarity of the post’s content first by running sentiment analysis on the post you would like to analyze. Once we have an idea about whether this article is written in a more positive tone, a more negative tone, or a neutral tone in general, we can move on analyze how people feel about this post. We label the comments/reactions of a post in the same way – positive, negative, and neutral. After we have these comments labeled, we have everything we need for the social media sentiment analysis.
With the sentiment results of the topic(s) and reactions, we can find out the sentiment of the general population with each of the combinations of social media posts as the table shows below.
This is just a basic overview of how to apply sentiment analysis to social media analysis. By analyzing more posts about the topic you are interested in, you can find out the population’s sentiment regarding the topic, whether it is a positive or negative issue in general, and how people actually feel about the topic.