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Does the market love you or hate you? One way to find out Sentiment

In the previous post I looked at SocialMention and asked whether it could help robustly measure social media succes. The answer was partly, but it still had many gaps and inaccuracies.

One company that might be able to fill those gaps is Netbase with it’s ConsumerBase product (I’ll be using it to review some big US wine stores and will do a post on this in a few days time).


It’s claim to fame is the ability to accurately measure sentiment – whether the conversations in social media love you or hate you. It uses a natural language processing algorithm that looks at the sentence structure rather than just keywords.

A couple of examples from the NetBase whitepaper, Accurately Understand Social Consumers illustrates this best.



So the structure of a sentence can make a lot of difference to the overall meaning of a phrase. Keywords by themselves can be quite misleading like anyone who uses search engines knows.

And there seems to be a continuum of search tools

The grandfathers of search, e.g. Google, use keyword phrases on websites and relevant authoritative links between websites to provide helpful results.

Another group, that includes NetBase, uses natural language processing to assess the meaning of sentences rather than just the keywords. They search numerous social media sources (e.g. blogs, twitter, facebook) and provide a summary of the results in various ways. They also provide specific results to allow you to explore the data. It is unclear to me if any of these companies weight some results higher than others like Google does with links and authoritative sources. It’s something I’ll find out.

A further group, e.g. SocialMention and Alterian SM2, searches for keywords from social media sources and summarizes data. It is targeted mainly at the PR industry and perhaps Customer Service to allow these companies to track what is being said about their brand and responding if appropriate.

So they are all doing a similar task (searching the internet for relevant results) though the later two groups are focused on social media, and are for businesses rather than consumers.

Introductory ConsumerBase Video

The Measurements

With Social Mention I was looking for a social media effectiveness measurement tool, but only expecting a simple monitoring tool (which is what I got). With ConsumerBase I’m looking for an answer to all the social media measurements I outlined in a post previously. It’s a much higher bar.

Here’s what I want from ConsumerBase,consumerbase-logo

  • accurate analysis of the sentiment for wine stores and brands
  • to track down who are important advocates for brands
  • to track down important influencers of consumers
  • track down the size of the audience relative to others
  • see if, and how, the tool weights each mention e.g. a store’s promo tweet vs a wine critics’s blog post

I’m worried about whether it can be used for small brands and stores, and small geographic areas.

I also want to see how it can be used for something called netnography which is social media based market research. More of that in another post.


It is very expensive at $1750+ per person per month. So I almost didn’t bother reviewing it.

However if I like it I may purchase a subscription, use it for my own research and offer it as part of my service. We’ll see – my expectations are very high!

Specific Measurements

Specifically I’m looking for these social media metrics (Altimeter Group) to see if ConsumerBase can help:

Metric: Share of Voice

  • Share of Voice = Brand Mentions / Total Mentions of Brand and Competitors
  • ConsumerBase – I think so

Metric: Active Advocates

  • Active Advocates = (# of Active Advocates in past 30 days) / Total Advocates
  • ConsumerBase – Unclear

Metric: Advocate Influence

  • Advocate Influence = Unique Advocate’s Influence / Total Advocate Influence
  • ConsumerBase – Unclear

Metric: Sentiment Ratio

  • Sentiment Ratio = (Positive : Neutral : Negative Brand Mentions) / All Brand Mentions
  • ConsumerBase – Definitely, by all accounts this is it’s major strength.

Metric: Audience Engagement (also Loyalty Objective)

  • Audience Engagement = (Comments + Shares + Trackbacks) / Total Views
  • ConsumerBase – Unclear

Metric: Conversation Reach

  • Conversation Reach = Total People Participating / Total Audience Exposure
  • ConsumerBase – I think so

Metric: Topic Trends

  • Topic Trends = # of Specific Topic Mentions / All Topic Mentions
  • ConsumerBase – I think so

ConsumerBase versus Social Media Monitoring Tools

Many other tools provide measures of positive and negative sentiment but they do it roughly – then “kindly” allow you to review each mention. When you have a large database of mentions you really want those to be automatically rated, not to have to review them.

So if ConsumerBase really is more accurate then it could prove a real time saver as well as insightful.

NetBase has kindly provided some data on US Wine Stores. In my next post I’ll show you the results.

Any questions or comments so far?


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