The Psychology Behind Opinion Sharing Online

Twitter analysis is one of the prime ways to gauge public opinions on just about everything, from emerging trends and popular culture to world-renowned businesses and political decisions.

But what makes people share their opinions with nearly 200 million Twitter users? There are several reasons why we might do this.

  • To bring valuable information to the attention of others
  • To define ourselves to others
  • To feel self-fulfilled and valuable
  • To grow and foster our relationships with others
  • To vastly spread the word about a topic to others
  • To initiate change driven by a cause
  • Political Inference and Destabilisation

What these points have in common is that our opinion sharing is linked to how we help others and how others perceive us. We want to feel involved in conversations and know that our past experiences have potentially helped another person. This may mean encouraging someone to have a great experience with a brand just like you did or preventing them from a bad experience which you went through yourself. Another way to see this may be due to possessing a feeling of influence and knowing that other people respect and adhere to your opinion.

This system of opinion sharing is critical for businesses to understand, as Twitter users are highly influenced by each other’s beliefs. Social Media Managers know this as positive comments regarding a brand are often reshared, commented on, and brought to the attention of existing and potential customers. However, when negative comments flood in, brands don’t have a “delete post” option. The Damage Control team swoops in to ensure that issues are politely and kindly resolved before other users have chance to see the post and gain a negative connotation to the brand.

We know why we turn to Twitter to share opinions, but what makes us so quick to share negative ones regarding a company, service, public figure, or global change?

Even the ex-US president took to Twitter to display his daily frustrations. People turn to social media as a form of relief and momentary pleasure. Rather than displaying frustrations to a housemate, this complaint could potentially be seen by the CEO of the company. And for us consumers already with the purchasing power, that’s one hell of another power move to have up our sleeve.

How can Text Mining Solutions get involved?

Using social media to display attitudes, positive as well as negative, will not disappear any time soon. However, what businesses must do is possess the ability to monitor what customers are saying about them. Text mining can identify common vocabulary and terms used to describe your business, product or service, whilst Sentiment Analysis can be used to extract the feelings of posts. The process identifies and categorises opinions expressed in tweets, from the vocabulary used to any emojis included, to determine whether the overall feeling towards a brand is positive, negative, or neutral. We can then delve deeper into this underlying data by looking into the clusters to see what the actual comments were concerned with.

With 500 million tweets sent per day, analysing posts through human endeavour alone is simply not sufficient, whereas Text Mining Solutions uses tailored algorithms to bring common attitudes to light quicker and with higher accuracy.

For more information on how Text Mining Solutions may be able to assist you, visit our Contact page.