Measuring sentiment and conversation has come a long way since the first tweet or status update. Technologies have been developed by organizations, such as, Sysomos and Radiant 6, which systematically measure business intelligence. But is measuring sentiment even possible?
The answer is yes and no.
Social media is built on sentiment (positive, negative or indifferent) and many will argue that software can not measure how a person feels and expresses. I, for one, agree that a computer could easily create a false impression when having to deal with the complexities of human opinion (which includes emotion, sarcasm, regionalized dialects, slang, etc…– none of which is straightforward).
A post would have to directly correlate to the organization/company/brand/campaign with simple positive or negative words (i.e. good, bad, great, etc…), for there to be no room for interpretation. But as we all know, even a 140 character tweet can be subversive and laced with sarcasm and innuendo.
This is not to say that measurement is still as large of a detriment to social media as it has been. It has come an awfully long way, and eventually should evolve to the point where we can successfully manage our reputations in the digital world and measure ROI as we can offline ventures.