"Sentiment analysis" is becoming increasingly important form of analysis, one that has been made possible by the vast increase in content and social chatter across the web, when customers are more than ready (see above) to air their grievances online — particularly when it comes to brands that have a hand in their wallets.
General Sentiment is one of the firms that scours and analyzes over 40 million sources of content, "listening" in real time to public opinions expressed regarding, among other things, brands. With bank brands such a hot topic of social chatter in these cash-strapped times, the social-media analyst just released its Retail Banking Report for Q1 2011.
The report names JPMorgan Chase as the bank that was "most improved overall" and had the "largest sentiment increase" between January 1st and March 31st. The bank's sentiment actually took a significant dip in February but rebounded in early March on news that it could have an opportunity to invest in Twitter. It was ING, however, that showed the "highest average sentiment" during the quarter.
Bank of America was the "most discussed" of the banks analyzed and also showed the "most improved perception." Fifth Third Bank had the largest increase in volume (the amount of coverage across the Internet, including news media, social media, websites and Twitter), likely due to the fact that the bank announced it would be able to start repaying TARP money.
Bank of America led the pack in terms of overall volume, followed by Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC and ING, respectively. According to General Sentiment, Bank of America "saw consistently low Sentiment scores within News Media for the entire time period but enjoyed a large stretch of high Social Media Sentiment that bolstered its overall scores."
As for "Media Value," which represents the change in Perception Value/Impact Value, the banks with the largest percentage increases in Q1 were, in order of increase, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank, SunTrust and PNC.
General Sentiment also provides sentiment analysis rankings for other industry segments, including fast food chains, casual dining chains, automobile brands, Hollywood performers, and the top global brands. In Q1, the top global brands with the most significant impact online, according to General Sentiment, were Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Ford.