Consumer behavior Analysis based on Social Media Data: Hypothetical Sentiment Data Analyzer Solution to Enable Enriched Inferences

Radhakrishnan Balakrishnan
2017 International Journal of Engineering Technology   unpublished
Organizations can use social media data as an effective means to understand consumer sentiments, refine product offerings, focus on customer critical product features, and launch targeted marketing campaigns to maximize their investment returns. However, the data from social media cannot be used as is, as the data is polluted by inherent biases in the system. The paper deals with some of the essential biases in social media, and how an organization can enrich social media inferences to arrive
more » ... meaningful and more actionable insights. The paper presents a potential solution with few indicative features that would enable a robust sentiment analyzer by providing validated customer sentiments. INTRODUCTION: CONSUMER BEHAVIORS INFLUENCED BY SOCIAL MEDIA Organizations use consumer data to improve their marketing strategy by developing an understanding on how customers think, feel, and select between different alternatives among brands and product categories. The consumer data is also used to understand the pulse of how customers behave while shopping, or making other marketing decisions, and also how factors like culture, family and media influence the buying behavior [1]. This paper deals with the consumer behaviors influenced by social media, and how data collected from social media can be used to increase marketing effectiveness. To understand the social media data, and its influence on consumer buying process, one needs to understand when a consumer would refer to social media chats, comments and feedback. When a consumer looks for frequently purchased low-cost items, he/she would buy those items immediately without much effort; examples include food items, milk, fruits, etc. When a consumer comes across an unfamiliar brand while buying an item occasionally, like a cloth, he/she would require moderate amount of time for information gathering. For this, there is a chance he might use social media, but still not to the fullest possible extent as the cost involved is not much. A consumer, most likely, would get into extensive decision-making process by analyzing the data from various companies, friends, store personnel, etc. while buying expensive products like cars, homes, and computers. With social media and forums gaining popularity, the consumers have started seeking help from members in social forums, by posting their queries. These queries are on popular brands, features, cost-benefit inferences, effectiveness of various products, retailers and their qualities. Also, as part of the buying process, the consumers post their post-purchase feelings and sentiments on brands, products and retailers. We have plethora of consumer sentiment data available in social media; if this data can be used effectively, organizations could track consumer behaviors, preferences, and sentiments or tones, and accordingly launch more successful marketing campaigns [4]. These targeted marketing campaigns would be more appropriate for the consumers as they could address key consumer concerns; these campaigns would also help sustain consumers' interests by addressing consumers' wishes and preferences. Organizations, by understanding the