Companies pay tens of thousands of dollars for social media analytics to determine the “sentiment” surrounding their brand. Do people LOVE their brand? HATE their brand? Or are they generally neutral? Competitive sentiment analysis is also quite popular– Brand Managers want to know how consumers feel about their own brand, and the brands they compete against.
But very few managers take the time to do a sentiment analysis for their own communication in business. I recently did a “self sentiment” exercise and learned a lot about who I am as a person and manager, and how I can make improvements to make myself more likeable.
Here’s how to increase your own likeability in your online communications:
Email: Stop what you’re doing right this minute. Open a new tab on your browser, go to your sent email, and print out the last ten emails that you’ve sent. Take a step back and really look at them. What’s the tone of the emails? How do you sign your emails? Do you feel like the recipient reading them would feel good after receiving the email you’ve sent? Email is a classic tool for miscommunication– a lot of times tone is misunderstood. There are many articles about “waiting before you click send”..but I think looking at your past emails is the best indicator of what you need to change before you even WRITE that next email.
Tweets: Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter? What do you like about them? Write down the four qualities that you love about the tone of the tweets. Now, ask three people to read your tweets, and list the four qualities that describe your own twitter stream. Do the four qualities match the sentiment that you want to display? Or did you tweet one too many “FML I am so overwhelmed” tweets.
Survey: I recently participated in a Bell Leadership Training where I was asked to send out a survey to people that I manage directly. It had everyone give anonymous feedback about my leadership style. I thought it was one of the most valuable exercises I’ve ever done. I learned what people really thought of me— it’s amazing how honest people are when given the freedom to be anonymous. You don’t need to pay for an expensive training to do this– consider just creating a “scale of 1-5″ anonymous survey on a site like SurveyMonkey– or even just using a Google Form! Send it out and see what comes back. You’ll quickly learn if you are perceived as positive or negative, how you handle conflict, and what you need to do to be the person you want to be.
These three steps will help determine where you are on the sentiment scale. I once heard someone say that positive and negative are both directions– and that it’s up to you which direction to choose.
How likeable are you in your communications at home and work? Would you get a “likeable” sentiment score? What steps can you take to become more likeable?