By doing sentiment analysis of netnographic data, this study aims to explain the need to give special attention to negative sentiments expressed in virtual tribes, as they play a significant role in translating the informational mode of conversation to the relational mode of conversation. The overall purpose is to aid brand managers in the process of brand co-creation by articulating brand communication targeted to specific audiences based on their shared passions and interests.
The study adopts a mixed-methods approach. The primary data were collected from two virtual brand communities through qualitative net-based ethnographic methods. Semantria Excel plug-in was used to categorize the extracted consumer statements based on positive, neutral and negative sentiments.
Managing the negative interactions in the virtual communities and relationship development with members through non-commercial conversations should be the two main priorities for effective brand management. Sentiment analysis specifically helps to identify pain points and consumer sentiments at each stage of the shopper journey. The findings of the study endorse the importance of offering and supporting communities as a valid marketing.
This paper shows how systematic attention to user interactions on virtual brand communities can be used for tribal marketing, which in turn will impact the intangible aspects of the business, such as increasing brand value and loyalty. By engaging the consumers, the social ties among the target audience can be nurtured and strengthened.
This paper focuses on decoding their behavior by unpeeling the consumer statements rather than tangible aspects of the business, such as sales of products or services. It contributes to development of a theoretical framework that outlines how the interactions in virtual brand communities can aid in formulating the functional and communicational strategies for a brand.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Prof. Rajneesh Krishna for initial guidance in articulation of the research topic. They would also like to thank Prof. Varsha Jain and Prof. Kallol Das for their critical comments on the early drafts. They would like to thank Ajinkya Palkar and Naman Mathur for proof reading. Finally, the authors would like to acknowledge the Knowledge Exchange and Information Center at MICA for the timely help with references and generously sharing the vast knowledge bank they have created.
Pathak, X. and Pathak-Shelat, M. (2017), "Sentiment analysis of virtual brand communities for effective tribal marketing", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 16-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-09-2015-0069Download as .RIS
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