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As tax season nears its conclusion, which of the two top tax brands is coming out on top? Here’s our NetBase Pro sentiment analysis comparison.

Unpacking Consumer Emotions about Taxes

The topic of taxes is a polarizing one, at least in terms of politics. To get a clear picture about these two specific brands, we eliminated terms like Trump, president, and Drumpf so our search isn’t clouded with vitriol that doesn’t apply.

Instead, we focused on the terms #taxes, #taxtime, income tax, @TurboTax, #taxday, tax deadline, @HRBlock, and #taxeswon to see what consumers on social have to say about their filing experiences with Turbo Tax and H&R Block.

The best information comes from analyzing consumer emotions – and the driving forces behind them. It’s not enough to look at the number of times a brand is mentioned, because those mentions contain no context.

For example, when we look at Attributes under Sentiment Drivers, we see a number of terms that stand out on the positive side:

The top three –

  • Get #TaxesDone
  • Best refund
  • Make tax easy

– each mention Turbo Tax, which we see when we click on each term to see the most popular posts for each.

The first attribute, “get #TaxesDone,” shows Turbo Tax is doing a good job encouraging their users to share their 20% special for new customers. And though this hashtag isn’t specific to Turbo Tax, the brand is clearly getting a lot of traction with it.

Looking at the negative attributes – like “service” reveals some trouble spots for both brands, though H&R Block seems to have more consumers unhappy with their service, while Turbo Tax’s negative sentiment posts are from consumers asking for help:

In either case, it’s important to respond to consumers right away – and both brands do. None of the negative attributes shown are overtaking the conversation, which is good. The problem for H&R Block is they’re barely part of the positive conversation. Turbo Tax, on the other hand, is crushing it on the engagement and sentiment fronts.

Looking at the Sound Bite Preview under Emotions continues this saga along similar lines:

The most passionately positive words – best refund, love, thank, and best – all reference Turbo Tax, while H&R Block remains absent from the positive conversation.

However, terms like hate, worst, and absolute joke – though not getting as much volume – apply mainly to H&R Block. H&R Block needs to work on giving consumers something positive to talk about on social – as well as solving the issues sparking negative sentiment.

One way to do this is to look at general sentiment people share about taxes, and about competitors like Turbo Tax – and especially negative sentiment. Imagine how answering consumers’ confusing tax questions could build trust and sell their service.

Or they could remind consumers that no matter how stressful they find tax time, at least they’re not this guy:

Understanding Where Your Audience Is

It’s also important to know where to find your audience – both in the social channels sense, and the geographic sense.

Again, Turbo Tax wins for recognizing and focusing on their Hispanic audience, as the hashtag #ConTurboTaxPuedes shows under the attribute “best refund” – translation, “with Turbo Tax you can.”

Meanwhile, is H&R Block aware of the number of negative comments they receive on Reddit? If not, they should be. This drives home the importance of looking beyond the obvious social channels, and exploring all of them to see where your brand is being praised or panned.

Brands should look at blogs, forums, news outlets, etc. Whether you discover a new audience segment you were unaware of previously, or identify issues you didn’t realize needed solving, you only gain.

On the other hand, ignoring negative comments just gives the advantage to your competitors. This tweet is only a win for the BBQ place and competitors of H&R Block.

Thus, the importance of using sentiment analysis to understand the “why” behind consumer emotions. You need to know where you really stand, and whether you need to address a problem so passion for any negative sentiment doesn’t intensify.

Find Your Influencers

Influencers can help keep sentiment high – and bridge the disconnect on social channels that might not seem relevant. For example, it might seem that taxes isn’t a topic that holds much Instagram appeal, but lifestyle influencers sharing their post-filing celebrations get a lot of attention.

H&R Block’s one bright spot is the pretty major engagement they got from an influencer on Instagram:

Now they need to focus on finding influencers to grab their share of the conversation on other social channels. The key is following the data versus making assumptions.

After all – unlike death and taxes, nothing in social media is certain. At least, not until you see the analytics with your own two eyes.

Want to see how your brand fares against competitors? Let us show you how our sentiment analysis tools work!

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