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Flying Pigs

Sentiment is (almost) Everything

Can you believe it? The summer is over, school is in session and Labor Day is behind us. But most importantly, September ushered in a new year for students and with it a change in sentiment for the financial markets. In the first 3 days of September, stocks surged more than 400 points as strong global manufacturing data helped kick off a historically volatile month with a bang, following a bruising August. Now, investor sentiment may not remain positive and the stock market may take another turn for the worse as business and government report new data daily. The lesson is clear – investor ‘sentiment’ drives the markets.

What does that mean to you and your organization? Simply, the sentiment (feelings) of your employees, customers, partners and investors will determine the future of your organization – whether or not you are public or private, for profit or not. With social media and community interactions becoming a central part of everyday communications, customers and prospects are talking about your products and services on Facebook and Twitter, employees are commenting on your leadership and culture on Glassdoor.com and Investors are following your company on Yahoo Groups.

Now I know most people understand that sentiment drives the financial markets – how we feel determines if and how much we invest in stocks and bonds. Further, almost everyone understands that sentiment (our feelings) drives our personal relationships with our friends and family (again, both positively and negatively). But it is only recently, that organizations and their leaders have begun to realize the power of feelings and sentiment. Why: because social networks are beginning to make visible how people feel about your organization in real time. It’s very easy to find how customers and prospects feel about what you make and sell, whether your employees feel happy and secure, and whether investors and lenders (as well as benefactors) feel good about what you are doing and how you are doing it.

The time is now to start managing and measuring the sentiment of your constituents by embracing social media monitoring and community software. Everyone is talking about their feelings about your organization. All you just have to do is start listening and adopting your actions to their needs to ensure their feelings are positive. With positive feelings and sentiment, your organization can prosper. And it’s the same at home and in the financial markets.

The sentiment of others will drive your personal and business success. So tune into them.

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