At last week’s annual Omni­ture Sum­mit, there was a lot of buzz about social media and Twit­ter specif­i­cally.  In my Site­Cat­a­lyst Power User ses­sion, one of the things I cov­ered was an idea about how you can lever­age Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst to mon­i­tor your company’s brand rep­u­ta­tion in tools like Twit­ter.  This con­cept seemed to really res­onate with the Sum­mit audi­ence, so much so, that I was given an oppor­tu­nity to share it at the clos­ing ses­sion.  The fol­low­ing will describe the con­cept in greater detail for those who could not attend my Sum­mit ses­sion.  DISCLAIMER: What I pre­sented is a “proof of con­cept” and is no way a for­mal intro­duc­tion of a new Omni­ture product.

Busi­ness Sce­nario
So this idea started with me think­ing about how cool Twit­ter is and how it could be used for mar­ket­ing pur­poses.  As an Omni­ture Twit­ter ambas­sador (Omni_Man), I see peo­ple talk­ing about Omni­ture all of the time on Twit­ter.  Some­times this chat­ter is pos­i­tive, some­times it is neg­a­tive.  I usu­ally try and send my col­leagues at Omni­ture “tweets” that I think might be rel­e­vant to them, but this can be very time con­sum­ing.  So I said to myself, “Site­Cat­a­lyst has a Data Inser­tion API that is used to inject non-website data into Site­Cat­a­lyst and Twit­ter has an API asso­ci­ated with its search​.twit​ter​.com web­site, so if you put the two together, why couldn’t you pass Twit­ter infor­ma­tion into Site­Cat­a­lyst?”  Doing this would allow you to do many cool things which I will describe below.  I enlisted the help of one of our Omni­ture Con­sult­ing geniuses and within 24 hours, we had a work­ing pro­to­type.  The fol­low­ing exam­ples of this func­tion­al­ity will use Com­cast (who I co-presented with) as an exam­ple, but these rep­re­sent test data and is not meant to imply that Com­cast is using this func­tion­al­ity.  In my ses­sion, I posed the fol­low­ing hypo­thet­i­cal busi­ness sce­nario:  You are the web ana­lyt­ics man­ager at Com­cast and your CMO returns from an exec­u­tive retreat where he/she has learned all about Twit­ter and believes that Com­cast needs to do every­thing it can to mon­i­tor what its cus­tomers are say­ing on social media sites.  The CMO calls an emer­gency “all hands” Marketing/PR meet­ing and demands to know the following:

  1. How often Com­cast is men­tioned on tools like Twitter
  2. If there is ever a spike (pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive) in brand-related terms (in a week, day or even hourly)
  3. Who are the peo­ple most often men­tion­ing Com­cast on social media tools and who are they com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the most?
  4. When are peo­ple on social media tools men­tion­ing key Com­cast product/service fea­tures that Prod­uct Man­agers should know about

So at this point, the CMO turns to you and asks if there is any­thing you could do to help… What would you say?  Not sure?  Let’s tackle them one at a time…

Mon­i­tor­ing Brand Com­ments
As stated ear­lier, the key to this solu­tion is lever­ag­ing the Site­Cat­a­lyst Data Inser­tion API and the Twit­ter API.  For those of you not famil­iar with the Site­Cat­a­lyst Data Inser­tion API, it is used to send data to Site­Cat­a­lyst when a JavaScript tag is not an option.  By com­bin­ing this with the search​.twit​ter​.com API, we can set a Site­Cat­a­lyst Suc­cess Event for every “Brand Tweet” by pump­ing the results of a “Com­cast” Twit­ter search into Site­Cat­a­lyst.  This allows us to see a met­ric chart of “Brand Twit­ter Com­ments” so we can track it by month, week, day or hour.  How­ever, why stop there?  Site­Cat­a­lyst has a built-in Alert fea­ture that allows you to be noti­fied via e-mail or mobile device when a Suc­cess Event met­ric hits a thresh­old or changes more than a spec­i­fied per­cent­age.  Why not take advan­tage of this fea­ture and send your­self (or oth­ers) an Alert when your brand is men­tioned 25% more this hour than last hour or decreases sig­nif­i­cantly day to day?  This would allow you to stay on top of what is going on in Twit­ter with­out hav­ing to con­stantly mon­i­tor Twit­ter every day/hour!  Below is a screen shot where you can see the “Brand Twit­ter Com­ments” Suc­cess Event and an Alert related to it being set:

Who’s Tweet­ing?
The next thing your CMO wanted to know who are the most active Twit­ter users that are tweet­ing about your brand.  Are there some really good brand advo­cates out there?  Are there peo­ple who are repeat­edly bash­ing your brand?  Are any of your employ­ees “going rogue” and con­fus­ing the mar­ket­place with mixed mes­sages?  Again using the API, it is pos­si­ble to extract the Twit­ter user name asso­ci­ated with every tweet.  In our proof of con­cept we did our best to extract the author and the recip­i­ent, with the lat­ter being more dif­fi­cult since there are times when there is no recip­i­ent or mul­ti­ple recip­i­ents (we are still work­ing on this).  How­ever, by plac­ing both in sep­a­rate Con­ver­sion Vari­ables (eVars), we could break­down the “Brand Tweet Com­ments” Suc­cess Event met­ric by author to see who is twit­ter­ing about your brand the most.  We decided to take this one step fur­ther by cre­at­ing a Con­ver­sion Sub­re­la­tion between the author and the recip­i­ent so you could break one down by the other (note that if there is no recip­i­ent we used “[No Recip­i­ent]”).  This allowed us to see who was tweet­ing with each other the most often.  I imag­ine that this could be use­ful to see what types of peo­ple have formed vir­tual com­mu­ni­ties and some com­pa­nies might con­sider con­tact­ing the key mem­bers of this vir­tual com­mu­nity to gather prod­uct feedback/suggestions or to lever­age them for brand pro­mo­tion.  You could also use SAINT Clas­si­fi­ca­tions to group Authors into mean­ing­ful buck­ets once you knew who they were (i.e. Cus­tomers, Ven­dors, etc…).  The fol­low­ing is a screen shot of the sub­re­la­tion report we created:

Min­ing Impor­tant Prod­uct Key­words
The final thing the CMO tasked us with was dis­cov­er­ing when, in addi­tion to our brand name, social media users were men­tion­ing spe­cific key­words that are prod­uct or ser­vice related.  For exam­ple, if some­one “tweets” about Com­cast and in the same tweet men­tions “speed” it is likely that this tweet is related to high-speed inter­net access and could be inter­est­ing to the Inter­net prod­uct man­ager.  Alter­na­tively, if a “tweet” men­tions Com­cast and also men­tions “Tivo” or “DVR” it is likely they are express­ing an opin­ion in the dig­i­tal TV record­ing arena that would inter­est the asso­ci­ated prod­uct man­ager.  So you have mil­lions of oppor­tu­ni­ties to read what your cus­tomers are say­ing, but who wants to scan through all of those “tweets” to find the rel­e­vant ones, espe­cially if this has to be done manually?

This got me think­ing about SiteCatalyst’s search func­tion­al­ity.  If we had all of the “tweets” in Site­Cat­a­lyst, you could per­form a key­word search and let Site­Cat­a­lyst find all of the com­ments that men­tion a spe­cific key­word.  For exam­ple, let’s imag­ine we use the Data Inser­tion API to pass all Com­cast “tweets” to a Con­ver­sion Vari­able (eVar) and then con­duct a search for the phrase “Tivo.”  Site­Cat­a­lyst would iso­late those “tweets” and then you can book­mark that report and sched­ule it to be e-mailed to the appro­pri­ate prod­uct man­agers at what­ever time inter­val you desire (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, etc…).  This way, no one at your orga­ni­za­tion would ever have to use or look at Twit­ter, but instead, the infor­ma­tion they need to see would be pushed to them auto­mat­i­cally.  Best of all, there is no limit on how many searches and book­marked reports you can cre­ate so you can cre­ate hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent key­word searches and send them to dif­fer­ent groups of peo­ple using Pub­lish­ing Lists.  The fol­low­ing screen shot pro­vides an exam­ple that shows “tweets” hav­ing been sent into Site­Cat­a­lyst and a user enter­ing the phrase “Tivo” in the search box and a high­light­ing of one “tweet” that would be found:

As you can see, if you know a lot about Site­Cat­a­lyst includ­ing API’s, Con­ver­sion Vari­ables, Sub­re­la­tions, Search­ing, Book­marked Reports, etc… you would be able to amaze your CMO by answer­ing all of his/her ques­tions and be a rock star!

Track Mul­ti­ple Brands
Another con­cept related to this that we have explored is the idea of track­ing mul­ti­ple brands.  There is no rea­son why Com­cast, in this exam­ple, could not also cap­ture “tweets” about its com­peti­tors or sub­sidiary brands to see them side by side.  This would require the use of an addi­tional eVar or poten­tially some addi­tional Suc­cess Events, but we got this work­ing in our prototype.

Next Steps
As men­tioned pre­vi­ously, all of this was done as a proof of con­cept, but as you can see, the con­cept has great poten­tial.  We at Omni­ture are going to explore this topic more and hope that you do the same.  We hope to add more infor­ma­tion about this to the Devel­oper Con­nec­tion.  We will also con­tinue to explore new ideas related to this, but I encour­age you to leave com­ments here with your ideas on how this con­cept can be extended.

If you want to learn the imple­men­ta­tion details of this solu­tion, please refer to the fol­low­ing tech­ni­cal blog post: http://​blogs​.omni​ture​.com/​2​0​0​9​/​0​2​/​2​4​/​i​m​p​l​e​m​e​n​t​i​n​g​-​t​w​i​t​t​e​r​-​d​a​t​a​-​t​r​a​c​k​i​n​g​-​i​n​-​o​m​n​i​t​u​r​e​-​s​i​t​e​c​a​t​a​l​y​st/

Have a ques­tion about any­thing related to Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst?  Is there some­thing on your web­site that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best prac­tices you want to share?  If so, please leave a com­ment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@​omniture.​com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so every­one can learn! (Don’t worry — I won’t use your name or com­pany name!).  If you are on Twit­ter, you can fol­low me at http://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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27 comments
myforexnow
myforexnow

Great info, but, is it updated? I saw is from 2009. Thanks for the articles

BUNANE
BUNANE

Interesting!I was hoping you might be able to add some additional detail as to what the [No Recipient] rows mean in the context of the reports above.Like it~

Adelard Gasana
Adelard Gasana

I really love omniture. It's really easy to use, and integrating it is a simply one, two, three!

SEO Professional
SEO Professional

Adam, any idea as to when this will be intergrated into Site Catalyst? Also, would this concept expand into other social API platforms like Facebook etc.?

Rudi Shumpert
Rudi Shumpert

D-Rod, The pull from the twitter api should be returning an element "source" for each tweet. You could filter out anything sent by your api -Rudi

D-Rod
D-Rod

Adam, the Twitter insertion API (the one used to post Tweets to Twitter from outside of Twitter.com) allows us to pass a "source", which is where the Tweet came from. Here at MLB.com, we have our own Twitter app and would love to see how many Tweets are coming directly from our app compared to all Tweets. I would assume this is something the OMTR Twitter API could query no?

Twitter Search
Twitter Search

thats great that you are talking about the twitter api,a good example of searching with the twitter api is on twiogle.com because you can search on twitter and google at the same time.

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Jim: Yes, you can timestamp the tweets if you're using a separate report suite with timestamping enabled; ClientCare can turn this on for you. Note that timestamping must be done in a separate report suite, as timestamped hits cannot be mixed with non-timestamped hits. This would be done by taking the <published> element value out of each entry returned by the Twitter Search API and putting it into the <timestamp> element in your Omniture Data Insertion API post.

Jim Hazen
Jim Hazen

Hi Adam, We actually have started this up but wondered if there was a way to get a timestamp for the tweets using the API?

Jason
Jason

I've put together a fully configurable Twitter-Omniture plug-in based on Adam's design. The plug-in is written in PHP and comes with a config file that lets easily define your Omniture data (connect information, variables used) and your Twitter Search criteria. http://emptymind.org/?page_id=69

Praveen Pandey
Praveen Pandey

Awesome concept, moreover the presentation is quite interesting in the wake of "Social" buzz

vanscoy
vanscoy

Elegant solution. I love it when platforms work together like this. Of course, I'll tweet this article. Even better, I'll actually bring it up face-to-face to challenge my colleagues. Thanks, Adam.

James Gurd
James Gurd

Hi Adam Loved the post, really interesting reading. I'm trying to get my head round how our Clients can put together a business case for social media to demonstrate tangible benefits to the doubters. Tracking Twitter brand activity and user comments would be excellent. Like others I would welcome a "how to" guide to digest. I've posted a link to this blog on my twitter account because it will be of interest to a wider audience. http://twitter.com/einbusiness_JG thanks james

Sebastian
Sebastian

That's really great stuff! Great job Omniture!!!!

Kristi Barrow
Kristi Barrow

Adam, thanks for the great post. Your description of the CMO back from executive camp scenario was spot on! This happens all the time (twitter, facebook and once upon a time Google!) and it's great to have you guys pro-actively working on solutions. I am looking forward to implementing this kind of feature for our clients and will be reading with interest the implementation details. thanks! Kristi

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

John: You make an excellent point. For this exact reason, in my post on implementing Adam’s Twitter tracking solution, I recommend using a separate report suite to track Twitter action. It is downright inaccurate to lump “tweets” together with the actual page views occurring on your site—they should never be mixed under any circumstances, really (unless you need to inflate your PV/visit/visitor data, I suppose). If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my blog post at http://blogs.omniture.com/2009/02/24/implementing-twitter-data-tracking-in-omniture-sitecatalyst.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen

We developed a similar Twitter app over a month ago but found that, unless Omniture provides a way in the Data Insertion API to flag something as "external" (this came up in Brett Error's feedback session), you will see an inflation in overall page-views/visits (the Data Insertion API requires that you provide a page URL and/or page Name--you can also provide a unique visitor ID which should prevent a huge spike in visitors but again, page views go up every time). If you're tracking many keywords/brands, you might see a skew in your traffic data. If you're using calculated metrics, this can throw off your numbers. Ideally, Omniture should provide a way to insert "external" data which can then be correlated to things like traffic and conversions. As of right now, if you look at a graph of page views vs. tweets, you're going to see an increase in traffic as the number of tweets go up, which might not necessarily be true!

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Pere- Another idea would be to use the SAINT API... Adam

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

James - Great point. We are looking into sentiment. Our hope is that partners help us extend this. An auto-classification feature would be ideal, but has been a long time request. I like the idea of a VISTA rule based upon hundreds of keywords... Adam

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Jordan - The "how-to" is coming in the next day or two. Look for a follow-up post by one of our more technical folks... Adam

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Greg - In this example "[No Recipient} is when a user simply "tweets" without targeting it at someone specific. We are looking into cases where there are multiple recipients, but that is a bit trickier. Stay tuned. Adam

Adam Greco
Adam Greco

James - Great point. Measuring sentiment would be a more advanced solution, but I could see looking for specific keywords and using a VISTA rule. We have dreamed of a SAINT "auto-classification" feature for years but no luck as of yet. There is always SAINT, but that would be somewhat unbearable. Perhaps Omniture or partner developers can solve that one... Adam

Jordan
Jordan

So did I misunderstand at the closing session that were was a "how-to" coming shortly for users to implement? I've been sold on the need for this, just need the how-to to implement.

pere rovira
pere rovira

awesome post, adam! such a simple solution, and yet so powerful. thanks for letting me know, will write about it on the blog this week when i get a chance. i guess you could also apply classifications to the tweets, to see the relative impact of the diverse brands of Comcast, though it could be quite consuming... actually, now that I think of, it would be really cool if you could make a search on sitecatalyst, and then apply a classification to all of the search results. cheers pere

Greg Asman
Greg Asman

Adam, Great post and great presentation last week. I was hoping you might be able to add some additional detail as to what the [No Recipient] rows mean in the context of the reports above. They appear to mean that they were general tweets sent out by the "From" and the others were either replies to the individuals listed or tweets that included their name. It might be nice to be able to distinguish between the two. Thanks for the clarification in advance! Great meeting you! Greg

James Dutton
James Dutton

Adam, Quite interesting - will you be posting sample code to the developer website so others can replicate and build on this? Some great proofs of concept explored here, with some interesting ways to have users adopt some of (I must assume from your previous posts) those under used features of Site Catalyst. I'm curious to learn more about how you would plan on addressing sentiment, you mention "Sometimes this chatter is positive, sometimes it is negative." but don't suggest any ways to track and monitor sentiment; something that is always top of mind when I am reviewing social media analysis tools. Cheers, J