On the eve of the World Cup’s most sig­nif­i­cant final week­end, I sat down with Joe Mar­tin of Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Index (ADI) team to talk about how he tack­les social data col­lec­tion and analy­sis to deliver insights through reports and reg­u­lar social tid­bits tied to cur­rent events like this one.

Adobe Digital Index Social Emotion Chart

Adobe Dig­i­tal Index Social Emo­tion Chart

Adobe Dig­i­tal Index reg­u­larly pub­lishes social insights and pre­dic­tions on a wide range of top­ics, includ­ing sum­mer movies, the Oscars, hol­i­day shop­ping, and yearly trends in paid and organic social con­tent; but the World Cup had spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for Joe. As a long­time soc­cer player and fan, he knew the event’s pas­sion­ate global audi­ence could make for record-breaking social engage­ment. To make sure he could glean the most insight­ful con­clu­sions and pre­dic­tions from this engage­ment, he dug deep on third-party research about the 2010 World Cup social and dig­i­tal trends, started early so he could look at World Cup buzz com­pared to other sport­ing events like the Win­ter Olympics and Super Bowl, and for­mu­lated a sophis­ti­cated social lis­ten­ing strat­egy. Nearly a year in advance of the World Cup, he used Adobe Social’s flex­i­ble lis­ten­ing rule builder to set up over fifty lis­ten­ing rules tai­lored to return the most rel­e­vant social con­ver­sa­tions. These included lis­ten­ing to the term “World Cup” in 36 lan­guages as well as a few key play­ers likely to drive a lot of social buzz. He set up some of the rules to return results across social net­works includ­ing Twit­ter, Face­book, Flickr, Tum­blr, Foursquare, Google+, Insta­gram, and Red­dit. But know­ing Twit­ter would be a major player, he set up sev­eral Twitter-only rules to take advan­tage of the platform’s more gran­u­lar fil­ters, includ­ing bios that listed cer­tain home cities or coun­tries and a geo-bounding box for each of the World Cup stadiums.

Adobe Social Buzz Report

Adobe Social Buzz Report

Through­out the tour­na­ment he’s adjusted his lis­ten­ing rules in real time to cap­i­tal­ize on emerg­ing news and used fil­ters avail­able in Adobe Social’s Social Buzz report to dig into unusual trends like con­ver­sa­tion spikes in cer­tain regions or changes in sen­ti­ment. Adobe Social’s new emo­tion analy­sis capa­bil­i­ties have been par­tic­u­larly use­ful, reveal­ing nuanced real-time insight into people’s feel­ings about World Cup dra­mas like the early elim­i­na­tion of Eng­land and Spain, Uruguayan Luis Suárez’ infa­mous bite, Brazil­ian star Neymar’s tournament-ending injury, and Brazil’s sub­se­quent trounc­ing by Ger­many in the semi-finals.

Adobe Social Emotion Analysis

Adobe Social Emo­tion Analysis

ADI’s first World Cup report came out before the first match; it pre­dicted the World Cup would be the most social sport­ing event ever (which looks likely to pan out given the Brazil-Germany semi-final game was the most dis­cussed sports game ever on Twit­ter) and deliv­ered insight into the what, where, and who of social buzz lead­ing up to the big event. Stay tuned for next week, when Joe and ADI will release their com­pre­hen­sive World Cup recap report, which will include social trends along with data on how suc­cess­ful brands were at con­vinc­ing spec­ta­tors they were spon­sors (even or espe­cially if they weren’t), multi-platform view­ing, and advertising.