Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Which conferences and events are you headed to this fall? We at Union Metrics would love to see you if you find yourself in the same place as us in the next few weeks! Here’s our conference schedule for the next month or so. Let’s meet up!
Today, we’ll have a table at the ATX Startup Crawl in Austin, Texas. If you’re in Austin, come by and say hi! We’re hiring and we’ll have lots of swag and stickers to give away. Follow us on Twitter to find our location.
Then we’re headed to Digital Hollywood on October 21-24 in Los Angeles, where our Chief Customer Officer Jenn Deering Davis will be speaking on Thursday, 10/24. You can keep up on Twitter via the event hashtag #DHFall.
Where will you be? Drop us a line in the comments, or say hi in person if you’ll be there! We’d love to meet up and chat about social analytics. And if you won’t be at any of these events, here’s how to get the most out of a conference you can’t attend.
Also, check out our founder Jenn Deering Davis’ session on Market Like the Movies (Without the Studio Budget), happening Monday, August 12 at 4:30 p.m. PT. Learn how to market your startup using the social media strategies Hollywood has perfected to drum up excitement about TV and movies on social sites like Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. All without worrying about an unflattering picture of you showing up on the cover of a grocery store gossip mag.
See you in Vegas!
Photo credit: Tumblr founder David Karp’s own Tumblr
This has not, to put it mildly, been a good week for Paula Deen.
On Wednesday of this week- June 19th- The National Enquirer announced they had video of a deposition where Deen admitted to making racist jokes, among other unsavory allegations. (You can read more about it in The Huffington Post or TIME; NPR has a link to the entire transcript) As is now par for the course, the conversation about it exploded on Twitter.
We’ve discussed before how you can use TweetReach historical analytics to research a past social media crisis and see how it unfolded, how the parties involved reacted, and how they could have changed their decisions to better fit the situation. If you’re in the midst of experiencing a crisis firsthand, however, you can do more than panic and go silent. (A practice we do not recommend. The conversation is already happening; you should be a part of it. More on that in a minute.)
The conversation around Deen was huge: 93.7k contributors sent 233.1k tweets with an overall reach of 73.6 million. Reach spiked on the 19th with the birth of the hashtag #PaulasBestDishes, a riff on her wishing viewers “Love and Best Dishes” on her show:
Conversation on the 19th spiked up to 49.8M of the 73.6M total reach, or nearly 68%.
Situations like this are not easy to approach and monitor- especially if you’re already feeling panicky- but our tools can help, and you have several options.
- Run a snapshot report to get a quick idea of the conversation that’s happening; this will give you a better idea of what people are actually saying, rather than what an online article might tell you they’re saying.
- Set up a Tracker with a TweetReach Pro account to capture all tweets around the subject moving forward, so you don’t miss any new developments.
- Consider a historical backfill, if the activity on Twitter came to your attention a few hours after the controversy started.
- Be careful and inclusive with the terms you use in your Tracker or snapshot report: Paula Deen, for instance, had a lot of people joining in the conversation but misspelling her name as Paula Dean, with an A. In a time like this it’s especially crucial to make sure you capture all the information you can around the conversation. We tracked both spellings of Deen’s name, and these other terms, including her Twitter handle, the hashtag that people were using, and her first and last name run together, an unofficial Deen Twitter handle that exists*:
You can see a full list of what you can search for on TweetReach here.
*This one didn’t include the “@” symbol because we didn’t want to catch any tweets coming from that account, only those who used the term while talking about her.
Once you’ve gathered this information, you’ll be able to pair it with the crisis communication plan you hopefully already have outlined. If you don’t have one outlined ahead of time, you’ll be as informed as possible to act and avoid over-or-under-reacting to the situation. Are people calling for a certain kind of apology? Is there a small, but vocal group of people who are truly enraged that you can directly address? Are most people just passing the same few tweets around?
We said it earlier and we’ll say it again: the conversation is already happening. You should be a part of it. Otherwise, others will speak for you:
Basic tweet stats in the conversation around Deen.
You want to respond to the conversation that’s actually happening, not one that has been filtered and presented to you through other means. While the big news and gossip sites were some of the most tweeted URLs and the top contributors to the conversation around Deen, the most retweeted tweets** came from regular Twitter users. If you were to solely go off of the information in those articles, you would be missing out on the most important participants in the conversation: the general public, which includes the people who are already your customers, who have been in the past, and whom you may hope to reach in the future.
Top contributors to the tracked conversation terms, and the top URLs shared.
Arm yourself with good information, and act accordingly. It’s not something anyone wants to have to deal with, but it happens. Be prepared, and have a plan in place. We can be a part of that plan if you choose.
**We are not sharing the most retweeted tweets due to their content. You can search “#PaulasBestDishes” on Twitter to see them and others.
Tomorrow, Tuesday May 14th, all Trackers will roll over to the new 2.0 version. Don’t worry – all the same full-fidelity, real-time tracking is there as before – but we’ve totally rethought and redesigned the Tracker look and feel. It’s cleaner and simpler than the old version, and gives you all the information you need at a glance. A few more metrics have been added to your Tracker’s summary page, too!
Current TweetReach Pro subscribers have probably already noticed our new look already, which has been in beta for two months. Starting tomorrow it will be the default for all newly created and existing Trackers. Prefer the old look? You’ll still be able to access it for a few more weeks; use the “View old version” link in the top right corner of your logged-in screen until June 10th.
And check out the new look by logging into your account, or looking at the screenshots below:
If you’re currently a TweetReach Pro subscriber, the next time you view a Tracker, you can opt to see the new version. Use the links in the top right corner of your Tracker to change from the old design to the new one. For the next month or so, you will be able to toggle between the old version and the new version with those links. (And if you’re not yet a TweetReach Pro subscriber, sign up here.)
We’ll let you know in advance before the full switchover happens and the old version becomes unavailable. In the meantime, there’s more information about what’s included in the new Tracker on our helpdesk. And please let us know if you have any questions!
Did you know you can do more with TweetReach Pro? Learn about the ongoing, full-fidelity and comprehensive metrics available through a Pro account in this short demo webinar we’re hosting Wednesday, March 20 at 11:00 a.m. PDT.
We’ll show you how TweetReach Pro works, what’s included and answer any questions you have. And? Attendees will be eligible for a special discount coupon. See you Wednesday!
Today, we’re rolling out the beta version of our new Tracker interface to select TweetReach Pro customers! We can’t wait for you to see it. It includes the same full-fidelity, real-time tracking as before, but we’ve totally rethought and redesigned the Tracker look and feel. Whether you need a quick campaign summary or want to drill into the details, we think you’ll find that every part of the new Tracker puts the most relevant information right where you need it. We’ll be releasing it more widely over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of the new look (click for a larger version).
As you know, TweetReach Trackers provide premium real-time monitoring and comprehensive tweet coverage, and are included in TweetReach Pro subscription. And we’ve had the same Tracker design for more than two years, and it’s time for a facelift. The new look is cleaner and simpler and gives you the information you need at a glance. In addition, we’re now able to add a few more metrics to your Tracker’s summary page.
During the beta rollout, Pro subscribers will continue to have access to the previous interface, and will be able to switch between the new look and the old look. We’d love to hear your feedback as we continue to polish the new design.
As you may know, Twitter is making some updates to their API and we’ve been working to incorporate those changes across TweetReach. We will be rolling out these changes to our snapshot reports on March 4. Most of the API changes won’t be visible to you, but a few of these changes will affect our reports, so we wanted to make sure you knew exactly what was going on.
Adding Twitter authentication
You will now need to authenticate with a Twitter account to run snapshot reports on TweetReach. This will be the same simple “Sign in with Twitter” process you’re used to on many other websites. These changes will allow us to run new kinds of analyses, so look for those in the coming months.
This authentication will apply to free and paid reports, as well as snapshots in TweetReach Pro. If you have an account with us – whether it’s a free account or a Pro subscription – you can save your Twitter info so you only have to sign in once. If you prefer not to create an account with us, that’s fine, too, but you may need to authenticate with Twitter each time. If you would like to create a free TweetReach account to save your Twitter credentials and your TweetReach reports, you can do that here.
We’re only asking for read-only permission to your Twitter account, so we will never post anything from or on behalf of your account. We will not be able to see your DMs or your password. We will only be able to:
- Read Tweets from your timeline
- See who you follow
There’s more about third-party authentication on Twitter’s help center, which we encourage you to read if you have any questions about how this process works and what it allows. We’re also happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you have, so please let us know.
Replacing exposure graph
We’re updating the exposure bar graph to now reflect the follower counts for all tweets in your report. With the new graph, you’ll be able to see how many tweets were sent from accounts with a certain number of followers. The x-axis shows follower tiers (0-99; 100-999; 1,000-9,999; 10,000-99,999; 100,000 or more), and the y-axis shows the number of tweets in each follower tier. For example, want to know how many tweets in your report were sent from accounts with more than 100,000 followers? This new graph will make that quick and easy.
Handling native retweets
In addition, we’ll be handling native retweets differently from now on. Twitter’s Search API no longer includes native RTs, and this change impacts all tools built on the Search API, which includes our free and full snapshot reports. All snapshot reports will now include a slightly limited set of native retweets. Full reports will include up to 100 native RTs for each of the 15 most important tweets in a report, and our free (50-tweet) reports will include up to 100 native RTs for each of the five most important tweets in a report. This change does not impact manual, copy/paste type retweets or modified retweets. For most of you, this will provide more than enough coverage to include all retweets, since it’s quite rare to see a tweet with more than 100 retweets. There’s more on our helpdesk, including our full-fidelity options for comprehensive analytics with no limits.
Changes to our reach metric
We’re also updating our reach algorithm, which we’ve already blogged about you can read all about here. Our new reach algorithm is based on a rigorous statistical model built on years of Twitter data. We’re very happy about this change, because it means reach will be faster and less resource-intensive to calculate.
So, to sum it up…
We’re really excited about these changes! Reach is so much smarter than it was before, and using Twitter authentication means we’ll be able to build new kinds of analyses, so there’s lots more coming in the future. We also know this is a lot to take in, so if you have any questions about any of these changes, please let us know.
This post was written by Union Metrics CEO and Founder Hayes Davis.
We started TweetReach in 2009 with a simple idea: to provide a simple report that showed people the reach of tweets about any topic. Since that time, we’ve grown far beyond that simple reach report and added comprehensive tracking, as well as many other metrics and insights. But reach is still something we care a great deal about, so I wanted to tell you about some changes we’re making to the algorithm we use to calculate reach.
This is a long post, so here’s the executive summary:
- We’ve built a new and extremely robust model for calculating reach that will replace our current algorithm.
- Historical reach data won’t change, and newly calculated reach will change only slightly in most cases relative to historical trends.
- This new algorithm allows us to increase our data limits across all TweetReach Pro plans.
- These changes go into effect next week.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about how we built our new algorithm, read on.
Setting the stage
Reach is a complex metric with many definitions across vendors and industries, so let me explain how we think about reach on Twitter. For us, reach is the total number of unique Twitter accounts that received at least one tweet about a topic in some period. Knowing this helps you understand how broadly your message is being distributed on Twitter.
For most of our existence we’ve measured reach by using Twitter’s API to determine the actual Twitter IDs of users who received tweets about a topic. From that copious raw data, we then applied a dose of math and lots of computational horsepower to derive our reach measurement. While this brute force method produces a very reasonable estimate for reach, it has some serious drawbacks in terms of meeting the needs of our customers. It slows down our reporting for customers pulling data on ad-hoc periods and – while our data limits are generous relative to our competitors – it meant we had to place stricter data limits than we wanted on our TweetReach Pro plans.
In addition to these increasingly frustrating drawbacks, Twitter has announced a major set of technical changes to their API. Included in those changes are additional restrictions on the API calls we make to determine the raw data we use in our reach calculation. So instead of working around those API limits and continuing with our brute force approach, we decided it was time to get smarter.
Investigating the data
At TweetReach, one thing we have is data – lots and lots of data. This means that we have an extraordinarily large archive of information about how campaigns work on Twitter, which goes back years and is unique to us. From these data and our experience, we know that the reach of a Twitter campaign is essentially a function of the number of unique contributors (users tweeting), how large their follower bases are, and the overall number of tweets. The question is: What are the mathematical parameters of that function?
We started our investigation by looking at what we call the “potential reach” of any conversation on Twitter. This is the maximum possible reach of any conversation if all people who tweet about a topic have no followers in common. While it provides an upper bound on reach, it’s obviously flawed; the assumption that no one has followers in common just doesn’t make common sense. It is, however, a good starting point, so we put it in a scatter plot to at least see if there was a relationship between potential reach and actual reach:
The way this graph turns upward at the end shows us there’s not a clear linear relationship in this data, but there might be if we plotted this on a log-log graph.
There is a nice positive linear correlation after all. However, there are also some pretty absurd numbers. In fact, some of those “up and to the right” data points in the first graph show a potential reach above 2 billion (nearly 30% of the world’s population and more than 8x Twitter’s 250 million monthly active users). As it turns out, this is what many in our industry call “reach”. But we knew we could do better.
Armed with the notion that potential reach had some value, we set out to combine that with other data to build an algorithm that could predict reach. We experimented with many different approaches that we applied to tens of thousands of data points derived from real Twitter campaigns. And after many iterations, we’ve developed an extremely robust model that explains 99.51% of the variance in reach on a Twitter campaign.
Below is another scatter plot (with a trendline) that shows our reach prediction model applied to a test data set.
The data have a nearly 1:1 positive linear correlation, and there are no crazy outliers. This means we can predict an accurate reach with an extremely high degree of confidence without having to resort to brute-force methods.
What does this mean for our customers?
For the vast majority of our customers there will be very little noticeable impact to reach. Most of you won’t see any change at all. But a few of you will see some small changes. We will not be altering our reach calculations for historical periods, so some of you may notice your future reach increase or decrease slightly when compared to historical levels. And since no model is absolutely perfect, a small set of customers may see somewhat larger increases in reach for certain campaigns. If you have any questions at all about a change in your reach, don’t hesitate to contact our support team and we’ll be happy to take a look!
But best of all, these changes bring some significant benefits to our TweetReach Pro subscribers. The first benefit is that viewing ad-hoc periods within a TweetReach Tracker will now be much faster than before. The second, much more exciting benefit, is that we’re now able to increase our data limits for TweetReach Pro plans.
We’ll be rolling these changes out next week and we’ll be communicating with you along the way. We’re extremely excited to share the results of this work with you – our customers! If you have any questions, please let us know.
Interested in more comprehensive, ongoing tweet tracking with TweetReach Pro? Sign up for a short demo webinar, where we’ll show you how it works, what’s included, and answer any questions you have. We look forward to to seeing you on the 27th, at 11am PST sharp!
Got questions? We’ll answer them!
(Photo credit: US National Archives)