In Soket, streams are used to collect online information that is relevant to a Voice and allow a Voice to engage in the conversation through their social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Any number of streams can be setup to monitor whatever information is relevant... from Facebook, Twitter, blogs, news posts, and videos.
Creating a Stream
Creating a Stream is easy!
- First, open a Voice and select Streams from the navigation.
- On the right hand side, in the stream section at the top, there is a "+" button to add a stream... click it.
This will open the window to create a new stream.
In order to create an “Eavesdrop” stream that will collect online information relevant on whatever topic you are interested in...
- Name the new stream something relevant to the content it will pull down. For instance, if you are interested in llamas in Georgia, you might call this stream “llamas GA.”
- Select the places you want to pull information from.
- Enter what you want to search for... the search criteria.
- Click the save button to finish.
Creating search criteria
There are really two parts to creating a good search criteria. The first part is understanding the mechanics of how to enter search criteria and the second is more of an art of how to use the mechanics. The art is something that is learned over time, so we’ll focus on the mechanics.
Search Criteria Construction Resources
Soket uses Google to search blogs, news, videos and images and Twitter to search ... well, Twitter. Because of this, you might want to consider using Google and Twitter’s search builders to construct your search criteria for Soket.
These pages can be used to construct pretty advanced searches and the resulting search criteria can be copy and pasted into Soket’s criteria to create your stream.
Manual Search Criteria
With some experience, you will soon be able to create your own search criteria without the links above, but here is a quick tutorial.
Searching is all about pattern matching. Search engines are going to look for the characters you enter, so a search for “llama” will return results that have those letters in that specific sequence, just like a search for a random series of letters like “kjdhsb” will search for those letters in that sequence.
Thinking in patterns can be powerful.
Here are some examples:
- Georgia Llama - the search engine will see this as 2 different patterns you are interested in finding information on and will return the results it thinks best fit that criteria. At some point, you may get results that only mention one or the other words.
- “Georgia Llama” - this will search for this exact pattern - the word Georgia followed by a space followed by the word Llama. So if a tweet or website has both words, but not in this exact pattern, it won’t show up in the results.
- Georgia AND Llama - using a capital AND indicates that both of these words must be in the results, but you don’t care in what order
- Georgia OR Llama - a capital OR means you want results that have one or both of these words in no particular order. This will show all results on just Georgia as well as results just on Llama and finally results that relate to both.
- Georgia AND “Dali Lama” - you want results that mention both the Dali Lama and Georgia
- Georgia OR “Dali Lama” - anything that has to do with Georgia or the Dali Lama is fine. If it happens to be about both, awesome, but you aren’t to concerned about that.
- (Georgia OR “South Carolina”) AND “Dali Lama” - parenthesis help to group ideas together. In this case, you want results about the Dali Lama, but only if it is related to either Georgia or South Carolina.
- Georgia AND “Dali Lama” - buddhism - sometimes you want to exclude some results in which case you can use the minus sign. In this case, you will get results about the Dali Lama and Georgia, but any mention of Buddhism will be left out. However, if the result mentions Buddha, that would still be included (the pattern buddhism doesn’t match the pattern Buddha).
- Georgia AND “Dali Lama” -buddh - now this search will exclude any reference to both Buddha and Buddhism because both begin with the pattern that is excluded ... buddh
At this point, a few tips are worth mentioning.
- Tweeters abbreviate like crazy! Keep this in mind. For instance, you might want to search for Atlanta on blogs, news and videos, but on Twitter you might use “Atl” which would capture both Atlanta and Atl... as well as Altruism, but what can you do? Kansas City might be abbreviated by KC, but you might also get results for KC Masterpiece Barbecue sauce. Of course, you could exclude barbeque with a -barbecue if that ends up being a problem.
- Balance. It can be very difficult to capture everything you want without any “false positives” (a result you don’t want, but that shows up anyway based on your criteria). Reaching this balance is part of the art.
Real World Scenario
So here is a pseudo-real world scenario. Let's say that Stone Restaurant is an Asian restaurant in Midtown Atlanta that specializes in sushi. Here are some additional tidbits of info:
- The owner is Giuseppe Rosenblat
- It is located in Midtown Atlanta
- It’s address is 123 Peachtree St, Suite 111 Atlanta, GA 30309
- It’s website is www.fishygood.com
- They have a sister restaurant in Lexington, KY
There is one handicap Stone has ... the word "Stone" is a very widely used word, but we can work with that.
Stream 1 - Search for blogs, news and videos
I’ve decide that I want to search these sources separately from Twitter to avoid mixing and matching abbreviations. The result is:
"Stone Restaurant" OR stonerestaurant OR stoneatlanta OR fishygood OR “Giuseppe Rosenblat” -granite -marble -patio
The big bundle of results I want to get are any results that mention the exact patterns “Stone Restaurant,” stonerestaurant, stoneatlanta, fishygood (will capture any mention of their website), or the owner's name.
That does a great job, but I get a lot of false positives, about stone patios, etc, so I start applying exclusions to clean up the results. If I was overwhelmed with results about the Lexington location, I could also filter that out ( -lexington).
Stream 2 - Eavesdrop on “industry” terms
Since Stone's primary position in the market is as a sushi restaurant, I decide I want to know about anyone that mentions anything about sushi and Atlanta. In this case, I am most interested in finding people that I can engage with in something closer to real time, so I create a Twitter search for:
sushi AND atl
Since this is focused on Twitter, I’ve chosen to use atl instead of Atlanta because people frequently shorten their reference to the city on Twitter and this will also catch mentions of Atlanta (which begins with the pattern “atl”).
Strategy - the strategy for this stream is two fold.
- First, anyone that mentions sushi and Atlanta is a potential customer of Stone so these are prime candidates for Stone to follow.
- Second, people will occasionally have an open ended question such as:
“Where’s the best sushi in the ATL?”
“I’m thinking about getting sushi in Atlanta... who’s in?”
These are openings for new customer engagement and Stone might decide to respond with:
“We’re a bit biased, but we think we are a candidate for the best #sushi in #atlanta. :)”
“Give us a try. We have #happyhour on Wed from 5-7PM with free #sushi and drink specials”
Stream 3 - content of interest to audience
Stone also decided to setup an Eavesdrop stream for anyone saying anything about midtown Atlanta. This serves a couple of purposes.
- First, it will identify people that spend time in the neighborhood that Stone is in and provide good candidates on Twitter to follow.
- Second, it helps Stone stay “plugged in” to things happening in their neighborhood.
- Third, it can provide content for Stone to talk about. For example, Stone has retweeted information about movies being filmed and local events. Stone's customers spend time in midtown by definition, so this type of information might be of interest to them. In some cases, this can be tied into a promotion such as “Who’s going to the Dogwood Festival? Drop by for a bento box before hitting the crowds.” For this message, it might also be useful to include a link to a blog or news article about the festival found in this stream.
Their initial stream definition is for Twitter, news, blogs and videos for:
However, the initial results show a lot of results that include reference to Brookhaven (weird). So the search is modified to:
“Midtown Atlanta” -Brookhaven
This cleans up the results a lot. Keep in mind that this might include a post about “10 amazing things to do in Midtown Atlanta that you can’t find in Brookhaven,” which would be a fantastic article to know about, but it is decided that the reduction of noise outweighs the potential of that type of article being written.