Customer Behavior Modeling

Mining social media comments to pattern behavior

People often express opinions on social media. Many people ask for input from their friends before buying a higher-priced product, and users will often turn to social media for that input. Many users also post announcements about significant purchases. We are developing methods for identifying users who are in the process of purchasing a product of interest based on their public social media postings. The enterprise chat platforms that are becoming popular as a way for work groups to openly communicate offer challenges that are similar to analysis of social media in several characteristics. For example, posts may be very short, the posts which form a conversation are not clearly identified, and knowledge of who is listening to a conversation may be unknown. We are extending our work with social media to also analyze enterprise media.

Related Publications

2017

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Users often use social media to share their interest in products. We propose to identify purchase stages from Twitter data following the AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action). In particular, we define a task of classifying the purchase stage of each tweet in a user's tweet sequence. We introduce RCRNN, a Ranking Convolutional Recurrent Neural Network which computes tweet representations using convolution over word embeddings and models a tweet sequence with gated recurrent units. Also, we consider various methods to cope with the imbalanced label distribution in our data and show that a ranking layer outperforms class weights.
2016
Publication Details
  • CBRecSys: Workshop on New Trends in Content-Based Recommender Systems at ACM Recommender Systems Conference
  • Sep 2, 2016

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The abundance of data posted to Twitter enables companies to extract useful information, such as Twitter users who are dissatisfied with a product. We endeavor to determine which Twitter users are potential customers for companies and would be receptive to product recommendations through the language they use in tweets after mentioning a product of interest. With Twitter's API, we collected tweets from users who tweeted about mobile devices or cameras. An expert annotator determined whether each tweet was relevant to customer purchase behavior and whether a user, based on their tweets, eventually bought the product. For the relevance task, among four models, a feed-forward neural network yielded the best cross-validation accuracy of over 80% per product. For customer purchase prediction of a product, we observed improved performance with the use of sequential input of tweets to recurrent models, with an LSTM model being best; we also observed the use of relevance predictions in our model to be more effective with less powerful RNNs and on more difficult tasks.
Publication Details
  • LREC 2016
  • May 23, 2016

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Many people post about their daily life on social media. These posts may include information about the purchase activity of people, and insights useful to companies can be derived from them: e.g. profile information of a user who mentioned something about their product. As a further advanced analysis, we consider extracting users who are likely to buy a product from the set of users who mentioned that the product is attractive. In this paper, we report our methodology for building a corpus for Twitter user purchase behavior prediction. First, we collected Twitter users who posted a want phrase + product name: e.g. "want a Xperia" as candidate want users, and also candidate bought users in the same way. Then, we asked an annotator to judge whether a candidate user actually bought a product. We also annotated whether tweets randomly sampled from want/bought user timelines are relevant or not to purchase. In this annotation, 58% of want user tweets and 35% of bought user tweets were annotated as relevant. Our data indicate that information embedded in timeline tweets can be used to predict purchase behavior of tweeted products.
Publication Details
  • IUI 2016
  • Mar 7, 2016

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We describe methods for analyzing and visualizing document metadata to provide insights about collaborations over time. We investigate the use of Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) based topic modeling to compute areas of interest on which people collaborate. The topics are represented in a node-link force directed graph by persistent fixed nodes laid out with multidimensional scaling (MDS), and the people by transient movable nodes. The topics are also analyzed to detect bursts to highlight "hot" topics during a time interval. As the user manipulates a time interval slider, the people nodes and links are dynamically updated. We evaluate the results of LDA topic modeling for the visualization by comparing topic keywords against the submitted keywords from the InfoVis 2004 Contest, and we found that the additional terms provided by LDA-based keyword sets result in improved similarity between a topic keyword set and the documents in a corpus. We extended the InfoVis dataset from 8 to 20 years and collected publication metadata from our lab over a period of 21 years, and created interactive visualizations for exploring these larger datasets.