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Best Practices For Creating Custom Topics

Custom Topics Best Practices

Custom Topics let you automatically track reviews containing a custom group of keywords and phrases that are important to you. This article is designed to give you a few examples of how our customers are using Custom Topics to help them, and tips to help you use them effectively. You can also find more information on how to create your own custom topics here.how to add custom topics screenshot

Top 7 Uses of Custom Topics

#1 Tracking Known Bugs

A lot of our customers use Custom Topics to track bugs in their apps. Often customers discover bugs by checking their Popular Words – perhaps the name of a specific feature in their app is trending, or perhaps a word like “bug” or “broken” has suddenly jumped to the top of the list.

Keyword & phrase suggestions:

  • the name of the feature of your app affected by the bug (plus any common misspellings of it).
  • phrases like “crashes when I ….. ” (where ….. is the action that users are reporting as triggers for the bug).
  • phrases like “please fix …..” (where …..  is the name of the affected element or feature).

This is useful for prioritizing bug fixes based on the number of customers reporting them in reviews.

#2 Monitoring Reactions To A New Feature

When our customers release a new feature they often create a Custom Topic to track how their customers react to it initially, and over time.
Keyword & phrase suggestions:

  • The name of the feature.
  • Names of any interactive elements (like buttons) specific to that feature.
  • phrases about what the feature does/is designed to do e.g. “saves me time”.

#3 Monitoring Mentions of Critical Features

New features are important, but your existing user base probably have a bunch of core features they’re already using regularly. Making sure mentions of those core features are measured over time helps you to monitor the stability of your app, and identify problems with core features immediately.
Keyword & phrase suggestions:

  • The name of the feature.
  • Names of any interactive elements (like buttons) specific to that feature.
  • Phrases about what the feature does/is designed to do eg. “saves me time”.

#4 Prioritizing Feature Requests

Are your customers asking for the same stuff over and over? We usually find that people use a fairly small vocabulary to describe the features they wish you’d build, or problems they wish you’d solve.
Keyword & phrase suggestions:

  • The names of hardware or software your customers keep asking you to support.
  • Phrases that describe a specific problem that users want you to solve, eg. “import contacts automatically”.

#5 Alerting Specific Teams About Something Important

Some teams create a Custom Topic specifically so that they can notify a specific team about something in their reviews. Maybe you’re trying to help your developers nail down a bug, or convince your product team to prioritize a specific request…
Keyword & phrase suggestions:

  • The suggestions above should help you with this one – get creative!

#6 Monitoring Business Issues Outside the App

If your app supports a business that interacts with customers outside the app, chances are your app users report problems in reviews that are related to the broader business rather than the app itself. Some good examples are:

  • Mobile network providers often see their app users reporting downtime on the network or issues with topping up credit.
  • E-commerce providers might see customers reporting issues with deliveries or the application of a sale coupon.

You can use Custom Topics to monitor for non-app issues like these, and funnel that feedback off to the part of your company that needs it.

#7 Monitoring Mentions of Competitors

Users like to make direct comparisons between apps when they leave a review. If you want to know how you stack up against the competitors your users keep mentioning, create a Custom Topic and analyze the sentiment. We recommend creating one Custom Topic for each competitor.
Keyword & phrase suggestions:

  • The brand name of the competitor.
  • Any common misspellings.

Tips for Reporting on Custom Topics

Our customers use a lot of different techniques to keep on top of what’s happening in their Custom Topics, but here are a few of the most popular techniques they use:

  • Create a Dashboard with a Topic Mentions widget configured for each Custom Topic, and then schedule it to send to you weekly. You can click through from the PDF scheduled report for detail on each Custom Topic.
  • Create a Slack or Microsoft Teams channel for a specific Custom Topic and send only the reviews matching that Custom Topic to it using Advanced Integrations.
  • You can also use the Appbot API to create your own dashboards, reports and alerts using any of the Appbot data, including specific Custom Topics.

Refining Your Custom Topic Results

Steps to refine your results:

  1. After you create a Custom Topic you’ll need to allow a few minutes for our bots to go off and calculate which reviews match with each Custom Topic.
  2. Once the results have loaded, you can drill into the reviews that match each Custom Topic by clicking on it.
  3. As you read through the first 1-2 pages of reviews you might identify some reviews that don’t really relate to the Custom Topic you’ve created.
  4. Look for words and phrases that are common to these mismatched reviews, and then add those as ‘Excluded Keywords/Phrases’ (click the Settings icon next to the word to edit Excluded Keywords).

For example, you might be monitoring problems with the Chromecast integration for your app. If you’ve just deployed some improvements to the integration you might find that just monitoring for Chromecast and variations of this keyword gives you a mix of reviews reporting a problem and reviews reporting that it’s fixed for them.

Think about adding something like “Chromecast fixed” as an Excluded Keyword. Save the Custom Topic changes to recalculate it.

Click here to learn more about how to set up a Custom Topic.

If you need any further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or check out our FAQ section here.

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