How do I track Twitter conversations in my Essentials LRS account?

This guide walks you through using Watershed Essentials to track Twitter conversations via Zapier.

Connecting Twitter and Watershed Essentials via Zapier 

To get started, you’ll need to sign up for a Twitter account and register for a Zapier account. A free Zapier plan allows you to track up to 100 tweets per month—which allows you to experiment with the integration between Watershed, Zapier, and Twitter and determine if you need a paid Zapier account. You’ll need a paid account for real projects (e.g., tracking a learning activity via Twitter). 

Once you’ve established accounts on Twitter and Zapier, click “Use this Zap” on the following “Twitter to Watershed” wizard to get started. We’ve also provided a step-by-step guide for setting up the wizard (see below).

Once you’ve accessed the wizard, follow these steps: 

  1. Click Use this Zap.Set up Twitter to Watershed Zap
  2. Connect your Twitter account. You can either use an existing Twitter account in Zapier, or connect a new one. Zapier will track all the tweets that a Twitter account is able to access and identify any tweets that match your filters (see the next step).Choose a Twitter account in Zapier
  3. Enter the Twitter #hashtag you want to track. This should include the hashtag symbol (which looks like this: #) at the beginning of each tag. Remember, your Zapier pricing plan is based on the number of Tweets you track, so choose your hashtags wisely. Please also note that Zapier will only track future tweets. It will not track any tweets prior to when you set up the integration.Search Twitter hashtags in Zapier
  4. Connect your Watershed LRS account. If you haven’t already connected your Watershed Essentials account to Zapier, use this walkthrough to set up your account.Choose Watershed LRS account in Zapier
  5. Click the Connect button.Connect your Twitter account to Essentials LRS
  6. Enter Watershed credentials. In the next popup window, enter your Watershed endpoint, key, and secret. If you’re unsure where to find these, read the on-screen instructions. Connect Twitter to Essentials LRSconnect-twitter-essentials-lrs.pngIf you’re new to this process, be sure to click “add an Activity Provider to Watershed” for a helpful guide. (Clicking this link will automatically open a new tab or window.) Once you’ve entered the credentials, click Yes, continue to test the connection.

  7. Enter the Twitter #hashtag you want to track, but this time don’t include the # symbol. Click Save + finish! (Be sure the hashtag exactly matches the one used in Step 3, except without the # at the start.)WARNING: Don’t click the Insert Twitter fields or Show advanced options links unless you know what you’re doing (see xAPI Nerd Explanation below).
    Send xAPI Statements via Zapier

    xAPI Nerd Explanation:  Why do I have to enter the hashtag twice?

    Zapier uses a step-by-step process that fetches data from one system and then sends it on to another. The first time you enter a hashtag, Zapier uses it to fetch and filter tweets specific to that hashtag. The second time you enter the hashtag, Zapier uses it to build the xAPI statement, which adds a tag context activity representing the hashtag.

    You can see the code for the context activity by clicking Show advanced options and scrolling down to the Context JSON field. The [[placeholder]] code is used to insert the hashtag you entered above. This peek behind the curtain should give you an taste of how a Zapier wizard like this could be created for @mentions, retweets, likes, and other Twitter interactions—or indeed for other applications.

  8. Test Your Zap. Click the Test out my new Zap button.Zapier Twitter xAPI Connection
  9. Tweet a message. Either wait for somebody to tweet using your chosen hashtag, or send a tweet yourself. Then click Continue + fetch the tweet.Test Twitter xAPI data in Essentials LRS
  10. Send the statement. Click Continue + send to Watershed LRS.Send Twitter xAPI statement to Essentials LRSAttention xAPI Nerds: Click Show sample statement first to see what’s happening behind the scenes.

  11. Hooray! Your Zap is Working. You’re all done! Great job! 

Viewing Twitter Data on the Watershed Essentials Dashboard 

After you've connected Twitter and Watershed Essentials via Zapier, you'll be able to see data on your Watershed Essentials dashboard. Here's a rundown of the reports you'll see in your account.

Activities Report: See what activities are being sent to Watershed and the number of interactions your learners have had with each activity. For your imported CSV, the Activities show courses and assessments that would be exported from an LMS.


Actions Report. See which actions (i.e., combination of verb and activity) have the most interactions. The most common actions from your imported CSV are listed with the number of times the combination is in your CSV.


Interactions by Data Source Report. Find which data sources send the most interactions to your account. If you've only imported the example CSV, you'll only see that data.


People Report: Use Watershed to view people's names and their individual interactions with your learning content. If you've imported the example CSV, you should see a list of people from the CSV and the number of interactions each person has made.


Interactions Report. This is a raw stream of interactions from all your data sources, which shows a chronological list of what all your people are doing. If you've recently imported the example CSV, then you'll see those interactions at the top.


Data Sources Report. This report shows similar information to the Interactions by Data Source Report, but is represented as a pie chart rather than line items.


Viewing Raw xAPI Twitter Data in Watershed Essentials

After you've connected Twitter and Watershed Essentials via Zapier, you'll be able to see raw xAPI data in Watershed Essentials.

From your Essentials dashboard, select the Data page from the main navigation at the top of the page and then select the Data Search page on the left side of the screen. This is a stream of xAPI statements displayed in the order that Watershed receives them (i.e., the most recent statements are first). Once you connect Twitter to your account, you will start seeing the most recent statements at the top of this section. Click the arrow next to the statement name to view the full xAPI statement.

View raw xAPI data from Twitter in Essentials LRS

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