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7 Ways You Should Use The Powerful Twitter Search Engine

  • 1
  • May 7, 2015

Twitter Search EngineTwitter users produce an enormous amount of content every single day.

In fact, every second an average of 6,000 tweets are posted on Twitter, which comes out to 500 million tweets per day. That’s right, 500 MILLION.

The question is, with so many tweets going out every single day, how do you cut through all the clutter?

Well the easiest way is by using the Twitter search tool, or, more specifically, the advanced Twitter search tool.

Did you know that the Twitter search engine receives over 2 BILLION searches a DAY.

That’s some pretty serious searching going on via Twitter.

Here are 7 ways you can use the all so powerful Twitter search engine for your business today!

Do a location-based search.

This is particularly useful for local businesses wanting to connect with people in their area. This feature enables you to easily search for conversations happening locally that you can jump into. This is also a great way to find people in your local area who you can follow (and who hopefully will follow you in return).

To use this feature, go to the advanced search page and in the Places section enter the neighborhood or city you want to search for.

Find people asking questions.

People are asking questions every day on social media and Twitter is no exception.

How powerful would it be if you were able to jump into a conversation (which is completely acceptable on Twitter) and answer someone’s question that is related to your business or industry? Better yet, what if you were to create an entire blog post answering their question in detail and then share it with them?

This would drive traffic back to your website, help establish you as an authority figure and likely would create a loyal fan.

The easiest way to search for questions on Twitter is to just check the “question” box at the bottom of the advanced search page.

However, Twitter also uses traditional Boolean search operators that allow you to narrow your searches down even more.

To search for questions around a specific keyword, type: ‘keyword’ ? -filter:links lang:en.

Use a keyword that would be used by the audience you’re trying to connect with. The question mark allows you to see only tweets that contain a question. The filter:links addition to the search enables you to filter out the posts that contain links. You could leave this out of your search, however, including it means you’re less likely to see promotional tweets and more likely to just find people who are genuinely looking for answers to a problem.

Finally, the lang:en means you are instructing Twitter to only show you tweets in English.

Search for Twitter Lists

Okay, so admittedly, you won’t be using the Twitter advanced search to find Twitter lists. However, this tip is extremely useful if you’re trying to find great content for curating or people to follow around a specific topic. It’s also incredibly easy!

Simply go to Google and type: site:twitter.com/*/lists/keyword

Search within a specific date range

If you’re looking for content around a specific event, it may be a good idea to include a date range for the search. For example, Social Media Marketing World 2015 has come and gone, but because content from the event is still being accessed every day, people are still tweeting about it. However, you may just want to access the tweets/content from the time the event was taking place. This is where the Dates fields come in handy. Simply enter the date range you want to search and you’re set!

Save your searches

If you’re constantly searching for content within specific search parameters, it may be useful to save your searches, allowing you to quickly access them with just the click of a button.

To save your searches, go to the top of your search results page and click the Save button in the top right hand corner. To return to your saved searches, go to the search box and click within the box. All of your most recent searches as well as your saved searches will appear.

Use a negative search operator

There may be occasions when you want to ensure the keyword you’re searching for is in the right context. On those occasions, you can tell Twitter to EXCLUDE tweets that contain a word by adding a dash before the word. (Think of it as subtracting the word you want excluded.) Note: make sure you don’t put a space between the dash and the term or it won’t work properly.

If you were looking for tweets about the apple fruit, for example, but didn’t want to get hundreds of tweets about the Apple technology (because you know that would happen), you would search for “apple –ipad –iphone” to remove any mention of the Apple products.

Search for (or avoid) retweets

Easily search for retweets by adding “RT” to your search query. Note that this doesn’t require the letters RT to actually be a part of the tweet. Even when someone clicks the retweet button and “RT” isn’t added to the retweet, it will still show up in a search for retweets.

While this could be useful, chances are you’re probably more likely to do a search where you’re looking to exclude retweets. In that case, simply include “-RT” to your search and it’ll focus on just original tweets.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to the advanced search tool and the ability to use Boolean search operators, the sky is the limit for what you can search for on Twitter. Use these advanced search tips to create lists and curate content, find conversations going on where you can jump into and provide value, and find ideas for your own blog content. You definitely don’t want to miss out on all the relationship-building and content generating opportunities Twitter provides through its powerful search engine.

What are ways you utilize the powerful Twitter search engine?

Author Sheena White

More posts by Sheena White
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