Twitter Advanced Search
Searching Twitter for something specific is often a daunting task.
After all, there are over 500 million tweets sent out every day.
Can you imagine searching through that amount of content or data to find specific information useful to your business?
That’s like looking for a needle in a pile of other needles!
The good news: it doesn’t have to be. Twitter advanced search to the rescue.
Advanced search offers useful filters that can help you find almost anything in seconds.
In this post I’ll go over the basics of Twitter’s Advanced Search and then 11 awesome ways to use the tool for your business.
If you’re already familiar with how Advanced Search works, click any of the topics below to jump right to that section.
This guide will help you master Twitter’s advanced search and take your Twitter marketing to new levels. When you master Twitter searches, you’ll be at the top of your game and be ready to crush your competition.
Sounds interesting to you? Great! Let’s get started.
Getting Started with
Twitter Advanced Search
First, let’s talk about what exactly Twitter Advanced Search is and how it works. Basically, it’s just an extension of the search bar in Twitter.
When you use the Advanced Search form, it will redirect you back to Twitter with a populated search that has operators included in it. These operators filter the search results to show you exactly what you’re looking for.
This is what the Twitter advanced search looks form looks like:
Let’s take a look at an example of these search operators in action.
Start by entering your search parameters.
We’ll be searching for people tweeting about fitness by typing “fitness” into the “All of these words” field. Then, we’ll exclude people talking about supplements (because we’re not interested in that) by typing “supplement” into the “None of these words” field. Finally, we’ll add a location by selecting Tampa, FL from the “Near this place” field.
Once you’re done, click “Search.” You’ll be taken directly to Twitter with the search box already populated with a search containing operators:
As you can see, the search bar is pre-populated with this search: “fitness -supplement near:”Tampa, FL” within:15mi.”
This search can also be modified right in Twitter. For instance, if you want to expand the search to Tampa within 25 miles, just change the 15 to 25 and search again.
You could learn this operator language and do these searches manually. Advanced search just is Twitter’s shortcut to do it for you.
The Elements of
Twitter Advanced Search
The following is a break down of all the options available in Advanced Search and what they do:
• All of these words: Searches for tweets that just contains the words you type without being the exact phrase. You can enter as many keywords as you want separated by commas.
• This exact phrase: Shows only tweets with exact phrases that you searched e.g.: “Coffee Tips”
• Any of these words: Useful when searching multiple keywords. For example, you can find tweets that contain the word social media, social media marketing, Facebook marketing.
• None of these words: Remove tweets with words you don’t want included
• These hashtags: Tweets using a particular hashtag
• From these accounts: Only pulls tweets from a particular account
• To these accounts: Only pulls tweets from others to these accounts
• Mentioning these accounts: Only pulls tweets that mention these accounts
It may be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will be second nature to use Twitter advanced search.
I’ll show you some useful tips and how I personally use each of them.
Here are a few things I like to do on Twitter advanced search and why:
1. Search Twitter for Relevant Conversations
Conversations are the real essence of what makes Twitter so unique. The ability to connect with anyone from around the world and jump into conversations is amazing. Talking about it just gets me excited.
That is what I do on Twitter almost every day. You can too!
To find real conversations to jump in. All you have to do is use Twitter advanced search to type in:
• All of these words
• This exact phrase
• Any of these words
Next, in “none of these words” type in ‘http”
It will look something like this:
What putting in http in the “None of these words” will eliminate all links that start with http (most of them) and shows you only REAL conversations that you can jump into when appropriate.
Here’s a sample of me searching for people mentioning coffee.
How amazing is that?
For me, I prefer to use the “exact phrase” search, I get what I am looking for most of the time with this.
I recommend you experiment with different approaches based on your search goals.
By monitoring live conversations, you can take advantage of opportunities in real time.
You can even find leads for your business using this search method.
Let’s say you own a local pizzeria and are marketing it on Twitter. By setting up a dedicated search, you can find the people trying to find you! Search keywords people will use related to your business – they will probably be the same keywords you want to make sure you have in your Twitter bio.
Just by doing a quick search of mentions of “pizza” near Tampa, you can see there are opportunities to start conversations and let people know how to find you.
Plus, do you see that Tweet second from the bottom in the screenshot above? That’s the tail end of a business using this technique very nicely.
Check out the entire conversation:
Slice Masters Pizza found a random Tweet about a different local restaurant and created a conversation around it.
Now, I’m not friends with Slice Masters and I don’t know if they used advanced search to find this tweet. What I can say is they nailed it when it comes to reaching out and spreading brand awareness.
2. Search for Tweets Mentioning Your Company
Similar to earlier, all you have to do is key in your company name. This time use “any of these words,” type in your company name and other keywords which you think people would search for when searching for your company (e.g. @starbucks, starbucks).
Then type “http” into the “none of these words” field.
Again, this will take away tweets that have links starting with http (almost all of them).
If you have a presence on Twitter, you need to know when people are talking about you.
If people are mentioning you on Twitter, it almost always calls for a response.
When people show you love, reciprocate. Let them know their positive feedback was received and appreciated. I like using GIFs. They’re fun, easy and show you care more than a standard “thanks” tweet.
On the other hand, if someone mentions your business in a negative way, you really need to know that. Consumers are turning to social media for customers service more and more and that trend will only grow in the coming years.
By using advanced search, you can monitor for mentions of your brand even when you’re not tagged. By searching for all the ways someone might refer to your business in a tweet you’ll never miss a mention.
3. Search for People Tweeting Your Content
Since not everyone that shares your content would include your Twitter handle, what you can do is search for it instead.
This search is pretty straight forward. Just find the exact URL of your blog post or the headline/title of your blog post.
One trick I like to search for who’s sharing my competitors’ materials on Twitter. I’ll then engage and follow those people.
You can also categorize these accounts into Twitter lists for to tag in future tweets. When people share one of your posts, add them to a Twitter list centered around the topic of the post.
Then when you create a new piece of content around a similar topic of interest, go to this list and start tagging some of the accounts in the image of the tweet. You can tag up to 10 people in each image and have multiple images per Tweet.
This is a great way to get your content seen and shared by the people that will find the most value in it.
4. Do Research for Blog Posts with Advanced Search
Don’t know what to write for your upcoming blog? You can do your research using Twitter advanced search as well.
You can do this by ‘All of these words:’
Search the main key terms of your blog idea.
For example, for this search I am going to use the keyword, “blog idea”
From here, I got topics such as:
• How to find & validate your niche (even if you’ve no idea!)
• Indicators that Your Blog Post Idea Might Go Viral
• Blogging 101: Go from idea to launched blog in just X weeks!
That’s kind of cool. I got three great ideas that took me only a few seconds to search for.
5. Search Topics Your Followers Talk About
There are two approaches to this. You can either find what your followers are sharing, or you can find conversations from them.
For this, I like to use “any of these words”. Using this allows me to search more key terms and show more results.
• Method 1: What they are sharing
It’s simple, type in the things you want to find in “Any of these words.”
Next, click on more options then “from people you follow.”
• Method 2: What they are talking about
This tip uses the “http” function as we discussed earlier to eliminate tweets with links from your search to find actual conversations.
All you have to do is search a keyword with “-http” added to it.
Next, click on “from people you follow” like I taught you earlier. This will show you tweets from only people you follow.
6. Search for Accounts to Follow
I mentioned the importance of following relevant people in your industry in my blog post “How to Become a Twitter Marketing Expert with $0 Budget”
You can do this by using the “any of these words”. Again, using this allows you to get more search results.
Just type the keywords in and voila! It will show up under “accounts”.
7. Search for Highly Retweeted Posts
Here’s a trick I learned recently. Just go to the Twitter search box, type any search term.
It can be:
Next copy these search terms:
• min_retweets:__ (number)
• min_faves:___ (number)
Doing this will filter your search results based on the number of retweets or favorites.
It’s also a good idea to do these searches on your own account too. When you know what’s working, you can do more of that!
Here are two examples:
Example 1: Keyword
Example 2: Website
There you go, only tweets with at least 50 retweets.
How cool is that?!
8. Search for Conversations Happening Near You
You can also search Twitter for conversations about topics happening near you.
Maybe you’re a hip cafe owner trying to stay abreast of local sporting events. Using a relevant keyword phrase to search Twitter then clicking “Near You”, lets you monitor conversations happening in your area.
This works useful for local businesses and others looking to engage with potential customers in a specific area.
Alternatively, you can do this with Twitter advanced search too.
Don’t forget to include “-http”, as discussed above.
9. Find Potential Customers for Your Business
Your customers are on Twitter, just waiting for you to find them. But you have to know how to look.
One great way is to search for phrases like “recommendation for,” “anyone recommend” or “looking for” in the “This exact phrase” field and your business keywords in the “Any of these words” field.
If you’re a local brick and mortar business, you can even use the “Near this place” filter to geo-target tweets – powerful stuff.
You’ll find people often ask for exactly what you have to offer. You just need to be there to answer.
You can also search for specific pain points your business solves.
Here’s a real life example of how Social Quant is just about to use this technique in preparation for a new product launch.
They are just about to release a service that will automatically add users to a Twitter list whenever someone tweets a specified word or phrase. IFTTT used to have this feature, and it was very popular, but they discontinued it.
So, Social Quant can use Twitter’s Advanced Search to find people who want this. Either people who are wondering what happened to the IFTTT Applet or people who just want to know how to do it. Let’s take a look at the search and some of the results.
Here’s the search:
Notice we searched “IFTTT,” “Twitter” and “list” in “All of these words” because we want tweets with all of those words but in any order.
And here are some of the super useful results we get back. As you can see, Jimmy is asking IFTTT where that Applet went (and didn’t get a response). What a perfect opportunity for Social Quant to come to the rescue with an answer!
Also, we find a lot of people linking to articles discussing this feature from IFTTT.
These will be great people to reach out to and let them know IFTTT discontinued this but Social Quant is bringing it back.
10. Search for People to Promote Your Course/Book/Podcast
When you have a book or training course or podcast or whatever you want to promote, try searching for people who have reviewed similar things in the past. They’re likely to continue to review more. Connect with these people.
For instance, if you wrote a book, use the “This exact phrase” field to search for “book review” and you’ll find plenty of people who review books.
Next, narrow the search by putting words related to your topic in the “Any of these words field.”
There are plenty of people reviewing books and linking to book reviews on any given topic. Use Twitter search to find and connect with the reviewers. Offer them a free copy of your book, access to your training course, or a library of your podcast episodes and see if they’re interested in doing a review.
She could easily do the search below to find people that have reviewed similar courses before:
Let’s see what we come up with from that search.
Boom! First result is a review of social media courses on Udemy. Click through to the link to see who wrote it and offer them free access to the course in exchange for a write up (if they like it, of course).
It’s a win-win and it only took a few seconds to discover this opportunity.
11. Save Your Favorite Twitter Searches for Future Reference
Certain searches, like mentions of your business, are always needed. Fortunately, Twitter built in a feature to save these searches for future reference.
So if I wanted to see all mentions of Social Quant, I can do a search like this:
The actual handle is @TheSocialQuant but many use @SocialQuant so we’ve included that as well. We also included the exact phrase “Social Quant” to get results that mention the company without tagging.
Now, simply click on the barely visible three dots on the search results page and choose the “Save this search” option from the drop down menu.
Once the search is saved it will always be an available choice as soon as you click inside the Twitter search bar. Pretty nifty!
Summing Up Twitter Advanced Search:
Using Twitter advanced search can be confusing at first. However, it doesn’t have to be. All you need is practice and you’ll be a certified Twitter search master in no time.
What do you think?
How are you going to use advanced search? Let us know in the comments section!