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Twitter Advanced Search: 11 Easy Ways To Find Marketing Gold

  • 4
  • September 21, 2016
Last updated: August 10, 2017

Twitter Advanced Search
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.

500,000,000!

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.

Search Twitter for relevant conversations

• Find mentions of your business on Twitter

• Search for people linking to your content (even if they don’t tag you!)

• Find blog topics to write about

• Search for topics your followers talk about

• Find the perfect accounts to follow

• Search Twitter for highly retweeted posts

• Find Twitter conversations happening near you

• Find potential customers for your business

• Search for people who will help promote your course/book/podcast

• Save your favorite searches for future reference

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:

twitter search engine

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.

twitter advanced search operators Once you’re done, click “Search.”  You’ll be taken directly to Twitter with the search box already populated with a search containing operators:

find people near you on Twitter

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:

twitter search people

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.

twitter search things

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!

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.

twitter advanced search find customers

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:

twitter search live 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.

twitter advanced search for mentions

Again, this will take away tweets that have links starting with http (almost all of them).

search tweets without links

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.

find your content on twitter

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.

twitter advanced search blog topics

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.”

search topics on twitter

• 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”.

find accounts with advanced search

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:

• keyterm

• website

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

search for popular tweets

Example 2: Website

find popular posts with twitter advanced search

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.

twitter search near me

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.

twitter search advanced near a location

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.

twitter-search-for-recommendations

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:

twitter-list-advanced-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!

ifttt_twitter_list_search_result_1

Also, we find a lot of people linking to articles discussing this feature from IFTTT.

ifttt_twitter_list_search_result_2

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.

For example, my friend (and marketer extraordinaire) Rebekah Radice just recently released a social media marketing course in partnership with Udemy.

She could easily do the search below to find people that have reviewed similar courses before:

twitter-search-for-social-media-course-review

Let’s see what we come up with from that search.

twitter-search-for-social-media-course-results

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:

social_quant_advanced_search_results

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.

twitter-saved-search

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!

twitter advanced search infographic

Author Aaron Lee

Aaron has been writing and sharing social media tips on AskAaronLee.com since 2010. He's also written for websites such as TNW, Success, Social Media Examiner, Mashable & many more. He recently started ShortofHeight.com , a fashion blog for short men.

More posts by Aaron Lee
  • Douglas W. Cooper

    Awesome post. Thanks.

    • Glad you enjoyed it! Any particular feature of advanced search you’re excited to try?

  • sketharaman

    Great post. Wish you’d shown the Twitter Advanced Search screen for ALL examples. Without it, I found it difficult to understand / reproduce some of your examples e.g. #7.

    • Hi! Glad you like the post. Just for clarification, #7 is actually searching with the regular search box on Twitter (not in Advanced Search) but it is using Advanced Search modifiers. So if you just copy and paste the examples right into the search box on Twitter it should work. Hope that helps!

      • sketharaman

        Okay thanks but there are only two problems with this: (1) Your article is titled “Twitter Advanced Search”, so one doesn’t naturally think of regular Twitter Search! (2) Your search text is embedded inside an image. Therefore, it’s not possible to copy / paste it. This is at least the case with tip #7 that I’ve specifically referenced.

  • JennaDeWitt

    It seems like “3. Search for People Tweeting Your Content” has been disabled. I see that there are tweets linking to my content from public accounts, but searching with that URL comes up with zero results. Help?

    • Hi Jenna, it still works for us. Are you pasting the URL into the Twitter search box or in Advanced Search. This tip was to put the URL in the search box right in Twitter. Cheers!

  • Anita Dow

    Superb post and really helpful information. Hopefully this will enable me to find followers and conversations in a much more focused way.

    • Thanks, Anita! Glad to hear we could help 🙂 – it really can be a powerful tool. Good luck and have fun with it!

  • staudtgc

    I don’t use Twitter much, so I wasn’t even aware this feature existed. I tried a couple of searches to try it out and it looks like it will be very useful, especially with your excellent suggestions for uses. Many thanks for the post!

    • Hey, thanks for reading and commenting, so glad you found value in the post!

      Where there any particular searches you found especially helpful? We’d love to hear about it 🙂

  • Ezra Ragwan

    Thank you. I wasn’t even aware this Twitter extension existed.I will use it as soon as posible.It is a huge tool for social media users.I will use it to promote my blog and to find customers for my products.

    • Hey Ezra, thanks for reading and commenting! Good luck with Twitter search, it really is powerful!

  • Aaron put together another great guide! Thanks for the awesome article 🙂

    • Hey Andy! Thanks for the kind words 🙂 – Hope all is well over at Userlane and have a great weekend! – David

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“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy
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“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy
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“Since we started using Social Quant on our Twitter profile, our follower count has skyrocketed 40% in 40 days!! And most importantly, engagement on our tweets has risen by the same amount — which means Social Quant is finding exactly the right followers for our brand.”
— Andrew Warner, Mixergy