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Twitter advanced search: What it is and how to use it for marketing

Twitter Advanced Search

About 500 million tweets are created every day on Twitter by 145 million active daily users. With so much out there in the fast-paced Twitterverse, navigating around and finding specific information can be a challenge. The standard Twitter search bar just isn’t enough.

Say you’ve created an eCommerce website and want to find users on Twitter who will value its content and are interested in purchasing your goods or services. Or perhaps you’re a small business owner looking to engage with a local audience. You might even want to research what consumers on Twitter are saying about your industry. There’s an easy way to improve your search in order to grab leads like these out of the social media goldmine that is Twitter: Twitter Advanced Search.

In this article, we’re going to teach you the art of Twitter Advanced Search, unwrapping everything from where to find it and how to use it, to demonstrating why it can be a powerful marketing strategy for your business.

What is Twitter Advanced Search?

Twitter users provide a never-ending supply of opinions, current news, hashtag campaigns, and humorous memes. With roughly 5,787 tweets shared each second, users need a way to weed through this vast pool of information in order to build successful Twitter marketing campaigns. Enter: Twitter Advanced Search. This tool allows you to hone in on tweets and users that have the most personal and professional value to you.

By applying detailed filters (such as date range, words and people) to users’ search inquiries, Twitter Advanced Search refines the user's results.

How use Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter Advanced Search only exists on the desktop version of the app. To start, you can log into your Twitter account. Not a Twitter user? No problem. This tool is available for everyone to use (but hey, there’s no time like the present to start Tweeting).

Whether you're logged in or not, you can access the tool by heading straight to the Advanced Search page. Alternatively, if you've signed up to the platform, you can follow these steps for a smooth searching experience:

  1. Enter your general query in the standard search bar at the upper right hand side of the homepage and click Enter.

  2. Next, you can filter via people and location. Decide whether you want to see results from accounts you already follow, or tweets from any user. Similarly, it’s possible to choose whether to see tweets by users close to your location or from anywhere in the world.

  3. Tada! Once you’ve filtered through people and location, you’ll move on to the Advanced Search. Click the link titled Advanced Search and a new and improved search window will pop to the front of your screen.

How to use Twitter Advanced Search effectively

Now that you’ve arrived at the Twitter Advanced Search tool, let’s take a step-by-step look at the field combinations and possibilities.

01. Words

Enter specified sets of words to direct the focus of your search results. Twitter allows you to use multiple keywords and combinations of words, or to exclude specific words from your search.

Pro tip: Using sad or happy smiley faces or question marks to your criteria might direct the user attitude of resulting tweets.

Let’s check out the possible word combinations below.

Twitter Advanced Search screen shot

02. All of these words

Enter two or more words into this field to find the tweets that include all of these search terms, but in no particular order. This would be the place to type in your overarching subject of interest, and any words you want associated with it.

Example: Typing in “webinar, marketing, free” will result in a display of tweets that include all of these three terms, not necessarily in that order. Results might include: “This marketing webinar is free and highly recommended.”

03. This exact phrase

In this section, Twitter will show results that include all of the terms you entered, displaying only the results that mirror their exact placement. This is best for finding Tweets that include specific phrases, such as a quote or names.

Example: Typing in: “What are the best cafes in Brooklyn?” will display results that include that exact order of words. Results might include a traveler asking the same question, which would be a good chance for a cafe owner (or loyal customer) to make a recommendation.

04. Any of these words

Here, users can enter multiple words in any order, and Twitter will display tweets that include at least one of them. This is a less limiting option if you have a broad idea for your query, and want to use synonyms or related topics to get there.

Example: You want to see Tweets that discuss or recommend quality summer recipe ideas. You can add “recipes” into the "all of these words" category mentioned above, but here you might want to add terms like “summer, best, salads, easy” to narrow down your search. Twitter will display results that relate to any of these categories.

05. None of these words

If you want to exclude certain words from your search results, you can add them to this section of the Advanced Search. It can be useful when combined with some of the filters above in order to find what is really important for you.

Example: Let’s continue with the example above. You’re looking for recipes that are suitable for summertime, but you prefer to make dishes that don’t require a barbeque. Before you click search, add in terms to this section such as “meat,” “grill” or “barbeque” so tweets that feature these types of recipes won’t show up in your results.

06. These hashtags

Here you can enter hashtags that you want attached to your Twitter search. This is good for understanding which hashtags are trending, organizing content or understanding the purpose of an individual hashtag campaign.

07. Written in

Not interested in reading tweets you don’t understand? We don’t blame you. This option will cut out the tweets in languages other than those you are searching for. If you’re a multilingual user, this can be a useful way to check out what’s happening in more than one language.

How to search with Accounts

This section allows users to find tweets associated with certain accounts. Users can find tweets by, to, or mentioning particular users.

08. From these accounts

Use this filter to find the tweets created by one or more specific accounts. This can be a great way to focus on what an expert writes about a specific topic, or in the context of marketing research, to keep tabs on what competitors tweet about.

Example: If you want to see what a politician is tweeting about a current issue, filter out the tweets on that topic by adding their account name.

09. To these accounts

Twitter users reply to each other frequently. This filter allows you to see what people are tweeting to a particular account. Check out the way user's respond to particular account's tweets by typing in their handle here.

10. Mention these accounts

Enter one or multiple account names to find users whose tweets mention them. You can type in the user handle of any business or public figure to see what people in the Twitter community are saying about them.

11. Filters

In this section you can filter out what type of content will be displayed in your search by opting in or out of displaying links and replies. This way, you can choose to just see original tweets with no comments.

Twitter Advanced Search screen shot

12. Engagement

Determine the measure of engagement for your tweet results by selecting the minimum number of replies, likes and retweets each one receives. By picking out tweets with more engagement, you can be privy to the posts that are the most popular and therefore have the highest influence on users.

Twitter Advanced Search screen shot

13. Dates

You can find tweets dating back to March 21, 2006 (when the first public Tweet was posted!). Whether you want to view tweets from the Twitter archives or find timely tweets on a particular subject or event, this simple but useful piece lets you add a date range to your search.

Twitter Advanced Search screen shot

14. Save your search

One of the best advantages of Twitter Advanced Search is that you can save inquiries. This makes it easy to monitor results and see what changes over time. To use this feature, you’ll have to be logged into a Twitter account. You can save a search by clicking the three dots at the top of your results page and access saved searches any time you log in by clicking on the search toolbar.

How can Twitter Advanced Search help with marketing and sales?

From a marketing standpoint, there are many ways that the social ecosystem of Twitter can help grow and develop your business. Twitter Advanced Search is a powerful marketing tool for implementing smart social media marketing strategies like perceiving consumer needs, engaging with audiences, researching competitors and turning your findings into content that your target audience will enjoy.

Reach your local market

Using Twitter’s location filters allows users to concentrate on tweets from specific locations in the world. This can be especially useful if you are a small local business wanting to connect with your customer base. If you’re looking to promote your online store, you can connect with people where you think your services or products will be relevant.

Get to know your industry’s influencers

Identify the biggest players in your industry by filtering in and out popular keywords in your market, selecting brand names or businesses, and searching for tweets with the highest levels of engagement. Take note of what they are doing right and have a look at what people say about them. When it comes to market research, there’s no shame in learning from the best.

Understand user sentiment

Most people use Twitter to speak honestly about their experiences, therefore you have a gateway into the mind of your consumer. Practicing social listening is a great way to keep up-to-date with your audience and industry. Not to mention, Twitter is a hub for customer support.

By using words that hint to positive or negative sentiments, you can analyze what people are saying about your market. You will understand the general feelings of your target audience, and might discover a need for new products or services.

Research competitors

Finding tweets that mention your competitors allows you to compare different aspects of your brand. Take this opportunity to note what customers say about them. If you find people who are not satisfied with the competitors' product, that’s the perfect opportunity for you to jump in with a solution.

Develop a relationship with your leads

By finding users who mention your own product or business, you can discover current or potential customers. Start an open conversation with them. It will ultimately lead to user engagement with your brand, and hopefully generate new leads. Twitter is also an ideal place for supporting your audience and users with any questions they may have, helping to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

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