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How to use advanced Twitter search queries: Part 2

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We wager our solution is more effective than sending out these guys. (Image credit: NYPL Digital)

Since our first post on How to use advanced Twitter search queries is one of our most popular posts, we thought we’d break down some more advanced queries we didn’t cover in that writeup. Here are a few more of our favorite advanced Twitter search queries. And let us know if you have a question you don’t see answered here!

Specific phrase or term

Much like on Google, when you want to return results on an exact phrase- especially something that has a common word or popular slang expression in it that might return a lot of noise otherwise- be sure to put it in quotes.

“term1 term2” – search for tweets containing the phrase “term1 term2” (e.g. “aging hippies”)

This way you’ll only get back tweets talking specifically about aging hippies, with those words in that exact order. Without the quotes, you might get results about hippies aging wine or something else irrelevant to what you’re actually looking for.

Tweets containing links

This search filter comes in handy if you’re looking for people who are sharing articles they’ve found or are talking about a specific URL – say an article in the news, or a blog post you’ve recently put out that’s getting a lot of chatter. It’s also a great way to track link shares for a Twitter contest.

filter:links – search only for tweets containing links (e.g. CNN filter:links)

You can add this filter to any search terms to return only tweets that include those terms and a URL.

Tweets in a particular language

Let’s say you’ve run a free TweetReach report with your test query to see what kind of results you’re getting (something we absolutely recommend doing so you can tweak what you need to) and it’s returned a lot of tweets that aren’t in a language that you speak. Or let’s say you want information on a specific event or campaign, like Dia de los Muertos from those who speak Spanish. Use:

lang:NN – to search for only tweets in a particular language (e.g. Nutella lang:en for only English tweets about Nutella)

or

“dia de los muertes” lang:es – Find tweets in spanish about “dia de los muertes”

When added to a search query, the language filter will narrow your results to tweets in that language. Not all languages are supported on Twitter, so check this list to see which are and to get more information about languages on Twitter in general.

And more…

These are just a few we didn’t go over in the first post, so here’s the full list of advanced Twitter search operators if you’re interested in more. And we’ll repeat our advice from last time– Twitter handles fairly simple queries really well, but tends to break with longer and more complex queries. We recommend that you only add in a few advanced operators per query and try to limit the total number of keywords and characters in a search query. Keep it under 5-8 words and 60 characters and you should be fine.

Again, if you ever have any questions about search queries and how to get exactly the data you need from Twitter, just ask us! We’re big Twitter search nerds and can help you figure out even the trickiest search queries.

Written by Sarah

July 30th, 2013 at 8:54 am