Archive for the ‘search’ tag
Keep it simple with TweetReach snapshot reports! Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re running a snapshot report:
1. Snapshots will analyze tweets up to one week old. Snapshots pull tweets from up to 7 days ago, so be sure you run them as soon as you can after your event. Older tweets are only available through our premium historical analytics.
2. Full snapshots will include up to 1,500 tweets. Due to restrictions from Twitter’s Search API (more on that below), a full snapshot report is limited to about 1500 tweets from the past week. If your topic or hashtag had more tweets than that, we’ll go back until we hit that limit, but won’t be able to pull them all into a snapshot report. For higher-volume topics, try our historical analytics or ongoing Pro Trackers.
3. A snapshot report is just that – a snapshot. We use the Twitter Search API for our snapshot report data, and it operates more on relevancy than on completeness. This means it will pull everything that Twitter considers most relevant to your search query from the past seven days, so some tweets or users might be missing from your results. For more complete results, try our Pro Tracker, which has access to the full-fidelity, real-time Twitter stream.
4. Narrow your snapshot search dates with filters. If you want more specific results for a snapshot report, you can include date filters. The since: and until: operators allow you to select a specific date range within the past week for your search. For example, let’s say you want to see all #TBT tweets for December 12, 2013 through December 17, 2013. Search for #TBT since:2013-12-12 until:2013-12-18 (use the YYYY-MM-DD format, which is tied to 00:00 for each date). Like this:
5. Tweets in our snapshot reports are displayed in the Universal Coordinated Time zone (UTC). This is to simplify and standardize our reporting across all time zones. If you need help converting UTC to your time zone, try this converter.
You can exclude certain tweets from your results by using the minus (“-”) operator in your TweetReach search. You can exclude tweets that include certain keywords or tweets that mention a certain account. For example:
The second example is a good one to use if you find a spammer or someone whose tweets you really don’t want to include in your reports.
Note that there should not be a space between the minus and the word you’re excluding. If you’d like to exclude a two word phrase, wrap them in quotation marks, like this:
Say you want to search for a specific tweet in a snapshot report, like this one from our Twitter timeline:
Be sure to search for the text of the tweet, rather than the tweet’s unique URL. Try searching for the first part of the tweet text. Keep it short – under 60 characters – and wrap it in quotations marks in order to catch any and all retweets. Like this:
If you want to follow a piece of news through Twitter, try searching for the article’s URL instead of its title or a set of keywords. In TweetReach snapshot reports, we can search for a root URL, so even if a link is shrunk into a t.co, bit.ly or other shortener, we’ll pick it up.
Some more tips to get the results you’re looking for:
- Exclude the http:// or www. They don’t impact your search and lengthen your search query. And depending on the URL shortener, might not even be included in the link.
- Keep queries at about 60 characters or under. If you have a long URL, consider searching for the second half – the unique part – of the URL to save space.
Want to see an example? Say you want to follow this New York Times article Sushi’s New Vanguard and watch how it spreads through Twitter. In your TweetReach search, you can leave out the http:// and www. portions of the URL. Search just for this:
That will result in this snapshot report. Note how it includes tweets that use nyti.ms shortened URLs, among others.
Have any questions about your URL? Just ask us!
If you want to run a TweetReach snapshot report for more than one term, be sure to remember the magic of the “OR” operator. You can search for any two or three queries by combining them together with OR. Example:
term1 OR term2 – search for tweets containing either term1 or term2 (e.g. analytics OR metrics)
A few things to keep in mind to get the best results possible:
- Keep queries around 50-60 characters, 100 max.
- If searching for two word phrases, use quote marks or you might not get the results you’re looking for. Example: “pumpkin ale” OR #manafromthegourd
If you set up a TweetReach snapshot report or Tracker to search for @username, that will only return mentions and retweets of that Twitter account. So, that might be what you’re looking for. But if you’d like to see tweets to and from that account, add in the from:username query, like this:
@username OR from:username
This will make sure we pull all mentions, retweets, and replies to your Twitter handle, as well as tweets from your account. That’s the best way to see the full set of interactions with a particular account. Want to see it in action? Here’s an example.
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)
“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.
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.
Our customers often ask the question, “What exactly can I search for on TweetReach?” We want to make sure you get the most out of your snapshot reports, so here’s everything you need to know about queries.
For all snapshot report searches, keep in mind that shorter queries work better: under 70 characters, or 6-8 words. Use the most specific terms possible to find what you’re looking for and consider if you need a particular phrase; if so put it in quotes (“peanut butter banana”) so it will appear exactly in that order. Be sure to account for misspellings or nicknames that might apply to the phrase, campaign or brand name that you’re searching for.
Our snapshot reports and Trackers work a little differently. Snapshot reports collect data from Twitter’s search API, which includes up to 1,500 tweets from the past week, and Trackers rely on the real-time, full-coverage Twitter stream from Gnip. In both, you can search for basically anything that appears in a tweet, including Twitter names, terms or phrases, hashtags, etc… You can also narrow the search for any of those things by adding a time frame, filtering for links or a particular language, and more.
Search for tweets related to an account:
- username – search for tweets to, from and about a specific Twitter user (e.g. tweetreachapp)
- @username – search for tweets mentioning or RTing a specific Twitter user (e.g. @tweetreachapp)
- from:username – search only for tweets from a specific Twitter user (e.g. from:tweetreachapp)
- to:username – search only for tweets directed to a specific Twitter user (e.g. to:tweetreachapp)
Search for tweets containing a particular term or phrase, including a #hashtag:
- term1 term2 – search for tweets containing both term1 and term2 in any order (e.g. twitter metrics)
- term1 OR term2 – search for tweets containing either term1 or term2 (e.g. analytics OR metrics)
- “term1 term2” – search for tweets containing the phrase “term1 term2” (e.g. “twitter metrics”)
- term1 -term2 – search for tweets containing term1 but not including term2 (e.g. twitter -facebook)
Put a more specific filter on your search for an account, term or phrase:
- since:YYYY-MM-DD – search only for tweets after a specific date in UTC (e.g. since:2012-12-12)
- until:YYYY-MM-DD – search only for tweets before a specific date in UTC (e.g. until:2012-12-12)
- filter:links – search only for tweets containing links
- lang:NN – to search for only tweets in a particular language (e.g. lang:en for only English tweets, more info about languages here)
For instance, let’s say you want to search for tweets that contain the words “banana metrics”, and you only want the ones with those exact words in that exact order, starting from a certain date. In that case you’d enter “banana metrics”- in the quotes to get the exact phrase- into the search bar, adding since:2012-12-12 to the query. So it would look like this:
“banana metrics” since:2012-12-12
And your report would return to you all the tweets containing the term “banana metrics” since the 12th of December, 2012. (If you want to get data about “banana metrics” from last week, you’ll have to get a quote on our Historical Analytics, available separately from reports or the Trackers that come with a TweetReach Pro subscription.)
Still have questions? We have answers!
Get more details on what you can search for in a TweetReach report in our help forums; there’s also a breakdown of what you can do with a snapshot report by question. We’ve also written on the blog about using snapshot reports to measure the reach of a Twitter account (here’s the help forum post on that as well) and the reach of a particular tweet, two options to search for.
If you still have questions don’t be afraid to drop us a line. We’re here to help!
On Twitter, replies are handled differently than regular tweets. An @reply is a tweet sent to a specific user, beginning with that user’s Twitter handle. Like this:
Replies are only received by the users who follow both the sender and the receipient. The above tweet was delivered to the 6 Twitter accounts who follow both @tweetreachapp and @Melaina25, not to all of @tweetreachapp’s 4,300+ followers.
So, if there’s a contributor or tweet in your TweetReach snapshot report or Tracker that has only generated a few impressions, even though you know the account has hundreds or thousands of followers, then the tweet is most likely an @reply. The purpose of a reply is to continue a conversation between two Twitter accounts, and as such, replies are only delivered to users who follow both the Twitter accounts involved in the conversation. Twitter does this to keep your stream from getting overly cluttered with irrelevant conversations you’re not involved in. So even if an account has thousands of followers, an @reply will only appear to users who follow both the sender and recipients, and will generate as many impressions as there are common followers.
There’s more on how Twitter handles replies on their blog. Basically, using your Twitter client’s reply button or arrow will limit the people who receive your tweet to only users who follow both accounts in the discussion, even if you add a space, period or other punctuation in front of the username. If you want a tweet to be delivered to all your followers, do not use the reply button and do not start the tweet with a username.
Want to measure the reach of a particular Twitter account? Great – you’ve come to the right place! Our TweetReach snapshot reports can measure the reach of any public Twitter account in just a few seconds. And depending on exactly which tweets you want to include in your analysis, we have a few tips for writing your search queries.
From and About
The From and About report is our most often run report and measures all tweets to, from and about an account. Use this query:
@username OR from:username
This report will return all mentions of that Twitter account (including all types of retweets, replies and mentions), as well as all tweets from that Twitter account. This is the most comprehensive set of reach stats for a Twitter account, and covers all activity with and about an username. We call this the From and About report, because it returns data both from a Twitter account, as well as about a Twitter account. Here’s an example From and About report.
The About report will include all mentions, replies and retweets of an account. Use this query with the @ symbol:
This report will let you know how many people are talking about a certain Twitter account, and the ways they’re talking about it (retweets, replies and mentions). It will not include original tweets posted from the account. We call this the About report, since it only returns tweets about an account from other Twitter users. Here’s an example About report.
The From report will return only tweets from that account. Use this query with the from: operator:
This reports is useful for measuring the impact of an individual Twitter account without the noise of mentions and other users’ interaction, and it’s great for learning more about the kinds of tweets that account is posting. We call this the From report, since it only includes tweets from that Twitter account. Here’s an example From report.
From and Retweet
Finally, sometimes you want to know only about an account’s tweets and any retweets of those tweets. The From and Retweet report uses this query:
from:username OR “RT @username”
This report will return tweets from an account, as well as any retweets of that account. This is useful for measuring the impact of an account’s tweets and its retweets, without including other mentions or replies. We call this the From and Retweet report, since it only includes original tweets and retweets. Here’s an example From and Retweet report.