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Improve Your Brand Monitoring Results With Twitter Search Operators

By Julie Neidlinger on July 16, 2012 in News.

Twitter gives us the tools to make our searches specific (and useful).

Monitoring Twitter for mentions of our brand is just one way to keep tabs on what people are saying on Twitter. People talk about or to us indirectly, too, in other ways than using @OurBrandName. How do we find these other mentions of our brand? Generic too-broad searches won’t work; we can’t (and won’t) spend the time to sift through it all each day. Luckily, Twitter gives us the tools to be very specific about our searches on its network.

For example, you might want to set up a search that takes into account:

  1. Key People. These are the Twitter users that are important to the industry or topic at hand. Rather than our entire Twitter feed of all followers, we can specify those we want to monitor.
  2. Brand Sentiment. Are customers saying positive or negative things about our brand on Twitter? There are several ways we can track that.
  3. Competitor Conversation. Find out what people are saying to our competitors on Twitter. We might learn something, and we might find the opportunity to connect with people who are dissatisfied with our competitor’s service or product.
  4. Product Names. Monitoring mentions of specific products or services is important to any brand with such offerings.
  5. Geographic Location. Twitter allows us to find Tweets sent in a defined geographic location. For example, if someone Tweets and wonders where a good pizza place is, we could respond if we are nearby (and selling pizza, of course).

Setting Up Your Twitter Monitor

Twitter provides a listing of their search operators. These operators let us refine our searches and return specific results.

Using TodayLaunch, we can set up monitors based on a topic or category, and fill it with as whatever number of searches are needed to flesh out the monitor. As with any monitor, we’ll give it a relevant name that tells us what kind of search results we can expect to find in it.

Give the TodayLaunch monitor a useful name.

Next, we decide what we are looking for, i.e. what kind of searches we’re going to use.

In the example below (from:RealCapnCrunch), we only want to return the Tweets written by the specific Twitter user RealCapnCrunch. If we’d used @RealCapnCrunch, we’d have returned Tweets said about or too the user instead.

We’re going to add any tweets from the user “RealCapnCrunch” – anything they say, we’ll have in our monitor.

Setting up a TodayLaunch monitor with several from:TwitterUser searches mimics the creation of a Twitter list. We create a topic-specific group where we easily follow the Tweets they publish. This makes it easy to share and Retweet relevant content.

This monitor will return all the Tweets of these Cereal Movers and Shakers.

Remember, our monitor is based on a topic, so we might include several different kinds of searches in one monitor. For example, a monitor for complete tracking of our brand might include:

  • mybrand :)
  • mybrand :(
  • #mybrand
  • @mybrandTwitterName
  • to:mybrandTwitterName

Set It Up:

  1. Login or sign up for a free account at TodayLaunch.
  2. Plan the name and focus (topic) of your monitor(s).
  3. Add the new monitors one at a time, giving them appropriate names first, and then adding content.
  4. Add as many Twitter searches as necessary to each monitor, using Twitter’s search operators.

As with any TodayLaunch monitor, you can add non-twitter searches or RSS feeds to it, too. The name we give the monitor tells us what kind of searches and content we’ll set it up to return to us, no matter what the source is. Find out more on how to maximize monitoring your brand online here.