A Guide to Twitter Advanced Search for Event Planners
Twitter advanced search is an incredibly powerful tool to track real-time conversations about virtually anything on Twitter. Smart companies are monitoring when people are seeking recommendations for businesses like theirs and tracking when people are talking about their brands or their competitor’s. It’s very easy to find these conversations and takes minimal effort to review your search queries every morning before you start your day. Here’s how you do it…
- Go to http://www.search.twitter.com.
- Click on ‘Advanced Search’. (see image below)
- Insert the parameters of your search. See below for ‘UNDERSTANDING TWITTER ADVANCED SEARCH FIELDS’. (see image below)
- Click ‘Search’.
- If you would like to perform this search on an ongoing basis, you don’t have to keep going back to Twitter to search. Instead, you can save your search parameters as an RSS (real simple syndication) feed. Simply click on ‘Feed for this query’ (see image below)
- Cut & paste the feed URL in the address bar and import this RSS feed into mac mail, your RSS reader or anywhere else you track and manage your feeds. (see image below)
UNDERSTANDING TWITTER ADVANCED SEARCH FIELDS
- ‘All of these words’ means that the tweet must contain all of the words you list, but the words can appear in any order. For example, if you input event planning, it might turn up a result like: “Planning an event?” Or, if your company name is Great Event, it will likely turn up a number of non-related results like, “Wow! That event was great!”.
- ‘This exact phrase’ means that the tweet must contain all of the words you list in their exact order. Using one of the last examples, if you input event planning, it can only provide you with results that use the exact phrase: “event planning”.
- ‘Any of these words’ is usually a field you use in addition to the previous two. For example, if you input “event planning
- ‘None of these words’ is a great tool for keywords or keyphrases that hold dual meanings. For example, if you’re a tent rental company and you want to search for tweets mentioning your business field, you’ll likely return a good number of results that mention camping (since tents are often used for camping). So, in order to avoid this, you can include words like: ‘camping, outdoors, camp, campgrounds, forest’ to remove non-relevant results.
- ‘This hashtag’ is relevant if you want to narrow in on conversations that are using a particular hashtag. Hashtags look like this: #eventprofs. A pound symbol followed by a keyword. Since there are millions of conversations taking place online, hashtags are a great way to organize conversations around a specific topic, like: #weddings or around an event, like: #esideafactory, or a community, like: #eventprofs. If you’re a speaker that wants to find out what people have said about you at an event, you can search for your name in the ‘This exact phrase’ field and add the hashtag for the event in the ‘This Hashtag’ field.
- ‘Written in’ is pretty straightforward. Simply select the language you’re searching within.
- ‘From this person’ would be where you would enter someone’s twitter handle to track what that particular person has said about your keyword or keyphrase. Let’s say you’re a florist that serves the event planning community and your objective is to provide help to key influencers looking for information on flowers. You’ve identified a small handful of influencers that serve your community. You might input their twitter handles (i.e. my twitter handle is @ready2spark <- so, in my case, you would remove the @ symbol and input ‘ready2spark’) in addition to entering some keywords / keyphrases into the ‘Words’ fields above. Now you’ll be notified when they mention your field so you can respond.
- ‘To this person’ might be a field you use if you’re tracking conversations to a competitor, for example. In the scenario above, maybe you want to track when the word flowers or florals are used (in the ‘Any of these words’) field to a competitor’s twitter handle.
- ‘Referencing this person’ might be a field you use if you’re tracking
- ‘Near this place’ is one of my favorite fields. If you serve a particular geographic area or you want to focus in on what people are saying within a geographic area, this is the field for you. For example, let’s say I want to track all conversations of people looking for an event planner within minneapolis, mn. I would simply enter Minneapolis, MN in this field, and…
- ‘Within this distance’ is where I would select the search radius around Minneapolis, MN. So, I could select within 100 miles to search for conversations from people who are tweeting within 100 miles from Minneapolis, MN.
- If you want to narrow your search based on the date in which the tweet was published, you can enter a ‘Since this date’ and/or ‘Until this date’.
- Attitudes refer to another commonly used term: Sentiment. Sentiment tracks whether someone is using positive, negative or neutral words in their tweet. So, for example, if you wanted to track specifically if someone is mentioning your brand in a negative manner, you could click on ‘With a negative attitude :(‘. This would turn up results from people who use negative words, like: “hate, bad, terrible, mad, angry”. This type of search is far from perfect. As we all know, many negative words are used to describe things that are actually positive (slang) – i.e. That event was bad / sick, but they really meant that it was great. There are many other nuances that affect the accuracy of sentiment ratings.
- ‘Asking a Question’ basically tracks if someone has used a question mark in their tweet. Again, this is not an exact science as you could turn up a tweet like: ‘Where should I go tonight? Oh, BTW, flowers suck.” This sentence included a question mark, but the question may not be relevant to flowers.
- ‘Containing links’ should be checked if you’re looking for tweets that include a link to click on, i.e.: “Check out this amazing event by Events Beautiful: http://www.xyz.com”.
- ‘Include Retweets’ should be checked if you want to include retweets in your search results. So, basically, instead of it just listing the original tweets, your search results will also include any time the original tweet was retweeted by someone else.
- ‘Results per page’ allows you to select how many search results you want to see per page.
Remember: People talk about things differently. Some may mis-spell your name, some may forget to use a hashtag, others may use a common short-form for your name. It’s often critical to do multiple searches based on all of these variables to ensure you’re capturing all conversations. Create the search queries once and import them into your RSS reader and you’ll never have to worry about performing the searches again.
Twitter Search Scenarios
SCENARIO 1 – EVENT PLANNING FIRM LOOKING TO TRACK WHEN PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR THEIR SERVICES WITHIN THE NY, NY AREA
‘This exact phrase’: Event planner
‘Any of these words’: Looking for, recommend, does anyone know, who is
‘Near this place’: New York, NY
‘Within this distance’: 100 miles
SCENARIO 2a – CONFERENCE PLANNER LOOKING TO FOLLOW CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THEIR EVENT (#EVENT101)
‘This hashtag’: event101
SCENARIO 2b – SAME EVENT, BUT YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON F2F CONVERSATIONS ONLY
‘This hashtag’: event101
‘Near this place’: Tribeca, New York, NY
‘Within this distance’: 1 miles
SCENARIO 3 – FLORIST LOOKING TO TRACK NEGATIVE BRAND MENTIONS ABOUT THEIR COMPETITOR, XYZ FLOWERS
‘This exact phrase’: XYZ Flowers
‘With negative attitude :(‘
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