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Forget Google, Use Twitter Search Instead

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I’m a huge Twitter fan. As much as I love The Google, I also really like---and use---Twitter’s built-in search functionality. Twitter in my world represents many great friends, conversation, learning, resources at my fingertips, daily laughs, content sharing, a robust content distribution network, stalking new business prospecting, and much more.

I told you I was a fan.

But I’m not so naïve as to think that just because I like a platform, everyone else does as well. Many people have mixed feelings about Twitter. Some folks hate it. Some find it completely without value. Some simply don’t have time to care. And that’s fine. We can’t all like the same things (including the same social networks). That would be boring. However, I regularly talk with clients (most of whom don't use Twitter and don’t have any idea what the platform is about other than “lunch”), and after we talk a little about the benefits to be realized, many folks change their minds.

So, I thought I'd share some notes from those talks. They might be helpful to you as well. Even if you’re not participating in the Twitter stream regularly, you should know that the site is a valuable source of information for real-time news, industry-specific content, discussions and chats on a wide variety of topics, real-time consumer feedback, and online help.

How to Use Twitter Search

If you’re in the market for information about a particular topic or group of people, think about adding Twitter to your search repertoire. And it’s also a great source of information if you’re in the midst of a competitive analysis or if you want to keep tabs on a specific industry.

The most common way to search Twitter is to use!/search-home. Although that works, it’s a little too basic, and it doesn’t allow you to set any additional parameters aside from your search term.

Instead, our team recommends using the Advanced Search feature (pictured below).

As you can see, the advanced function gives you a lot more options for customization and the ability to search not just words but people and places, too. Plus, you can specify either positive or negative sentiments, questions, and retweets, which will help you better refine your results.

Even if you’re already monitoring certain keywords phrases or hashtags, you may find an occasional advanced search will help you cut through the noise and help you more easily pinpoint certain types of information. After all, Twitter moves fast. There’s a lot of content to sift through. Making a habit of using Advanced Search won’t just help you more easily find what seek, but it also will save you time.

Other Keyword Search and Monitoring Tricks

Twitter Search is a tool we use a great deal—for ourselves and for our clients. We also use some tools for keyword alerts and real-time monitoring. I thought a nod to one of those tools might come in handy. One of our favorite keyword alert tools is SocialOomph, which we use pretty much daily. Using SocialOomph, you can have keyword alerts delivered to your inbox. That helps us in a number of ways for brand reputation management, influencer identification, customer service---you name it.

If you’re interested in some additional keyword search tools, you can check out this post: 7 Keyword Search Tools for Twitter, which reviews and evaluates several tools for not only keyword searching but also for real-time Twitter monitoring.

What Do You Think?

Have you used Twitter’s Advanced Search feature? What do you think of the functionality as compared to the original search option? Do you have other tools that are your go-to tools? If so, do share.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, feel free to stalk me on Twitter (I’m @ShellyKramer) if we’re not already pals. I’m way more interesting than that Ann Handley [running].

(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Sitting Detective)

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Shelly Kramer is the founder and CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing. She's a strategist, brand storyteller, digital marketing pro, content marketing expert, speaker, and corporate trainer. You can find her on Twitter at @ShellyKramer.

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  • by Ken Steven Tue Jun 26, 2012 via blog

    Shelly, this is a great tip! The problem is that Twitter doesn't make it easy to find the advanced search function when you are logged in. I stumbled upon it one day by accident - after doing a standard search using the tool at the top of each Twitter page, I clicked on the icon that appears at the top of the search results and discovered the option to either save the search or do an advanced search.

  • by Shelly Kramer Tue Jun 26, 2012 via blog

    I know, Ken .. that's why I write posts like this :)))

    Now the question is, do you find it valuable? That's what we'd really like to know!

    And, of course, thanks for coming by!

  • by marquita herald Wed Jun 27, 2012 via blog

    Very useful - I wasn't aware of the advanced search option. I've tried researching topics on Twitter with results mostly limited to articles and books on the subject being promoted by other people. I'll definitely give this a try.

  • by Elaine Fogel Thu Jun 28, 2012 via blog

    In the past, Shelly, I used Twellow as a Twitter search tool. Haven't used it in a while, but it's like a Twitter yellow pages.

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