Ultimate Guide on How to Use Twitter – Lesson 7: Searching
In the previous lesson I covered how to use Twitter keyboard shortcuts to turn you into a Twitter Pro. You’ll be flying around Twitter in no time and saving precious seconds of your life. If you missed that lesson, click the link below.
In this next lesson we’ll discuss the searching and all of it’s powerful capabilities.
Intro to Searching
Searching is probably one of the single most thing you’ll be doing on Twitter when you’re first starting out. You need followers and you also want to see what’s out there. How do you do that? You guessed it, by searching! As you start typing in the search box, Twitter will automatically list accounts that match your search as well as give you some search term suggestions. This is handy if you’re searching for accounts but if you’re not, just click the magnifying glass to start your search.
Now if you do a search, for example “Make Money”, you’ll be taken to a results page that lists all your search results. First, there will be a couple of accounts displayed that match your term. Right underneath that are the tweets that match. Notice that the “Top” tab is highlighted. By default when you do a search it shows the “Top” tab which lists the most popular accounts and tweets that match your search.
You can browse, read, view photos/videos, and interact (reply, retweet, like, etc) just like any tweet that you see in your timeline on your Home page.
If you click on the “Live” tab, you’ll see all the tweets in real-time that match your search starting with the most recent. As more tweets come in, you’ll see a “new results” link at the top telling you how many new results have come in since you loaded the page. Click on it and the new results will load. This is the case for any type of search.
The “Accounts” tab obviously searches for accounts that match your search. It’ll search both the account name and the description provided. This is why it’s important to fill our your profile in full so people can search for you.
You can quickly see all the accounts that you are already following and see which accounts you aren’t and easily follow/unfollow accounts from this page. If you want to check out one of the accounts just click on their image or name/account name.
The “Photos” tab searches tweets that have photos and contain your search term within their tweet. Since pictures say a thousand words, this is an easy way to visually see what you might want to read without being bombarded with text. Click on any photo to see the complete tweet.
The “Videos” tab searches all tweets that have a video in it and matches your search term. If images can say a thousand words, videos can say a million! Video is getting more and more popular as several social media sites promote the use of videos. So if you’re looking for some interesting videos, do a video search. Just click on the video icon to play the video.
The last tab is “More Options”. This allows you to refine your search. The first section is actually a duplicate of the tab options that are available on your page except for the “News” which is missing from the tabs.
The second section just filters based on whether or not you want your search to be done on everyone or only people you follow.
The third section filters based on whether you want tweets from everywhere or only those near you.
The fourth section allows you to save this search. After you save a search, when you click on the search box, you’ll see a list of your saved searches along with recent searches. You can remove them by clicking the grey “x” if you want.
The other option in that section is “Embed this search”. When you click this link it’ll take you to the “Create a Search Widget” page that allows you to customize a widget that you can then create and embed into your website. Simply customize it in under Configurations and click “Create widget”
This will generate some code which you then copy and paste it in your HTML of your website and the search widget will magically appear! Cool huh?
If you don’t have your own website, check out my post on how to build your website for FREE!
The last section from the “More Options” is advanced search. I decided it deserved it’s own section here because there’s a bit more to cover than the other options.
- All of these words – enter words and it’ll do a search containing all those words in no particular order. If you have bunch of phrases in the search, you can use quotation marks like “make money” to separate your phrases
- This exact phrase – If you’re only searching for one phrase, enter it here.
- Any of these words – you can search multiple words in here like “Money”, “@Money” and “#Money”.
- None of these words – search results won’t include anything with the words entered here.
- These hashtags – this one is specific to hashtags and will look for the ones you specify
- Written in – Twitter has 50 supported languages so you can specify this for your search
- From these accounts – results will only show tweets from this account
- To these accounts – enter account user names here and results will show public tweets that were sent to them
- Mentioning these accounts – enter account user names here and results will show tweets mentioning them
- Near this place – You can specify the general location the tweet was sent
- From this date to this date: – convenient way to search for tweets between a specific date range
- Positive 🙂 – means it’ll actually search for the smiley face in tweets
- Negatvie 🙁 – means it’ll actually search for the sad face in tweets
- Question ? – means it’ll actually search for the question mark in tweets
- Include retweets – will include retweets in search results (by default results only show original tweets)
Twitter Search Operators
Instead of having to go to Advanced Search all the time, Twitter has a bunch of search operators that will apply the same types of filters directly from the normal search box.
- “” – putting words in quotes make it an exact match search. Ex) “happy hour” will only get results that have the exact phrase “happy hour”.
- OR – using or means that the result will contain one term or the other or both. Ex) love OR hate will return results that contain either “love” OR “hate” OR both “love” and “hate”
- – (dash) – using a dash means to NOT include a word. Ex) beer -root will return results will beer but not root so results like “root beer” will not show up.
- # (hashtag) – this will search for hashtags. Ex) #haiku will search only those with the hashtag #haiku. If someone was just casually talking about a haiku without the hashtag in front, those will not show up.
- from: – must be used with a username to see tweets from the user. Ex) from:freedomhomeinc will show all tweets sent from that account
- to: – must be used with a username to see tweets to the user. Ex) to:freedomhomeinc will show all tweets to that account.
- @: referencing an account. Ex) @freedomhomeinc will find results containing that account
- near: – used to filter those tweets sent near a location. Ex) “happy hour” near:”san francisco” will find all tweets that have the exact phrase “happy hour” near the San Francisco area
- since: – used to only get tweets since a particular date. Must be in the format year-month-day. Ex) “tv shows” since:2016-01-31 will display all tweets that contain the phrase “tv shows” and was tweeted since Jan 31, 2016.
- until: – used to only get tweets up to a certain date. Must be in the format year-month-day. Ex) “tv shows” until:2016-01-31 will display all tweets that contain the phrase “tv shows” up to Jan 31, 2016.
- 🙂 – used to get tweets with a positive attitude that contains the smiley. Ex) “make money” 🙂 will show all positive results containing the phrase “make money” as well as the smiley
- 🙁 – used to get tweets with a negative attitude that contains the sad face. Ex) “make money” 🙁 will show all negative attitude results containing the phrase “make money” as well as the sad face
- ? – the question mark searches for all tweets that have a question. Ex) traffic ? returns all tweets that contain the word traffic and is asking a question
- filter:links – filters only tweets that have links in them. Ex) “movie trailer” filter:links will display all tweets that have the phrase “movie trailer” and has a link in them
You can of course use a combination of the above if you wanted and do some pretty nifty search strings like:
@freedomhomeinc “make money” since:2016-06-01 until:2016-06-25 filter:links
which would give you all the tweets containing @freedomhomeinc with the phrase “make money” since June 1, 2016 until June 25, 2016 and they must contain links. Pretty powerful huh? Get creative with your filters and you’ll get more specific results than just freely typing in the search box.
So today you learned:
- How to do a basic search
- What types of results there are
- Advanced searching
- Twitter search operators
Hopefully I’ve helped you with some powerful options when searching. It really does help filter out all the unnecessary tweets. Remember, Twitter has thousands of tweets every second so if you want to use your time more efficiently and not get garbage results that you have to waste time sifting through, use search operators. It might be daunting at first but once you get used to them you’ll be come an expert in no time!
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