Jonathan Saipe

How To Use Twitter Search Effectively

5 January 2012, Jonathan Saipe


Welcome to another Emarketeers live video.

Today we’re talking about effective ways to use Twitter search. This can be carried out in a variety of ways be it via or using Twitter API tools such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for example.

For now we will use and I’m using the search bar at the top.

For now, we are going to search for conversations about restaurants in the UK.

Remember, with millions of tweets happening every week, it’s important to use Twitters search function to refine our search so that we get relevant results quickly and easily.

I’m going to carry out a search initially for “restaurant”.


As we can see, I get the latest tweets when people have mentioned the word “restaurant” in their tweets. Not especially useful at this stage as its too broad.

Now if I’m a restaurant brand looking to better understand consumer needs, I need to search using more appropriate search terms.

I’m going to search for “anyone” and “restaurant”. This will bring back tweets of people asking questions or looking for recommendations. I could also add a question mark [?] to ensure that the results also contain questions rather than statements.


As you can see, the search results are much more relevant. But they aren’t all local to me. So, if I want results of local people tweeting I can add a region or city by typing the search command near:”scotland”


The results I now get are more focused on tweets around that region.

Sometimes it’s useful to filter out all tweets with links as these can sometimes include businesses promoting their services.

If I’m a phone supplier looking for any tweets worldwide of people looking for advice on the iphone 4S I can search for “iphone 4S advice”  adding “-filter:links”.

This will filter results ensuring I only see conversations rather than promotions.


As you can see, nearly all of the results I get contain people looking for help or advice without businesses pushing their own messages or products.

Of course, it’s now up to me to engage with the relevant tweeters to better understand their needs.