You’ve most likely used Twitter’s default search operator, meaning that you typed a couple words into the search bar — “holiday coupons” for example — to find Tweets containing both of these words. Perhaps you’ve also used a hashtag with a keyword — like #holidaycoupons — to find Tweets that others have tagged with that keyword.
These aren’t the only ways to search on Twitter. The following are additional Twitter search operators that you can use to make your searches more directed.
Expert Twitter Search Tips
Quotation Marks: Use quotation marks around your keywords to search for an exact phrase, e.g., “google+ pages”
OR: Use OR to search for one word OR the other, or both, e.g., “netsuite OR intacct”. To search for one or both of exact phrases, use ” “microsoft crm” OR “ms crm” “. Note that “OR” must be uppercase to be interpreted as an operator.
Minus Sign: Use the minus sign to search for Tweets containing one word but not another, e.g., “kaiser -roll”
Minus Sign RT: Similarly, you can search for Tweets without getting repetitive content by excluding Retweets, e.g. “mediafunnel -RT”
to: Use this word to search for Tweets sent to one particular Twitter profile, e.g., “to:apple”
from: Use “from:” to search for Tweets from a particular Twitter profile, e.g., “from:mediafunnel”
source: Try this when searching for Tweets from a particular source, e.g., “charity source:facebook” (This search will list Tweets that contain “charity” and have been sent from Facebook’s platform). Examples of other sources are “mediafunnel” and “twitterfeed.” Note that this search should contain at least one word in addition to “source:<source>” — otherwise Twitter seems to throw an over capacity error.
from and source combined: Use this to find Tweets from a particular profile that originated from a specific platform. For example, “from:hubspot source:hubspot” will return only recent HubSpot blog posts, since HubSpot’s blog posts are Tweeted from within their own platform.
@: Use this symbol to search for references to a particular Twitter profile, e.g., “@Benioff”
near: / within: Use these to find the location from which Twitter users have sent tweets, e.g., “near:NYC within:10mi” (This search will list tweets that have been sent from within 10 miles of New York City).
since: Try this one to find Tweets that have been sent after a certain date, e.g., “new facebook features since:2011-11-2” (This search will list the tweets containing the words “new facebook features” that have been sent since November 2, 2011).
until: Similarly, you can use this word to find Tweets that have been sent up to a specific date, e.g., “twitter statistics until:2011-11-2” (This search will list tweets containing the words “twitter statistic” that were sent before November 2, 2011).
[:)] (Square brackets added to suppress graphic) You can use this smiling emoticon to find Tweets that have positive sentiment, e.g., “salesforce [:)]” (This search will list tweets that both contain the word “salesforce” and are positive).
[:(] Similarly, you can use this frowning emoticon to find Tweets that have negative sentiment, e.g., “yahoo [:(]” (This search will list tweets that both contain the word “yahoo” and are negative).
?: Use this symbol to find Tweets that ask a question, e.g. “best erp ?” (This search will list tweets that both contain the words “best erp” and ask a question).
filter:links Use this shortcut to find Tweets that link to URLs, e.g., “tutorial filter:links” (This search will list tweets the both contain the words “tutorial” and link to URLs).
twitpic, yfrog, post.ly, twitgoo, pikchur: Use these to find Tweets that contain photos or videos, e.g., “halloween twitpic OR yfrog OR post.ly OR twitgoo OR pikchur” (This search will list tweets that both contain the word “halloween” and include photos or videos hosted by any of these platforms).
You can combine these to create very precise Twitter searches, e.g. “from:mediafunnel filter:links” (only MediaFunnel tweets containing links). These Twitter search operators will help you search more successfully and better understand how others search your business.