Although the reports of Twitter’s death have been greatly exaggerated, the social media platform has dipped in popularity, as shiny new toys like Instagram and Snapchat have captured the imagination of the public, especially Millennials.

But Twitter still has 328 million monthly active users, 100 million daily active users, and 500 million tweets are sent every day on the platform.

Twitter has definitely taken a hit, but it remains a viable marketing tool for businesses, and its Advanced Search feature offers multiple opportunities for brands to refine their marketing strategies.

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Businesses can now tailor search results based on a range of dates, people, hashtags and specific phrases, while also excluding words and phrases.

This provides refined searches that can help you understand current and previous trends, and hone in on the behavior of your targeted audience.

What follows is a simple guide on how to use Twitter Advanced Search, with actionable tips that can help you use this tool with maximum efficiency.

The Twitter Advanced Search Fields Page

To access Advanced Search, type ‘twitter.com’ and enter a phrase in the search bar. Once the results have appeared, click on More options > Advanced search. Or, just navigate directly to twitter.com/search-advanced.

You’re going to get a pretty long list of search fields to choose from, which can be a little overwhelming. For example, under the heading ‘Words,’ this list appears:

Other headings include:

What’s cool about these fields is that you aren’t limited to just choosing one, so for example, you could perform a search that combined an exact phrase, from specific accounts, during a specific date range.

Before moving on to what happens after you hit Search, let’s explore some of the common search queries and how you can use them to refine your searches.

How to Use the Words Fields in Advanced Search

The six fields under the Words heading help you include or exclude a number of different words and phrases in your search.

How to Use the People Fields in Advanced Search


Under the People heading, there are three different fields that can alter your search results depending on what you type. Just type the username of a person with a Twitter account, or several usernames separated by a comma.

Then choose whether you want results exclusively sent by that account, to that account, or that mentioned that account.

What’s valuable about these fields is that you can type the username of a person’s Twitter account, and include the word “email,” and the search results will include any email address that the person has posted in a tweet. That can be immensely helpful if you’re using Twitter for link building.

How to Use the Places Field in Advanced Search

Under the Places heading, you can type in a location and the search results will include tweets from that area.

You can type an area code, ZIP code, postal code, city, state, or country to get results within a 15-mile radius.

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This is useful if you are geotargeting, or if you own a brick-and-mortar and are trying to refine your local marketing strategy.

How to Use the Dates Field in Advanced Search

Under the heading ‘Dates,’ you can select a specific date range and only receive search results from that time.

One thing to note is that the first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006, so the system would default to that date if you entered a date earlier than that one.

We’ll look more in depth at how you can use these fields in particular for lead generation a little later, but for now, let’s take a quick look at what your search results would look like using Twitter Advanced Search.

What Twitter Advanced Search Results Look Like

After you have typed in all the information to generate a search, the results page will include the headings:

After reviewing the results, you may realize that you need to refine or broaden your search, and you can do that by simply going back to the Advanced Search page.

Don’t Forget the Search Operators

Similar to the advanced search operators available for Google, Twitter also provides for a wide-range of search “tricks” to help narrow in on your target from any of Twitter’s search boxes. These will help you weed out the useful tweets from the pics of what users had for dinner.

How to Use Twitter Advanced Search to Generate Leads

The Advanced Search feature can provide your business with valuable demographic information, information about prospects in your local area, and lead generation opportunities.

When your goal is lead generation, you will want to focus on these areas:

There are many ways for you to generate leads using these fields, but two of the most common methods include:

  1. Type in the name of a major competitor under the exact phrase field in Words, and under the ‘Mentioning these accounts field under People. Then click the ‘Negative’ box under Other and analyze the results. Make a spreadsheet of all the users who have negative comments about your competitor, and reach out to them with promo codes and discounts, knowing that they are dissatisfied with the product or service they received.

In the example below, a brand competitive with GoDaddy searched for negative tweets about the company, hoping to take advantage of customer dissatisfaction.

  1. Type in the name of a product or service you offer under Words. If you sell computer security software, you would type that phrase + a “?”.  You can use the results to create a database of people who have made inquiries about products or services you sell and reach out to them about what you can offer.

These are only two of the ways you can generate leads from Twitter Advanced Search, but they are effective because they identify people who are unhappy with products or services they purchased or people who have expressed interest in those products and services but may have not yet engaged with a seller.

Another Tool in the Your Marketing Tool Chest

Twitter Advanced Search helps you to analyze your market, judge how your competitors are doing based on positive or negative sentiment, and improve your geotargeting based on the number of tweets in specific locations.

It may take a few searches before you understand all the ways you can manipulate the results, but once you do, you can hone in on the information you need to help boost your Twitter marketing efforts.


Image Credits

In-post Photos # 1-6: Screenshots taken by Jon Clark, September 2017
In-post Photo # 7: Social Media Worldwide
In-post Photos # 8-9: Screenshots taken by Jon Clark, September 2017