10 Advanced Twitter Search Tips to Cut Through the Noise

Advanced Twitter Search IllustrationHave you ever tried to use Twitter's search engine to find new followers, monitor a brand or just plain find news/information? Have you been overwhelmed by the number of irrelevant results you get? With over 65 million tweets per day and now over 20 billion total tweets, the noise on Twitter is growing every day. As someone who works with search engines, I'm always looking for ways to use advanced search options to find what I'm looking for. Today we'll take a look at advanced twitter search tips to cut through the Twitter search results noise.

Advanced Twitter Search Tips

Using advanced Twitter search is easy and can be a great way to find the right kind of people to follow in your market. You can also hone in news and information in your niche.

The search screen is made up of a number of different search options, grouped into categories (e.g., finding tweets by content, from certain people, from certain locations, etc.). To cut through the noise, simply use a strategic combination of search terms and the advanced Twitter search fields to hone in on the tweets that matter to you. Let's take a look. Each bolded link opens a screenshot of the search in a new window.

  1. Find people with questions that you can answer. This tip is courtesy of one of my favorite sources for Internet marketing insights, Christopher S. Penn. To perform this search, enter a key term of interest to you (e.g., "Internet marketing") in the This exact phrase field. Then enter words that signal intent such as "anyone, suggest, help" into the Any of these words field. Finally, check the Asking a question? checkbox. This is an extremely effective way to find quality new people to follow.
  2. Find new jobs in your area. This one is easy. Put specific job titles in the All of these words field. (You could also use Any of these words if you wanted to shotgun it). Put "job posting" in the This exact phrase field.
  3. Find folks near you with similar interests. Take advantage of the Places options in the advanced Twitter search interface to filter tweets to a certain area.
  4. See photos of bad weather rolling into your area as it happens. Use "twitpic.com" within the The exact phrase field. Add storm-related terms to the Any of these words field. Use Places and Dates to further narrow your search (Pro tip: add additional Twitter photo services to your search net by using the OR Twitter search operator.).
  5. Avoid bad traffic on the drive to and from work. Combine commute-related terms with your normal travel routes in the Any of these words field. This is a good example to point out the benefit of negative filters. Including the word "traffic" in my search will typically bring a lot of SEO-related results. Since I want to know about vehicle traffic, I can filter out web-related terms using the None of these words field. Once again, using Places and Dates will you help with this advanced twitter search as well.
  6. See when those who inspire you create new work. Create a search to show you when there's something new in a topic that interests you. In this example, I've created a search to filter only tweets from specific people who create new Squarespace websites (If you're looking for a great blogging platform, be sure to check out my review of Squarespace).
  7. Play around with hashtags. Create a mixture of your favorite hashtags to consolidate the number of columns in your Tweetdeck or streams in your Hootsuite dashboard.
  8. Find the best photos on the web. Combine the Twitpic.com trick with words like "beautiful, gorgeous and amazing" in the Any of these words field.
  9. Find new local friends. Combine the Places filters with hashtags in your key interest area to find new people that are close to you both in interest and proximity.
  10. See the web's funniest videos. The last advanced Twitter search tip locates uses humor-related terms in the Any of these words field and "video" in the This exact phrase field. 

Share your Advanced Twitter Search Tips

One last tip: once you've found a killer search, make sure you bring it over to Google Reader in the form of an RSS feed. Now it's your turn. What tips do you have for using Twitter's advanced search options? Is there one in particular from the list you're eager to try? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.