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Twitter ButtonAre you one of the five hundred million voices on Twitter? As the race continues between social networks to grow their respective user base, a relentless stream of searchable real time information is being published daily. If you think Twitter is only for catching the latest sports news or mind numbingly stupid updates from your favorite celeb you’re missing the big picture, especially if you’re a business owner. At its core, Twitter is really a search engine that can be used to mine real time information about whatever fancies you, like what people are saying about you or your business right now.

Twitter’s official Advanced Search tool is pretty nifty and allows you to drill down very specifically to include, exclude or match any word or phrase, choose languages, hunt for positive or negative comments, geo-target, look for tweets to and from specific people and more. If you’re more of a fan of hotkeys and shortcuts, you can also type a host of search operators into the regular Twitter search bar to get the same results. At the time of this post it appears Twitter’s search operator page is down, but I did find a handy image of them here. Feel free to copy and paste the operators below into your Twitter search bar and start digging!

Operator Finds Tweets that…
search operator contain both “search” and “operator” (default operator)
search operator contain the exact phrase “search operator”
search OR operator contain either “search” or “operator” or both
search operator contain “search” but not “operator”
search operator -filter:links filter out all links
#SearchOperator contain the hashtag “SearchOperator”
from:johndoe sent from the person “johndoe”
to:janedoe sent to the person “janedoe”
@johndoe reference the person “johndoe”
baseball near:”Milwaukee contain the word “baseball” posted near “Milwauikee”
near:MKE within:30mi are sent within 30 miles of “MKE”
election since:2012-01-01 contain the word “election” and sent since “year-month-day”
winning until:2011-05-01 contain the word “winning” and sent up to “year-month-day”
beer: ) contain the word “beer” with a positive attitude
hangover: ( contain the word “hangover” with a negative attitude
traffic ? contain the word “traffic” asking a question
funny filter:links contain the word “funny” linking to URL’s
news source:twitterfeed contain the word “news” entered via TwitterFeed

 

P.S. The folks over at Mashable.com have put together a list of analytical spreadsheet scripts for Twitter (and more) that you can export search results to for further slicing and dicing.

Mike

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