Twitter Tool Tuesday: Advanced Search

By Chris Bakes, SPI Intern

twitter birds on the wireAlright, alright. Twitter’s Advanced Search feature isn’t a plug-in, but it turns out one of Twitter’s most powerful tools lies within.

What: The “Advanced Search” feature is the seldom-used powerhouse for tweet tracking.
Where: Nestled right in Twitter.
Why: Track tweets by keyword, hashtag, language, geographic region, user, and sentiment.

PBS Stations: Tap into Your Audience
My absolute favorite feature of Twitter’s Advanced Search is the “Places” section. Users can search keywords, hashtags, and users, then zoom into a particular region for a micro-view of local activity. When your station launches promotions, this lets you track how such content fares in your community.

Gauge Public Opinion
The final section of Advanced Search tracks sentiments surrounding content. By checking a box for “Positive” or “Negative” feedback, users can search not only if a term is trending, but also what emotions it evokes in its constituents. Admittedly, this isn’t a perfect feature–it gauges positive and negative based on emoticons–but it’s a good start to get a flavor of user opinion.

The World in Your Twitter Feed

In addition to tapping into different regional audiences, you can filter tweets based on language. A nifty drop-down menu permits users to search criteria by different languages. If your station serves a multilingual community–Mountain Lake PBS, for example, with English and French-speakers in upstate New York and Quebec–you can filter for chatter by language.