Are there certain people you wish you could find on Twitter?
Do you want to get alerts on specific users or hashtags? What about looking for images or videos around a specific keyword?
Searching Twitter for specific users, people, media files or hashtags is easy – when you know how. It can also save you a bunch of time and ensures the time you do spend on Twitter is used wisely.
Here, we break down exactly how all of these individual search options work.
How to search for specific Twitter users
There are lots of different ways to use Twitter’s people search capability to find specific users. Which one you use, depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you want to find users to follow you may want to use the Twitter search bar. For example, by typing in the keyword “marketing” and selecting the “People” filter, you can view users whose bios contain the word “marketing”.
Here’s a tip not many know: whether you put a hashtag before the word or not, Twitter will still pull your profile up in the search results. So all those Twitter bios stuffed with keywords? Not required.
Perhaps you want to break this down further. To find those with “marketing” contained in their bio, who are based in the same area or region as you, select “Show” in the “Search filters” section on the left-hand side. This will open up the option to search for users based everywhere, or just “near me”.
As well as searching for specific accounts, you may also want to search for tweets sent from, to or mentioning specific accounts. This is useful to help you monitor tweets from a specific user, or to see tweets being sent to a competitor.
How to search for tweets sent by a Twitter user
To seek only the tweets sent by a Twitter user, you should use the search from:user. For example, searching from:KimKardashian in the search bar on Twitter will show you all of the tweets sent from the user @KimKardashian.
This will automatically order the tweets by “top” rated tweets. If you want to see the tweets from that user in chronological order, you can order by “Latest”. To receive an alert of a specific user’s tweets, sign up to Twilert. We offer real time, hourly, daily or weekly email alerts listing all of the tweets from specific users.
How to search for tweets sent to a handle
Sometimes you may not want to see what a user is saying, but what’s being said to them. To search for all of the tweets being sent to a Twitter user, search to:user. For example to:missguided will show you all of the tweets sent to the user @Missguided.
This is a great way to monitor conversations within your industry or keep a check on competitor/customer conversations that you may otherwise miss.
In both of these cases you don’t need to include the @ before the handle. Using from:user or to:user will automatically pull out the correct tweets.
How to search for tweets mentioning a Twitter user
For a full 360-view you may want to search for all tweets mentioning a specific Twitter user. By searching the user’s handle in the Twitter search bar (or Twilert), you can easily see all of the tweets that mention that user’s handle. For example searching @waterstones would show you a feed of tweets that are both from the user (as their handle will be mentioned), are sent to the user, or are sent as replies to the user.
This gives you a great way to monitor your own brand and never miss a mention, or to monitor someone else’s.
Hashtags can easily be tracked by searching in the Twitter search tool bar. You can also save hashtag searches in Twilert, which gives you an easy way to receive email alerts on specific hashtags or to create a reference point of tweets you can return to later.
Twitter also now offers the “Follow search” feature which allows you to follow a hashtag (or any search in fact), the same as you would a user.
By clicking “Follow search” you add top tweets that use the hashtag (or search term) to your timeline.
If you want to track more than one hashtag in the same search, you can use the Twitter search operator “OR”. For example, searching #WTM17 OR #WorldTravelMarket in either Twitter’s search bar or Twilert, would give you a single feed of any tweets that contain either one of those hashtags.
How to search for an image or photo
If you want to search for only tweets containing an image or photo, fill in the Twitter search box with your keyword or hashtag and add “filter:images” to the search. For example, cute dog filter:images would show you tweets that contain the keywords “cute” + “dog” but only if they also have an image attached to their tweet.
How to search for a video on Twitter
To search for tweets containing a video on Twitter you can follow the same process as above, but instead of filter:images, you write filter:videos. This will create a feed of tweets that contain your keywords and a video file.
Are there any other Twitter searches you wish you knew? Ask us in the comments below or tweet us at @twilert and we’ll get back to you right away.