The other day I needed to find an article we had published on Social Media Examiner (a popular social media blogging site) a few years back. I thought the content might be useful to a customer I was talking to. First I googled it, but unfortunately I couldn’t remember the title and SME is filled with so many great articles, I couldn’t dig out the one I wanted.
Then I tried looking back through some of our social media to see if I could see it but guys, this post was written years ago and there were a lot of tweets between now and then to go through.
Then I remembered that Twitter Search exists and I typed in:
Boom. There it was.
The third tweet down and I’d found exactly the article I was looking for. How? Because I know our handle, I know Social Media Examiner’s handle and I knew I would have tweeted the article somewhere along the line. Also because Twitter kindly keeps all of your tweets stored, ready for a moment just like this one.
Truth is, not many people use Twitter for what it is. A huge archive of all of the information, tweets and content that your company has once put out into the world. Twitter has recently added a “Save it for later” button.This allows you to bookmark a tweet without having to like it. Why? Because they’ve realised just how many people are using the channel to find content they don’t want to forget.
As of February 2018, Twitter also gave full history access to developers. Previously, it was only possible to view a tweet sent years ago by searching within Twitter’s own search bar. Now, you can use a myriad of tools like Twilert to scan back and capture tweets sent long ago.
Search for previous tweets
To use Twitter as a company archive, you need to know the Twitter search operators that can help. Some of the core ones you might want to know include:
to:user – a tweet sent to a specific user
from:user – a tweet sent from a specific user
“social media blog” – search for this exact phrase, in this exact order
social media blog – search for all three of these keywords, in any order
-RT – exclude retweets
View a list of Twitter Search operators and how to use them in the full Twitter Search Guide.
When using Twitter Search it’s important to note that less is more. The more keywords, search terms and queries you add, the less results you’re going to see. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between the archived information you need and enough results to enable you to see what you’re looking for.
Log tweet history
Twitter Search itself will give you access to all of your previously sent tweets. For example, if I search from:twilert new post I can see a list of all of the tweets @twilert has ever sent that mention the words “new” and “post”.
However, what if you wanted to see a tweet that had been deleted or removed from Twitter? By setting up a Twilert for your key terms, you can save any tweets you need in one easy-to-use history log. Regardless of whether those tweets are still present on Twitter or not. Just note: you need to set the alert up before the tweet is sent in order to ensure it’s captured.
Download your tweet history
To create a full look at the history of a Twitter account you can request its archive. Note, you can only request the archive for an account you own.
Click “Settings & Privacy” within your account, scroll to the bottom and click “Request your archive”.
You’ll get sent a link where you can see all of your tweets, from the very first one on your account.
So there you have it, an easy way to search all of your Twitter history and find information you need by using Twitter Search’s full archive. Will you give it a go?