Social Search Commands for Everyday Use

Everyone has had their fair share of search engine #fail moments. You’re searching, and searching, and searching, and just can’t seem to find what you’re looking for.

Maybe you’re looking for bloggers, maybe you’re looking for real-time news, or possibly checking out your competition.

Social search engines can help you find just what you’re looking for, and go straight to the source in no time flat. Here are a few helpful social search engines and search commands.

Twitter Search

Twitter Search

Twitter search gets more than 1 billion queries per day — roughly 31 billion per month. That’s more search queries in a month than Yahoo and Bing combined.

Head on over to Twitter Search to utilize the advanced search option. Check out the search commands Twitter suggests you use. Some suggestions:

  • Keyword ?: Find Twitter users asking questions that you can help answer. Answering questions and providing useful information can help you find prospects, gain new followers, or further showcase yourself as an expert in any given field.
  • “Keyword” near: City/State: Find out what’s being said in any geo-specific area. For clients, this search command will figure out how often industry related keywords are tweeted near their geo-specific areas. Significant discussion of industry related keywords demands attention, and monitoring.
  • “Keyword” 🙂 or “Keyword” 🙁 : Find positive or negative discussion surrounding specific keywords, including brand names. When trying to convince a client to utilize social media marketing, do a few searches and see if online users are already tweeting about their brand.
  • “Keyword”: Find link building opportunities. Enter your keyword phrase, or industry related topic. Find out who is tweeting about that particular topic. Do they have a website? Can you build a relationship with that user? Might you be able to secure a guest blog post on their blog? Many link building opportunities available with this search command.

Social Mention

Social Mention Search

Social Mention serves up results to help you see what’s being said in your industry, about your brand, or a new product, and helps you measure it. Monitoring more than 100 social properties, you can use this social search engine for observation across many platforms.

Results aren’t exactly real-time like with Twitter, but sentiment, strength, and passion is measured. A few of useful search commands:

  • “Keyword”: Find a plethora of results from blogs, social networking sites, videos, audio, and more, whether searching for your own brand name, your competitors, or even your name. When link building for a client, you can use Social Mention to discover where a competitor is utilizing the social sphere, and observe potential link building opportunities from unique domains.
  • “Keyword” domain: Find locations where competitors have links on social sites across the web, and the top keywords used. Again, areas where potential link building opportunities exist.
  • ˜Keyword -topic: Find results for a keyword or industry related topic that has similar synonyms (thus the ˜), limiting the results to take out anything with a particular word or from a particular site (thus the -). For example, ˜golf -Ryder Cup will show results about golf (or any other keyword similar), and take out the results about the Ryder Cup.


YouTube Search

Using advanced search commands on YouTube is pretty easy, and can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. From how-to videos, to viral videos you just can’t seem to remember the name of, use a few of the below search commands to help you save time and find what you’re looking for. Use any of the normal Google search commands to search for what you’re looking for.

On a related note: are you aware of YouTube’s keyword research tool? This is helpful when developing a video for a client, or for your own site.

  • ˜ “Keyword”: Find results containing your keyword, and synonyms of your keyword. It’s often the case that user generated types of sites won’t have consistent naming for keywords, thus making the ˜ extremely important.
  • (keyword|keyword): Find videos of one topic ‘or’ another by using this search query.

This only scratches the surface on social search commands on social sites, but these tips will get you started. Check out a recent post by fellow SEW writer Kristi Hines, “Top 25 Social Media Keyword Search Tools,” and try out a few of these social search commands on the 25 sites she mentions to help you find what you’re looking for online.

What are your favorite search commands? Share with us in the comments below.

Join us for SES Chicago 2010, the Leading Search & Social Marketing Event, taking place October 18-22! The conference offers 70+ sessions on topics including PPC management, keyword research, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization, usability and more.

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