If you own a website or are just trying to earn money online as a freelancer, it is always good to know what people are saying about you over the Internet. People may be citing you, sharing experiences about your services or recommending you. In any case, you may want to be there to answer any questions, make contacts, and so on.
One of the best tools to listen to online conversations is Twitter and here are a few actionable suggestions.
How Do You Create Twitter Feeds?
Despite the fact that Twitter has weirdly removed the direct option to grab the RSS feed of any search, all the RSS links are still working.
To create an RSS feed, add your search query after this URL string:
(for exact match)
There’s also a simple web-based app to generate Twitter search RSS links:
Here are a few useful tips we have previously covered on having fun with RSS feeds, which you are likely to find useful for using the search tricks listed in this article:
- How RSS feeds work in simple terms
- Best free RSS readers for the iPad
- How to mix and edit existing RSS feeds with Yahoo! Pipes
- Two easy tips to manage your unread RSS feeds better
- How to read RSS feeds on your iPad even when you’re offline
And now the actual tips on creating useful RSS feeds to track you and your business mentions on Twitter!
1. Reduce Any Clutter: Filter Out Retweets
While retweeting is great for expanding the reach of the update, retweets are actually one and the same message repeated again and again. Seeing multiple retweeted messages in your personal reputation management feed may result in one important update getting lost in the clutter.
Luckily Twitter search supports the – operator that lets you filter out all the updates containing a specific word from the search results:
[“You (brand) name” -rt]
2. Monitor Only Real Opinions: Filter Out Links
Let’s face it: most Twitter updates are aimed to share a link. If you blog a lot, your name (or moniker) is mostly mentioned on Twitter next to the post you have written. But do you want to only monitor “real” conversations?
Here’s a good way: Twitter supports the filter:links operator that searches only for tweets containing links. If we use the above mentioned trick, we’ll make it work vice versa excluding all linked updates from search results.
[“You (brand) name” -filter:links]
Similarly, you can also filter all updates referencing your Twitter username (you will be updated about these by Twitter itself via email or by your Twitter client):
[-from:username] – filters out all tweets coming from a user;
[-@username] – filters out all tweets referencing a user.
3. Monitor Negative Mentions
This tip is especially useful for e-commerce site owners and geeky customer support managers. You can focus on negative mentions by including :( in the results.
[“You (brand) name” :(]
4. Monitor Questions Mentioning You Or Your Business
Another great tip for service owners: you can create a separate feed to monitor all questions about you or your business name.
[“Your (brand) name” ?] – make sure to use a space before the question mark.
5. Include Your Name & Your Moniker(s) In Search Results
Lastly, here’s the easiest tip: you are most likely to be known by several names online: your name, username, site name, etc. You can include all these mentions in search results using OR operator:
[“You business name” OR “Your name” OR “Your moniker]
Are you tracking your name mentions on Twitter! I hope I have inspired you to! Please let me know your thoughts!