Boolean seek for social media monitoring: What to trace, tips on how to observe, and why


When you have any expertise with social media monitoring platforms, you realize that getting exact outcomes could also be difficult at instances: Apps can present quite a lot of noise for manufacturers with frequent names or, fairly the opposite, miss some helpful information behind as a result of restrictive filters.

That’s when Boolean search suits in completely.

Boolean search definition

In a broad sense, a Boolean search is a kind of search that mixes phrases with operators. It’s utilized in social listening instruments, search engines like google and yahoo, and different apps. It permits you to discover exactly what you’re trying to find, and exclude what you’re not. I've to say that not all social listening instruments present Boolean capabilities, however some platforms resembling Awario, SproutSocial, or Google Alerts do allow you to take a look at it earlier than beginning your subscription.

Coping with these Boolean queries might look intimidating at first in the event you aren’t accustomed to programming. However the excellent news is that to begin with, not everybody wants Boolean: For those who’re monitoring distinctive key phrases, you’ll be alright with an everyday search mode. And secondly, mastering the fundamentals of making Boolean queries doesn’t require any technical background in any respect.

Boolean phrases defined

Earlier than creating your first question, it is best to get comfy with main Boolean operators, resembling “AND”, “OR”, “AND NOT” (which is usually used as “NOT” or simply “-”).


This one narrows your search to search out outcomes of each key phrases or teams of key phrases inside one publish, so the question like “Prince William” AND “Duchess Kate” will present us outcomes the place each names are talked about:

example of using the AND boolean to find keywords or groups of keywords


OR broadens the search to search out outcomes the place any time period is talked about. This may be good for misspellings, typos, and options of the identical time period. For instance “Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge” OR “Duchess Kate” will present mentions with any model of her title:

example of using OR boolean to search misspellings, typos, and alternatives of the same term


AND NOT permits you to exclude phrases you don’t need to seem in your search outcomes. For those who don’t need to get mentions about Prince William’s 37th birthday, (“Prince William” AND NOT birthday) will aid you get related mentions:

The record of Boolean operators and their logic varies on completely different instruments: a few of them, resembling Google Alerts, has a fairly primary set (which is sufficient normally although) which incorporates “OR”, “-”, “website”, citation marks, and an asterisk. Others, like Brandwatch, supply superior operators, resembling “NEAR/n”, “uncooked”, “nation”, and extra.

The place and tips on how to use Boolean?

Boolean search is relevant in a number of eventualities, however I’d like to focus extra on the circumstances the place this mode is indispensable. So beneath yow will discover the circumstances when a number of strains of code can prevent tons of time on slicing by the noise.

Save time on inputting all model title options

This can be a time-saving tactic that allows you to create a question utilizing just some strains of code as a substitute of coming into all potential model title options. Works greatest for three-word names or extra.

Let’s say there’s a model that’s known as C.S. Johnson & Sons. This model title will be spelled in various methods:

using Boolean to create a query using just a few lines of code

However when you have entry to Boolean search, you'll be able to create the next question:

example of creating a Boolean search query

Acquire management over acronyms or manufacturers with frequent names

As within the earlier case, you'll be able to apply the facility of grouping phrases for looking out manufacturers with frequent or ambiguous names. And there are two methods of treating these circumstances.

To begin with, you'll be able to exclude irrelevant outcomes by including a bunch of destructive key phrases, that are phrases you don’t need to be utilized in your outcomes:

example of gaining control over acronyms and brand names by adding a group of negative keywords

Secondly, you'll be able to add some phrases for use with the model title to make sure you discover outcomes that matter to what you are promoting.

example of adding common terms to brand names for boolean search

On the screenshot above, on the prime, yow will discover a social media deal with and an internet site that can deliver related outcomes per se. They’re adopted by the model title that can be utilized in a number of circumstances, however we slim it right down to the related case solely.

And eventually, generally it makes excellent sense to make use of each “AND” and “AND NOT” operators:

example of using AND” and “AND NOT” operators for boolean search

This question exhibits solely related outcomes because the complete question is supported by destructive phrases.

Discover linkless pages for link-building functions

Boolean search permits you to simply create queries that include solely mentions of a specific model or trade and don’t have hyperlinks to this model. It really works greatest for information articles and different internet pages, so word that you just’ll want a instrument that displays these sources as properly:

This question will ship all webpages that point out JIRA on the internet and don’t have hyperlinks to their web site. So our job right here is to succeed in out to web site homeowners to show these pages into backlinks.

Monitor mentions from particular areas

This method is helpful for worldwide corporations. You may arrange an alert that can ship related mentions to an individual in control of the corporate unit from a specific geographical space.

You need to use the nation operator to restrict the search to a particular location that’s offered by social networks. And along with that, you'll be able to create one other group of key phrases that can present search outcomes on your key phrases with location names. This fashion, the instrument will cowl mentions the place individuals use the names of related areas within the textual content of a publish.

The instance above searches for mentions posted within the US in addition to all of the mentions the place location key phrases are used inside a publish.

Uncover dissatisfied prospects

This one is nice for disaster managers in an organization. Boolean search permits you to create queries that seek for posts containing problematic phrases.

To make use of this, you’ll want the proximity operator close to/n that can allow you to specify the utmost distance between the title of an organization and a phrase or phrase usually used to complain about one thing on-line:

Generate new leads

The opposite case the place Boolean search is useful is lead technology. To arrange a search, you’ll must give you a number of phrases that individuals usually use to ask about companies on-line, resembling “I’m in search of”, “I would like”, “suggest me”, and comparable search queries.

Through the use of the close to/n proximity operator, you'll be able to outline the gap of these phrases out of your goal key phrases:

This question will monitor social platforms for all new posts the place individuals seek for internet designers. All you have to do is work together with these posts internally from the instrument (if it has the potential to take action) or externally from a social media platform.

Test texts for plagiarism

And the final one I’d wish to let you know about is checking texts for copyright infringement. All you have to do is add a number of items of content material to the alert (don’t overlook to cite it to seek for the precise match).

example of using Boolean search to check for plagiarized content

The app will seek for matches of these items on social media platforms and the online and notify you every time somebody’s making the most of your work with out permission.

Closing phrases

Utilizing Boolean for social media monitoring is a good way to chop by numerous mentions to search out these gems that allow you to perceive your viewers higher and attain your social media advertising targets.

So while you store for a social media monitoring instrument, be certain that it’s geared up with a Boolean search mode.

Aleh is the Founder and CMO at search engine optimization PowerSuite and Awario. He will be discovered on Twitter at .

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