To build community, start conversations, deepen existing relationships, keep up with brand mentions and watch for customer service opportunities, you have to listen. It’s a well-known fact that social media monitoring is not an easy task and might be complicated.

There are millions of blogs, news sites and Social Media channels (like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and etc.) that have billions of posts daily. Most brands are mentioned every day. The problem is that interesting mentions are not visible. Irrelevant mentions do not bring any benefit to businesses.

Building an excellent saved search (or a query) could help you get rid of this problem and reduce stress. Using Boolean expressions will make interesting mentions more visible.

Reasons why you need to build a good saved search

Most bibliographic databases allow you to save searches which have given you good results. Simple queries offer thousands of results. The problem is that they do not offer relevant results. Google’s ranking algorithm draws attention to the top ten results.

Algorithm is a set of mathematical instructions or rules that, especially if given to a computer, will help to calculate an answer or solve to a problem.

Now let’s suppose that you want to find reviews of the best watches for men or women. Run a short search on Google for the best watches and you will notice that this search engine finds over 100m web pages and shows you the links to the most relevant ones. Only a few of the ten most relevant websites are interesting.

Google is intelligent and amazing enough to rank those pages that include the terms “best watches for men or women” before any pages that include only one term.

Social media monitoring is all about looking and analyzing all the relevant and important pages about a brand or а topic. This is the reason why if you want to succeed you need to be more precise and write a good but more complex search. However, complex queries aren’t an ordinary thing. It usually contains Boolean operators like “AND”, “OR”, “NOT” and more.

  • Use AND to narrow your search: all of your search terms will present in the retrieved records.
  • Use OR to broaden your search by connecting two or more synonyms.
  • Use NOT to exclude term(s) from your search results.

Do you know what Boolean operators are?

For the beginners, understanding the role of these operators can be a little bit tricky. We’ll try to explain what Boolean operators are and how they can help.

Boolean search operators are terms that users can use within a keyword query to adjust their queries for more relevant results.

First and foremost, it’s important for you to know that Boolean operators provide your computer with certain criteria to use when searching web pages. The Boolean operators “Not”, “and”, “or” and others are all Boolean operators.

Why is it so important to use Boolean operators in Social Media Marketing and Social Media Monitoring?

EBOSReputation social media monitoring tools allow users to use the following operators:

1) “” double quotes – exact phrase search

Using the double quotes “” search operator will ensure that whichever phrase is being searched for you to know that this operator finds texts where the words in the quotation marks appear in the right order.Let’s suppose that you use Google to search for “ice cream”. The result consists in web pages that say “I love ice cream”. Automatically this means that all those websites that mention just “ice” or “cream” are eliminated.

2) AND or +

Using “AND” or “+” Boolean search operator ensures that mentions appear with every word entered within a query, albeit without a specific order or distance from one another. When running a search like ice AND cream will find texts that mention both words. For example, the following text will well pass the requirement: „I love ice and durian cream”. Keep in mind that if you want to use this Boolean operator you need to use capital letters. Otherwise EBOSReputation considers it to be the just the word “and”.

3) OR

The “OR” operator will help you to specify that any one of a set of keywords can appear in a mention. It requires web pages to contain either of two terms. For example, if you use EBOSReputation to search for “ice OR cream” the result will consist in web pages that mention either Ice or Cream. Keep in mind that if you want to use this Boolean operator you need to use CAPITAL letters.

4) NOT or –

Using NOT requires web pages to not include a certain keyword. For example, “ice cream” NOT candy will provide you access to those pages that mention the phrase “ice cream” and do not mention “candy”. As with the other operators, NOT has to be capitalized.

5) Brackets

Brackets can be used by those who want to group terms together, so that Boolean operators like AND/+ and NOT/- can be applied to all the terms. For example, “ice cream” NOT (candy OR cake) will help you find those sites that mention Ice cream but exclude those that contain candy or cake.

6) ~

The “~” symbol is also known as the proximity operator in the Boolean language. This symbol can be used by those who want to find web sites where two (or even more) words appear within a few words of each other. It’s important for you to keep in mind that this operator can only be used in conjunction with „” (quotation marks) and with a number (this number indicates the maximum number of words apart they must be). Here’s a short example to help you understand the role of this symptom: “Ice cream” ~3. This search will find all those web sites that mention both, Ice and Cream within 3 words of each other.

7) site:

Using this Boolean operator will allow you to restrict a search to one (or more) web sites or to exclude them from a query. For example, “Ice Cream” AND site: will provide all the mentions of Ice Cream on this website. This gives you the possibility to monitor particular websites for a given set of keywords and phrases and react accordingly.

8) raw:

Most of the times, when we search web sites we ignore the punctuation. „raw:” is an operator that reinserts the needs for special characters. For example, if you use Google to search for „apple pie!” the engine will only look for „apple pie”. If you want to include the exclamation mark then you need to use raw: “ice cream!”. You may equally search for mentions of stock signs like raw:” $GOOG”

Advice on building effective saved searches

Remember, simple is always better. As long as your brand has a unique and powerful name there’s no need to use these operators. If you need a complex search you may always create few simple ones and group them in a folder. The folder will provide you with consolidated view to all results.

And finally – do not hesitate to contact our support service at– we are always glad to help.

Remember, using more refined Boolean Operators can help parse through unwanted mentions that will ultimately:

  • Make your data more accurate.
  • Save time.
  • Save money.

All of these are necessary precursors to extracting data out of any social media analysis campaign – whether it’s for social media market research or social media management.

After all, your data and insights are only as informative as the query is you use to get them. Some monitoring tools limit users on mentions or keywords in terms of pricing. Either way, having Boolean search operators will help limit your keywords and maximize or limit the amount of mentions a user gets based on their needs.