Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want my team to just do your marketing for you, click here.

How to Generate Leads with Twitter Advanced Search Queries

advanced searches

Twitter has useful resources to help businesses both large and small with lead generation.

I’m sure you’re familiar with Twitter’s general search panel.

It’s the search bar you’ve been using to find users, hashtags, businesses, and pretty much everything else on the platform.

The general search results aren’t terrible, but it’s not ideal for generating leads.

Twitter has roughly 328 million users across the globe.

image12 3

With other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat on the rise, many people believe that Twitter has lost its popularity.

The graph, on the other hand, says otherwise. Twitter’s user base is at an all-time high.

On average, there are about 6,000 tweets every second on Twitter. That’s over 350,000 tweets per minute and 500 million tweets per day.

There are roughly 200-billion tweets each year.

Think of it like this: that’s 200-billion pieces of consumer information.

Are all of these tweets relevant to your business? Of course not.

The key is figuring out how to find the ones that are.

That’s where Twitter’s advanced search queries come into play.

You can find out who’s talking about topics regarding your:

  • Business
  • Industry
  • Products
  • Location
  • Competition

Bu that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ll not only show you how to use Twitter’s advanced search queries, but also how they can generate leads for your company.

I also have a helpful guide for beginners about generating sales through social media.

Understand how your customers are using Twitter.

Before you can effectively use the advanced search queries, you need to get a better grasp of who’s on Twitter and what they’re using it for.

Here’s a breakdown from Business Intelligence about Internet users on Twitter.

image6 5

What are all of these people tweeting about and how can you use it to your advantage?

These are some statistics from Brand Watch that cannot be ignored.

About 80 percent of users have mentioned a brand by name in a tweet.

Roughly 54 percent of users have retweeted content, visited a website, or searched for the brand after seeing the name mentioned on Twitter.

And 60 percent of customers on Twitter expect companies to respond to their questions within one hour.

After a positive interaction with a business on Twitter, some 76 percent of customers are likely to recommend that brand.

What does all of this information tell you?

Obviously, customers want to interact with you and your business on Twitter.

These interactions are a great way to generate leads.

On average, consumers follow six or more brands on Twitter.

Why do users follow businesses? These are the top reasons.

image7 3

If you can get users to find and click on your profile, they are more likely to follow you if you’re offering the things listed in the graph.

Make sure your Twitter profile has:

  • Discounts
  • Promotions
  • Free giveaways
  • Entertainment
  • Sales updates
  • Exclusive content

Twitter users love to engage brands with tweets because it gives them a direct line of communication with the company.

image3 3

You can use this information to your advantage.

It’s imperative that you respond to users that are engaging your company on Twitter in a friendly tone, with helpful information in a timely fashion.

These engagements can generate more traffic to your Twitter profile and ultimately increase the traffic to your website.

Here’s a video where I discuss other untapped traffic opportunities.

Added traffic to your website is a great way to generate sales, add subscribers, and increase your conversion rates.

Use advanced search queries on Twitter.

So we’ve established that your current and prospective customers are using Twitter to engage with brands and discuss different products.

We’ve also outlined the importance of your interaction with these consumers once they find you.

The majority of Twitter users are active at least once per day.

image13 2

Over half of these users tweet daily.

It’s time for you to find the users and tweets that generate leads for your business.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the advanced search queries on Twitter.

Step #1: Use the general search bar on your home page.

image1 2

This search bar is always at the top of your Twitter page.

Type something into the search bar to get started.

Step #2: Click the “Advanced search” option.

image18 3

If you search for my name, your screen will look like this.

You’ll see a link to my Twitter profile and some related searches based on my tweets and interactions.

On the left side of the screen is the “Advanced search” option.

It’s located at the bottom of the “Search filters” section.

Click the “Advanced search” link.

Step #3: Type in the keywords you want to search for.

image8 3

Notice the difference between these search options and the general search bar from earlier.

Clearly, the advanced search is much more detailed.

Fill in the first part of the form with words, phrases, and hashtags that are associated with your business.

If you’re a new company that’s still growing in popularity, you may not have people talking about your brand specifically.

However, you can still use this advanced search to look for terms that your potential customers might be tweeting about.

For example, if you have a website about bicycles, you can search for terms like bikes, wheels, road bike, speed bike, mountain bike, bicycle race, etc.

If you’re struggling to come up with search terms outside of the obvious parameters, read my guide about conquering keyword research to help you out.

Step #4: Search for specific accounts.

image5 4

You can also add user accounts to your advanced search query.

Add your company’s profile to this search, as well as your competitors.

You should include your local competition and broad competitors on a larger scale as well.

Adding user accounts to your advanced search queries can give you a better understanding of how your consumers are interacting with your competitors.

You can learn from your competition’s mistakes and take notes from their successful interactions.

You need to become an expert with keyword analysis.

Step #5: Add a location to your search.

image4 2image9 3

You can also add geographic locations to your advanced search.

If your location is disabled, simply click “Location disabled” to access the prompt with an option to turn it on.

Local businesses should restrict their location search to their specific area or region.

If you’re a national or global brand, you can expand this search to other geographic areas based on your marketing goals.

You can find tweets from specific:

  • Countries
  • States
  • Areas
  • Cities

For example, if you’re looking to grow your customer base through marketing efforts in Southern California, simply add that location to your search query.

Step #6: Narrow down the dates.

image10 2

Tweets from 2010 are probably not useful or relevant to your lead-generation strategy.

Narrow down the dates to optimize your search results.

Look for recent tweets that are fresh in the consumer’s mind.

Search for the last week, month, or year at the most.

Narrow down your searches

Just because the Twitter advanced search forms give you so many options to search for, it doesn’t mean you need to go over the top with every search.

Use the advanced search to coincide with your marketing goals.

Let’s say you have a bicycle shop in Austin, Texas.

Searching for tweets from anybody in the state of Texas who mentioned the word “bike” or “bicycle” in the last year probably won’t generate too many leads for you.

Part of your marketing strategy might be increasing the revenue of your bicycle repair department.

In this case, you can use the sentiment search option to generate leads.

image17 3

The example above shows tweets that include the word “work” with a sad face.

You can apply this same concept to your bicycle shop’s lead-generation strategy.

Search for the word bike with a sad face in the city of Austin, Texas.

Narrow the search results to the last week.

Now you’ll be able to find everyone tweeting in your city that has a problem or sad emotion relating to their bicycle.

Respond to their tweet offering to help.

Follow the prospective customer’s profile. They might just follow you back as well.

About 67 percent of Twitter users are more likely to shop from companies who they follow.

Don’t be afraid to add an image or link to your reply, either.

Tweets that include image links have a 200 percent higher engagement than tweets without images.

And 86 percent of retweets come from tweets that contain links.

Let’s look at some examples.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for how you should handle a potential lead in your area:

Step #1: Reply directly to their tweet.

image14 3

Look how Comcast replied to this customer.

The customer was tweeting that they were happy with a service representative.

Don’t ignore positive tweets.

Some companies may think they only need to respond to the people complaining.

But that’s not the case. Your engagements with the positive tweets are just as important.

Step #2: Follow the customer’s account.

image11 4

We discussed earlier that Twitter users are more likely to support brands that they follow.

What’s the best chance of getting a consumer to follow you?

Follow them first.

Based on your profile and engagement strategy, they might follow you back.

Step #3: Offer a solution.

image21 2

If your customer has a problem, offer them a solution.

Take a look at this example from UPS.

They’re a global brand and they still took the time to reach out to a customer with an issue.

UPS didn’t only offer one solution — they offered a couple.

They left the customer with some options to resolve their issue. It’s a nice strategy and it can help diffuse an angry customer.

Multiple solutions also show that your company is flexible and that you care.

Step #4: Include a link to your website.

image20 2

Amazon replied directly to this customer’s tweet and included a link for them to follow.

Links are actionable.

It gives your customer a chance to continue with the engagement so you can ultimately make a sale.

Based on this example with Amazon, it looks like they are going to provide this customer with some sort of added benefit.

You can apply this strategy to your own business as well.

Step #5: Include an image with exclusive offers.


Saxx Underwear included an image and promotional offer in this tweet.

The image is relevant to their message.

It’s a Father’s day campaign, so they used a picture of a father and son.

They also included a link with an exclusive offer for free shipping.

Based on this tweet, Saxx increases their chances of generating leads on Twitter.

Earlier, we outlined the reasons why consumers follow brands on Twitter. They want free stuff, promotions, and discounts.

Use that information combined with the statistics about engagements with images to your advantage.

As a result, your company gains exposure, and other prospective customers can see these interactions as well.

If someone else reaches out to you about a product or service, make sure you respond right away.

image15 3

Responding to someone on Twitter increases the chances that they will:

  • Recommend your brand on social platforms.
  • Encourage others to buy from your business.
  • Personally make a purchase from your company.

Other than a sad face, what other sentiments can you add to your advanced search?

Ask yourself what customers could be tweeting about that’s relevant to your company.

Step #6: Questions.

Add a question mark to your advanced search query.

It will look something like this.

image24 2

Tailor the question search around your marketing goals.

This will generate relevant leads for your company.

Again, we’ll use the Austin, Texas bike shop as the example to keep things practical and easy to follow.

If you search for key words like bike repair, bicycle, bike shop, etc. and add a question mark to the search field, you’ll get relevant results from your area.

You may find people asking, “How do I replace the brake pads on my bike?”

Or, “Where can I find a good bicycle repair shop?”

That’s where you come in.

Follow the same guide that we used earlier as your approach to connecting with your customers.

It’s important to use all of the advanced search fields while trying to narrow your results to the most relevant tweets.

Here’s a section that’s often overlooked.

image16 3

At first glance, it may seem like a section that you can easily skip over.

However, if you omit this section, you’ll end up with some irrelevant search results.

Ultimately, it will just take you much longer to go through all of the tweets that can generate leads.

For example, let’s say you have a laundromat and your business offers a wash, dry, and fold service for clothing.

You may want to search for the term “wash” but add “car” to the “None of these words” field.

Tweets about people washing their cars are not relevant to your company, and you shouldn’t have to sift through them.

You might want to include the word “bike” but not “rack.”

If you have a website about fantasy sports, you may want to search for the term “draft” but not “beer.”

Utilize your marketing resources.

Do you have a marketing director, marketing team, or marketing department?

Use your creative thinking capabilities to generate leads on Twitter.

Make sure you incorporate hashtags.

image23 1

There used to be a time where the symbol “#” was called a pound sign.

But thanks to social media, in 2014 the word hashtag was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

What do these numbers tell you?

Use hashtags, but use them sparingly.

image19 2

Adding more than two hashtags to your tweets is actually counterproductive.

Just over 60 percent of tweets with hashtags contain exactly one hashtag.

Since most people aren’t using more than one, you shouldn’t be either.

Users may consider it spam or they may not take the time to read each hashtag.

Work with your creative marketing team to come up with creative hashtags.


Here’s a great example of a creative hashtag campaign from the Make-A-Wish America charity organization.

Notice how they constructed their hashtag.

While hashtags are not case sensitive, they certainly read better when you capitalize letters.




None of these options would have been as effective and legible as the one they used for this campaign.

#EatADish4MAW is easy to read and sends a clear message.

Does your marketing team have an appointed social media manager?

About 25 percent of companies do not have a social media department that’s dedicated to strategic content.

Of the other 75 percent that do, look how they are distributing their budgets for lead generation.

image26 1

Small businesses target social media as the highest portion of their lead generation budgets.

You need to have someone on your team that uses Twitter’s advanced search queries to engage with your prospective customers.

Utilizing the strengths of your marketing team to manage your Twitter account will yield a high return on your investment.


Compared to outbound marketing, social media has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate.

The platforms are free, too.

You don’t have to pay anything to use Twitter or use Twitter’s advanced-search options.

The only cost to your business is the time it takes for you or one of your employees to manage the accounts.

If you want to pay for software that enhances your Twitter advanced search queries, you have some options to choose from.

Twilert offers a 30-day free trial for you to try their software before you have to pay for a subscription.

image27 1

This software is a superior version of the Twitter advanced-search query.

You input the information you want to search for and Twilert automatically emails you the real-time results as they happen.

It’s an option to consider if you’ve already come up with successful terms, phrases, hashtags, and other fields to generate leads on Twitter.

Rather than searching for these every day or every week, you can simply apply the words to Twilert and get notified whenever a new tweet matches your query.

From here, you would take the same actions I outlined earlier to follow up with the leads.


The general search bar on Twitter is not enough to effectively generate leads through their platform.

image22 1

To maximize your lead-generation strategy and create a favorable return on investment for your social media efforts, you need to utilize Twitter’s advanced search queries.

At first glance, this concept may sound complicated.

But as you can see from the simple six-step guide I outlined earlier, the advanced-search options are actually quite easy to use.

Before you get started on your search, it’s important for you to understand how your current and prospective customers or subscribers are using Twitter.

Once you take the time to analyze their habits, you’ll have more useful advanced search results.

And narrow your search results.

The best way find the most relative results is to take advantage of every field on the advanced-search page.

  • Words
  • Phrases
  • Words to omit
  • Hashtags
  • Accounts
  • Location
  • Dates

Now that you’ve generated relevant tweets, you can reach out to these users to generate leads for your business.

Combine the efforts of your marketing team and social media managers to incorporate your marketing goals with your lead-generation strategy.

Based on the statistics I outlined earlier, properly communicating with your leads on Twitter can dramatically increase your revenue stream.

The advanced search query is the key to finding the right leads.

What words will you add to your advanced search query to generate leads on Twitter?