#WHW- Leveraging Earned Media with Twitter Operators

Find the right tweets

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

Keeping with our theme of owned, paid and earned content this week on the blog, I thought I could share with you a very simple, yet extremely useful Sysomos hack to isolate these types of content for measurement and to help determine what can be leveraged for further use.

Why not get further millage on work you’ve already done?


When working in the Sysomos tools, you have the ability to use “Twitter Operators” in your Boolean query to filter for specific content going to and from a handle. It’s super simple, and a great way to separate owned and paid content from earned content.


First, I’ll outline how the operators work and how it separates content, and then I’ll explain how to leverage earned content further.

Here we go!

from: allows you to search all mentions coming from a specific handle
to: allows you to search all mentions going to a specific handle (Twitter users tweeting at that handle or @replies)
“@” allows you to search for all tweets mentioning a specific Twitter user (not including tweets they have published)
“#” allows you to search for all tweets mentioning a specific hashtag
RT allows you to search for retweets relating to your query

You can even add these to a particular keyword/topic (whether it be your new product, your brand or a campaign)

Pepsi boolean string

This example would show you any content @pepsi has published on Twitter that mentions aspartame.


  • Unlike the @ or # operators, when using from: and to: you don’t use “quotes”
    • “@Pepsi”
    • from:Pepsi
  • from: and to: are to have no spaces between them and the handle name (see example above)
  • from: and to: are always lowercase
  • When using from: or to: do not use the “@” symbol just the handle name (see example above)

These are all great to help you outline various reporting metrics to see how successful you are with your Twitter efforts. For example, if you wanted to see how many people tweet at your brand, you could use the to:, or if you wanted to see how many people are using your campaign hashtag with your brand you could do a similar Boolean string like our Pepsi example but “@handle” and then your campaign hashtag.

From: allows you to search and isolate owned and paid content, whereas something like “RT @Pepsi” AND aspartame would help you report on a specific type of earned content – retweets (for a refresher see an explanation of earned content on an earlier blogpost).

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 9.58.44 AM

We know that people who engage with your content by retweeting it clearly like your message and/or brand, so definitely a more promising audience to get action and engagement from. Once you’ve isolated your retweeters, let’s say for a particular campaign launch, export this list so you can leverage these individuals further.

Below, I hit our “Most Authoritative” button first, to see this list in order of Authority. Another tip, you could also filter the excel list by Authority score, as well, once you’ve exported.

exporting in MAP

pepsi RTers w high Auth

How do you leverage this information further?

  • You can create a mediaset within Sysomos (MAP or Heartbeat) and then layer our data-science tools on top to uncover key themes this community talks about to help curate your content (ensuring relevancy and increasing chances of engagement).
  • You can use this Twitter user list as your target audience for your paid content efforts
  • Use this mediaset in our “Influencers Community” tool to see what communities these individuals are apart of- are there others like them you could be following and engaging with?


How do you leverage your earned media and get further usage out of it? Share with us!

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