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Search and Measure Using Boolean Logic

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

Customizing your searches is the single most important way to gather the data you’re looking for. Here are a few tips to set up your searches to get the most bang.

Boolean Logic sounds fancy but really it is just a way to set up advanced search queries. Think of it like this - create keyword combos using the concept of “or this,” “and that,” but “not that.”

 

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you wanted to monitor the conversations around Japanese Cars and fuel efficiency, but not hybrids. Here’s what your search form would look like: (click the image for a bigger version)

 
b1.png

 

What your communicating:

  • Line 1: Honda or Toyota or Nissan REQUIRED: if a post includes anyone of these brand names, you want to see it.
  • Line 2: fuel efficient or fuel efficiency or mpg or miles per gallon REQUIRED: if a post includes one of the name brands from above AND one of these options to describe fuel efficiency, you want to see it.
  • Line 3: hybrid EXCLUDED: you do not want to see any references to hybrid because you’ve excluded it from the search.


TIP: Some easy ways to change the search around is to switch Hybrid to required - then it acts as a filter and you’d only see posts that include something from each of the three lines. You can also add a few lines that are “relevant” which effects the order that the results appear.

Now that you know how Boolean logic works, be strategic about how you set up your searches. A big thanks to Susan Etlinger (@setlinger) for suggesting this structure: 

 

    • Industry - what are all the companies in your space? Set up a search form listing each of them on the same line with an “or” between them.

 

    • Company - what are all the ways your company name is described? At Scout Labs, it could be Scout Labs or Scoutlabs. Using the example above, you could create a search for each of the companies using the exact same settings. The only difference is that the first line would have 1 company name instead of all 3. (an example using Honda is below)

 

    • Products/Campaigns/Events - If there’s a campaign you want to measure, put it in a search form. First line is probably all of the ways you say your company name. Second line references the campaign, product or event. Make it required.

 

 

b2.png


Now that you’ve got your searches structured, you also have something to measure against. Check out this 1 month volume graph comparing the “industry” search to the individual company searches.

 

b3.png


Interested in who’s getting the most mentions in this conversation? Check out this Share of Voice graph comparing companies to each other (as opposed to the graph above, which compares the companies to the industry):

 

b4.png


Want more? Sign up for one of our webinars here.

Happy Scouting!

 

Previously posted on scoutlabs.com/blog on May 6, 2010

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Last update:
‎05-17-2012 08:03 PM
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