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How to monitor (track) a topic on Twitter

Twitter will not be the social network with more users and more growth in the world, nor is it the most successful when it comes to making money with your platform, and it also leaves much to be desired in terms of the measures it takes to combat abuse; but if something can not be denied is that when you want to follow an event in real time, there is no place on the Internet where you can find information with the same immediacy.

Major sporting events, elections, natural catastrophes, award ceremonies, terrorist attacks, or the last meme that went viral. On Twitter, everything is talked about, all the time, at the precise moment in which things happen. However, following the information line can sometimes be overwhelming due to the amount of noise, so it is good to know how to take advantage of the tools that the same social network offers us to follow a specific topic.

There are several ways to monitor topics on Twitter, and many are part of third-party tools that offer all kinds of analytics. However, most are usually paid, and some have functions that the same Twitter already integrates. So in this article we are going to devote only to the official solutions of the social network that are quite complete for the most basic.

Using Tweetdeck

Accessing Tweetdeck from the web and using the official Twitter application to follow a specific topic is the most complete and simple solution. Not only is it easy to use, but you have lots of options and you will see the results in real time, with the option to activate immediate notifications on the desktop.

As in Tweetdeck you can add different columns with mentions, direct messages, lists, activity, etc. You can also add columns created from a specific search. That search can be filtered in a lot of detail and once you have the established parameters, you can anchor the column to receive the constant flow of tweets about the topic.

You can choose keywords or hashtags, you can exclude terms from the search, you can select a specific period of time from one date to another, you can select the language in which you will see the tweets on the subject, you can even specify that only you are shown tweets with a certain amount of hearts, retweets and answers.

Once your special column is added, you can decide even more things. You can filter the tweets about a topic based on the geographic location of the account, and you can also activate visual notifications on the desktop, including sounds.

Using the Twitter search tools

From the Twitter.com search page you can also monitor a topic. Of course, unlike Tweetdeck, you can not see more than one page at a time, and you will not see the update in real time, but you’ll have to wait for more results to appear to click on them.

The advantage of using the Twitter web for this, is that the results are separated not only in highlights and recent, but in photos, video, news and periscopes, so you have more types of live content to review. This also applies to mobile applications and Windows 10.

In the advanced search page of Twitter you can filter the results even more when it comes to finding tweets about a specific topic. From choosing all the exact words that must include the tweet, or those that mention a specific account.

Here goes well and it is useful to know the search operators of Twitter . You can use them both from the web and from Tweetdeck. For example, maybe you did not know what to look for a word followed by the sad face emoji “:(” just look for tweets with negative connotations.

Using Twitter event statistics

Finally, accessing the analysis tools of Twitter analytics we have another place to follow some specific topics and also get additional information about the impact of the conversation on the social network.

Twitter has special pages of current events that are most talked about on the platform. From important dates around the world, to local events, sports, movie premieres and recurring trends.

If you click on see the details you will find a summary page that shows not only the most prominent tweets about the topic or the stream of live updates, but the statistics of the audience and what defines it. From the age of the people who most talk about the issue, to the division by gender, according to country and according to the operating system.

From Twitter analytics you can also do searches, but not about any things that you can think of. These are limited to significant events that encompass a large audience. For everything else you have Tweetdeck and web search.


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