Recap of Our Free Webinar on the Boolean Query in Social Media Monitoring Tools

We hope you were able to join us for the free online webinar on October 9th, “Conquering the Query: Getting the Most Out of Social Media Monitoring.” Co-hosted between DragonSearch and Brandwatch, we reviewed what Boolean queries are and how to construct an efficient and effective Boolean search query in a social media monitoring tool that will return the mentions that you want, and not a lot of irrelevant results.
Man being sprayed with firehose of keywords from a social media monitoring tool.
This webinar idea came from our white paper, “The Importance of the Boolean Search Query in Social Media Monitoring Tools”. In this white paper, I discussed topics such as:

  • Why to do social media monitoring
  • What to monitor
  • Ways to express variations in keywords, basic and advanced Boolean search operators
  • Post-search filters to further refine results
  • The different types of user interfaces for queries in various social media monitoring tools
  • Other things to consider when evaluating which social media monitoring tool is the best for your needs.

Brandwatch logo
Since we use BrandWatch at DragonSearch and used their social media monitoring tool in our case study, they suggested we do an online webinar together to help people construct better Boolean queries. In the free webinar, co-hosted with Jasmine Jaume and Gemma Cooper of Brandwatch, we talked about why queries are important, I went through the case study of a complicated brand name that I used in the White Paper, we reviewed top tips for writing great queries, and answered questions from attendees.

Commonly asked was how to deal with search terms that are commonly used for many things, like the name of a movie that’s also a person’s name, or monitoring an open debate that doesn’t involve brand names. These queries can be tricky and are likely to require a lot of trial and error to fine tune it to exclude irrelevant mentions. The key is to include context words that help find only the mentions related to what you’re looking for.

One important concept to keep in mind is that your query is probably never “done”. It takes continuous fine tuning, removing sites or words that are irrelevant as they come up, adding new variations of your brand names or keywords as you think of them, and excluding spammy sites or frequently used words. A query should constantly be improved to give you the most accurate results as possible so your time isn’t wasted and your analysis will be more accurate.

There were so many questions that we couldn’t get to all of them. Some of the unanswered questions have been addressed in a Brandwatch blog post about our webinar.

Webinar Attendees and Feedback

The free webinar was very successful with a large list of attendees who had job descriptions in many areas, but mostly social media managers, analysts, directors and CEOs. Clearly monitoring your brand and what people are saying about it is an important task for businesses, from community managers up to the CEO!

Here are some of the comments we received:

 Complimentary tweet from @Gosh_Brad (Brad Roberts) on our boolean query free webinar: "@DragonSearch @sociallyclimb Great to be hear & TY @sociallyclimb Great insights on Boolean search queries. #smm #boolean"
Complimentary tweet from @Gosh_Brad (Brad Roberts) on our boolean query free webinar: TY @tales_of_cake @gcooperisms @sociallyclimb for great operator insights for essential brand monitoring #smm #boolean
Complimentary tweet from @stevenvanorange on our boolean query free webinar. " #smm Boolean logic very well explained by Jannette @sociallyclimb and @Brandwatch It's just like math :)"
Complimentary tweet from @thoren13 (Taylor Horen) on our boolean query free webinar: "Learned a lot from the @Brandwatch & @DragonSearch webinar on #smm and #boolean searches! Very helpful!"
Complimentary tweet from @vivkinn (Vivian Kinnear) on our boolean query free webinar: "Thanks to @Brandwatch and @DragonSearch panellists for great webinar on #smm and #boolean. Helpful."
Complimentary tweet from @coupmedia_will (Will Gray) on our boolean query free webinar: "Thanks @Brandwatch & @DragonSearch for a very interesting Webinar! Thanks for all the tips @Tales_of_cake, @gcooperisms and @sociallyclimb"

Where to Find the Free Webinar Recording and Slide Deck

If you missed it, you can view the recorded webinar and download the slide deck. For more details about the case study and social media monitoring tool capabilities, please read our white paper. Feel free to ask us any questions about the material in the comments section below.


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12 comments on “Recap of Our Free Webinar on the Boolean Query in Social Media Monitoring Tools

Paul Rakov

Great job on this, Jannette. I read the white paper and was on the webinar. But this recap is a good “cheat sheet” for when I’m setting up some new clients’ monitoring.

    Jannette Pazer

    You must be an expert then by now! But trial and error are the best ways to hone your query writing skills. The constant tweaking and reviewing the results for success is how I learned to get the queries to pull in only what I wanted.

      Victoria Eveleth

      Jannette, since the start of following your whitepaper, I have found the “trial and error” process you speak of to be the most valuable (as well as unavoidable) part of the process. Even experts on creating boolean will be continuously updating their queries. Fact is, you really don’t know what is going to get pulled in, until you get in there are start testing!
      Amazing work all around! Bravo :)

        Jannette Pazer

        Thanks Vicky! It definitely is an ongoing process… but it’s so satisfying when you get a bunch of relevant results without any junk included!

Stephen Nachreiner

Awesome Webinar! Everything was easy to follow, overall great experience.

    Jannette Pazer

    Glad it was easy to follow! It’s not always clear what level the audience is and whether they have a math background or any experience with Boolean expressions.


The information presented in the whitepaper, blog post from Brandwatch, and the webinar itself vary in detail. But all are essential for social marketers who get the best results for their clients. This post fro Jannette points us to all the other sources.

    Jannette Pazer

    Thanks Henry! I hope all of those sources are of help to digital marketers looking to find mentions of their brands in the stream of noise from the internet.

Jason (@Sonray)

I missed the webinar but am glad to see I can view the recording! Nice work!

    Jannette Pazer

    Thanks Jason! Let me know what you think after you watch it.

Danielle Correia

Well done Jannette! This is truly a great way to learn about Boolean; the examples (especially the pizza ones) help visualize and break down the concepts so they are easily digestible (no pun intended). Anyone responsible for setting up social media mentions should watch this training.

    Jannette Pazer

    Thanks Danielle! I think understanding Boolean queries is not only good for social media mentions, but can be useful with many types of tools, applications and databases which allow for some type of search. Every tool has different user interfaces and syntax rules, so the details may be different, but the concepts remain the same.