Time to set up your (first) query! Here’s a step-by-step guide on everything you need to know about the process of creating your queries to get the most relevant results possible. Let’s start.
Creating a query
Creating a new query is simple and consists of a few easy steps. To start, click on the + Create new query button in the upper left corner of your feed.
Then, define your primary focus: tracking keywords or tracking sources.
If you select keywords, you can track all keywords, phrases, or both that appear in posts and articles from the sources you define.
If you select sources, you can track all posts from a specific profile, website, channel, or page, regardless of whether they use a specific keyword.
Let’s start with the Keywords flow.
Once you click on the Get started button, the following screen will appear. You can specify your query's keywords, sources, and filters here.
Start by typing in a search term or multiple that you want to track. A search term can be a keyword, phrase, or both. Make sure to press Enter after every keyword or phrase.
As you do, the Preview on the right will display the results you can expect with the current query setup. These are not the actual results, although they might eventually be in your feed. Use the Preview as a check mechanism to ensure your search query is set up correctly.
You can enter an unlimited number of search terms, but we recommend limiting your input to 30 keywords most relevant to your query.
As you enter a search term, the case-sensitive and the Sections symbols become available to click.
Clicking on any of the two symbols will prompt a dialogue window.
Firstly, check the box to ensure your results contain only Starbucks written with the capital S, for example. You can also choose if you want to search for the specified term in a mention’s Title, Description, Text, or All sections. If you made any changes, click on Save.
You may have noticed there are three fields in which you can input your keywords. Let’s explain each.
Match ALL of these keywords
Any search term you enter in this field must be present in a mention for it to be displayed in your feed. It is the equivalent of the Boolean operator AND.
For example, if you enter ‘Starbucks’ and ‘McDonalds’ in this field, a mention would have to contain both Starbucks and McDonald's to match this query definition.
Match ANY of the keywords
Any search term you enter in this field may be present in a mention for it to be displayed in your feed. It is the equivalent of the Boolean operator OR.
For example, if you enter ‘Starbucks’ and ‘McDonalds’ in this field, a mention must contain either Starbucks or McDonald's to match this query definition.
Exclude these keywords
Any search term you enter in this field must not be present in a mention for it to be displayed in your feed. It is the equivalent of the Boolean operator AND NOT. To exclude a specific search term you don’t want in your results, you first need to define a search term you want to track in any of the other two fields.
For example, if you enter ‘Starbucks’ in any of the other two fields and ‘McDonald’s’ in this field, a mention must contain Starbucks, but not McDonald's, to match this query definition.
A quick tip: For any commonly misspelled words, type in all variations like ‘mcdonald’s’ and ‘mcdonalds’.
Using all three fields is optional, depending on how precise you want to define your query. However, to create a search query, you should enter at least one search term in the Match ALL of these keywords or Match ANY of the keywords fields.
In the example below, you can see how you can combine all three fields. In this case, we are interested in seeing mentions of Starbucks and their coffee or milkshake, but not those of McDonald’s.
Additionally, you can use the Advanced mode to add search terms with Boolean operators.
Boolean operators are simple words that, when combined with your keywords, extend or narrow your search and thus refine the results of a query.
Some examples are the mentioned AND, OR, and AND NOT operators. Mediatoolkit also has many more advanced Boolean operators. If you ever need an explanation or reminder of each, simply click on Show examples.
If you enter search terms in the Basic mode and then switch to Advanced mode, your query setup will look different. Let’s continue with the same example.
The Preview will not be refreshed automatically in the Advanced mode, but when you click Show preview after typing in your input.
When happy with the search terms you entered, click on Next.
The next step is to define the sources you want to track. Use the toggles next to Track all sources or any specific source to apply your preferences.
To specify any source, click on the arrow on the right of each to reveal more options.
You can define which specific source you want to track or exclude, like a Twitter user.
Once you’ve defined your sources, click on Next.
Finally, you can define filters. Filters include language, location, sentiment, influence score, and authors.
You can fine-tune each filter using the same logic as with the sources. Click on the arrow on the right of each filter to specify it.
Location and language filters
For the Location and Language filters, start typing in a specific language or location to track or exclude and select it from the list that will appear.
You can filter your feed to show only mentions with positive, negative, neutral, or undefined sentiment. You can choose only one type of sentiment or multiple (e.g. only show positive and neutral sentiment).
Simply check or uncheck the boxes corresponding to each sentiment type to apply your preferences.
Influence score filter
An influence score is a scale from 1 to 10 that shows how influential that particular source is compared to every other source on the internet.
An influence score of 1 means the source has a small audience, while 10 is typically reserved for globally influential websites with millions of followers. We calculate it using our algorithms that use data like the number of followers, likes, and other metrics.
This filter allows you to filter your mentions so the feed shows only those mentions with a pre-set influence score. Drag the blue circle on both ends to define the minimum and maximum score to filter mentions in this rank.
We set the influence score in the example below to between 5 and 10.
The Authors filter enables you to track mentions, that is, articles and posts created by a specific social media page or website author. For example, a specific journalist.
To finish creating a query, click on Save query.
Please see the following video for a more in-depth explanation of how to create a query using the Keywords flow:
The same principles apply if you track sources rather than keywords. There are a few differences that we will explain.
The first step is to define which source you want to track, rather than them all being turned on by default, as in the Keywords flow.
Since this flow is intended for monitoring a specific source, clicking on the arrow will allow you to define a profile, page, channel, or other you want to track. There is no option to exclude.
As you type in the username, for example, Mediatoolkit will search for that specific user.
Select the profile you want from the list. Then, the Preview will display all available posts.
Click on Next to define keywords and filters.
You can optionally enter search terms to only get posts from that specific profile containing certain keywords or phrases.
Finally, you can specify filters just like we explained earlier.
Once again, click on Save query, and you’re done!
Please see the following video for a more in-depth explanation of how to create a query using the Sources flow: