Many of Internet marketers have been using Twitter search for reputation management as the ability to monitor real-time conversations is awesome. Besides, there's much flexibility for refining search results and filtering out clutter.
However one day Twitter decided to kill RSS feeds for Twitter Search (as well as for personal profiles and Twitter lists) which left many of us wondering if it was a temporal glitch or if we should start looking for more reputation management tools. While we do have many other (both paid and free options), Twitter search had always been the most simplistic one you can always check daily to reply to the mentions and get back to work.
So is there a way to still use Twitter search to monitor brand mentions?
Actually, yes. Moreover, those who have had a reputation management Twitter search feed in their feed reader for ages haven't even noticed the change (like myself) - because all the feeds are still working as they had been just removed from the site after the re-design but not deactivated.
So the only trick is to find the way to generate those Twitter search RSS feeds and use them.
Follow the Instructions
Here's a great post explaining how to create a Twitter search RSS feed:
For hashtag search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%23HASHTAG
For user mention search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=%40USERNAME
For keyword search: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=KEYWORD1+KEYWORD2
For more flexibility, you can encode your search phrase using this tool and use the search string to create a feed URL.
It only becomes really tricky when you attempt to create a feed for a location-based search to monitor local mentions. Here's another very detailed instruction on how to create location-based search feeds for Twitter:
- Use this tool to find the geocode for the location;
- Include the numbers you get in the URL of the Twitter feed URL,
- Add XXkm or XXmi at the end to limit the search to users within XXkm or XXmi of your location, example:
Use the Twitter Search RSS Feed Generator
In case you need Twitter search RSS feed regularly or often, don't forget to bookmark this tool. It will generate an RSS link for almost any Twitter search for you (it doesn't work for location-based searches yet).
I have also created a simple search plugin for FireFox "Twitter Search RSS" that will make the process faster for you as well.