How to search your Twitter history and why you want to

When running social media for your business, it’s important to be on top of all aspects of your accounts. This can even include your post archives, and tweets your company (and past marketers) may have published years ago.

While it might seem silly to spend any time searching your Twitter history and navigating through past content, I can assure you it’s not.

Let’s talk about how to search your Twitter history before jumping into several reasons why you might want to do so.

How to search Twitter history

While you might have forgotten about that tweet you sent when just starting your business five and a half years ago, Twitter has not. Back in 2014, Twitter gave users the ability to search through every tweet that has ever been sent, making it just as important to keep up with your past content as your present content.

Luckily for you, Twitter has tons of great search features that allow you to dive deep into your brand’s Twitter history.

You can also use Twitter advanced search operators and techniques to make customer service and engagement strategies easier to implement.

To access Twitter advanced search, click here. You’ll be greeted with a pop-up that looks like this:

how to search your twitter history - twitter advanced search

There are three different sections:

  • Words: This is where you can input key words, phrases or hashtags that you want to search in tweet content
  • Accounts: This is where you can input Twitter handles that you want to search tweets by or mentioning
  • Dates: This is where you can input a specific date set to view tweets from a certain time period

Scroll down to the Accounts section and type in your Twitter handle to ensure you only find results from your own tweets.

Then you can start searching your Twitter history for various keywords, hashtags and more.

If you had a past business name, you can search for tweets where you mention it and remove them to avoid confusing new customers.

Here are a few additional tips for how to come up with relevant or potentially problematic keywords for old tweets you may want to delete:

  • Old brand hashtags or names of discontinued products
  • Common variants or misspelling of your brand name
  • Locations that could be relevant to your brand, which may include closed business locations.
  • Nicknames or variants for your brand or product names

You might also try searching for old promotional or campaign hashtags and removing those tweets if the deals are no longer relevant.

You’re also able to check out all of your tweets from a certain date range. Try look at a few months at a time to make sure you can scrub anything that might not be relevant to your brand anymore.

There are many different things to check up on, and each brand’s searches will be different depending on what strategies you’ve used in the past.

How to search Twitter history using Sprout Social

Sprout Social makes it easy to search past conversations you’ve had on Twitter to keep track of customer service conversations and complaints.

Simply head to your Sprout Social dashboard, click the search icon in the right corner of the top navigation bar and conduct a People Search to find your search history with various Twitter users.

how to search your twitter history - sprout social people search

You’ll be able to see every tweet you’ve sent mentioning that handle or that’s in direct response to one of their messages.

You can even use this area to add a note about the account or add in contact info for the user so you have something to reference in the future.

Why you should search your Twitter history

Now that we’ve covered how you can check out all of your past tweets and account mentions, let’s talk about why you would want to do this.

It might seem tedious to go back and check on your past Twitter history, but I promise there’s a method to this madness. Here are a few reasons why you want to search your Twitter history every so often.

1. Reshare past content

Hey, I get it. Creating consistent social media content can be HARD. And I can guarantee you that even the most loyal of your followers don’t remember what you shared a few years ago.

Search back through your history to find old content that you love and is still relevant and share it as a brand new post. This is a great way to make your Twitter management easy during a busy time or when you’ve hit a creativity block.

You could even create a series where you retweet your old content so that your audience can see the types of things you used to share. You can quote tweet it and add a hashtag like #yourbrandhistory – just replace “your brand” with your company name – or resurface these tweets as part of ‘on this day’ posts that highlight brand history.

2. See what your audience likes

Take a look at your past content to find which tweets were the most engaged with. Perhaps you ran a campaign or tweet series in the past that did quite well, but you forgot about it or it was done by a different marketer.

This can help you to update your current Twitter content strategy and find even more content that’s proven in terms of audience engagement

3. Analyze how your content strategy has evolved

Perhaps your past content wasn’t all that great and you’ve really evolved as a marketer and/or business owner. Looking at where you started and how far you’ve come can be great motivation to keep going and finding new tactics that work for your Twitter marketing.

You might even find new ways to revamp old posts in a way that makes them better and more engaging for your audience. You might rediscover old content formats you forgot about or maybe even didn’t know existed – which can help lay the foundation for a more expansive and valuable social media audit. There’s inspiration everywhere, even your past failed tweets.

4. Find out what past marketers have done

If you’re taking over a new account, it’s a good idea to look at how past marketers have managed this brand’s Twitter content.

You’ll be able to see which campaigns were successful and which may not have been. This can help give you inspiration for how you can improve on the content others shared in the past and impress the brand and its audience.

Be sure to do this regularly so that you can take note of missteps in your brand’s past marketing – you’ll get a more complete picture of your historical marketing efforts and be able to report in more detail on the improvements you’re making now.

5. Build on old tweets with new content

We mentioned retweeting old content to give it new life, but you can also reply to old tweets to start a Twitter thread and get eyes back on your old content as well as your new tweets.

You might update your audience on products or services you mentioned in the past, share new updates in industry information and more.

You could even make it an ongoing part of your strategy to regularly go back through your old tweets and respond to them with new and updated information so if anyone ever finds that tweet in a Twitter or Google search, they’ll see the updated information directly underneath.

Glossier frequently resurfaces older customer tweets on multiple social feeds to show that they are reacting to customer requests. Your entire brand can benefit from this strategy when you use a tool like Sprout’s social media listening to help get the actual business insights, then incorporate it into your marketing by boosting older social posts once you’re able to answer the request.

6. Keep tabs on customer service conversations.

Like we mentioned earlier, your Sprout Social account is the perfect assistant for helping you look through past mentions and revisiting conversations surrounding customer service issues.

We highly recommend using Sprout Social’s People Search anytime you get a new customer service tweet or DM so you can see if there have been any past conversations between you two.

Coming into a customer service request with as much knowledge of this person’s past issues or tweets as possible will help you to be more empathetic and detailed so you can provide legitimately useful information. Plus, users will feel more positive about their experience with you if you remember them and your past conversations.

slack customer service tweet example

7. Recognize customer loyalty.

If you see an account that you recognize as a regular engager with your content, simply do a People Search for them in your Sprout account to see how often the two of you have interacted.

This is a great way to recognize customer loyalty by engaging even further with their content and even offering brand swag or freebies like stickers, t-shirts and more. This type of search can also help uncover or remind you of relevant influencers so you can start to build out a new influencer marketing campaign.

8. Audit your Twitter account.

We have an entire post on how to conduct a quick, 20-minute Twitter audit, and that includes deleting old tweets. Doing a search through old tweets is important if you’ve ever rebranded your business, changed up your messaging or removed old products and services.

These old tweets are no longer relevant, and you don’t want them to turn up in a potential customer’s search of your business, confusing them or turning them away from your business if they find a product they want that is no longer available.

It’s a good idea to regularly audit your Twitter account and remove tweets that no longer make sense for your business or fit your goals and objectives.

Start searching your Twitter history

Ready to start searching through your Twitter history and managing past tweets? This is an important strategy to help continue evolving your Twitter presence, improve your content and auditing your account.

Sign up for a free Sprout Social trial to help make the process easier. Manage your social listening from a single dashboard and never miss another tweet.

This post How to search your Twitter history and why you want to originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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