7 Social Media Search Tactics to Find People and Content

7 Social Media Search Tactics to Find People and Content

7 Social Media Search TacticsFinding it difficult to find the right people to connect with on social media?


Do you want to identify when someone talks about you, your product or brand on social media channels?

Do you sometimes struggle to find great content to share?

In this article, you’ll find some great answers to all these questions.

Here are 7 different ways to do an effective social media search.

1. Find mentions on social media channels using Brand24

There is a broad range of social media monitoring tools that allow you to track mentions across various social media channels.

Brand24 is one such tool.

In the image below, you can see that you can filter content from Twitter and Facebook.

It even finds images that are shared that mention what you are looking for.

Filter Content with Brand24

You can also see, in the image above, that it tries to identify how influential the person is on Twitter. You can apply a filter to look at which influential people are sharing out the content.

You can also look at charts such as this.

Influence of Social Media Authors
People and companies sharing your content the most


This shows you the people with the most influence who are sharing your content, and the people/companies sharing your content most frequently.

You need to track both lists.

You need to look after the key influencers and best supporters and build relationships with them.


2. Use Google to search social media channels

When you are searching through LinkedIn, your search results are restricted based on the subscription that you have paid for.


The majority of profiles are indexed on Google.

If you could just search on Google and find what you were looking for, would that be useful…?

Want me to tell you how?

On Google, you can use the site command to restrict a search based on a particular site.

For example, a search for “razorsocial site:twitter.com” (without the “”) will return mentions of RazorSocial on Twitter.

But there’s an easier way.

You can set up a custom search engine for Google that automatically filters out content.

Here is a custom Google search for LinkedIn.

If you log out of LinkedIn and do a search using this custom search engine, you get access to everyone’s full profiles with no restrictions!

Here is an example: when you click on each one, you get full access to their profiles, assuming they have not switched off any/all of their profile for Google indexing.

Google search for LinkedIn
Search for LinkedIn profiles using a Custon Google search



3. Find Most Popular Content using Post Planner

Post Planner is a social media management tool for Facebook and Twitter.

One killer piece of functionality with Post Planner is its content-discovery engine.

It finds the most-shared content across social channels and you can then pick links from this content to share out on your own social channels.

I recently listened to an interview on Kim Garst’s show on Blab where she talked with Josh Parkinson, founder of Post Planner.

He said that, when you share content on Facebook, Facebook will share this out to more of your fans and followers if this content has already proven to be popular on Facebook.

Of course, the opposite is also true.

Share something that is unproven and it’s more likely that Facebook won’t share it out to too many people.

With Post Planner, you can do things like:

  • View a list of the most-liked images on Facebook for a particular category/time frame
  • View the most-shared pictures on Instagram to reshare on other platforms
  • View the most-shared updates from one or a collection of Facebook Pages that you add.

This is really powerful functionality so it’s well worth checking it out.


4. Use a hashtag-search tool

Hashtags are very popular on Twitter and Instagram but they are less popular on other platforms.

But, if you want to search social media for content around specific topics, then searching hashtags could be very useful.

There is a variety of hashtag search tools available but one of the most useful ones is Tweet Binder.

There are paid and free versions but you can get some cool information with the free version.

Here’s a list of the most active people that Tweet Binder found for the hashtag #blogchat, which is a weekly chat about blogging.

Hashtag Search on Tweet Binder

Here’s a filter of the tweets based on this hashtag.

Hashtag Filter


5. Use keyword filters provided in Hootsuite or similar tools

Hootsuite is a social media management tool and it gives you the ability to set up a filtered view of content by using keywords (and also hashtags).

It’s not a very advanced search but it could be used to filter content based on your company name, personal name or certain queries you are interested in.

For example, if you ran a restaurant in Dublin, you may apply a filter for:

Restaurant Dublin ?

You’re looking for any tweet that has these words included in any order. The reason you use the question mark is because you want to filter out things that are not questions.

If you’re looking for a restaurant in Dublin, you are likely to say something like:

“I’m looking for a restaurant in Dublin for 15 people, any ideas?”

Keyword Filter in Hootsuite

Keyword Filter

This search string will show you tweets that include both the words in your search, and tweets that include a question mark. These are most likely to find tweets that you could respond to and prove yourself to be useful.


6. Use a content curation tool such as ContentGems

ContentGems is a site that helps you to find relevant links and stories to share to your social networks.

By inputting some keywords and search terms, ContentGems curates a list of content, relevant to your search, that you can read, store or share socially.

In the example below, ContentGems auto-filled some keywords and search results. They are in a format that you will be familiar with if you have ever used any kind of advanced search capabilities, with words that can be included, words that should not be included, and words that must be included.

Content Marketing - ContentGems(663)


Here are the results we got:

Content Marketing ContentGems2(663)

You can see that there is a wide range of content from a variety of different websites.

At the bottom of each result, there are some icons. Let’s take a look at them:

Content Marketing ContentGems3
Actions you can take on each article

On the left, there are icons for Hootsuite and Buffer. If you click on either of these, it brings up the relevant interface so you can share the article directly or add it to your sharing queue.

Next, there are icons for Instapaper and Pocket. If you want to save an article to read properly later, you can do it with these services.

Then, there is an envelope icon to share an article by email, and the final icon lets you share posts through ContentGems itself.

On the right, you can see how many times an article has been tweeted.

These sharing and saving options makes ContentGems easy to use alongside the tools you already take advantage of.

It integrates with some of the most popular services, making it a great option for finding and sharing relevant stories and links to your social media feeds.


7. Find trending content using BuzzSumo.

It’s good to know what topics are trending in your niche. If you share them on social media, it shows that you are aware of what’s going on. And it makes sure you don’t miss out on any industry news.

BuzzSumo is a tool we’ve talked about a lot in the past, and one of its features is very useful for finding trending stories.

In the menu at the top of the screen, choose Trending Now.

Social Media Trending on BuzzSumo(663)

Next, you can choose whether you want to see trending topics for wide categories, or for your own search terms.

Social Media Trending on BuzzSumo2(663)

You can choose from the categories at the top or, like we have done, you can click the + symbol and add your own search terms. Unsurprisingly, we chose ‘social media’!

BuzzSumo then shows you the topics that are trending for your category or keyword.

Social Media Trending on BuzzSumo3(663)


If the results you see aren’t quite right, you can tweak them by changing whether the trending topics should be from the last two hours or 24 hours, or anything in between. You can also choose which country they should be from.

When you see a result that looks interesting to you, you can see the number of social shares that link has had. This can be a good indication of whether your audience will be interested in the topic.

Social Media Trending on BuzzSumo4


There is a goldmine of information out there on social media.

But you need to filter the noise to find what’s relevant.

What are you doing to find the best information to share?


Image courtesy of Shutterstock


12 Responses to 7 Social Media Search Tactics to Find People and Content

  1. Hey Ian,

    This is a good one. I actually use hashtags to find people in twitter. There’s another feature in buzz sumo where you can pull the “sharers” and “backlinks” of that specific article. You were able to do this in the free version but now you have to upgrade.

    Thanks for sharing these tips! Have a good one!

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