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Published July 9th 2015

Brandwatch Updates: How Using the Links Operator Provides Richer Insights

For years we've prided ourselves on the complexity and variety of our operators, today we're unveiling our newest addition. The Links Operator.

At the heart of actionable social data lie powerful boolean operators. For years we’ve prided ourselves on the complexity and variety of our operators, and today we’re introducing our newest addition.

The links operator lets you:

  • Find every Twitter mention linking to a site (including shortened links)
  • Find mentions linking to a specific URL
  • Discover which influencers link to your content
  • Benchmark content share-of-voice against your competitors
  • Analyze how much your links are shared
  • Locate Tweets containing links on street level
  • Get a demo and try it out today

The links operator is yet another example of how we at Brandwatch are helping our customers go beyond keywords to find important conversations and getting the fullest possible picture of how their brand is perceived online and the real ROI of their social strategy.

“The Brandwatch links operator is great. We’ve seen a huge uplift in collected tweets when compared to url AND http://twitter.com. On http://london24.com , for example, the mentions preview total tripled.”

Nick Cameron, Digital Business Analyst – Archant

With Brandwatch Analytics, you can already find people mentioning your brand by name, and now you know any time someone is linking to your site.

For the modern marketer, links are seen as a new form of rich marketing currency.

Replacing PR mentions and brand shout-outs, links pull interested prospects from the wider world into your marketing funnel and beef-up your SEO ranking.

With links, social media can become a platform that drives potential customers rather than fruitless engagement. But, to do so, we must learn how often our links are shared and who is sharing them.

That’s where the new links operator comes in.

With this simple Query we can see every Twitter mention that includes a link to the Brandwatch website.

We can also pick out individual posts that include one of our links, see how much our content has been Tweeted in the last 8 days and see a topic cloud for all Tweets containing links.

With a just a few more clicks we can start to see who and what is driving traffic.


The gif above shows how we can quickly find the most shared links on Twitter over the last eight days (this blog about YouTube SEO led the way).

Clicking on that link allows us to see every Twitter mention including that shared it, even if the URL has been shortened.

Next, we can scroll down to see which hashtags are most used alongside this link.

#Wimbledon pops up; it clearly resonates with our audience, so maybe it’s worth writing a follow up piece on the tennis championship.

The next tab shows the influencers who share links to brandwatch.com.

Finally, with just a few clicks, we can see the geographical location of these Tweets.

Tracking all links back to your site is useful for measuring the success of your overall strategy. You can also track specific URLs or sub-domains allowing you to set up Queries to track how one of your campaigns is going or analyze traffic to a specific section of your site.2015---Links-operator-Blog-in-line-image

Matching the Brandwatch links operator data with Google Analytics data allows us to see just how valuable links are.

This chart – showing Tweets including Brandwatch links and referrals from Twitter – reveal a correlation between the number of people mentioning our links and the number of people clicking through to the site.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 12.00.35 PM

It shows, for our @Brandwatch Twitter account, that if we want to increase referrals to our site, we will have to increase the amount of Tweets including our links.

Based on this information, in the last few months we’ve utilized internal and external influencers to bump up total link mentions to increase Twitter referrals.

Without the links operator we wouldn’t be able to measure this correlation and optimize our social account.

Benchmarking using link mentions provides analytical marketers with an effective way to see how competitors websites are performing without logging into their Google Analytics.

To explain how the links operator can be used for this new type of benchmarking, we’ve taken two of the world’s biggest e-commerce sites.

1. Amazon.com $88 billion 2014 revenue

2. eBay.com $17 billion 2014 revenue

This Query looking for links to their websites – using a 5% sample – shows how much they are linked to on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 12.23.02 PM_BW

Despite the difference in annual revenue, eBay receive almost 5x more link Tweets per hour than Amazon.

eBay and their sellers are driving far more people to their site via Twitter than the e-commerce giant Amazon.

This sort of benchmarking, matched with the other powerful insights that the links operator provides, allows you to go beyond keywords with your Brandwatch data and begin gathering social intelligence about how your content is shared and how it drives real customers to your business.

If you want to see a personalized demo of Brandwatch Analytics – including the new links operator – click the link below.

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Existing customer?Log in to access your existing Falcon products and data via the login menu on the top right of the page.New customer?You'll find the former Falcon products under 'Social Media Management' if you go to 'Our Suite' in the navigation.

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Brandwatch acquired Paladin in March 2022. It's now called Influence, which is part of Brandwatch's Social Media Management solution.Want to access your Paladin account?Use the login menu at the top right corner.