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Published April 26th 2014

Introducing Easier Hashtag and @ Mention Tracking in Brandwatch

Ah, Boolean operators – we do love them.

In fact, we love them so much, that today we’re announcing the launch of two new ones in our platform – at_mentions: and hashtags:

Those, as the names might suggest, let you track any hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, and any @mentions on Twitter, quickly and easily.

We already had the most operators of any platform on the market, but now we have even more, bringing us to 22 in total – all because we want our users to have as much flexibility and power in their Query (search) creation as possible.

Why? Because that’s how you get clean, precise, relevant data and we know our clients need that in order to make informed business decisions. If you want to know more about why Boolean operators are important, read this post.

What are these new operators all about then?

In the Brandwatch Analytics platform, users have always been able to track hashtags and @mentions, but the way to do so was a bit hacky and long winded, using a mixture of our raw: and OR operators. It worked fine, but it was a bit more time consuming than we’d have liked.

Now, it’s perfectly easy and simple – we’re always trying to make our users’ lives easier (that’s why they’re so happy!) and this is just another way to do just that.

These new operators mean that to search for #epicfail mentions, a user goes from having to write this Query string:

raw:#epicfail OR raw:#EpicFail OR raw:#EPICFAIL OR raw:Epicfail etc.

To this:


And the same goes for tracking @mentions. Easy huh?

Here’s what one of our clients, Sky, think:

“One of our main reasons for choosing Brandwatch is their powerful Query language, and the new operators add to that toolkit,” said Malcolm McGeachy, Developer, Sky TV. “The new hashtags operator in particular will allow measurement of hashtags without having to write ‘raw:’ Queries covering multiple capitalizations such as #hashtag, #HashTag, #HASHTAG. The @mentions operator will also make life much easier for us when searching for ambiguous Twitter handles. Brandwatch continuously works to improve their platform and I look forward to seeing what they add next.”

Why would you want to track hashtags and @mentions anyway?


Brandwatch lets you track all types of mentions, from general brand comments to very specific types of conversation (such as a type of complaint or discussion of a niche topic), all done using our operators.

But there are plenty of reasons you’d want to track hashtags and @mentions online specifically, but let’s take a look at a few examples.

Campaign tracking

You’ve set up an exciting Twitter competition or campaign, using a unique hashtag. You want to see who’s entered or is joining in the discussion, right? You might even have multiple hashtags (for different stores or venues, say).

The hashtags: operator means you can easily and accurately track specific hashtags related to your brand or campaigns, making it super easy to track entrants, compare campaigns and understand the ROI of your efforts.


Social CRM and earned mentions

Brandwatch can already track all the mentions of you brand, but with the new @mentions operator it’s really easy to understand who is specifically talking to you, not just about you. This can be particularly handy for social CRM and for routing the right mentions to the right people (using Rules, for example).

Brand tracking

Using the at_mentions: operator, brands can exclude mentions of user accounts that use the brand name and therefore further refine the accuracy and relevancy of their data e.g. using ‘at_mentions:gucci’ would mean only tracking mentions of the official @gucci account, excluding the (many) Twitter users with Gucci in their name, meaning more relevant data.

Sorry, @guccifollower, we need to exclude you this time.



By tracking specific hashtags, clients can understand the conversation around popular or trending hashtags or topics, for market research, jumping in on popular topics or understanding competitor activity. For example, see a trending hashtag that you want ot track and analyse? Quickly set up a Query using the hashtags: operator and you’re ready to go.

There are plenty more uses of course – join us for our webinar (see below) to see some more examples from our in-house Query experts.

Plus, let us know yours on Twitter using the hashtag #brandwatchtips – we love hearing the new and exciting ways our clients use our features.

More help and information

Want more information or have a question? We’ve got you covered.


To learn more about the new operators, and optimising your Queries in general, join one of our upcoming webinars. For more info and to register, click here:

30 April 3.30pm BST

1 May 11.30am ET


Twitter Q&A

We’re holding our first ever Twitter Q&A, where our team will be on hand to answer any burning questions you have about Queries and operators.

Join in with the discussion using #brandwatchtips at 3pm BST/ 10am ET Friday 2 May.

twitter-Q&Av2 Query help

To see a library of all our posts, webinars, support materials and videos all about Queries, click here.

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