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Published January 10th 2024

Boolean Cheat Sheet: Unlock the Full Power of Social Media Monitoring

Unlock the potential of social media monitoring with this comprehensive guide to using Boolean. From understanding buyer intent to finding deals, discover practical strategies to harness the full power of Boolean for precise and effective social media insights.

Marketers often spend countless hours doing brand-related research online and within search engine result pages (SERPs) when, in fact, some of the most valuable insights are hidden among millions of other data points. 

So, how can marketers find exactly what they are looking for and extract relevant insights from the gazillion sources and data mentions out there?

If you are a Boolean lover, Brandwatch user, social insights professional, or maybe even all of the above, keep reading.

What is Boolean?

Boolean is a type of search language that helps sift through large volumes of data – be it an internal database, web search on Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo, or social media mentions – and surface results that match the queries asked.

Boolean represents a specific set of operators, including AND, OR, and NOT, to help focus your search requests and results.

Think, “(red AND dress) NOT shirt,” which, in Boolean terms, means surface results about “red” and “dress” but not “shirt.”

Boolean operators are a key to successful social media listening and monitoring. A well-structured Boolean search can help marketers monitor online conversations and discover trends and audience insights quickly, aiding businesses in making informed decisions.

Social listening and monitoring solutions like Brandwatch let’s you customize your search queries using Boolean operators, affording almost unlimited control over what can be searched for.

It can mean typing out long passages of critical terms to ensure the right words are included or excluded. If you’re looking to isolate customer service-related posts on X (formerly Twitter) from other data you may have collected, it requires a bit of thought as to how best to separate them.

Our in-house analysts have put together some commonly used strings of words that can be copied to find certain criteria, such as customer service. This can be great for categorizing and segmenting your data.

We’ve also included queries to track positive and negative sentiment a generic emotive query. The emotive list allows you to distinguish social media mentions that contain opinions about your brand, product, or competitor from those that are less emotionally charged or neutral. It means you can see comments like, “I love my new Sony Bravia screen,” and ignore things like, “Just moving my Sony Bravia into my bedroom.”

To read a quick guide on how to build Boolean queries and how to get it right in Brandwatch, check out our quick query writing checklist

In the meantime, here’s your cheat sheet for helping you build your queries and searches.[Note: you’ll need to replace "YOUR TOPIC" with your search terms or original query string.]

The most useful Boolean query strings


(coupon* OR voucher* OR code* OR discount OR deal OR deals OR offer OR offers OR (promo* NEAR/10 (sale OR buy)) OR sale OR (raw:(save OR Save OR SAVE OR off OR Off OR OFF) NEAR/4 raw:(“£” OR “$” OR “€” OR “%” OR pence OR Pence OR PENCE OR pennies OR Pennies OR PENNIES OR pounds OR Pounds OR POUNDS OR cent OR Cent OR CENT OR cents OR Cents OR CENTS OR bucks OR BUCKS OR buck OR dollars OR Dollars OR DOLLARS OR euros OR Euros OR EUROS))) OR title:(coupon* OR voucher* OR code* OR discount OR deal OR deals OR offer OR offers OR (promo* NEAR/10 (sale OR buy)) OR sale OR (raw:(save OR Save OR SAVE OR off OR Off OR OFF) NEAR/4 raw:(“£” OR “$” OR “€” OR “%” OR pence OR Pence OR PENCE OR pennies OR Pennies OR PENNIES OR pounds OR Pounds OR POUNDS OR cent OR Cent OR CENT OR cents OR Cents OR CENTS OR dollars OR Dollars OR DOLLARS OR euros OR Euros OR EUROS)))

Purchase intent

We’ll use the airline industry to look into the buyer’s intent around purchasing airplane tickets.

((((i OR me OR my OR we OR "I'm" OR “I am” OR “Im” OR “Imma” OR really) NEAR/4f (buy* OR purchas* OR order* OR bought)) NEAR/5 ticket*) NEAR/5 (flight* OR plane OR airline OR airplane OR travel OR trip OR vacation)) NOT (((i OR me OR my OR we OR "I'm") NEAR/2f ("not" OR "don't" OR "won't" OR "can't" OR "shouldn't" OR “never get” OR “will not” OR never)) NEAR/4 (buy* OR purchas* OR order* OR bought))

Alternatively, you can use this query string to surface insights around your topic.

((I OR "I am" OR "I'm" OR Im OR really OR "imma" OR “ive” OR "i ve" OR “I’ve” OR id OR "i d" OR “we’d” OR “we’ve” OR “weve” OR “we were” OR “we would”) NEAR/0f (((want OR wanna OR need OR looking OR "interested in" OR tempt* OR "Thinking about" OR "thinking of" OR ((cannot OR "can't" OR cant) NEAR/0f wait) OR considering OR "feel like" OR "feeling like") NEAR/1f (buy* OR purchas* OR order* OR get*)) NEAR/5f “YOUR TOPIC”))OR (((("I will" OR "I'll" OR Ill OR "I'm" OR Im OR "imma" OR "we're" OR "we" OR (I OR "I am" OR "I'm" OR Im)) NEAR/1f ("going to" OR gonna OR gonna)) NEAR/0f (buy* OR purchas* OR order* OR get*)) NEAR/5f “YOUR TOPIC”)

Industry insights

Continuing with the airlines sector: The airline string can be replaced with a brand name for brand analysis.

("airline" OR "airlines" OR "air line" OR "air lines" OR "flight" OR "flights") NEAR/5 ("ticket" OR "tickets" OR "for my seat" OR "seat" OR "seats" OR "flying first" OR "flying economy" OR "itinerary" OR "price" OR "pricing" OR "cost" OR "expensive" OR "cheap" OR "affordable" OR "not affordable" OR "decrease" OR "outrageous" OR "costly" OR "not worth the cost" OR "great deal" OR "too pricy" OR “too pricey” OR "price" OR "prices" OR "deal" OR "lowest price" OR "highest price")

Intent to churn

Let’s use a bank as an example. 

((bank OR bank*) NEAR/9 ("closing my account" OR "closing account" OR "switching" OR "shit" OR "fuck" OR "tired” OR "bullshit" OR "poor service" OR "bad service" OR employee OR incompetent OR "treated badly" OR conduct)) NOT (port OR "bank switching")

Price perception

In this Boolean string, we’ve broken down price perception to expensive, cheap, and fair.

("YOUR TOPIC" NEAR/15 (costly OR pricey OR pricy OR "high priced" OR "high-priced" OR "too expensive" OR "rising price*" OR expensive OR "not affordable" OR "can't afford" OR "cannot afford" OR "can not afford" OR "cant afford" OR overpriced OR "over priced" OR "mounting cost*" OR ((inflated OR outrageous OR excessive) NEAR/5f (cost OR costs OR price)) OR ripoff OR "rip off" OR "charge* too much" OR "charge* so much" OR "charging too much"OR cheap OR “cheaper than” OR affordable OR inexpensive OR "low-priced" OR "low-cost" OR reasonable OR "low price" OR bargain OR “not worth”OR "value for money" OR ((fair OR worth OR worthy) NEAR/3f (cost OR costs OR price OR invest*))))NOT (giveaway OR "give away" OR "for your chance to" OR "for ur chance to" OR "for the chance to")

Ticket price

("YOUR TOPIC" NEAR/10 ((reduc* OR lower OR decreas* OR cheaper OR less OR drop OR increas* OR inflate* OR rise OR cost OR expensive OR price) NEAR/2 ticket))NOT ("Cheaper than" OR "less than")


((((recommend* OR propose* OR suggest* OR should) NEAR/3 (buy OR get OR purchase* OR getting OR bought)) NEAR/1 (I OR im OR you OR u OR your OR ur OR "u r" OR "I'm" OR "I am" OR "imma" )) NEAR/10 ("YOUR TOPIC"))

Customer Service

Customer service is notoriously difficult to create rules for. It can be better to employ an emotive category instead (see below).

((customerservice* OR "customer service"~3 OR "customer services"~3 OR "customer assistance"~2 OR "customer support"~2 OR "support bot*" OR "customer relations"~2 OR "customer care"~2 OR apology OR staff OR helpful OR polite OR approachable OR friendly OR rude OR unhelpful OR help* OR complain* OR dispute* OR fault OR representative OR issue* OR ring* OR rang OR call* OR "on hold" OR "rude" OR "polite" OR "impolite" OR impatient OR interested OR uninterested OR arrogant OR friendly OR unfriendly OR pushy OR persistent OR attentive OR dishonest OR honest OR misleading OR sly OR inattentive OR "call back" OR "ring back" OR "ringing back" OR "calling back" OR "get back to me" OR "got back to me" OR complain* OR moaning OR disput* OR "hung up") NEAR/10 "YOUR TOPIC") NOT ("customer tags"~3 OR "customer rating"~3 OR "customer ratings"~3 OR "customer review"~3 OR "customer preview"~3 OR "customer reviews"~3 OR "customer previews"~3)

Mild emotions

(cool OR enjoy* OR like OR interesting OR nice) NOT (“looks like” OR “look like” OR “like there” OR “is like” OR “are like” OR “just like”)

Strong emotions

((speechless OR remarkable OR wow* OR Jesus OR Christ OR Jesuschrist OR JFC OR fuck* OR fuk* OR holy* OR bloody OR awfully OR deucedly OR emphatic* OR insanely OR madly OR truly OR horrendously OR tremendously OR terribly OR unquestionably OR very OR extremely OR incredibly OR exceedingly OR exceptionally OR extremely OR extraordinarily OR really OR utterly OR absolutely OR perfectly OR sublimely OR dramatically OR sheer OR avid OR flamboyant* OR astonishing* OR mind-blowing* OR outrageously OR phenomenal* OR stupendously OR astounding* OR fantastic* OR marvelous*) NEAR/10 "YOUR TOPIC") (raw:(">:o" OR ">:O" OR ":-O" OR ":O" OR " °o °" OR " °O °" OR "o_O" OR "o_0" OR "o.O" OR "8-0"))

Negative sentiments about your topic

((#angry OR #mad OR #hateyou OR #pissedoff OR #furious OR #freakout OR angry OR stupid OR pissed OR annoying OR mad OR idiot OR idiots OR idiotic OR paranoid OR freakout OR freak OR freaking OR dammit OR freaked OR pissing OR dumbass OR raw:(":-(" OR ":(" OR ":-c" OR ":c" OR ":<" OR ":-<" OR ":-||" OR ";-(") OR "fuck no" OR hate OR hates OR fail* OR horrendous OR frustrated OR frustration OR shit OR "shitting" OR "shitty" OR "is a joke" OR complicated OR terrible OR disaster OR skeptical OR upset OR disastrous OR dislike* OR disappoint* OR ridiculous OR unrealistic OR "not satisfied" OR dissatisfied OR awful OR absurd OR horrible OR unhappy OR sucks OR suck OR lousy OR unclear OR doubtful OR chaotic OR inadequate OR incomplete OR incompetent OR unimpressed OR "not impressed" OR confused OR disgusted OR crooked OR crap OR "fed up" OR annoy* OR pissedoff OR "pissed off" OR "no hope" OR "piece of shit") AND "YOUR TOPIC")NOT ("holy shit" OR "holy shite" OR "the shit" OR "teh shit" OR "that shit" OR "and shit" OR "buy shit" OR "my shit" OR "lol" OR "lmao" OR "i'm crap" OR "i suck" OR "my bad")  

Positive sentiments about your topic

((("fuck yes" OR love* OR brilliant OR amaz* OR excit* OR appealing OR exceptional OR absorbing OR incredible OR matchless OR great OR impressive OR impressed OR ((a OR my OR his OR her OR your OR our OR their) NEAR/0f (favourite OR favorite)) OR outstanding OR superb OR passion OR passionate OR satisfied OR satisfaction OR adore OR exquisite OR genius OR pleasure OR reliable OR “don’t hate” OR “not hating” OR rewarding OR stunning OR delight* OR excellent OR glorious OR goodness OR stylish OR supreme OR beautiful OR dazzling OR enthusiastic OR marvelous OR marvellous OR wonderful OR "the shit" OR "teh shit" OR magnificent OR magnanimous OR fantastic OR phenomenal OR wonderful OR extraordinary OR superb OR great* OR excellent OR spectacular OR prodigious OR brilliant OR grand OR glorious OR illustrious OR notable OR impressive OR splendid OR terrific OR tremendous OR wondrous OR wonderful OR sublime OR “don’t suck” OR “don’t suck”) NEAR/5 "YOUR TOPIC") OR (raw:(":-)" OR ":)" OR ":-D" OR ":^D" OR "<3") AND "YOUR TOPIC"))

Lastly, don’t forget to review your content sources and select and unselect specific exclusions to further narrow down your search.  

We hope you’ve found these queries useful. What’s your go-to social media monitoring query? Feel free to drop us a note at [email protected].

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