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Get better search results with this free boolean search generator

Using natural language, tell the tool what you'd like to search. For example, say "Hootsuite but not Owly," or "Hootsuite and its cute owl mascot."


Please note: This tool may display inaccurate or offensive material that doesn’t represent Hootsuite’s views. You’re solely responsible for use of any content generated using this tool, including its compliance with applicable laws and third-party rights.

Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of search results flooding your social listening screen? Enter boolean searching — a smart technique designed to streamline your search process and provide more tailored results in less time (with fewer queries).

What is a search boolean?

In simple terms, a search boolean is a modifier added to a search query that helps you find information online faster and with better accuracy. It works by using special words called operators (like AND, OR, and NOT) to give the search engine more context to what you’re looking for.

For example, imagine you're searching for information about dogs and cats, but you're only interested in articles that talk about both animals — not one or the other. You can use the word "AND" to tell the search engine to only show results that mention both "dogs" AND "cats."

screenshot of a google search result for "cat AND dogs"

Social listening tools use search booleans in exactly the same way. But, instead of sifting through web pages, they are sifting through vast amounts of social media content. The same operators (like AND, OR, and NOT) can be used to better refine your social listening results.

screenshot of a hootsuite themed word cloud

Why are booleans so important to social listening?

Booleans are super important for social listening because they help you find exactly what you're looking for on social media. 

Here's why they're a big deal:

  • Enhanced search precision: Booleans let you be really specific about what you want in your search results. So, if you're only interested in posts that mention both "cats" and "dogs," you can use the word "AND" to make sure you get just those.

  • Better search flexibility: You can also use words like "OR" and "NOT" to tweak your search. "OR" helps you find results that mention one thing or another, while "NOT" helps you exclude certain stuff from your search.

  • More customized searches: With booleans, you can customize your search to fit your needs. Whether you're keeping an eye on your brand, checking out trends, or snooping on your competitors, you can adjust your search to find exactly what you're interested in.

  • Better results, faster: Booleans make searching faster and easier. Instead of wading through tons of irrelevant results, you can use booleans to zero in on the good stuff right away.

  • More insights to guide you: Ultimately, booleans help you uncover important trends and opinions in social media chatter. By using them, you can discover valuable insights that can help you make smarter decisions for your business or brand.

Whether you're researching for a project, conducting market analysis, or simply browsing the web, boolean searching helps you find relevant results faster and more efficiently.

How to use this boolean search string generator

Let's break down how you can make the most of our boolean search generator with five simple steps.

Step 1: Customize search options

To begin using the boolean search generator, navigate to the boolean search generator tool page.

Then, start by choosing your search parameters. The free Hootsuite boolean search generator offers the following customization options:

1. Include spelling variations

Select whether you'd like the search to account for variations in spelling. This option can be particularly useful when searching for brand names or industry-specific terms with multiple spellings or abbreviations.

2. Include related words

Choose whether you want to broaden your search by including related words or synonyms. This can help you cast a wider net and capture a more comprehensive range of relevant results.

Step 2: Input your query

Next, using natural language, write your search query into the provided text box. Whether you're hunting down mentions of your brand, tracking industry trends, or conducting market research, simply express your search intent in plain language. 

For example, you might search for, “fashion trends Vancouver.” Or, “best shoe store in Vancouver.”

screenshot of hootsuite's boolean generator tool

Step 3: Generate your boolean search string

Once you've added your inputs, hit the Generate boolean button to generate your custom Boolean search string. 

The boolean generator will then create a custom search string for you, complete with all the necessary operators and parameters.

screenshot of hootsuite's boolean generator tool results

Step 4: Copy and paste

Copy the generated Boolean search string and paste it into your preferred search engine or social media monitoring tool, such as Talkwalker. Now, bask in the glory of your refined results!

Step 5: Tweak as needed

If you don't get the results you're after, don't worry! You can always come back, tweak your search, and try again. Boolean searching is all about experimentation and refinement. 

Experiment with different combinations of keywords, operators, and search options to optimize your search queries and maximize the relevance of your results.

Social listening search tips

When you're listening in on social media, here are some simple tricks to help you find what you're looking for.

Start simple

Often, simple, straightforward searches yield the best results. When crafting your search queries, stick to basic keywords that describe what you want. For example, if you're interested in fashion trends, just search for "fashion trends" to start.

Once you have an initial query, you can begin refining it with each search to improve results. So, “fashion trends” might turn into “fashion trends in France.” Or, “fashion trends around the world.” Or even, “fashion AND beauty trends 2024.”

screenshot of google search results for "fashion trends"

Stay specific

Be specific with your search terms. Instead of using broad words like "vegan recipes," try something more precise like "vegan breakfast recipes" or "quick vegan dinner recipes." This way, you'll get more tailored results in less time.

Experiment with operators

Use boolean search operators to refine your searches. For instance, if you want to find articles about both cats and dogs, use "AND" between the words. So, you'd search for "cats AND dogs" to get results that mention both.

Basic boolean social listening operators include:

  • AND

  • OR

  • NOT

Examples of these operators in use include:

  • Cats AND dogs

  • Coffee OR tea

  • Birds NOT crows

For Hootsuite and Talkwalker users, you’ll get access to an even larger library of Talkwalker boolean operators. 

Talkwalker boolean search operators include:

  • AND NOT,

  • Quotes,

  • Brackets,

  • Question marks,

  • and more

See the full list of Talkwalker boolean operators here.

Use parentheses

Parentheses can help you group search terms together. For example, if you're searching for recipes but want to exclude anything with peanuts, you could search for "recipes (peanuts NOT included)" to make sure you don't get any peanut-related results.

Keep an eye on trends

Keep an eye on what's happening in your area of interest. Trends and topics change all the time, so it's important to stay in the loop. 

Here are some ways you can effectively track trends using social listening:

  • Monitor keywords and hashtags: Track hashtags and keywords related to your brand or industry.

  • Check mentions: Look for mentions of your brand or competitors to see what's sparking conversations.

  • Follow influencers: Keep tabs on industry leaders and influencers to see what topics they're discussing.

  • Set alerts: Use alerts for keywords to get notified instantly about trending topics.

Stay local: Pay attention to the locations where conversations are happening to understand regional trends and target local audiences.

screenshot of a hootsuite dashboard

Pay attention to patterns

Keep an eye out for recurring themes or trends in your social listening results. If you notice certain topics or keywords popping up frequently, it could indicate a significant trend or conversation happening within your industry or community. 

For example, if you notice that every time your competitor posts a new product update, you see an influx of negative customer service sentiment about their brand online. This could be a sign that your audience is looking for better support options, and that it’s time to promote your customer service team.

Try boolean social listening with Hootsuite Listening (powered by Talkwalker)

New to the world of social listening? Why not let Hootsuite be your guide? Hootsuite recently acquired Talkwalker, an advanced social listening tool built on the power of AI. These tools help you fine-tune your searches, spot hidden trends, and understand what people are saying about brands and industries. 

Stay tuned for these upcoming Hootsuite and Talkwalker features:

  • Quick search: Instantly gauge the sentiment surrounding your brand or competitors' through quick searches spanning the past seven days.

  • Trending topics: Explore trending topics by category and location over the past week, facilitating seamless content creation and engagement.

  • Unlimited searches: Enjoy unlimited searches on quick search and the ability to compare two search results, empowering you with unparalleled insights.*

*Available to all Hootsuite users, with enterprise users gaining access to additional advanced features through Talkwalker.

Learn more about our latest features, and sign up for a free, 30-day trial of Hootsuite today.

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