Building Advanced Queries in Listen

You may find that a term you’ve searched for is a bit too commonly used. It may return a bit too much social noise, or it may produce irrelevant results. Refine your Listen search results by adding advanced requirements, such as locations, website sources, grouped terms, excluded terms, and much more.

In this article, find out more about the different search operators available and how to achieve more accurate results.


The information in this article relates to the new version of Listen: Listen | Powered by Brandwatch. For help building advanced queries in Classic Listen, please follow the guide here.

Introduction to Search Operators

Search operators are simple words or symbols which will apply rules and specifications to your search. If you enter the words apple juice into the search bar, your search results will contain mentions which include the word apple and also the word juice, though either word could appear separately in any part of the mention.

If you only wanted to see mentions which included the only whole term apple juice, you could apply quotation marks as shown below:


Similarly, if you wanted to see mentions which include both the term apple juice and straws, but not necessarily together, you could use the AND operator as shown below:


You can also choose to view mentions which include only one or the other using the OR operator:


Below, you can see the full list of available operators along with a description and some examples of how they can be used.

Content Operators

Content operators allow you to refine your search terms based on the keywords, hashtags, and topics contained in the mentions.


Search results are always non-case sensitive unless using the brackets: {} operator.

Quotations: " ”

Mentions will include the phrase as written in the quotations.

E.g., “apple juice”


Mentions will include both terms surrounding the AND operator.

E.g., "apple juice” AND straw


Mentions will include only one of the terms surrounding the OR operator.

E.g., “apple juice” OR “orange juice”


Mentions will not include the term following the NOT operator.

E.g., apple NOT juice

Parenthesis: ()

Parenthesis can be used to group terms together, allowing you to apply an operator to everything inside the parenthesis.

E.g., (apple AND juice) OR (orange AND juice)

Tilde: ~

Place a tilde and a number after a term in quotations. Mentions will include all words in your term, but within a specified number of words of each other.

E.g., “apple juice”~5. Mentions will include both the words apple and juice within five words of each other. If you enter “apple juice”~10, mentions will include both words within 10 words of each other.

Brackets: {}

Mentions must match the term exactly and must be case sensitive. However, terms must be less than 5 characters.

E.g., {AC/DC}. Mentions including ac/dc (in lower case) will not be included.


If you apply an accent to a term, mentions will include the term with any accents included. Mentions including the same term without accents will not be indexed.

However, if you enter a term without any accents, mentions may include accents.

Ex. 1: niño: Mentions will include only the word niño.

Ex. 2: nino: Mentions may include the word written as nino or niño.

Angle Brackets: <<< >>>

Information contained inside six angle brackets will not be considered a part of your search whatsoever. This can be used for internal notes, placeholders, or to distinguish between sections.

E.g., <<< Next section TBD >>>: Mentions will be indexed as per the rest of the query, having no regard for the information in the angle brackets.

Source Operators

Using Source operators, you can narrow down the online origins of your mentions. For example, mentions only from a particular website or author.


Mentions will originate from your specified website. When using the site operator, do not include either https:// or www.



Mentions will originate from a particular page on a site. When using the url operator, place the page url in quotations, ignoring the https:// and www.

E.g., url:””


Mentions will include your terms only in the title, rather than the body of the text.

E.g., title:Astrazeneca


Mentions will be sourced only from the specified author. Author format may vary depending on how the information is received from each platform. Author information must be exact.

For an idea of how an author's name may appear, consider viewing existing mentions from any authors you had in mind. Alternatively, look at the Top Authors component of your search insights.

E.g., author:philrudd: Mentions will be indexed from the author, philrudd, only. Mentions from philrudd54 will not be indexed.


Mentions will be indexed when people have replied or Retweeted a post from the specified account.

E.g., engagingWith:acdc


You can use the NOT operator along with the site, title, and author operators to specify that mentions should not come from specific sources.

E.g., “apple juice” NOT

The NOT operator will not work with the url operator, though you can use the site operator to discount all pages from a particular site altogether.

Location Operators

Location operators allow you to narrow down your search results to specific continents, countries, regions, cities, or exact locations. Use the following XLS sheet to locate specific codes for all available locations.


Location data may not be available for all mentions. If location data is not available, mention location will default to the website’s registered country.


Mentions will originate from your specified continent.

E.g., continent:EUROPE


Mentions will originate from your specified country.

E.g., country:GBR


Mentions will originate from your specified state, region, or province.

E.g., region:GBR.Northern Ireland


Mentions will originate from your specified city.

E.g., city:GBR.Northern Ireland.Belfast



Choose to specify a latitude range, a longitude range, or both.

E.g., latitude:[41 TO 44] AND longitude:[-73 TO -69]

Advanced Search Query Examples

Below, you can find three examples of advanced search queries built using some of the operators mentioned above.

Example one

Marriott OR “Residence inn” OR “Fairfield Inn & Suites” OR links: OR site: OR author: (MarriottIntl OR Marriott) OR @MarriottIntl OR @Marriott OR #Marriott OR #LetYourMindTravel NOT (“Willard Marriott” OR “Bill Marriott”)

Example two

((“marriott”) AND (yoga OR massage OR facial OR spa OR pets OR “pet friendly” OR dogs OR cats OR fitness OR gym OR “business center” OR weddings OR “wedding reception”))

Example three

((“self driving” OR autonomous OR driverless) AND (Car OR vehicle OR auto OR suv OR suvs OR “sport utility vehicle” OR sedan OR sedans OR “mini van” OR minivan OR miniaturevan OR truck OR pickuptruck OR “pickup truck” OR pickuptrucks OR “pickup trucks” OR hybrid OR “two door” OR “2 door” OR 2door OR twodoor OR 2doors OR twodoors OR “four door”))
NOT (AI OR “Artificial intelligence” OR artificialintelligence)
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