Building Advanced Queries in Classic Listen


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

If the query you have built in the Query Builder returns a lot of noise, you now have the option to add additional parameters and create even more complex queries, using grouping and advanced filters.

Fine-Tune Your Query

  1. After using the Query Builder, select Advanced.
  2. Under Advanced, you can build your query using a range of parameters and filtering options (see below). Refer to the Cheatsheet for further information.
  3. The system will automatically validate your query and produce estimated results in the Live Preview.
  4. Click Save

Boolean Operators

Use these to connect your keywords together, and to define their relationship.

Enter a space between words or groups to retrieve results where all the words/groups appear. For example, listening to apples oranges will return only mentions where both apples and oranges are found. The space replaces the need to type AND between words or groups.
Use this parameter to retrieve results for at least one word. For example, listening to apples OR oranges will return mentions where either apples or oranges are found. Placing a negation - after an OR, such as pepsi OR -fanta is discouraged as that would match results mentioning “pepsi”, and anything not mentioning “fanta”. However, negations can be added later in the query, such as soda (pepsi OR -fanta).

Place a negation - in front of a word or group to exclude results containing that word, group or phrase. For example, inputting falcon -(bird OR nest) will return results with the word falcon in it and exclude results with the words bird or nest.


A negation cannot stand alone, as that would match almost everything. So for instance -(bird OR nest) is not valid, but falcon -(bird OR nest) is valid.

Using parentheses, it is possible to group together combinations of queries. For example, listening to (apple OR orange) -(juice OR smoothie) will return results where either apple or orange appear while filtering out any mention where apple or orange appear with either juice or smoothie.
Adding quote marks around words to return results of exactly that phrase. For example, the input of "orange juice" in any input field, will return results containing the phrase "orange juice" - not "juice orange". For Instagram, we recommend you use single words to discover content as we can only listen to hash-tags at this time.
"Proximity clause"~5

To search for a combination of words that appear close together in a sentence, add a tilde (or squiggle) symbol, ~.

Example: "FalconIO social"~5 could return a result that contains 'Fun quiz to determine your social media persona. I'm the Social Siren! via @FalconIO'.


To listen to various versions of a word without using multiple OR operators. Example: (customi?e) will return results that contain 'customize' and 'customise'.


The ? operator returns results that differ by a single character. For zero or multiple characters, you can use the * operator.

Example: (comput*) will return results such as compute, computer, computing etc.


Refine your keywords search with filters.


Please keep in mind that when using the data filters you will only get mentions that contain the specified data, significantly reducing the number of results. For instance, if you try to filter by language or country it will by default filter out results that do not have a language or a country associated with it.


We offer filtering by ISO 639, a standardized way of classifying all known languages. Over 180 languages are catered for. Filtering for a specific language will by default filter out results that do not have a language associated with it. If you expect irrelevant results in other languages, consider excluding them.

Example: language:eng


Where possible, we can filter results by the country from which the mention came from. Filtering for a country will by default filter out results that do not have a country associated with it. If you expect irrelevant results from other countries, consider excluding specific countries instead.

Example: country:usa


Matches only mentions where the location name contains the value. This is mostly used for Tweets, as location data does not generally include a name from other sources. The value can potentially be a phrase if there is a need for spaces, such as in New York. However, if you want to match a phrase, the terms must be inside quotation marks as in the example below.

Example: place:copenhagen or place:"New York"


When sentiment is assigned, you can filter by Positive, Neutral, Negative or Unknown.

Example: sentiment:positive


Enabling this filter returns or excludes results that mention a specified url. Please note the difference between url and site:  site is used to find results from the specified website and url is used to find results that mention the specified website.



Use this filter to only return results from a specified website.



You can define the types of results you receive by the rich media they contain, e.g. image or video.

Example: media:image


Matches only mentions that are from a specific Facebook Page, where the filter's value is the Page ID. You can also combine this filter with negation (-) to exclude all mentions coming from a specific Facebook Page.

The ID of a Facebook Page can easily be found through this site or any other similar online tool.

Please bear in mind that if a Facebook Page is geo-targeted, the content of that Page cannot be retrieved for Listen mentions.

Example: facebookPageId:221571161239992 or


Matches only mentions that are written by the specified Twitter user, where the From filter's value is the Twitter handle of the user. You can also combine this filter with negation (-) to exclude all mentions from a specified Twitter user.

Example: from:falconIO or -(from:falconIO)


You can limit Twitter results to users with a specified range of followers. To listen to users with more than 100 twitter followers, for example, use the filter twitterfollowers: 100.

You can also specify a range of followers, for example twitterfollowers:50..100 will filter out profiles with fewer than 50 followers and those with more than 100.


Use this filter to find mentions that have the given field. Supported values are: sentiment, media, hashtags, urls, language, country.

Example: has:sentiment or has:media or has:language


Use this filter to return results that we have assigned a gender to the author. Allowed values are: undetermined, female, male.

Example: gender:female or gender:male or gender:undetermined



The most basic query is a one-word query. Case sensitivity is not considered.

Example: Falcon


To listen to an exact phrase, quotation marks need to be used.

Example: "Meet your customers"


To listen to a hash-tag, just add a # symbol in front of the keyword.

Example: #FalconIO

User mention

To locate a mention of a Twitter user, add an @ sign.

Example: @FalconIO


To search for a combination of words that appear close together in a sentence, add a tilde (or squiggle) symbol, ~.

Example: "FalconIO social"~5 would return a result that contains 'Fun quiz to determine your social media persona. I'm the Social Siren! via @FalconIO'.


Use parentheses to combine multiple words within a query.

Example: "orange juice" organic -(strawberry smoothie) will exclude any mentions of strawberry and smoothie where the phrases orange juice and organic are also mentioned.


If you have multiple combinations of phrases and keywords to include or exclude, it is possible to group queries using parentheses.

Example: (Pandora OR tiffany) (jewelry OR charms OR rings OR diamonds) -(radio music) will return results of Pandora or tiffany with either jewelry or charms or rings or diamonds while excluding those results that contain the words radio and music.


If you change your query in the Advanced Builder you will not be able to use the more basic Query Builder.

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