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How To: Easily Search Twitter Bios with FollowerWonk

You may have heard us go on about searching Twitter for Bio information to identify potential candidates (like here, here and here) and there are several Apps available online that can enable you to do this, without having to know overly complicated Boolean search methods to fine-tune your search.

FollowerWonk Logo - Search for Candidates on Twitter using FollowerWonkOne of these Apps is FollowerWonk, which is a brilliant tool that we’re really enjoying the more that we use it. FollowerWonk lets you search the whole Twitter network for profile data (in their Bio, the Location field, their Name and the URL itself). You can then filter the information by relevance to your search, how many friends and followers they have, how often they Tweet, and how old the account is. FollowerWonk then analyses the relationship between you and any profile you select and see which followers/friends you have in common, produces lovely Word Clouds to help you visualize what it is this account tweets about, and then save it all to a CSV file. Not only is this a great tool, but it’s FREE!

So, here how it works:

Search for your ideal candidate on Twitter, like for example a social media marketing exec, based in London. Obviously if you need a proven social media person, they’ll be using a service like Twitter, and let’s face it, you can’t view their Facebook profile because about 99% of all profiles are private. Twitter is a brilliant place to search for candidates, considering it’s fast, you don’t need to work out their email address, you have the ability to converse with them instantly, and the simple method of Retweeting can send your job spec out to hundreds of thousands of people within a matter of minutes, should your candidate unfortunately reject your fabulous job offer.

Within FollowerWonk, click on to the “Search Twitter Bios” button along the main navigation bar, then under “search Bios for:”, click on “More Options”. This will bring up your fields for Keywords, their location, their name if you’d like, and to search in the URL for certain words (like if you’d prefer people who have a blog accompanying their Twitter, search for (WordPress | Blogger | Blogspot), or a link to their CV, even better!)

There is a little bit of Boolean search required to search FollowerWonk effectively, but it’s not difficult. Here is a link to the precise Boolean operators that are used in FollowerWonk. Mainly be aware that they don’t use the terms AND, OR or NOT, opting instead for either a blank space for AND (or explicitly the Ampersand/& for AND if you really want to but there’s no need), the pipe ( | – found by holding down shift and the key between the Z and Shift on a PC keyboard, and on Mac, it’s to the left of the return key) for OR and hyphen () for NOT. They do use brackets ( ) to group terms together, and ” ” to pull specific phrases together too. (PS, if you have no idea what these are, then come to our Internet Recruitment training course – click here for info)

FollowerWonk Advanced Search Display - Search Twitter Bios for Candidates

So I did a search for a social media marketer in London or the surrounding area on Twitter with a minimum number of tweets at 200, to prove they actually use it, and 200 minimum followers.

The Keywords I put in to search their bios were “Social Media Marketing”, and then their location of (London | “united kingdom” | Essex | Reading | Berkshire | Hertfordshire | Kent).

FollowerWonk - Search for Candidates on Twitter - Social Media Marketer in London

My results were positive, I found 97 Twitter accounts of social media marketing people with high Twitter activity and an encouraging level of Twitter followers, all of whom I can straight away follow from within the App, and then reach out to by mentioning them in a tweet about the job I’m looking to fill. Furthermore, I can then save this search to a spreadsheet to go through later.

FollowerWonk searches work off a system of Credits, which you’re allotted a maximum of 450 credits at any one time (if you’re logged in to Twitter through the App, you are given 250 credits, plus an extra 100 if you follow @followerwonk on Twitter, and an additional 100 if you’ve recently tweeted about them). In each search of bios, you use up credits at a rate of 5 credits per page of results, to compare your search costs you another 10, and then 5 more to save a report. Your credits are replenished once every 2 hours, but if you really want to search more and urgently, you can purchase credits (1000 credits for $10).

What has been your experience of searching for candidates on Twitter? Will FollowerWonk help you to search more effectively? Let us know your thoughts, and other search-platform suggestions, in the comments.

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