How to see a brand’s biggest tweets

Twitter Advanced Search has all the answers
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· 4 min read

Curious to see which social strategies work for the biggest brands in the world? Wanna see how your direct competitors tweet without spending a cent on analytics tools?

Lucky for you, there’s a very, very easy way to see any Twitter account’s most-engaged content and it’s built right into Twitter.

Twitter Advanced Search is a wildly powerful tool with all sorts of interesting use cases. You can sort from:

  • Words: any words, all words, exact phrase, not this word, hashtag
  • Accounts: from this account, to this account, mentioning this account
  • Type of tweet: original tweets, reply tweets, tweets with links
  • Engagement: minimum replies, minimum likes, minimum retweets
  • Dates: your basic “to” and “from” options

It’s easy to mindlessly numbscroll Twitter or assume a brand/creator’s most recent tweets fully represent their character (which is never true, stop assuming that). Pro tricks like Advanced Search can help you navigate Twitter with more purpose, not just whatever the algorithm tosses your way.

Today, we’re looking for the top tweets from Nike, a brand that does a great job on the bird site. We’ll focus on Advanced Search’s account and engagement options here (engagement meaning retweets, likes, and comments).

Step 1: Plug in the account name

I scrolled down to the Accounts section and tossed @Nike in the search. Simple enough so far.

Step 2: Set your engagement minimums

You’ve got some options here. You can optimize your search for replies, likes, and retweets, or any combination of the three. Every social post has a different hope for their followers, so I encourage you to dabble with each search individually: Was the most-liked post also the most-retweeted? Did the most-retweeted tweet generate the most replies? Dig around—that curiosity will help you strategize for future content.

I’m curious which Nike tweet was the most shared, so we’ll be focusing on minimum retweets. We know the Swoosh is a big account (9.3 million followers), so we’ll have to play around with our parameters to narrow in on their most-retweeted content. Let’s start with 10,000 minimum retweets and hit Search, see what pops up.

Step 3: Scroll and refine

Your results populate in the standard Twitter search results format beneath the query generated by Advanced Search. You’ll notice the query in the search bar—in this case, “(from:Nike) min_retweets:10000”—once you get familiar with Twitter’s formulas, you can skip the advanced step and toss queries right into search.

A Social Media Newsletter by Jack Appleby

I got lucky with my minimum retweet guess—turns out @Nike has nine tweets with more than 10,000 retweets, giving me a clean top 10 to analyze. If Nike had forty-something tweets appear in my search results, I’d up the minimum-retweet number until only the top performers appeared. If I wanna analyze a smaller brand, I’d lower the minimum-retweet number until results appear.

For whatever reason, Twitter doesn’t sort results in order, so you’ll wanna keep refining your search until just a few tweets populate.

Step 4: Ask yourself why

You’ve got the results. Now, it’s worth thinking about them. From a quick scroll, it looks like their celebration and cause content gets shared the most: several remembrances for Kobe, various championship celebrations, and Black Lives Matter support all made the top 10. That in itself is so interesting! With the data at hand, we can wildly speculate about so much.

  • Why do Nike’s celebration messages resonate deeply with their community?
  • How did Nike earn the right to comfortably speak on Black Lives Matter?
  • How much of an athlete’s face and body does Nike use in images?

I came away with a surprise of my own: None of @Nike’s most shared are produced videos. Of the nine tweets, six are still images with text, two are text-only videos, and one’s a brand reply. Considering the industry’s yelled at social managers to pivot to video for a decade, that’s an interesting lesson!

Step 5: Rinse and repeat

It’s pretty fun to randomly check out what’s working for certain brands. I use it all the time when writing Future Social pieces (which I hope you’re subscribed to). When I wrote about video-game publisher Bungie using its Twitter replies to clap back against bigotry, I wanted to see how those replies ranked among their most-engaged replies of all time. The query “(from:Bungie) min_faves:3000 filter:replies” showed its three most-engaged replies, all of which came from their support of reproductive choices.

Poke around your peers’ accounts, see how creators are tweeting, and use the power of Twitter Advanced Search to up your social knowledge with just a few clicks.

A Social Media Newsletter by Jack Appleby