Tracking mentions or hashtags on Twitter

Learn how to build a report to track @mentions or #hashtags on Twitter

Intro

Taking care of customers is pivotal to any business. And building a top-notch customer experience may contribute to strengthening your business's competitive position.

Over time, Twitter - thanks to its direct and immediate experience - has become an easy tool for customers to reach out to their favorite brands.

This means monitoring and responding to customers’ Tweets in a timely and comprehensive manner: a task that might be very challenging, especially if you don’t have any automation in place and you need to go back and forth looking for mentions.

In this short guide, we’ll walk you through building an easy spreadsheet to monitor your Twitter mentions and set up an email or Slack alert.

Here is a sneak peek of what you will get:

tweets finder

Twitter engagement glossary

Before getting started, let's briefly go through some definitions. As a business, Twitter offers the community a broad range of actions to engage with your social media activity:

  • Follow. Following an account puts it on your feed and allows you to get updated when it posts new content.

  • Like. Use it to show appreciation or endorsement of specific posts.

  • Retweet. Use it to re-share some content to your follower base, ignite discussions, and support a cause.

  • Reply. Through reply, you can directly add a personal comment below any Tweet.

  • Share. Use it to share the link to a specific Tweet with anyone outside Twitter.

  • Mention. Place an @ before any account name to mention it directly in your Tweet. The mentioned account will get a notification.

For the purpose of this guide, we will focus particularly on the @mention action, most common when your customers want to notify you about something that is happening at the product level or just send some kudos for your last product release. The same structure works also with #hashtags, in case you desire to sound out some specific sentiments in the market.

Let's go

First of all, use our template at the following link Tweets tracker and save it in one of your workspace's folders.

To deeply understand how it's been built, let's reverse-engineer it together.

First of all, you need to enable Rows data integration and connect your Twitter account to Rows. Click on the top modal and then follow the instructions. The typical Twitter Auth page will open: enter your Twitter handle and password, and authorize Rows to retrieve your data.

Now you are back on the spreadsheet, ready to set it up. In cell B1 of the Search table, input the mentioned account you want to track, for example, @RowsHQ.

B3 is a data cell. In Rows, a data cell stores more than a string or a number, the typical content of standard spreadsheets' cells. In this case, it encloses data generated by our SEARCH_TWEETS_TWITTER() function, that uses cell B1 as unique parameter to retrieve data.

Screenshot 2022-09-05 at 16.34.54

Cell B2 contains a checkbox: if you turn it on, an UPDATE() function will be generated in cell B5, as follows:

1             =UPDATE(B3,"tweet_url",'Tweets'!A1:E1) 

The first argument, B3, is our data cell. The second, tweet_url, represents the key to be used during the update. The third is the destination table, 'Tweets'!A1:E1. Thanks to this function, the data of the Tweets table will be updated whenever a new Tweet - mentioning your account and univocally identified by the 'tweet_url' parameter - has been posted.

By default, this spreadsheet contains a SCHEDULE() function in B5, that triggers the UPDATE() in B4, according to a pre-set hourly schedule, i.e. 'every 1 hours'. This way, this spreadsheet will check for you every hour if there is anyone out there who mentioned your account.

Set up an alert

Now that you get a list of anyone mentioning your Twitter account, we will walk you through creating an alert that notifies you whenever a new mention happens.

Rows allows you to send an email or a slack message directly from a spreadsheet, using either SEND_EMAIL() or MESSAGE_CHANNEL_SLACK(). The former uses our always-on proprietary service while the latter needs to be activated with credentials, like the Twitter one you connected at the beginning of this guide.

Email alert

To set up an email alert whenever a new mention occurs, position yourself in cell F1, the header of column F. Here, we're going to use AUTOFILL() to trigger Rows' email sender automatically whenever the table will get updated (and new mentions will be added to it).

Rows AUTOFILL() should always be placed in the column header and has to include the following mandatory arguments: the column title in quotation marks and the formula to be filled in the column itself, in this case:

1=AUTOFILL("Email alert",SEND_EMAIL("info@rows","your_email","New mention on Twitter", "Please check here: "&E2)

The SEND_EMAIL() function, to be enclosed as a second argument of the AUTOFILL() needs the following four arguments:

  • From: the email address from which you want the email to be sent, e.g. info@rows.com
  • To: the email address to receive the alert, i.e. your email
  • Subject of the email, i.e. "New mention on Twitter"
  • Message of the email. Here it could be useful to concatenate a string and the URL in E2, to be able to check the mention immediately, e.g. "Please check here"&E2

Slack alert

To set up a Slack alert whenever a new mention occurs, you first need to enable the Slack integration.

Visit our Slack integration page and click on Connect. The Slack Auth page will open: enter your Slack credentials and authorize Rows to retrieve your data.

Now you are back on the spreadsheet. Position yourself in cell F1, the header of column F. Here, we're going to use AUTOFILL() to trigger the Slack sender automatically whenever the table will get updated (and new mentions will be added to it).

Rows AUTOFILL() should always be placed in the column header and has to include the following mandatory arguments: the column title in quotation marks and the formula to be filled in the column itself, in this case:

1=AUTOFILL("Slack alert",MESSAGE_CHANNEL_SLACK("twitter_alert","New mention, please check: "&E2)

The MESSAGE_CHANNEL_SLACK() function, to be enclosed as a second argument of the AUTOFILL() needs the following four arguments:

  • Channel: the channel in your workspace where to receive the alert
  • Message: here it could be useful to concatenate a string and the URL in E2, to be able to check the mention immediately, e.g. "Please check here"&E2

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