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Getting Started with Explore

Explore is Meltwater’s comprehensive news and social listening and analytics platform.

Cheyenne V. avatar
Written by Cheyenne V.
Updated over a week ago

This article will help you use Explore search options to monitor your brand, organization, competitors, campaigns, or industry topics. It walks you through the process of creating and managing your searches within Explore.

This article will cover:


Understanding and Accessing Explore

Explore is the heart of our platform. Here, you can gain comprehensive insights into your industry, closely monitor your brand or competitive landscape, and effectively report on media outcomes. This feature is designed to empower you with robust research capabilities and actionable intelligence.

In Explore, you can create an unlimited number of ad hoc searches or a specified number of saved searches (depending on your subscription). Saved Searches will live in your Explore Tab until they are deleted. You'll want to create a Saved Search for topics you monitor regularly (e.g. your brand, competitors, products, industry, etc.). Saved Searches can also be used in Smart Alerts, Monitor, and Dashboards for further reporting.

You can access Explore through the left-hand navigation bar.


Search Options

Once in Explore, you can select the type of search you wish to run. You will have 5 options to create a search in Boolean:

  1. Search Box: Create a Keyword or Company Entity Search using the search bar. This is ideal for simple, straightforward searches (i.e. search for your company name together with one or two other keywords). This is also a great place to start if you are new to Meltwater or Boolean searching.

  2. Keyword Search: Enter terms or phrases into the input boxes (All of these, At least one, and None of these). Our system will then create the search for you. This option is recommended for simple searches or for new users of the platform.

    • All of these - this will only show results when ALL of the keywords entered are mentioned in the media.

    • At least one - this will show results where at least one of the keywords entered are mentioned in the articles/posts.

    • None of these - This will remove any results that mention ANY of the terms entered. This is helpful if you notice a lot of irrelevant results (e.g., when searching for Meltwater, we have to add "Iceberg" to this box to remove global warming results)

      Note: Keywords can include but are not limited to, your brand name, an industry topic, a product name, and names of key stakeholders or leadership.

  3. Advanced Search: Create a Boolean query using AND, OR, NOT, and other operators for more precise search results. (see our complete list of Boolean operators) This is best for advanced users familiar with Boolean syntax.

  4. Combined Search: Combine two or more existing saved searches to create a new search. This is useful for managing multiple searches or for quickly combining topics with your brand's saved searches. Learn more about Combined Searches.

  5. Compare Search (add-on): Compare up to ten saved searches using various charts and analytics. This is great for share-of-voice analysis and competitive benchmarking. Learn more about Compare Searches.

Once you select the type of search you want, you will be able to enter your keywords or Boolean to create your search. Let’s look at how to do this next.


Creating a Search

A Simple Company Search Using the Company Entity Feature

For a company search, be sure to include all variations and spellings of the company or brand name. Follow the below steps to create a simple company search:

  1. To create a simple Company search, click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Navigate to the Search Bar or Keyword Search section

  3. If creating a Company Search using the Search Bar

    1. Type the Company name, and a populated list of matching suggestions will appear.

      1. We call this a Company Entity search. This is an automatically generated company suggestion based on the text you typed into the Explore search bar. The entity combines the company name, associated social media accounts, stock tickers, and visual content, such as logos, to find all relevant matches of the company. Read How to Use Company Entity Search for more information.

    2. Select your company name

    3. Select the magnifying glass

    4. This will show you any time the company was mentioned in news and social sources in the last 7 days.

    5. You can adjust the time frame of the results in the date selector on the top right.

    6. When your results load, you can add additional terms to the search boxes

  4. If creating a Company Search using the Keyword search section

    1. Click Create

    2. Type your company name in the All of these or At least one textbox, and a populated list of matching suggestions will appear

    3. Select your company name

    4. Click Search

    5. You can adjust the time frame of the results in the date selector on the top right.

    6. When your results load, you can add additional terms to the search boxes

A Simple Keyword Search

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Navigate to Keyword Search

  3. Select Create

  4. Use the three Keyword boxes to specify the words you want to include/exclude from your search

    1. All of these - this will then only show results when the company AND ALL the keywords entered are mentioned in the media.

    2. At least one - this will then show results where the company and at least one of the keywords entered are mentioned in the articles/posts.

    3. None of these - This will remove any results that mention ANY of the terms entered. This is helpful if you notice a lot of irrelevant results (e.g., when searching for Meltwater, we have to add "Iceberg" to this box to remove global warming results)

  5. Adjust the Date Range and Search Filters (further details HERE) to broaden or narrow your results.

  6. Click Search to run the search so you can review the content returned by your keywords. If there are irrelevant results, add keywords to the None of these box to further refine the results

  7. Click Save in the top left-hand corner to save the search so you can use it again (e.g. to run it again in Explore, to create Smart Alerts, etc.)

  8. Enter a Name for the search.

  9. Click Save to finish saving your search.

Note: There are now advanced Keyboard Navigations and Mouse Interactions within a Keyword Search:

Keyboard Navigations:

  • Tab on keyboard to move left to right between boxes

  • Shift+Tab to move right to left

  • Use arrow keys to shift through dropdown options (i.e. company search)

  • Delete inputs with backspace

Mouse Interaction:

  • Drag and drop inputs between boxes

  • Inputs have 'remove' as an immediate action

An Advanced Search

To build an advanced search you will need to understand the Boolean search format. We offer Meltwater Academy courses and resources that will help you learn this. Think of Boolean as the grammar of your search. Just like sentences have structure, so should your queries. With Boolean, you can use terms like AND, OR, NOT to make your searches smart and (very) specific. There is a Get Started with Boolean Guide but we highly recommend taking one of the courses to learn this skill:

Possibly Sensitive Content warns you if the content populating in your searches might not be suitable. This content can be automatically blurred. To expose the content, click Show or click the article. To opt out of this, please contact your Meltwater contact.

Advanced Editor Enhancements

The Advanced Boolean editor enhancements for Explore allow you to more efficiently edit boolean queries by adding support for highlighting keywords such as operators, numbers, strings, and parentheses, and separate lines for easier organization of larger, complex strings.

  • Dividing operators (AND, OR, NOT) appear blue

  • Phrases in “quotation marks” appear green

  • Words/phrases not in parentheses appear black

  • Colons appear red (example from:CocaCola)

  • Parenthesis highlight when typed to indicate their matching pair

  • Strings can be divided by lines (pressing enter), and strings will highlight when clicked/editing

  • Red squiggles appear below the first error in boolean expressions (Keyword and Advanced)


Switching Between Saved Searches

Once you have saved searches created - Explore allows you to easily switch between your searches, without needing to go back to your library. It's especially useful when working with multiple search types, as it supports all – Keyword, Advanced, Combined, and Compare searches – ensuring a smooth workflow.

To switch between searches:

  1. From the Explore results page, click on top-left drop-down box:

  2. All of your saved searches and labels will be displayed

  3. Select one of your saved searches, and it will load results in Explore. This is available for Keyword, Advanced, Combined, or Compare searches.


Using Filters to Improve Search Results

When running a search, you might encounter an overwhelming number of results if only broad query terms are used. To avoid sifting through irrelevant results, it's essential to apply filters. Filters help to narrow down search results, allowing you to focus on the most relevant documents and articles.

Filters are available directly under the search entry box.

Let’s break down each filter below:

For further details on how to refine and save your filters, please review the How to Use Filters article.

Filter Sets

You can save commonly used filters for quick access. This could include filters for specific locations, languages, or editorial sources.

In order to apply filter sets:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add a filter set to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select the filters you wish to apply

  4. Click the Filter set drop-down

  5. Click Save

  6. Give your new filter set a name

  7. Select Save

  8. The filter set will now be available in the Filter set dropdown list below the Quick Picks. Simply open the Filter set drop-down, click on the saved filter set and all its filters will automatically be selected.

Source Type

This filter allows you to restrict content to specific sources like News, Social, or Broadcast.

Review the Data Sources article to learn about the Media and Source Types available

To apply a source type filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select the Source Type drop-down

  4. Check the box next to the source type(s) you would like to include in your search.

  5. Click Search

Source types like News and RSS let you drill down further. You can find their corresponding sub-filters by following these steps:

  1. Select the arrow next to any source type

  2. Type a News source name or website into the search box

  3. Click Apply

  4. A list of sources with checkboxes matching your entry will appear

  5. Check the boxes for the sources you would like to include in your search results

  6. Click Apply

To sub-filter RSS, you check the boxes next to the individual RSS feed(s) set up in your account. To learn more about how to set up RSS feeds, check out How Do I Add an Incoming RSS Feed?

Language

Select one or more languages to narrow your results to content in just those languages.

To apply a Language filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select Language drop-down

  4. Check the box next to any language you want to include

  5. Click Search

Location

Filter by country, state/province, or city for precise location-based results. You can also select “Unknown” to return results without specific location information, like blogs and forums.

This is the location of the source or outlet itself, not the location of its audience.

To apply a Location filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select Location drop-down

  4. Check the boxes next to the specific country or set of countries you want to filter.

  5. Click Search

  6. The arrow to the right of the country item will open a list of provinces and states in that country. You may also drill a level deeper into the cities in the selected state/province, again by clicking on the arrow to the right.

  7. If you wish to retrieve content without location information, such as blogs and forums, select the “Unknown” location item, which appears in the list of countries.

Note: Location data is now available for Instagram content in Explore results. Location data is AI-based, using post-level data, such as hashtags, language, user bio, etc., to infer the country/location of the person/handle. Not all Instagram content will include location data. This is due to privacy settings and other limitations on Instagram.

Keyword

When you add a keyword or phrase to this filter, it gets included in your search. This is especially useful after loading a saved search. You can add more keywords to see how they affect the results without altering your original search. Feel free to repeat this process to include several keywords or phrases.

To apply a Keyword filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select Keyword drop-down

  4. Enter the keyword

  5. Click Enter on your keyboard

  6. Click Search

Sentiment

Segment your results by Positive, Negative, Neutral, or Not Rated sentiments.

To apply a Sentiment filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select Sentiment drop-down

  4. Check one or more sentiment values you want to use to filter results.

  5. Click Search

To learn more about How Sentiment is Assigned.

Author

Filter by specific X handles or Reddit users to monitor content from certain influencers.

In order to use the Author filter for the first time, you will need to create an author list following the steps outlined in the How to Use Author Lists.

Now that you have an author list(s) to apply an Author Filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select Author drop-down

  4. Check the Author list(s) you would like to use to filter results

  5. Then, click Search to the far right of the filter bar.

To learn more about the process of creating and applying Author lists, check out How to Use Author List in Explore.

Custom Categories

Custom Categories allow you to save searches that you frequently use to sub-filter other searches, saving you time and effort. You can use custom categories to exclude sources or terms that are irrelevant to your results or save a set of competitors you research, etc.

You will first need to set up and save a Custom Category filter to make it available for all searches. In order to set up a Custom Category filter - follow the steps outlined in the Custom Categories Article.

Now that you have at least one Custom Category created - in order to apply the filter:

  1. Click Explore in the left-hand navigation bar

  2. Click on the saved search you want to add this filter to or create a brand new search by clicking Create in any search option section

  3. Select the Custom Categories drop-down

  4. Check one or more categories you would like to use to filter results

  5. Click Search

Note:

  • You must first save a Custom Category filter to make it available

  • Custom Categories can include any boolean operators

  • When applying multiple Custom Categories, they are joined as OR statements - in other words, you will get results that match ANY ONE of the custom categories you selected

Context

There are filters automatically applied to results in Explore called Context Filters. Context Filters work in the background to ensure you only see data relevant to what you're researching. The system sets up these filters, so you can't create or change them yourself. They help keep your data analysis accurate and focused on what's important. You are able to click on the results to further delve into the data.


Formatting the Explore Results Page

You are able to tailor the layout of your Explore page in 3 different ways:

  • Content and analytics

  • Content ONLY

  • Analytics ONLY

To change the layout of the page:

  1. Select the View Icon (see screenshot below)

  2. Select one of the options


Exploring Further Insights in the Tab Section

Below the Filters set section you will notice a section containing a number of tabs. These tabs provide you with further insights into the media coverage for your search.

Let's break down each tab below:

Overview

This tab presents a general overview of your search results through a number of charts and tables. Learn more about the Overview Tab.

Analytics

Dive deeper into your social media data with the Analytics tab. It helps visualize your data for better understanding. The focus of the Analytics tab is to show the volume of results broken down in a number of ways (e.g. by source such as top forums, by most shared links, etc.) Learn more about the Analytics Tab.

Topic Analysis

Go beyond just the volume and location of results with the Topic Analysis tab. This tab will provide deeper context about the themes and drivers behind the conversations. Learn more about the Topic Analysis Tab.

X (formerly Twitter) Insights

Get a focused view of your X data using the X Insights tab. This tab breaks down your X results for a more detailed analysis. Learn more about the X Insights Tab.

Authors

Discover the 'who' behind the conversations. This tab not only lists the top influencers but also reveals demographics, top professions, and interests of those discussing relevant topics and companies. Learn more about the Authors Tab.

Media Contacts

The Media Contacts tab in Explore helps you access profiles of journalists writing articles matching your query results! Easily identify, vet, organize and save lists of journalists that are most engaged about your topics. Learn more about the Media Contacts Tab.

Note: Only Meltwater Media Relations customers will see the Media Contacts tab in Explore.

Weibo Insights

Weibo Insights helps you identify and analyze topics exclusively happening on Sina Weibo. Discover new conversation topics, better understand your audience, and make informed decisions about your marketing strategy in China.


Sharing

Now that your Explore search has returned the results you are looking for, there are a few ways to share this content with others.

Selecting Specific Articles

  1. Click the checkboxes to the left of one or more articles or posts

  2. They can be shared via:

    1. Email

      1. Select who the email will be from

      2. Enter recipients

      3. Add a subject

      4. Enter a description as the body of the email

      5. Click Send

    2. Exporting the content to a CSV file (to open in Excel or Sheets) or to a PDF file. For further details on how to export content to CSV, please review How to Export Content.

Sharable Dashboards

To create a Shareable Dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. Click Share on the right-hand side of your screen

  2. Select Share Dashboard

  3. A report will populate in a new tab

  4. To edit slides, Click Edit Slides or

  5. Click Share Slides

  6. Enter a password

  7. Click Save

  8. Select your report type

    1. Get report link

    2. Download PowerPoint

    3. Download PDF

    4. Add to Google Slides

    5. Click Done

Learn more about How to Share a Dashboard.


Saving Searches

Once you’ve created a new search, you can save it by following these steps:

  1. Select the Save button above the query entry box.

  2. You will be prompted to enter a name for the search

Your search is now saved and listed under "All Searches":


Vetting Contacts & X (formerly Twitter) Authors

Easily vet and gather info on journalists while in Explore. The same journalist mini-profiles featured in Media Relations and Monitor are now available in Explore for all users.

To view the mini-profile:

  1. Click on a journalist's name in the content stream.

  2. A condensed profile will slide onto the right-hand side of the screen for the contact. You will not be taken away from your current screen.

In the mini-profile, you will see the following details:

  • Name and location

  • Sources

  • Beats

  • Lists

  • Recent Articles

  • Social Media

  • Contact Information

Journalist profiles can be accessed via the Overview, Analytics, Topic Analysis, and Media Contacts tabs in Explore.

There is also a link to view the full profile for this contact, which will open in a new tab.

Note: that you must have access to Media Relations in Meltwater in order to view the full journalist profile.


FAQs

Can I import an existing list of brand names or keywords I want to put into a search?

There is no way to import a list of brand names into an Explore Search. You will have to copy and paste that list into the Explore search box.

Can keywords be translated?

No, Explore does not have an automatic translation tool when entering keywords.

Does the keyword search have to be one word only? What if I want to look for the name of something made up of three words?

A keyword does not need to be one word. Whenever you have a keyword made up of multiple words, add " " around the group of words. This will indicate those words need to all occur together and in that order.

How many months of historical data is there for each source type?

All editorial data goes back 10 years, whereas all social source types go back 15 months.

Does Meltwater crawl all websites like Google or other search engines?

Meltwater does not crawl search engines.


💡 Tip

Need more help? Feel free to reach out to us via Live Chat or check out our Customer Community.

Find answers and get help from Meltwater Support and Community Experts.


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