Let’s face it. There’s a lot of noise on Twitter these days. Here's a simple tip to make searching for what you want easier.

Alright folks, gather ‘round for a little Twitter tip to make all your search queries a little easier. To be honest, this “trick” has probably been around since the beginning of Twitter, but in the spirit of sharing and caring – not to mention, cutting through all the noise on Twitter these days – I’m resurfacing it in the hopes you might find it useful, too.

Step 1: Search for a phrase, keyword or hashtag in Twitter’s search bar.

Chances are the results will bring in a timeline clogged with links, hashtags, sales-y stuff, and other clutter from various handles. Hard to find what you’re looking for, no?

Step 2: Add “–filter:links” to your search to remove all tweets containing links.

Now, your results will produce only tweets that don’t have links and (hopefully!) generate more genuine conversation to monitor, manage, and engage.You can also do this with “-filter:hashtags” to remove tweets containing miscellaneous hashtags. Or, on the other hand, searching with the code “filter:links” or “filter:hashtags” will only pull tweets containing links or hashtags.Depending on your search goal, different phrases will work better for different topics. Here are a few to get you started: 

  • “how do I [keyword] -filter:links”
  • “how to [keyword] -filter:links”
  • “what's the best [keyword] -filter:links”
  • “need help [keyword] -filter:links”
  • “where can I [keyword] -filter:links” 

Of course, there are social listening tools that provide deeper search data way beyond this, but they’re expensive and require some skillset to configure. So, if you’re a small business, mom-and-pop shop, or any other Twitter purveyor in search of finding your customers or hearing what people are saying online, try this trick out and let me know what you think!

Laura Anderson is a senior digital strategist at the Deloitte Digital studio, Deloitte Consulting LLP in Seattle. She has a master of communication in digital media from the University of Washington. Follow her on Twitter at @laanderson.