Keyword research: Using Twitter and an N-gram Analyser to find popular phrases

Jonny Pathan
Mobile being held and read

Using a combination of Twitter and an N-gram Analyser we can look at popular phrases being used right now as you read this. Reactive marketing is and has been for a while, an important method you should be using in your efforts to spread your message. Not only will this help you understand the terminology people are using relating to your product but it’s also a useful tool when it comes to writing content, advertising and looking at what’s hot right now within your industry. One thing to note, this technique is just using Twitter, so your research will be based off of a particular audience. Having said that, you can use this method with any platform.

What is an N-gram?

In the fields of computational linguistics and probability, an n-gram is a contiguous sequence of n items from a given sequence of text or speech. The items can be phonemes, syllables, letters, words or base pairs according to the application.

Now that we’ve cleared that up! Let’s move on…


First thing to do is create a list of words relating to your product, service or offering. Let’s say you sell headphones, you need to stay on top of what’s hot in the headphone world and you need some ideas for some fresh content.

First thing to do is fire up Twitter and head to the search box and pop in some words relating to your product, let’s start with ‘headphones’.

Headphone Keyword Search

This will give you a list of all tweets using the term ‘headphones’, above the results you’ll see a few options, make sure you click on live, this will give you tweets that are happening right now relating to that term.

Twitter Keyword Search

The next stage is a little primitive but until an easier way to do this turns up this is how we do it at WATB. You want to load as many results as you can before you start to get bored. This unfortunately means scrolling down, loading more tweets and repeating that process for a while, say 5 minutes… You want as much data as possible to get any meaningful results.

Twitter Search Gif

Once you’ve had enough of scrolling, select all. Ctrl + A / CMD + A. Literally, select everything, use you keyboard or you’ll be dragging your mouse pointer for an eternity. Then you’ll want to copy what you’ve selected (Ctrl + C / CMD + C). Now that’s in your clipboard we’re going to want to put all of that data into a Ngram Analyser.

Ngram Analyse

I’m currently using one online that I’ve found, it does the job, it’s quick, free and easy. Head on over to Once there, paste in all the text you copied into the main input box, change the phrase frequency to five times and hit submit.

Ngram Analyser

You’ll see a list of the most commonly used words in your data, ignore the default Twitter words the tool is picking up (retweet for example) and look out for phrases related to your product.

Keywords list

In this example, I’ve just highlighted a few relevant examples, there were lots more to pick from. As you can see a commonly used phrase is Headband Headphones, this is something people are talking about, at this stage you may want to write an article about it or start a conversation online about headband headphones.


A useful method to have in your arsenal. This is just one of many techniques you can use to research phrases, keywords and what’s popular.

Have other ideas?

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.


Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

Related Posts

Posts you may also like
No items found.