How to use Reddit search in Olwi
Updated at 24 January 2022
Do you find yourself not being able to find something you wanted? Olwi simplifies the process, but it doesn't tell you exactly what phrases/words to put into the search input. It's an activity I didn't find how to automate. Hence, let's understand the process of assembling proper search queries.
There are two search modes when you try to find something in Olwi:
Default/smart search. It eliminates pointing out excessive information. Pick what do you want to achieve and some keywords. Ideal for first-time uses.
Advanced search. It allows you to indicate a lot of additional information such as subreddits, words to exclude, searching in the title, description, and so on. Ideal if you know what do you search for and need customizability for your research.
If you already know who is your target person, great, skip this section. Otherwise, you need to work on recognizing potential people who are interested in your expertise/product. We need this information to understand possible intents when people search for such product, services, ask about such problems and so.
Imagine that you've built a tool that allows people to create websites fast with no code. Who are your possible target users? People, who want to make websites faster, right? Programmers? Yes, but not necessarily, oftentimes they don't need a website personally. And there are many groups of people who need one, but they're tired of hiring programmers or doing so by themselves. For example, bloggers, businesses. And many businesses create websites for other businesses - they should benefit the most from your product because they're the ones who will use it the most. Many people create a single website and that's all. The development agencies create multiple of them per week - it's a repeatable need.
There could be many people who need websites but only some groups of them need to create websites more often.
If your product is about simplifying creating websites, for example, then people don't necessarily know they can do so easier. Also, some people don't know they need to create a website. And some do, but they don't know how it works and where they might create one, not speaking about doing this faster or simpler.
Some products solve a direct(understandable) and urgent problem. In such cases, it's easier to find target customers because they are aware of the issue they have. For example, if your neck hurts, you go to a doctor. Or, if you need a domain, you go to a domain provider and buy one. Do people aware of the problem you solve? If they do, how do they talk about it?
It's critical to understand how do people talk about problems. It may be "I'm tired of developing websites" or "I need a faster way to create a website", for example. There are different keywords in use. Alright, now to some actionable advice:
Start with a direct problem statement your service solves. E.g. "create a website", "more leads", "monitor a website", "gain weight", "become healthier". These are quite abstract, hence there's space for us to see what people talk about in detail. E.g. people writing "create a website" want it on WordPress more often, than any other platform.
Narrow the problem statement, if necessary. With the WordPress example, search for "create a WordPress website" or "WordPress website". The latter is better, in this way you'll understand what words people use, not you. Maybe it'll be "build a website" or "building a website".
You understand the intents, it's a primary thing. It's time to experiment with mixing various search queries. Again, people's words may differ from yours when they talk about their problems. Maybe they see this problem from another angle. Maybe they're more used to different synonyms than you.
If your product helps recruiters find talents and you search them via "find talents", you may get a good amount of results. However, what about replacing "find" with other synonyms? As well, the other words and see what posts and comments you'll get.
To sum up:
Understand people's intent. What words do they use to describe the problem you solve?
Start with abstract phrases/words to take a look at how people talk about the problem. If you help people build a community, then you may try "community building" or "community" in specific communities you target to.
Narrow your search based on (2).
It's all about understanding what your target customers want to achieve and what do they struggle with.
It's quite a life hack. If you don't know what are possible people's intents regarding the problem you try to solve, or, you struggle to find good keywords to describe it, take a look at your competitors. Do you know a few of them? They should be relatively popular, so people talk about them. if you know those, put their names in your search query and see how people talk about them. What problems do they describe? What words do they use? What do they like or hate in their texts?
Oftentimes, you'll find threads that you won't find with the words you decided to use. People may use your competitor's product in a way you didn't predict, for instance. Or, their problem is a bit different than you thought. Or, many other options.
Understand the problem you solve! If you can't find people that talk about it, you probably search using the wrong words. Try more abstract ones. Or, start with a single word but in a specific community(e.g. "leads" in marketing communities).
If you need help with assembling search queries, you may contact me in the bottom right!