Create or delete a search topic

It’s important to start with a clear idea of what kind of online information you want to listen to. Set up new search topics and add at least one rule to each of them to find out what your audience is discussing in their public social media posts. You can also edit search topics you’ve created or delete them if they are no longer relevant.


This topic is part of a walkthrough on how you can set up searches. More information: Set up searches to listen to social media conversations

Create a search topic


You need to be a Social Engagement Administrator or Power Analyst to perform this task. More information: Understand user roles

  1. Go to Search Setup.

  2. In the Search Topics pane, click Add Search Topic Add button to open the New Search topic page.

  3. Provide a name for your search topic in the Name text box and verify the category of your topic.


    You can add search topic names that contain up to 35 characters. The search topic names are only for your reference; they aren’t included in the actual search. Search topic names are like titles for your search topics so you can quickly relate to and use or reuse them.

  4. If you want another user to be the owner of this search topic, click Edit Owner Edit button next the search topic owner and enter the user name in the search box or click the name in the list below.

  5. Under Rules, click Add Rule Add button to open the Add Rule page.

  6. Select the rule type you want to create, and then provide the required information. More information: Find out what's covered by sources

  7. Click Continue to estimate the number of results and see a preview of posts matching this rule.

  8. Add another search rule to your topic (optional).

  9. In the Search Topics pane, click Save Save button to store the search topic and start the data acquisition.


    It will take some time for the first posts to be acquired for your newly-created topic. The delay also depends on how much volume your topic in general has. For example, a topic with high volume will give you results faster than a topic with lower volume. Make sure to check in Analytics and set your time frame to Today if you have set up a new topic and are expecting posts.

Edit a search topic

To help you find relevant posts and be up to date with the business requirements, you can change your search topics and the associated rules at any time. We strongly recommend updating the rules in a search topic from time to time to make sure you’re gathering only relevant information.


Administrators can edit every search topic in the solution, while Power Analysts can only edit the search topics they own.

  1. Go to Search Setup.

  2. In the list of search topics, click the topic you want to edit.

  3. In the list of rules, click the rule you want to edit.

  4. Validate the updated rule, and then click Save Save button to update the search topic.

Manage ownership of a search topic

Administrators in your organization can change the owner of a search topic to ensure every search topic is owned by the appropriate user. Users with the Power Analyst role are only allowed to edit owned search topics, but Administrators can empower these users by giving them ownership of search topics they manage, or create a search topic on behalf of other users.

  1. Go to Search Setup.

  2. In the list of search topics, click the topic you want to edit.

  3. In the search topic settings pane, click Edit Owner Edit button next the search topic owner.


    You must have an Administrator role to edit the owner of a search topic.

  4. Enter the user name in the search box or click the name in the list below it.

  5. Click Save Save button to update the search topic.

Delete a search topic


As an Administrator, you can delete search topics at any time. Power Analysts can only delete search topics they own.

  1. Go to Search Setup.

  2. In the list of search topics, click the Delete button Delete button by the topic you want to delete, and then confirm the deletion.


    Deleting a search topic has the following effects:

    • Data acquisition for the deleted topic stops immediately.
      • An automated email notification is sent to the user who created the search topic.
      • The search topic is no longer visible in the user interface.
      • Alerts and streams based on this topic are deactivated.
      • The quota will remain the same even if the search topic has been deleted. You need to add the keywords contained in a deleted topic to the Block Content so your deleted search topics will no longer affect the quota. More information: Manage your post quota

Privacy notices

Microsoft Social Engagement offers hosted online services available to a wide variety of customers and comprises the following social capability components within the software application:
Social Media Monitoring – ability to listen to and monitor publicly available social communications across public and managed networks administered by third parties.
Social Analytics – ability to identify, compute, and project queries related to publicly available documents and posts.
Please note that Microsoft Social Engagement may enable access to third-party services, such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and blogs whose privacy practices may differ from Social Engagement. Your use of such services, and any information you provide to them, is governed by their service-specific privacy statements. When establishing these connections, certain data, such as the search query used to retrieve the Social Content and your IP address, may be shared with those services. You are encouraged to review these other privacy statements. You are also encouraged to review the Microsoft Online Services Terms.

Microsoft Social Engagement stores customer search configurations and data curations in tenant-separated databases (customer data). The customer data is then cached on the server side in an internal application, to allow common retrieval indexing for the sole purpose of maximizing solution performance.
Access to index cached data (customer data) is handled exclusively by the internal application, and does not allow users to access or modify index cached data interactively in the internal application. After a subscription license agreement is terminated, customer index cached data is removed after a period of 180 days, according to our data retention policies.

For every new or changed search topic configuration we run an initial estimation with third-party social content providers to assess the amount of posts we will acquire with your provided search topic configuration. For this purpose your keywords, inclusions, exclusions, and applied language filters will be submitted to third-party social content providers.

See Also

Set up searches to listen to social media conversations
Add rules to a search topic