Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The rise of social media has, in many ways, turned the private sphere public. People reveal all sorts of personal information about themselves online — where they go, who they’re in relationships with, what they like to do, what they don’t like, their day-to-day activities — the list goes on and on.
Social media has opened up a huge avenue of data for people needing to gather evidence and conduct research on individuals – in fact, social media has become such a prevalent avenue of data collection, that it can now be used as evidence in courtrooms. But how can you comb through social media profiles to find the information that you need quickly and efficiently? With a social media search in a public and private records search engine.
What is a social media search?
A social media search is a search of all social networks and accounts to gather information about an individual. Rather than manually Googling individual websites and social media profiles, a social media profile search will aggregate information across a variety of social networks, from Instagram to Facebook to Etsy, into one comprehensive social media report on that person.
Because most adults have at least some presence on social media, a social media search can help you find information about individuals that may not turn up in a traditional records search. For example, a social media search can turn up profile pictures, names, past names, current locations like an address history search, past locations, school and work experience, and more.
Who can use a social media search engine?
While anyone can try to search social media profiles manually, an official social media search can be performed by anyone with access to a social media search engine via a public records database. Because of how much information is available in a social media search, many industries have been turning to them to dig up hard-to-find information about individuals and gain a more holistic understanding of who that person is. Legal professionals might use social media to perform legal research on witnesses, and corporations can use a social media account search to perform customer due diligence. People working in collections and repossession can also use social media searches to skip trace people that may be particularly hard-to-find.
What does a social media search solve?
A social media search can turn up information about an individual that you may not be able to find in other searches, like asset searches or criminal records searches. Because people often post on social media under a veneer of anonymity, individuals often reveal personal information that can be useful in a variety of different scenarios.
If you’re a legal professional, there are many new ways you can use social media data in your firm. For example, people often reveal many of their thoughts and beliefs on social media – which is useful if you’re an attorney looking to perform due diligence on your client or opposition. A social media search can be used to help legal professionals locate a witness, or establish personal jurisdiction over a case. For example, in a personal injury case, if someone is tagged in a photo of an event that happened the same day as the supposed accident, that location tag could help you establish jurisdiction. If you’re an attorney and you need to establish proof or disprove an alibi, you can perform a social media search to see if your client or opposition posted photos or were tagged in any mentions that would support or disprove that alibi.
Social media searches also offer a new way for people to skip trace hard-to-find individuals. For example, if you’re a licensed investigator, or you work in law enforcement, collections, and repossession, you likely know that people may go to great lengths to avoid being found. An individual that doesn’t want to be found may move around or change their contact information, making it hard to locate them. With a social media search, you may be able to find current and recent locations of that person based on web mentions of them or if they were tagged in photos in any particular location. Or, you could use business websites they’re tied to, photos they’re tagged in, or information about their school or work experience to locate friends, business associates, and relatives. When you build a web of connections about an individual, you can contact the people tied to an individual you’re looking to skip trace and improve your chances of right-party contact.
Gaining a comprehensive view of social media presences with a social media search can also benefit you if you work in corporations, financial services, or any other industry in which you need to perform marketing outreach campaigns. With a social media search, you can gain you a clear picture of who your customers are, the activities they partake in, and the people they’re friends with. By using a social media search to better Know Your Customer (KYC), you can gain a better understanding of potential prospects, which can help you perform list generation and data augmentation and boost your company’s ROI.
What do I need to get started running a social media search?
To get started running a social media search on your own and saving hours manually searching through websites and social networks, you need access to the best social media search engine like Tracers. Tacers will find any websites or social media networks tied to an individual and pull that information into one comprehensive person report. With a social media search in Tracers, you can even find an individual’s blog posts, blog comments, or web mentions – so even if that individual thinks they’re flying under the radar, a social media search with Tracers can provide you with the data you need.
Ready to see what a social media search can do for you? Try searching with Tracers today.