social media search1Any experienced private investigator will tell you that social media has become one of the most powerful tools for things like locating missing people and digging up any necessary information. While hiring a professional will always net the best results, there are some actions that even a novice can use to get the ball rolling on a social media investigation before having to bring in an expert. Let’s take a look.

Start with Google. The easiest place to begin a social media search is through the popular search engine Google. A quick check may reveal links to all the different social networks your target is using, as well as other interactions and mentions on the web. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, try searching different variations of the name.

Check out Knowem. This nifty social search engine allows you to conduct an instant search of more than 500 different social networks. While it’s primary purpose is to locate brand information, it can also be used to search peoples’ names as well as usernames they may have on various social platforms.

Use Facebook’s “Find Friends” feature. A great place to start is by conducting a search on Facebook through the platform’s “Find Friends” feature. You can narrow your search by geographic location, schools attended, employers and more. Of course, the results you get will ultimately depend on the person’s privacy settings.

Try doing a reverse image search. There are several different platforms that allow you to upload or include a URL to a photo and conduct a reverse search. (A popular one is called TinEye.) If you have a photograph of the person you’re trying to locate, you may be able to uncover information this way.

Don’t forget Instagram. Many times people forget about other social media sites like Instagram. This photo sharing app allows you to conduct a search by username and just regular name. It might be a shot in the dark, but with over 300 million monthly active users, it’s worth a shot.

Of course, sometimes locating a person via the internet simply isn’t possible for a layperson, particularly if the target has taken conscious measures to ensure they aren’t found. If you’ve tried all of the suggestions above and are still coming up empty, you may want to consider enlisting the help of an experienced private investigator. Contact us today to learn how we can help you locate the person or persons you need to find.