We live in a digital world of constantly consuming and sharing updates to stay in touch with friends and family, both near and far. Social media allows us to get a (sometimes very detailed) glimpse into the lives of people we are interested in both personally and professionally. While most people are careful about managing their online identity, there are plenty of times we should have seen the digital red flags before dating, hiring, or working with someone.
“These days, dating someone you met online or hiring someone from LinkedIn is common. Be smart. Do your research.”
For countless personal and professional reasons, I am pretty tight-lipped about how much I tell people about how much I know about them or other people. But it’s the holiday season, and I’m feeling generous enough to share the very best of the best to put into your Christmas stalking!
Disclaimer: When it comes to social media stalking, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I don’t condone stalking someone to the point that they feel unsafe. Hopefully these tips will simply serve as a reminder about how easy it is to find information online.
Have questions about using social media to find information, or how to manage your privacy? Contact us and I’ll be happy to help you out!
You came here for the goods, now let’s get down to it.
There are plenty of ways to stalk your target on social media depending on many factors and variables. I’m sharing the best methods for each platform. This is by no means scientific, but there’s a good chance I’ve logged a lot more hours doing this than you.
If you’ve managed to secure a Facebook friendship with your person of interest and they let all their tagged photos and updates be shown with reckless abandon, well you practically found yourself a nice spot in a tree outside their bedroom!
But the interesting and elusive target is wise and knows that they must keep certain things private, probably because they have a good job or other things people desire: attractive looks, interesting lifestyle (Read: The very reason you want to stalk them in the first place!), etc.
So what’s the best thing to do when you want to know more about someone on Facebook? Look at your mutual friends. How many friends do you have in common? Who are they? How do you know those people? How would your subject know them? Maybe that friend of yours has a picture with them? Go find out.
The fun begins once you have mutual friends they consort with.
For Businesses, Facebook now lets you follow other pages without being shown to the page owner. This is somewhat new because it previously told people you were tracking their page. Sneaky, sneaky! Not to brag, but we’ve seen some recent activity of someone tracking our page or client pages.
I love when people lock their Twitter accounts like they tweet nuclear launch codes. They usually end up tweeting the most boring stuff anyway. For Twitter, the best way to stalk a person or business is to utilize the Lists feature.
Sometimes your person of interest is not necessarily someone you like. But maybe they have a job/client/boyfriend you want so you just kinda want to keep tabs on them. Maybe they are your business competitor, and you don’t want to follow them as your business because they are the enemy and must be destroyed.
Creating a private list lets you track all their activity without actually following them, if their updates are public. And they don’t even know!
LOG OUT before you search them. LOG OUT and then search their name. LinkedIn tells you who looks at your profile, so it’s telling someone when you look at theirs. Log out, or your ex’s new girlfriend is going to get an email from LinkedIn that you peeped on their page. Or, stay logged in if you are trying to get a recruiter’s attention while job hunting.
Just beware if your mission is to get someone’s attention that you looked at their profile, stay logged in. Do with this information as you choose.
Instagram stalking is hit or miss. It really depends what you’re trying to achieve.
If, for instance, someone’s Facebook is locked down but their Instagram is wide open, you can check out all their photos. Not every post on Instagram makes it to Facebook so there can be more goodies to see.
Probably the stalkiest thing you can do that will have most benefit personally and professionally is to check out the notifications tab and see what other photos people you follow have liked. Sometimes the limits of your own network get stale and it’s a good way to see what else is out there. Or maybe it’s a sign that it’s a good time to go get some fresh air or exercise!
Oh, the joy of receiving a SnapChat from your person of interest. They may have sent it to you and everyone else in their list, but hey, you just got a snapshot view of their world for a second or ten.
The fun in SnapChat stalking lies in checking out who people’s best friends are. I’m convinced it’s based on who sends you the most snaps, others are convinced it’s based on who you send the most snaps to. I Googled it and SnapChat says it’s a “Magical algorithm based on who you interact with most, updated on a weekly basis.”
Regardless, it’s no fun seeing you are not someone’s best friend when you feel like you should be. That’s where SnapChat stalking comes to a tipping point. Do you start snapping with reckless abandon so you can rightfully claim your spot on the top three best friends list? Take it easy. It can be more fun to send your snaps as Stories because your friends have to go out of their way to view it because they don’t get a notification that you snapped them. They more or less have to decide to open the precious gift you created.
The fun part about stories is you can take a photo or video, save it to your story, where it’s viewable for 24 hours from creation. Then you can keep adding to your story if you wish. As you add new snaps to your story, you can see who of your friends has chosen to view your story. The curiosity element is what makes it fun. You don’t really get any feedback, unless someone sends you a snap back with a response that usually includes a less than impressive open-mouth selfie, or a rebuttal with the activity they are currently doing. The latter is usually more entertaining.
Remember, especially when it comes to social media stalking, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It’s one thing if you have specific reasons to gather information, like should you hire this person? Or should you accept that friend request from a friend of a friend of someone you might know? Being present in the moment with both personal and professional relationships is going to get you further.