Social media background checks are useful to learn more about a person. Many services offer high level scans of an individual – some focus only on social sites while others can collect content from across the web.
One of the reasons I find social media background checks so fascinating is that it’s so much more than a scan using one or more software platforms – it’s about building a story, and from my experience, no two searches are the same.
A good social media background check starts with a scan of course – it’s a great starting place to start to paint the picture of who the individual is and what their story looks like. It doesn’t stop there though – additional manual research and result filtering is needed to be able to truly get a picture of the individual you’re researching.
In the time we have conducted social media background checks, I’ve learned many things:
- Social media research for individuals is so interesting. By collecting content created by or about an individual, you can really start to get an idea of what the person is like without ever meeting them.
- Individual background checks for some industries, such as Human Resources, are a bit different. When it comes to other industries, such as investigations or insurance research, it’s much more robust and, in my opinion, interesting.
- No software is perfect. We utilize a suite of software programs for this very reason. We use one program as our “base” but rely on the others to fill in the blanks. The final part of our research is manual – corroborating results found and connecting some dots outside of the software programs is vital to a detailed, valuable report.
- A search is only as good as the information provided. It’s amazing how much you find about someone given very little information. However, conducting a thorough search requires much more information than a first name, last name, and city of residence. The more information provided, the better the results.
Conducting social media background checks has been a favorite part of the work I do. Some stories are happy ones, while others have saddened me greatly. Either way, I know that we are helping our clients get a better understanding of the people and cases they are investigating, one story at a time.