How to Find Someone on Social Media?

The social media directory is a huge database with billions of users. Let’s say that you have lost touch with someone from your childhood. All you know is their first name and that you went to the same school. Is it possible to get back in touch with that person? Of course, it is through social media apps and their built-in search tools! It might make you wonder how to find someone on social media, someone whom you met a long time ago. Is it possible to find them with minimum personal information, like only their first name? Is it difficult to reach someone you haven’t had contact with for years on social networks?

Is It Hard to Find People on Social Media?

Let’s take you back to the 60s and 70s when the internet wasn’t invented. Back then, yes, it was unimaginably hard to find someone with whom you had lost touch, especially if they had moved out of the address you knew and changed their phone number. With the advent of the internet and social media, it is pretty easy to find people. Did you know you can even find someone whose name you forgot? It won’t be hard to find if they have a social media presence.

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Ways to Find Someone on Social Media

There’s not just one but several different ways to find someone on social media. You can do a manual search for their name, type in their phone number, or scour your mutual friend’s friend list! You can even do a reverse image search if you have their childhood picture. The possibilities are literally endless, especially with advanced search! Here, we will discuss the common yet most effective ways to find someone on social media.

Search Someone by Username

This is probably the best way to find your long-lost childhood friend. You may not remember their full name, because you might be calling them by their nick or pet name. Let’s say you used to call him “Bob”. Now, Bob can be a nickname for Bobby or Robert. Or he may have taken his grandpa Robert’s name, and his first name could be something entirely different. You can easily find them by their nickname, or as it is called in the virtual world, their social media username.

  1. Head to any social media website, like Facebook.
  2. Locate the search bar, which is usually at the top of the page.
  3. If you already know their precise username, like “Bob12345”, then type it in. If not, you can add their date or year of birth to their nickname, like “Bob1989”.
  4. Hit “Enter” or click the search icon (magnifying glass).

If you know the exact match of their username, the very first result will be the person you are looking for. If not, then you will have to visit every person from the list of social media profiles that turn up to find your friend.

Searching by First and Last Name

If you know the real names of the people you wish to find, their first and last name, then it will be very easy to find them on any social media network. It’s like an automated version of looking them up on Yellow Pages, only much easier!

  1. Locate the search bar on the social media website.
  2. Type in their full name. Avoid including their middle name, just the first and last name is easier to find.
  3. Hit “Enter”.

If there’s only one person in the world with those two unique combinations of names, you will find the target person at the top. If not, go through each profile to find the person you are looking for.

Search by Phone Number

The easiest way to find someone with their phone number is to refer to the digitized version of the Yellow Pages. On social media, the phone numbers are usually set to ‘private,’ which means they cannot be accessed by someone who is not added to their friend list, someone who has hidden profiles, or someone they aren’t following already. Do you know their email address instead? It’s even more impossible to search for them that way! If they aren’t already on your list of friends or followers on social media, you won’t be able to find them by their phone number. But it doesn’t hurt to try!

  1. Type the phone number in the search bar of the social media website.
  2. If they have set their number to ‘public,’ their profile will immediately turn up first in the results.
  3. If not, then no results will show up.

Alternatively, you can sync your list of contacts on your phone with the social media platform. This way, the website will automatically suggest those existing profiles associated with phone numbers already in your contact list. Sometimes, if you haven’t synced your contacts, you will still be recommended profiles that are associated with certain phone numbers in your list. For instance, on Instagram, you will receive notifications for suggesting followers for your existing contacts.

Search by Friends Accounts

Standalone friends, or people who are only your friends and not the friends of your friends, are rare. Your friends would normally know your other friends, even if they aren’t their friend, if you catch our drift. Let’s say you want to search for Jane Smith, which is a pretty common name. There may be thousands of social media accounts of people with that name, and you can’t hope to go through them all. Here’s what you can do instead.

  1. Head to your social media account.
  2. Click the profile of someone who could be common friends with Jane Smith. Maybe she was in your class at school. You might be friends with another one of your classmates
  3. Go to their profile.
  4. Open their friend list.
  5. In the search bar, type “Jane Smith” and check the results.

It’s much easier to find your friends from your friend’s accounts. Try this out before going for the universal search portal.

Search by Photo

Do you have a photo of your friend but don’t remember their name? You can search for them with their profile photo on social media. It’s called ‘reverse image search’, and it can be done on search engines as well as through apps and third-party tools like Google Photos.

  1. Take a picture of your friend’s paper image on your smartphone or laptop.
  2. Upload it to a reverse pic search app, like Google Images.
  3. Hit the reverse pic search icon.

The app system will analyze all images found on the web to match the social profiles containing the image you uploaded. In short, you will be able to find your friend’s profile with their image within seconds! But the same is not possible with reverse email lookup, like searching for social accounts with email since the email address is heavily guarded.

Using Search Engines

Not sure which social media website your long-lost friend has subscribed to? You can use a search engine that browses through multiple social media public records to find that person. Do you tend to use Google often? Simply type in your friend’s full name in the search bar. The good news is that the search engine will consider your social media profile and come up with the profiles that best match your search.

For instance, if your friend (let’s say Jane Smith) went to the same school as you did, say St. Joseph’s, Google will show the social media profiles of all Jane Smiths who went to St. Joseph’s first. This way, a simple Google search will lead you to the friend you are looking for!

Other Ways

Have you found your long-lost friend via their business website? You can search the web address of their site on any social media search bar to find their profile or public posts. Have you already found them on one SM platform but not some other? You can sync your existing followers or friends to that other platform. Meta allows for easy syncing between your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Alternatively, have you tried searching the friends list of your friends’ friends? It’s a relatively tedious process, but if you have exhausted all your other options, this one will be your best bet.

To Conclude

Rapid advancements in software technology over the years have enabled us to find anyone on social media without breaking a sweat. There are many ways to know how to find someone on social media. There are even people search sites in the market! But what after you find them? You need to take the initiative to approach them. After finding your friend on SM, simply message them with a “Hi” and introduce yourself. Or add them as your friends and let them browse your profile. You can definitely expect a “Hi” back if they are the right person!

Mattie Schultz
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