For part 4 of our week-long look at the concept of a Social Media Credit Score, we are going to focus on the tools and tricks of researching yourself or someone else on the internet. We have already defined what a Social Media Credit Score is, documented the “SMCS formula” and discussed who would possibly research your SMCS (in our previous articles). So logically, we now want to give some very specific ways to track yourself or others through social media outlets.
In our article What is the Social Media Credit Score Formula we outlined the areas of the internet that make up the majority of what is currently defined as social media. While social media continues to grow and change, so will the areas that you need to keep an eye on. We’ll start you off with some tools for each site/area, but it will be up to you to add to your toolbox as time goes on.
Tools By Site/Area
- Google – The largest and most encompassing area of the internet is the search engine category. While there are others to choose from, none is as large or popular as Google.
- Search – Start with a simple search of your name, email address, phone number and physical address. (one at a time)
- Social Search – Enable the Google Social Search feature to see results from social media sites as well. This is still “experimental” but will soon be a standard part of the Google search results.
- Saved Searches – Create and save a Google Search of your name and receive an email notification each time your name is mentioned on the web. This search won’t capture everything, but it will search constantly, so you won’t have to remember to run the search yourself.
- Facebook – Facebook now has over 325 million users (I was recently made aware of this number) and is growing rapidly. What better way for others to research you?
- Posts By Friends – A search for your name (while in Facebook) will return any instance of your name in a friend’s post.
- Status Statistics (application) – This tool will report how often you (or anyone you know) post, where you post from, the words you use most, etc.
- Experience Score (application) – Similar to Status Statistics, but you are given a score. I’m not sure what the score represents exactly, but you can compare yours with friends.
- MySpace – Still a strong contender in the Social Networking world, MySpace has been around longer than Facebook and allows more freedom to users. Surprisingly, I found no useful apps or programs for searching for information on an individual. The best way to find out about someone on MySpace is simply to visit their profile and root around.
- Twitter – Other than Google, I consider this the most public forum on the web.
- Twitter Search – There are several ways to do this (the easiest is search.twitter.com, but any Twitter utility has a search feature that looks through ALL Tweets and returns the most recent results. In some utilities, like TweetDeck, you can set up searches that return results in real time.
- Tweet Stats – Enter anyone’s username and see the frequency of their Tweets as well as a breakdown of month, day, time. What employer wouldn’t want to know how often a potential employee might be Tweeting and not working?
- LinkedIn – This is the most used site by potential employers and has become a digital resume for job seekers. LinkedIn also offers individuals the most control over their own Social Media Credit Score.
- Search – Like Google, just type in a name and see what comes up.
- Saved Searches - LinkedIn also offers saves searches, so you can stay up to date on additions and changes in LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn Updates (email) – This newsletter, sent out on a regular basis, keeps you up to date on what your connections are doing. Where are they working? Who are they linking to? What groups have they joined?
- Blogs – While other sites offer statistics and searches, blogs offer insight. What kind of person is this? What are their beliefs? Opinions? Can they communicate well with others? Blog links can be found via Google or almost any profile created for that person. After all, people write blogs so that others will read them. They usually aren’t trying to hide them.
- 123people.com - Link – Returns information from a first and last name. One page results include address, phone number, MySpace profiles, Facebook profiles, pictures, Twitter pages and even blogs.
Use some of these tools to research your Social Media Credit Score today. You might think you know exactly what will be uncovered, but only a search of the social media available today will tell the entire story. Don’t let the unknown influence others’ opinions of you. Tracking your SMCS is just as important as keeping tabs on your financial credit score and, as we mentioned before, might influence your life much further down the road than a credit issue would. You are the only person that is going to take the time to research and correct any issues with your Social Media Credit Score.
Tomorrow, we will wrap up the week with a look at the future of the Social Media Credit Score and offer some other tidbits. If you are interested in the final segment, or any of the previous articles on SMCS, please visit our blog homepage or add it to your favorite reader. (http://blog.jumpstartmypc.com)