10 Ways To Stalk A Facebook Profile For Holiday Gift Ideas

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here. Perhaps even more difficult to swallow is the subsequent holiday season and its accompanying pressures. With Black Friday starting ridiculously early this year, you better be ready to put down the pie and shop. The thought of trying to buy presents to please everyone is more than exhausting. How will you know what to buy? Consult Facebook.

Yep, you can find out what even your pickiest friends and family want by doing your stalker due diligence on Facebook. Even if you were never a big fan of the switch to timeline, this year, it will be something for which to be very thankful, allowing increased visibility in other platform and application activity. Taking a quick look at someone’s timeline can provide you with the nuggets needed to pick the perfect present. Here’s 10 easy ways how:

Recent Pins

Besides being one of the fastest-growing sites out there, Pinterest is also a hotbed of dream boards. Many people who use Pinterest have at least one board dedicated to wants and desires. Whether it’s new clothes, appliances, décor, or even jewelry (wink wink), most recent pins will show up in timeline. Just be wary of any unearthing any fantasy wedding boards.

Songs On Spotify

Aside from the occasional new music discovery from an über hip friend, seeing the ticker of your mini feed clog up with who’s listening to what can be annoying. However, it’s perfect for figuring out music purchases. When Spotify is integrated into Facebook, timeline will tell you most recent songs and playlists. You can always give the gift of a premium Spotify account. Wow your teen-age gift recipients this year with the gift of cool.

Offer Claims

The power of personal referral (or keeping up with the Joneses’) is great, which is why Facebook is so keen on featuring claimed offers in friends’ news feeds. Take advantage of these irritating updates to get gift ideas. Did your wife claim an offer for a massage? Maybe your daughter claimed an offer for a discount on new athletic wear, or your foodie brother claimed a coupon at a local restaurant. These offers will give you an idea on what people would buy themselves, a.k.a. stuff they actually like.

Check-Ins And Events

Check-ins for Sunday brunch or a Friday-night show via Facebook or Foursquare will pop up in timeline, and can even be seen on a convenient little map. Take a look to see where someone is going to figure out what to get them. Is there an influx of restaurants, concerts, live theater, the gym, or specific stores? You can also see what neighborhoods they like to frequent best.

Shopping Apps

Shopping applications like Fab.com and Amazon can show you exactly what people are buying. Go take a look at someone’s timeline to see if they have any apps accessed in their timeline. It’s seriously a no-brainer.

Brands’ Pages

You get updates in your news feed about when your friends like brand pages all the time, like every other status update. Take note. You can even check timeline for a whole list of brand pages a person has liked. This is particularly helpful if you want to buy clothes or makeup, but don’t know where to start.

Retargeted Ads

If you’re searching for gifts for a loved one or roommate, chances are that they leave their computer open while logged into Facebook. Do a little super sleuthing by checking out what ads are being retargeted to him or her. Chances are they are actual products they have looked at, but not purchased for themselves. Bingo! This is sure to get a, “How did you know?” reaction.

Causes Apps

There are a few apps with a philanthropic focus; check to see if anyone is using them. Seeing if a person has shown interest in any nonprofits or charities can be helpful if you want to give to a cause in lieu of a gift. Many people use the Causes app that appears in timeline, or they have already liked their favorite nonprofit pages.  

Books And TV Apps

Many people use apps from Hulu and Goodreads to share what they are watching and reading on their timeline. These are great clues if you’re looking to buy DVDs and books this year.

Regular Old Status Updates

Some people use social media, Facebook statuses in particular, for oversharing. Most of the time this is horribly aggravating, even though you can’t bring yourself to unsubscribe to updates because of the entertainment value. This might be the only time of year it’s useful. Your gift recipients might already have told you what they want, explicitly, with a link.

In general, when stalking a loved one’s profile, check for any and all apps integrated with Facebook and pay special attention to check-ins and status updates. If you follow these steps, you will be sure to take the hair -ulling out of shopping and please everyone this holiday season.

Readers: Are you using Facebook in any way to find the perfect gift?

Heather Sundell is the marketing manager for The Search Agency.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Web Analytics

Web AnalyticsStarting July 30, master Google Analytics to build traffic and increase sales for your brand! In this course, you'll learn how to use metrics to develop a digital strategy for your business, determine what to look for in analytics reports, use your findings to improve your online initiatives and more. Register now!