Social Media Intelligence Basics

Author: Martin Voelk
January 11, 2016

Social Media Intelligence is important both from a marketing perspective as well as from a Security / Law enforcement perspective. People often have a wrong impression on what’s needed to get started with monitoring social media. Whilst there are tons of free and commercial tools out there, a lot of the investigation just involves the good old friend Google.

Why that easy? Well a lot of people tweet on Twitter and post on Facebook without restricting the audience. In other words, all there posts and tweets are public. Then the Google spider robot comes around and indexes it – ready to be found. Moreover a lot of people intentionally or unintentionally submit full location information with their tweets for example.


Here are few basic examples on how to search around from

1.) intext:”Works at best buy”
This dork is easy. Looking for open profiles of people working at best buy.

2.) intext:”Lives in Austin”
Dork to find people living in Austin

3.) “Studied at Harvard”
Dork to find former Harvard students

4.) intext:”at Walmart”
Slightly advanced Dork where people say Employed at or Manager at etc. Instead of Works at

5.) intext:”Started Working at Olive Garden”
People who started working at Olive Garden in the past.

Those searches can be combined, changed etc. A lot of the intel work is based on thinking out of the box. You will be surprised what people reveal on to the whole world instead of just their friends.

6.) Facebook also allows for GUI search on what people like or have liked. That can give vital clues around all sorts of things….

Twitter Location Tracking

A nice free Web Based tool can be found here:

If people have location enabled on their devices it shows you where tweets were sent from. This can assist law enforcement during security situations, large scale events etc. Of course there is a lot more to it, but with the above basics anyone can get started in investigating.