Even though almost everyone you know has some sort of online presence by now, it can still be difficult to pinpoint the right person when all you know about them is their name. Since Facebook currently has over 2.45 billion monthly active users, it makes perfect sense to start your search on this popular social network. However, searching for a person you do not know on Facebook can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially if you have no idea how they look like or if they have a pretty common like John Smith. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to make your search successful. Here is what you can do.

Search The Name

Once you have logged into your Facebook account, you will see the main search bar at the top of your homepage. After typing in the person’s name in the search bar, Facebook will show you a page with the results. The results vary depending on the name, meaning that you may find just one or two hits if the name is atypical, made up or not frequently used or you may end up with a long list of possible candidates who all share the same name along with its variations.

For example, if you type in John Smith, the list will go on and on and include name variations with an added middle name or nickname. Next to each name, you will also see a profile photo (if the person has one). If you know how the person looks like, finding them will not be a problem. However, it is important to keep in mind that some people use outdated profile pictures or avatars, so you may not be able to recognize them based on the picture alone. Depending on the user’s privacy settings, you can also see someone’s country or city of residence, high school or university, place of employment, and more. 

In order to help you narrow down your search for people you know, Facebook lets you use several handy filters, including city of residence, education, and employment history. 

Search Among Friends

Going through your friends’ Friends lists is one of the best ways to find someone you think may be connected with some of the people you know. There are a number of examples of how you may be connected. including knowing the same people from high school or college, working in the same company or simply meeting the same people. Here is how to find the person you are looking for through the people you already know:

  1. Go to your friend’s profile page and select their Friends list. You can view the whole list of friends, recently added friends or friends from groups.
  2. Another way to find the desired individual is to check out the ‘People You May Know’ page, which is basically a list of people you may know based on their association with your friends. The person you are looking for might be on that list or you may spot someone who is in some way connected to that person.
  3. Lastly, you can do the name search again, choose the ‘People’ option, and select the ‘Friends of Friends’ filter. 

Search Groups

If you have any basic knowledge of the person you are looking for, like their interests, hobbies or work or education history, chances are they are a member of at least one public group. To find groups this person might have joined, you should select Groups from the menu bar on top of your homepage. Once you have selected the group you want to search, open the ‘Members’ section and type the name into the search bar. Keep in mind that you can only view members in public groups; to see members in private groups, you need to join. 

Search Family Members

If you are still unable to find the person you are looking for just by their name, you may be able to find them if you know their family members. Lots of people list their family members in their Facebook profiles, so if you happen to know their close family or even relatives, you should check if they have the person you are searching listed in their ‘About me’ section. Another option is to go through the family member’s list of friends. 

Search By Phone Number

If you by any chance have the phone number of the person you are looking for, you can simply type it into the search bar and see what comes up. If a user has a registered phone number on their Facebook profile and if they have made it public, you will be able to see it. Also, you can set Facebook Messenger as your SMS app on your Android device, which will automatically connect the number with that person’s Facebook profile. 

Search Other Social Media Networks

If you cannot seem to find the person by their name on Facebook, you can try searching for them on other popular social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and others. If you find them on one of these platforms, you may be able to find their Facebook profile in case they connected their social networks. The same goes for blogs and websites – if you find the person’s site, a link to their Facebook profile may be included in their ‘About Me’ section.

Use An Online Background Check Company

If you have tried everything and still have no luck, it may be time to consider using the services of reputable background check companies. With these online lookup services, you will easily be able to find the person you are looking for on Facebook and other social media platforms. You will also gain additional information about them, including addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, property details, court, birth, death, traffic, and criminal records, family and personal info, and much more. Here are some of the best companies around:

  • Spokeo is an online background check company that has access to more than 12 billion public records originating from many different sources. It provides its users with reliable and accurate information like contact and location info, name, phone number, email, location history, property details, public records, court, birth, death, traffic, and criminal records, family and personal info, social media accounts, relatives, associates, wealth and work info, income, lifestyle interests, and current and prior jobs. You can opt for a monthly subscription or a single report.
  • BeenVerified is another excellent solution for finding a person’s Facebook account. Its comprehensive report includes information such as full name, birth month/year, age, current address, contact info, known associates, criminal & civil records, bankruptcies, information about education and history of employment, social media profiles, blogs, and websites. BeenVerified only offers monthly subscriptions.
  • Intelius is a quick, easy, and anonymous solution for anyone looking to find out more about the person they are interested in, including full name age & date of birth, addresses, phone numbers, relatives, social networks, email addresses, employment & education, marriage & divorce records with relationship analysis, single-state criminal check, single-state civil check, liens, bankruptcies, judgments, and lawsuits. The company also gives you access to Classmates, a service that helps you locate and connect with your high school classmates.