In its most basic form, a social media profile is a summary of your personal details that you create on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. It often includes contact information, the location where you reside, your job status, marital status, interests, groups, friends and connections, among other things. These profiles are created by the user of the web site who posts his or her own information to create the profile. This is the most basic form of a profile and can give observers a general understanding of the person’s background, work history and other details.
More recently, social media profiles have expanded to include not only information about the consumer that he posts himself, but also the collection of data points accumulated by the web site operator. These data points are collected from your activity on the web site as well as your behavior both before and after you leave a web site. This information is collected from the words and pictures you post as well as tracking tools commonly referred to as cookies that allow the web site operator to build a very detailed view about you. In other words, it is not simply what you are entering on the profile, but your psychological profile and what you actually do as well.
From this information, companies (including the web sites themselves, creditors, insurance companies, employers, etc.) are able to use sophisticated modeling techniques to build a robust, well-defined profile about you. These techniques are able to build a profile of your likely demographic characteristics, your psychological profile, and your likelihood and intent to buy a product, repay a loan, make a good match for a date or a job, or take some other form of action. In fact, many studies have shown that web sites that obtain this type of information can identify who you are and build a very specific understanding about you, even if you never disclosed personally identifying information in the first place.
In addition to these on-line data points, companies are increasingly combining other information such as “off-line” data from public records, memberships and subscriptions that further enhance their understanding of who you are and what you are likely to do when presented with an offer, or whether you are a good fit for a product.
Our belief at Your Social Insights is that the convergence of this data aggregation and profiling effort will only intensify over the next several years to include all of the data sets mentioned above, plus other forms of available data sets. Our plan is to acquire these data sets and apply our modeling capabilities to create your profile. But, we are doing it for your own private use so that you are empowered to even the playing field when you interact on-line. Shouldn’t you know how others perceive you and the product options that are made available to you as a result ?