Social media can tell you a lot about a person. Facebook lets users share everything from the music they're listening to on Spotify to the status of their romantic relationships. LinkedIn provides cues about their careers, as well as their aspirations. Pinterest tells us what foods, places and designs make them drool. These cues aren't just fodder for big retailers' marketing reports; they can also give us ideas for Hannukah and Christmas presents that make the heart sing. If you want to know what your friend or family member wants as a gift, and you don't have a list directly from them, pay attention to this list. It will shock you on how many gift tips you give off just on your social profiles.
Getting to Know You
You may think you know your friends pretty well, but social media can give clues about interests and goals you didn't know they had. We often get to know a person because of a mutual interest like work, a particular hobby or because we run in the same social circles. You may be surprised, however, to find that the girl you go to wine tastings with also plays guitar and is into sci-fi films. Your buddy in the next cubicle may spend his weekends volunteering at the animal shelter when he's not golfing with you. Just look over a profile a little deeper and you'll be amazed on what you can learn about people. All information will come from what they give off.
The Gift of Learning
Re-tweets, Twitter favorites and Facebook posts can reveal a person's political leanings, favorite authors, dream vacations or skills they'd like to learn. Pay special attention when your pal or relative says, "I'd love to learn to sew!" or "This makes me want to learn more about architecture." Such a post is your cue to seek out gift certificates for lessons at a local sewing store or books on architecture for beginners. People will share what defines them. There are plenty of gift ideas around what defines them.
For example, imagine a friend that loves to post about health theories and new health ideas. When offline that same friend has a deep interest in health and try's very hard to be healthy. The online presence if a reflection of their offline behaviors. At the same time you know that friend would like something different, something surprising, because they don't have any list to give you. Good ideas might be a juicer, maybe a galvanic body spa, possibly even the newest and healthiest grill. If they work out they might love supplements, or maybe even something for their home-based gym. If you look deep, ideas will come.
Christmas Gift Ideas from the Facebook "Like"
Facebook "likes" reveal quite a bit about someone's eating, reading, viewing and other habits -- not to mention the things they'd like to do or consume if they had the resources. Someone who likes a fine dining establishment but lacks the income to eat there will probably love you for buying a gift card with enough funds for brunch at that otherwise too-pricey restaurant. If your friend likes a particular book, there's a good chance they'll want to read the new novel by that same author.
Tweets and Facebook posts aren't the only sources for gift ideas on social media. LinkedIn accounts yield a lot of information about users' career goals and other aspirations. For instance, the LinkedIn influencers people follow can offer insight. Does your friend follow Gary Vaynerchuk? There's a good chance your pal or colleague would enjoy books on the latest social media trends. LinkedIn groups are also pretty productive when it comes to career cues. They speak volumes about the specific niches in which users want to gain a competitive advantage.
Pinterest: Curated Gift Ideas
Pinterest is a goldmine of gift suggestions. The most visual of these social media platforms, it reveals some of the things that inspire a person. Users are likely to be impulsive about the images they "pin," so there's a good chance your giftee's board is filled with the people, places and items that get his or her heart racing.
From mouthwatering food photos to scenery from around the world, these images reveal both inspirations and aspirations. See 20 photos of Spain? Language-learning software might be in order. A board populated with photos of sushi, sake and edamame is a pretty good sign that Japanese cooking lessons or a gift card to a Japanese restaurant would be appreciated.
Getting Social for the Holidays
Hit the holiday gift-giving sweet spot this Christmas or Hanukkah by scouring your friends' and relatives' social media feeds. From concert tickets to Netflix or online newspaper subscriptions, you'll find ideas for holiday gifts that really strike a chord with your giftee. He or she will appreciate the fact that you've figured out the perfect gift, and you'll enjoy playing detective to discover more about the people you care about this holiday season.
We think we need lists because it's easy. The truth is you can find out what a person wants just from looking at their social presence. If you're marketing these gifts it would be wise to pay attention as well. You'll be able to help market to their friends and family if you figure out this science. This is the side of social media that's fun and rewarding.