With 25 million registered UK members as at November 2016, and over 450 registered members worldwide, LinkedIn is the largest social networking site for business professionals and the most powerful B2B lead generation tool on the internet.
According to an analysis of analysis of 100,000+ posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn by Oktopost, 80 percent of B2B leads were generated through LinkedIn!
If your products or services are aimed at other businesses, then LinkedIn needs to be at the heart of your lead generation and social media marketing strategy.
The Advanced Search Tool
The LinkedIn Advanced Search tool is one of the most effective tools for lead generation. To demonstrate just how powerful the tool could be, consider the following scenario: say you’re a social media strategist and you discover that the vast majority of referrals you have received in the past year have come from web designers who live in London.
So, now you know that London-based web designers are your best source of referrals. You now need to connect and build relationships with more of them so that you can get more referrals. This is where the advanced search tool proves invaluable. You can leverage the tool to easily connect with various London-based web designers and get a steady flow of high quality leads to your business.
Using The LinkedIn Advanced Search Tool
Note that an advanced search basically offers you the same options as the extended version of the Search box on the search results page. The difference is that with the advanced search tool, you can perform the entire search all in one step.
For example, you might enter a search term in the quick search box and then decide to narrow your results. But if you already know that you want to search for specific keywords, job titles, companies, or locations, for example, an advanced search would provide for a more streamlined option.
LinkedIn’s advanced search tool allows you to explore the LinkedIn database to search for exactly the right people to connect with in order to pursue opportunities.
Note that the more people you have as first-level connections, the larger your total network (which includes your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections) will be, and the more people you can search for. This just demonstrates one of the biggest benefits of having a large network and being an open networker on LinkedIn because it allows you to grow your network with ease.
The advanced search tool provides numerous fields to search in. This tool is also great for finding potential leads.
You can search for people by:
- First name
- Last name
- Postal or Zip Code
- Job title
- Company name
- Geographic range
- Thought leaders
Note that you are able to search by keywords, relationship, groups, location and industry, with a free account. To unlock the full capabilities of this tool, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid membership account.
How to Use LinkedIn Advanced Search
You access advanced search by clicking on the “Advanced Search” link located to the right of the blue search button (with the magnifying glass) at the top of home page. After clicking on the link, you are taken to a page that looks just like what’s shown in the screenshot below:
When you search by industry, relationship, and language, you can sort by relevance, relationship, relationship and recommendations, connections and keywords.
The great thing about the tool is, when you get your search results, you can see exactly how you are connected to the individual you searched for and what you need to do in order to make contact and engage with them.
If you find a user in your search results that is not currently in your network and would like to connect with that user, start by clicking the drop down arrow next to the user’s Connect button. Note that there’s no need to include first-degree connections in your search since they are already part of your network.
Searching for People
Select the People option (it should already be selected by default) on the search box that appears on the global navigation bar and click the advanced link.
For example, let’s say you are targeting letting agents in the UK. Simply type in the keyword “letting agents” (with the quotation marks) or +letting agents into the title field and select the location you’re interested in. The plus sign or quotation marks ensure that the search engine only returns professionals with that specific job title.
If you do not use the plus sign or quotation marks, the LinkedIn search engine will return all job titles that contain the words letting and agents in them. This will return a number of irrelevant results.
For a more streamlined search, you can choose to only see specific letting agents within a specific postal code. For example, you can choose to see all managing directors within a 10 mile radius of your post code (e.g. SE1 3DR).
You can also choose to search based on your relationship to those prospects e.g. 1st Connections, 2nd Connections, etc. In the relationship area toward the top middle of the page, you’ll want to select “2nd Connections”. This is because if you do find people that meet your criteria, it would be easier to connect with them by using an introduction request from someone in your 1st level connections.
You can choose to filter your search further based on the criteria in the middle of the page such as location, current company, industry, school, groups, years of experience, etc. Note that the fields with the “in” logo are only available to premium members.
If you want to target a different country such as the United States, the procedure is pretty much the same. Simple type in the job title you are looking for, and use the available fields to filter the results so that you get a more manageable list of prospects.
When doing a search, you can begin by filling in as many fields as you can to find the right people. For example, you might search for the keywords, “Graphic Artist AND Designer AND Photoshop” within 15 miles of an area code.
Searching by Relationships
When you’re searching the LinkedIn database, you can utilise your own network to identify your best leads (people who are two or three degrees away from you who you can reach through a first-degree connection introducing you) if you select Relationship from the Sort by drop-down menu.
When your search results are sorted by Relationship, you will first see the results that are closely connected to you through your connections. You can click each person’s name to read their full Profile and see how you’re connected by clicking the Shared Connections link under the name for each search result. You can then make a decision as to whether this is a potential lead.
When you get your search results, you can see exactly how you’re connected to the person you searched for and what you need to do in order to make contact and engage with them.
For example, say you identify Plato Syrimis as a potential lead. After you click the Shared Connection, you see that your friend, Abiye Karibi-White is the shared connection between yourself and Plato Syrimis. You can then contact Abiye and ask for an introduction to Plato using the Get Introduced tool. Instead of clicking on the “Connect” button or sending an InMail, click on the drop down arrow to show a submenu, and click on the “Get Introduced” link.
After you click on the get introduced link, you’ll be shown an Introduction Request page. Start by selecting the person to request an introduction to Plato, which in this case would be Abiye. All you need to do at this point is to enter the subject title and a short paragraph telling Abiye why you want to be introduced to Plato.
Your introduction request to could go something along the following lines:
“Hi Abiye, I am looking for an Internet Security expert and noticed that Plato Syrimis, who is highly recommended, is in your first-degree network. I would very much appreciate an introduction to him regarding internet security for my Website.”
Once you’re done, click on “Send Request”. Abiye will receive the request and decide if it would be appropriate to introduce you to Plato. Letting Abiye know that this is a potentially hot business lead for Plato makes it very easy for him to make the introduction. This is exactly what LinkedIn is about, to help people grow their business.
Your first degree connection will be far more likely to forward your request to his connection, if he/she feels they are helping both you and the other person in their first degree network by making the connection.
You can also save the searches with a name that is relevant to the search, and configure LinkedIn to send you an alert on a weekly basis, every time anyone joins LinkedIn that meets your criteria.