According to Statista, LinkedIn has an active user base of 467 million members. The social media platform also has an impressive growth rate with about 2 new members joining each second.
LinkedIn’s global professional network helps businesses target millions of potential customers every day and a solid search strategy is the starting point for businesses seeking to expand their relevant connections and generate leads on LinkedIn.
Becoming a LinkedIn Search Master
- Define Your Target Market
Before you start your search on LinkedIn Sales Navigator it is important to define your target market as accurately as possible by identifying as many details about them as you can.
Start by building a list based on your current consumer base. Examine the characteristics that your customers have in common as well as the products / services that they buy from you. Ideally you are wanting more of the same sort of customer.
LinkedIn has detailed business and professional information on its members which makes it easier for you to find your target audience with a laser like focus.
- Advanced Search
Once you have identified the characteristics of your target audience, the next step is to find people who fit in the profile you have built. LinkedIn has an advanced search filter for conducting a more refined search and producing more specific results that should lead to a higher quality of potential for engagement.
Most people are familiar with the LinkedIn basic search function where at the top of your LinkedIn Sales Navigator page you will find a search bar where you can type in specific keywords.
Click the link on the right of the search bar to access the advanced search.
Advanced search allows businesses to filter and find the exact people who are more likely to need their products/services. Some of the filters that you can use to narrow down your search are:
- company size,
- current companies,
- seniority level,
- team link connection.
Your advanced search will come up with a list of potential connections through which you can send requests with messages attached to them.
There are several options open to you here and one is to send a direct and personalised message to them.
If you are going to do this then make sure your message is personalised with mention of the person’s name and includes a great conversational starter that demonstrates your interest in them or their company. Check out their profile before you do this.
Once you have a reply you have engaged and are up and running with an online conversation that will be relevant to both parties.
- Boolean search
LinkedIn’s Boolean Search is an effective way to define, broaden or limit your LinkedIn Search to successfully target your audience.
Boolean Search uses Boolean operators to control what comes up in your search results. Boolean operators are the link words you add to your keywords to help LinkedIn understand what you are specifically looking for.
Examples of LinkedIn’s Boolean operators include : ‘OR’, ‘AND’, and ‘NOT’ searches.
Quoted searches wrap search items with quotation marks for an exact phrase for instance “Product Manager”.
Use OR searches to demonstrate that you only want results that describe one keyword or another. For example; Owner OR President OR Founder OR CEO.
AND is used for insisting the search results must have all keywords. For example; Accountant AND CPA.
Finally, ‘NOT’ is used to exclude search results that contain the specific term. For example; CEO OR Owner OR President NOT LinkedIn Expert or Engineer OR Architect NOT Manager.
Boolean operators; ‘AND’, ‘NOT’, and ‘OR’ must be in capital letters.
- Search for Decision Makers
Most companies have people specifically responsible for making purchasing decisions. 45% of LinkedIn members are people in upper management or senior level decision makers.
This presents a great opportunity to search for and connect with the people responsible for closing deals.
Target senior level decision makers to drive your sales up. LinkedIn is the most effective platform for B2B marketing available today. Many B2B marketers on social media use LinkedIn as a key marketing platform, but many don’t use it as effectively as they could.
- Saving Searches
Use the save search button to record your searches in your calendar. This is good for record keeping and time management in case you need to reuse your search criteria later.
In addition, LinkedIn will send you new results for your saved searches in weekly updates. This is especially helpful for people who run complex searches to find new customers.
A sales navigator account provides up to 15 sales searches. LinkedIn’s sales navigator also allows you to receive new developments and updates of your potential prospects which can help you build a stronger connection with them.
- Check your competitors’ network
Many companies connect with their prospects and customers on LinkedIn. If the facility is unlocked, have a look at their network and reach out to your competitors’ contacts. It’s much easier to sell to a competitor’s customer than a new prospect who has not been introduced to the type of products you sell.
- Your Connections’ Networks
Use contacts of your linked in connections to explore more leads and expand your network. People tend to attract others who are like them which means your connections can lead to potential customers with similar interests. Introductions are better than cold calls; so choose someone who is already in your connection and explain to them why you want to be introduced to their contact.
Linked in is no doubt one of the most effective methods for identifying and connecting with your target market. But to take full advantage you do need to use it extensively. Taking advantage of certain LinkedIn functions such as Boolean search will place you a step ahead of your competitors and if you need any assistance with this please ring me on 07742 664662 – I will be only too happy to assist.Chris Roxburgh is a Marketing Consultant and Social Media Trainer who runs a wide variety of social media empowerment workshops across the North West for all levels of experience. For more details email: email@example.com