How to Maximize Your Discoverability in LinkedIn Search
There are millions of users and billions of data points on LinkedIn, but many people still miss the mark in fully grasping how to leverage their profile to grow their business through the platform.
In fact, one of the simplest and most effective LinkedIn tools - LinkedIn search - recently got an upgrade which makes it an even more effective tool for generating exposure.
Here's what you need to know.
LinkedIn Announces "Search Appearances" Feature
You may not realize it, but your LinkedIn profile and all its data points, along with those of the 500 million other users on the network, power the world's largest search engine for professionals, which can be a hugely beneficial tool for not only finding the people you want to reach, but also boosting your own presence.
I've been an advocate for this underutilized feature on the network for sometime, as it can be invaluable in helping grow your business on LinkedIn. By providing the capacity to connect with a hyper-specific, hyper-targeted list of prospects, LinkedIn search is a key tool in finding quality leads that will increase your sales.
And now, LinkedIn's helping you realize this power even more, as it recently released a new feature called "Search Appearances."
As explained by LinkedIn:
"With our new Search Appearances feature, you can now go to your LinkedIn Profile on - both mobile and desktop - and see how many people found you from a LinkedIn search".
As you can see in the last image on the right, the new listings now show you who's searching for you, by job title, and also include the exact keywords people used to come to your profile.
This type of insight is invaluable for those looking to optimize their LinkedIn presence to connect with specific users.
Boost Your Sales by Reverse Engineering
Using these new data points, you can reverse-engineer the job titles and industry types, or company types, who are viewing your profile and roll those into your LinkedIn prospecting efforts.
In other words, you can edit your profile to reflect the industry keywords that will show up inside a LinkedIn search.
You can also use this information to refine the content you create and share on LinkedIn.
For example, if you sell marketing services and you find your profile is being viewed by people in a particular industry (Accounting and CPAs, for example), you could add a job title - such as CPA - and include that as part of a headline for a LinkedIn article.
Here's what your headline might look like: "5 Tips CPA's need to know about Marketing on LinkedIn"
By capitalizing on the attention you're already getting, you can focus your presence to better appeal to those audiences.
How to Win on LinkedIn
In some ways, Search Appearances adds to the gamification aspect of LinkedIn, which they also apply in other areas of the platform.
These elements can largely be attributed to LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and his passion for strategy games - as Hoffman has noted:
"Business is the systematic playing of games."
Reaching "All Star" profile status for example, is a gamification feature, featuring a meter that ranks and gives you quick tips to refine your profile.
The "Social Selling Index" is another game or ranking tool that measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships help you win business.
These tools help tap into our natural competitiveness, while also pushing us to improve our LinkedIn presence, which can then lead to new business and new opportunities on the network.
It may seem like a bit of fun, but all of these small details matter, especially when considering how LinkedIn search works. The better you are at these 'games', the higher the likelihood that you'll be able to connect with the people you most want to reach.
Follow John Nemo on Twitter