CEO of Judi Hays, Inc.LinkedIn marketing strategist and author of Elevate, Expand, Engage – A Refreshing Approach to Winning on LinkedIn.
In a world driven by data, things are changing fast. Mining your data can give you an edge, especially when it comes to your LinkedIn data. If you’re like many LinkedIn users, you’re probably overlooking diamonds in the rough in your data. In fact, my survey of 220 LinkedIn training participants between 2021 and 2022 found that nearly two-thirds of users surveyed never downloaded their LinkedIn data.
Why is that important to you?
According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trend report, 40% of LinkedIn users changed jobs in 2021. So when you first came in contact with Andy two years ago, he was at ABC company. Andy now works at XYZ company in a role that fits your ideal prospect. You wouldn’t know this unless you look at your data.
Your next big deal or profitable relationship could be hiding in the data you already have in your account.
Mining (and managing) your LinkedIn data
It’s critical to remember that LinkedIn is basically rented space. A number of things can compromise your access, including:
• Changes to privacy and data sharing such as GDPR and CCPA.
• Restrictions on your account, which can happen even if you don’t do anything wrong.
• Phishing, malware and hacker attacks.
• Platform changes, improvements and upgrades.
Even if the platform isn’t yours, the connections, relationships, and history you have with people are. Taking the time to download your data puts you back behind the wheel and taking full advantage of this information.
Using LinkedIn data to build your business
The first step is to follow LinkedIn’s instructions for downloading your data† Once you have the full archive zip file, you will see many different CSV files that will help you categorize and organize your data. From here you can start making this data work for you.
Sort your connections
This is probably the most important part of your data. When I take my clients on board, this step often presents unsecured business opportunities. We’ll start by importing the CSV download into a spreadsheet so we can sort the data in different ways.
Start sorting by company, then create a filter to highlight the most relevant positions. For example, if you work with CFOs, filter the position column for that title. You can also add additional data points to your spreadsheet by viewing their profiles for industry, location, number of followers, activity level, and more.
Analyzing connections for opportunities
Once you’ve collected, filtered, and organized your data, you can implement a re-engagement strategy with your connections. After all, what’s the point of gathering connections without further communication?
• Reconnect with your connections who have changed jobs or locations.
• Reach out to connections you’ve interacted with but never interacted with.
• Ask and offer to introduce your connections.
• Move your engaged connections to a CRM for nurturing follow-up.
View Lead Messages
Your messages CSV file can also reveal hidden opportunities. This file contains all correspondence, both sent and received, from your LinkedIn inbox with your frontline connections.
• Search your messages to find missed requests.
• Search by keyword to find specific discussions.
• Search by names of connections sent or received.
• Identify dropped calls for follow-up.
Focus your efforts
After seeing all your information in one place, you may realize that the companies you follow are no longer relevant. Unfollow connections and companies that are no longer relevant to dedicate your time to the relationships that matter to you. Streamlining your news feed to your preferences will make your overall experience more productive.
Keep in mind that it’s better to unfollow rather than delete a connection. When you unfollow, their activity will no longer appear in your news feed, but you will still remain in the second degree in your network.
Harnessing data beyond your LinkedIn connections
Your connections are just the first step. There are many more ways you can make your data work for you and your business.
Build your credibility
Take advantage of the ‘Recommendations Given’ CSV by adding them to your website and other marketing platforms to build your credibility. The last thing you want is to lose this valuable social proof through a change to your LinkedIn account.
Rich media inventory
Your “Rich Media” CSV files are a virtual catalog of all the photos, articles, videos, and documents you’ve shared on LinkedIn. Watching this can help you discover ideas that you can build on for your content or other marketing strategies. Sometimes we spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel when the answers are right under our noses.
Do you remember all the apps you gave LinkedIn permissions to? Most of us don’t. Your data is a good place to check in to your account and clear up any permissions that are no longer relevant or useful. On the other hand, you may realize that you have tools that you forget to use or take advantage of on LinkedIn.
One way to avoid losing your account is to track your logins and active sessions. It can help you identify if you have been hacked or if you have sessions open on devices that may be vulnerable.
Take the time to download your data regularly, when your network has grown, before making major changes to your profile or when you notice that many of your connections may have changed jobs, roles or locations. Your data is one of the most valuable assets in your business. You may be sitting on a gold mine without realizing it. If you implement this process, you will see results.
• Download your complete LinkedIn database.
• Analyze your data so you can leverage that information.
• Look for opportunities to re-engage with your network.
• Be a resource for your connections by connecting with them.
• Use your data to build your credibility and discover opportunities.
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