Using LinkedIn to Gather Industry Intelligence

Using LinkedIn to Gather Industry Intelligence
Savvy Guest - Wed Jul 29, 2009 @ 02:45AM
Comments: 64

We're pleased to present this post by guest author, Dianna Huff, who offers practical advice on how to find out more about -- and better connect with -- your prospects. handshake

A client of mine was seriously considering spending thousands of dollars to advertise in an industry trade journal in order to (hopefully) catch the attention of specific people in a very niche industry.

After talking with him - and asking lots of questions about his industry - I asked, "Have you tried LinkedIn?"

"You mean that site where I get lots of emails from people to connect?" he asked. "Uh, no. What would I get from LinkedIn?"

For those of you who think LinkedIn is simply a place to post your resume when you need a job or to half-heartedly build a "network," it's time to revisit LinkedIn.

In the last year or so, LinkedIn has significantly increased its functionality - making the business networking site a great way to gather market intelligence about your prospects and connect with them as well.

1. Read Company Profiles - Do you want to target specific companies within a niche industry? To find these companies, simply use LinkedIn's "Search Companies" function. (Look for the search tool at the top of each LinkedIn page.)

You can learn quite a bit reading Company Profiles: how large the company is, its specialties, locations and the number of employees at each location, and its previous years revenues.

Even better, you can quickly see which employees are in your network, new hires, employees recently promoted, former employees, and those employees who have "popular profiles."

Even better, you can find people with the job titles you're trying to target for marketing campaigns.

2. Study individuals' profiles - Once you have a list of individuals you'd like to target, go to each person's profile and see what you can learn.

Some people keep their entire profile "open" for viewing, and for those who do, you can learn quite a bit: the person's connections, the Groups they belong to, the events they're attending and even the books they're reading.

Also look to see if people have links to a corporate or personal blog or Twitter or Facebook profiles - if they do, be sure to follow them and/or add their blog to your blog reader.

3. Search "Groups" - You can also find people within your targeted industry by using LinkedIn's Search Groups function. Find specific Groups by using industry keywords in your search (i.e. B2B social media).

Look for Groups that seem to have a good fit with the industry you're targeting and see if they match them up with the Groups the prospects on your list belong to. Then, join those Groups. Why? So you can begin networking and getting to know people!

4. Join Groups - Now that you have an idea of who some of the experts are in your industry, which companies they work for, and which Groups they belong to, it's time to join a few (2 - 3 at the max) Groups.

The reason I limit this number to two or three is because to do this step well, you really need to devote time to getting to know people within the Group and how the Group operates, and answering questions when you can (without being self-serving).

If you join too many Groups, you'll spread yourself to thin. (Trust me, I belong to too many Groups and have time for only one - my own B2B Social Media Group.)

5. Search "Answers" - Again, do a search using your industry terms and you'll find questions (and answers) people have posted relating to your query.

Read those Answers that pertain to your industry and analyze who is answering them - do these people match any of the names on your prospect list? Who are the experts?

Yes, doing all of this "grassroots research" (as one of my clients calls it) does take some time and effort. But the result is worth it: over time, you get to know industry players, you begin to add them to your network, and eventually they'll begin clicking through to your Website, downloading content, and then doing business with you.

In effect, you're targeting real people on a one-to-one basis versus hoping unknown people with "job titles" notice your ad in a print publication or respond to your direct mail letter.

About the author: Dianna Huff, Principal of DH Communications, Inc., specializes in B2B marketing communications consulting and copywriting. To receive her FREE Web Marketing Toolkit, visit her Website at

Comments: 64


1. Heather Rubesch  |  my website   |   Wed Jul 29, 2009 @ 07:26AM

I couldn't agree more that Linked In is a key industry intelligence too. I also recommend clients keep on eye on their competitors on LinkedIn as well.

2. John K  |  my website   |   Thu Aug 27, 2009 @ 07:58AM

I must admit I have not used LinkedIn in anger until recently and agree it is a fantastic website for connecting with others professionally and the various different groups allow you to tap into others to help you with various questions & issues.

3. Melissa Albano  |  my website   |   Thu Aug 27, 2009 @ 09:58AM

I absolutely agree. While LinkedIn has not provided the open source applications that have allowed Facebook and Twitter to grow exponentially, it still is the go-to site for many professionals looking to dip their toes in social media.

The group discussions offer many opportunities for B2B companies to connect directly with their target audience, however I would caution anyone entering this space to avoid the "network-salesy" attitude of attempting to direct-sell products and services through the forums. There is a lot of clutter to sift through in the groups, and many participants try to abuse the system. If you offer quality content and post information while expecting nothing in return, leads will come to you.

4. Sarah Mitchell  |  my website   |   Thu Aug 27, 2009 @ 04:23PM

I recently gave a talk on social media for business owners that were reluctant to enter the social media fray. I recommended they use LinkedIn as a starting point. I wished I had read this post before my talk. It really gets to the point of why LinkedIn is so important.


5. Lush Acres  |  my website   |   Thu Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:36AM

Lush Acres Executive Condominium (EC), an exciting new executive condo in Seng Kang West Way is set to launch within the 3rd Quater of 2013. Its strategic location between Yio Chu Kang Road and Fernvale Lane puts it in the radius with convenience access to newly operate Greenwich V Mall across the road as well as the future upcoming mall next to Fernvale LRT.

6. Bell & Ross   |   Thu Dec 05, 2013 @ 02:59AM
7.  |  my website   |   Mon Jan 13, 2014 @ 07:53AM

he new album is a little diferent comparing with the old stuff, but i can actually say that this album is much better, it's more mature I think, but it is just my opinion. You can't save them all is my favorite song of the album.<a href=""></a>

8. attending   |   Thu Apr 10, 2014 @ 05:07AM

Pilgrims believe that by attending the festival and bathing in the waters of the rivers that run through Allahabad or the other host cities, they will cleanse away their sins and bring salvation.

9. AccessoryqueenGKYc   |   Tue Apr 15, 2014 @ 03:33AM

I have a PhD with 25 years' experience in my chosen profession and have supervised as many as 7 professionals, responsible for up to 950 employees.

10. lcsvbm   |   Tue Apr 15, 2014 @ 10:05AM

apparently the tolerate being unusually high is only on the Damier Ebene print. You can try the monogram or azur alternatively since the delicates is not coated.

11. itsMisterCu   |   Tue Apr 15, 2014 @ 10:06AM

Seems kind of dumb to abolished the D-ring feature. and should be so handy for incorporating keys, cles, or mini pochettes!

12. span   |   Wed May 14, 2014 @ 06:32AM

Readers have a brief attention span: In all honesty, some brings dislike to study, and a longer tale will be losing on them.

13. Martin   |   Wed Aug 20, 2014 @ 05:44AM

Great Blog really, Really Great work thanks for sharing. I am always using and for my online shopping

14. Ramya   |   Fri Aug 22, 2014 @ 10:50PM

Won wonderful blog, It s so great work, keep regular updates. i like it so much. My Blogs and

15. krishna   |   Wed Sep 03, 2014 @ 12:33AM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative and

16. playstation plus   |   Sat Oct 11, 2014 @ 01:44AM

Yio Chu Kang Road and Fernvale Lane puts it in the radius with convenience access to newly operate Greenwich V Mall across the road as well as the future upcoming mall next to Fernvale LRT.

17. sparxxrx   |   Fri Oct 17, 2014 @ 02:20AM

Whatever your needs, whatever your fantasy, our products will give you and your partner a night to remember over and over again, What are you waiting for?

18. marry   |   Fri Nov 14, 2014 @ 07:05AM

i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your Anine Bing blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments anine bing on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work

19. megapolis cheats   |   Sat Dec 20, 2014 @ 05:59AM

From the tons of comments anine bing on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work.

20. girlsdoporn   |   Wed Dec 31, 2014 @ 11:58PM

As teachers, we are trying to get ready our learners for their upcoming — a upcoming that is unidentified.

23. mark  |  my website   |   Tue May 05, 2015 @ 10:15AM
24. indrawanto  |  my website   |   Thu May 21, 2015 @ 07:40AM

It’s my first time to visit this site & I’m really surprised to see such impressive stuff out there

25. franklin   |   Wed Jun 24, 2015 @ 05:35AM
26. franklin   |   Sun Aug 02, 2015 @ 07:19AM

ive been exami can i include your feed to my rss reader as i need to observe you Thanks

27.   |   Mon Aug 31, 2015 @ 02:12AM

We know several methods to make natural hyperlinks to enhance the web page position, connecting and high quality visitors.

28. juegos   |   Sun Sep 06, 2015 @ 07:06AM
El clásico juego Carta blanca. Único acerca de este juego es que te permite jugar los antiguos niveles de juego Carta Blanca o Freecell de Windows. Los números de nivel en este juego se corresponden exactamente con los niveles del juego original de Windows. Extraiga todas las cartas a las células superior derecha para pasar de nivel.

29. siva   |   Wed Sep 23, 2015 @ 01:12AM
30. waseem   |   Mon Sep 28, 2015 @ 03:53AM

You will also get the answers about how they work. Most expert SEO solutions in North america offer you with two or three sources, who are real entrepreneurs whom you can contact them through phone or Email.

31. waseem   |   Sun Oct 04, 2015 @ 08:37AM

The SEO professional creates the web page equally beneficial not just for google and also for user as well.

32. waseem   |   Tue Oct 06, 2015 @ 12:36AM

In order to have this system you need to have a web page structure with an experienced look in it.

33. waseem   |   Tue Oct 06, 2015 @ 08:48AM

Popular google such as Google, very often change their look for criteria to focus on junk sites and improve functionality.

34. waseem   |   Sat Oct 10, 2015 @ 01:18AM

Both small as well as large scale companies have made profits of their solutions and are thus on the lookout for SEO solutions to be able to provide company sites with best possible results.

35. reference link   |   Tue Oct 27, 2015 @ 06:06AM

Now of course SEO electrical professional can enhance your website income and advertising by 80Percent without your web weblog ever reaching the top 10 look for motor outcomes positioning roles then you definitely nevertheless obtained a great cope.

36. waseem   |   Fri Oct 30, 2015 @ 01:06AM

SEO Organization Qatar can be an asset for an organization. Irrespective of the sizes of website or kind of company customers are dealing into, the professionals can spiral the web pagerank to top slots of google.

37. waseem   |   Sat Oct 31, 2015 @ 05:35AM

Bear in concepts I recommended to you that you will come across several computerized Seo system on the web.

38. waseem   |   Mon Nov 09, 2015 @ 06:18AM

It fits your web page into online look for motor helpful method. Preferably, SEO work starts right from the concept germinates into your mind, the concept of having a web page.

39. gheovani   |   Wed Nov 18, 2015 @ 12:24AM

Bear in concepts I recommended to you that you will come across several computerize

40. John   |   Thu Dec 10, 2015 @ 10:14AM

Are you looking for the right inversion table? You may be hurting and you're just looking for some relief! At we review all the top inversion tables on the market. We have many inversion table reviews where you can sift through and decide for yourself which inversion table is right for you! From covering important features to displaying all of the best brands, this is the best spot on the internet top find top inversion table reviews!

41. asdsf   |   Wed Jan 06, 2016 @ 02:41AM

This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coDiscount vapor code
Vape mods
Vape pen
Vape eliquid

43. reference link   |   Wed Jan 20, 2016 @ 07:02AM

The key to being able to manage a Tempur-Pedic bed mattress is to look for a Tempur-Pedic bed mattress selling.

44. kami   |   Mon Jan 25, 2016 @ 06:58AM

The beauty of SEO is the truth once your website and even weblog advantages ground, the benefit the idea purchased from the seo surgery is pretty much long lasting.

45. right here  |  my website   |   Thu Jan 28, 2016 @ 01:21AM

Great post, you have pointed out some fantastic points , I likewise think this s a very wonderful website.

48. mahmud sabry  |  my website   |   Mon Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:00PM

<div dir="rtl" style="text-align: right;" trbidi="on">
<a href="">تردد قناة كوجى&nbsp;</a><br />
<a href="">صور صافيناز</a></div>

49. ass  |  my website   |   Sun Sep 11, 2016 @ 02:17PM

<a href="">Aghape Medical</a></div>

50. ass  |  my website   |   Sun Sep 11, 2016 @ 02:18PM
Previous 1
powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder