How to use the boolean search on LinkedIn
Boolean search on LinkedIn
Each sales prospecting on LinkedIn begins with defining your target audience: who your ideal client is. You should think about geographic location, industry, experience, language, and a lot of other factors that are essential for targeting. For this process, you need to understand what Boolean search is and how it can facilitate and improve your sales process.
Boolean search on LinkedIn is a database search with the use of logical operators. It is a combination of Boolean logic and search operators. When you need to narrow your target audience (for example, before doing LinkedIn automation), a Boolean search is something you should consider, as it helps you get as many appropriate potential clients as possible. Building proper search strings is crucial for salespeople who are engaged in social selling through LinkedIn. That’s why you need to gather a list of appropriate contacts and do not waste time contacting people who are not your target audience.
If you are using the standard LinkedIn search for your everyday sales activities, you may notice it does not compile appropriate lists of people even when you apply all necessary filters. You would have to tweak the received list of contacts manually in order to delete those who are not your target audience. That’s why if you use a Boolean search for compiling lists of people, you will receive more precise results – people who are exactly your target audience – and contacting them will deliver more results in your search activities through LinkedIn.
Read more about how to generate more leads on LinkedIn in our article here.
LinkedIn Search Operators
LinkedIn search supports the following operations:
1. NOT searches: if you type “NOT” (all capital letters) before a search term, this term will be excluded from the search results. You can also type a minus sign (-) instead of NOT to achieve the same purpose, but it is better to use NOT for more accurate results.
For example, owner NOT “product owner”. In this case, you will receive a list of people who haven’t indicated in their profiles that they are (or were) product owners.
2. OR searches: you can type “OR” between two words of your search and you’ll receive the results from either one term or the other.
For example, founder OR owner. In this case, you will get a list of people who are founders, owners, or product owners of a company.
3. AND searches: by typing “AND” between two terms you will receive the results that include both of them.
For example, founder AND CEO. In this case, you will receive a list of people who are founders and, at the same time, CEOs of a company. Incidentally, there is no need to use AND while searching, because if there are 2 or more words, all of them will be applied to your search, so “founder AND CEO” and “founder CEO” will bring you the same results.
You can also use “+” in your Boolean search instead of AND to achieve the same result, but for more accurate results it is better to use the AND operator.
4. Quoted search: if you need to limit your search using a phrase or even a multi-word title, you have to put it within quotation marks.
For example, write “chief executive officer” in a search field to receive a list of CEOs. It’s worth noting that LinkedIn recognizes only standard straight quotation marks: “. Curly quotation marks (“), known as smart quotes or typographer’s quotes, aren’t recognized by the website. In addition, do not use stop words such as “by”, “in”, “with” and others, in order to optimize search results.
5. Parenthetical searches: if you want to do a complex search, you can combine terms using parentheses, and those terms will be considered as one term.
For example, type “CTO AND (founder OR owner)”, and you will have search results for people who are CTO+founder or CTO+owner.
You should also bear in mind the prioritization order of the aforementioned options:
1. Quotes [“”].
2. Parentheses [()].
Using the 5 LinkedIn Boolean search operators will help you create appropriate lists of your prospective clients, but there is also Advanced Boolean Search on LinkedIn that can be used in your search query to target specific attributes of potential clients.
Additional LinkedIn Search Operators
There are several additional LinkedIn specific search operators to those mentioned above:
1. Search for people with a specific profile language. Use profilelanguage:language (2 letters). For example, profilelanguage:en to search for people whose profile information is in English.
2. You can also limit your search by a spoken language. Simply use spokenlanguage:language (2 letters). For example, spokenlanguage:pl to search for people who speak Polish.
3. You can search for people in a specific industry by using the command industry:industry code. For example, type industry:42 if you are looking for people working in insurance. Here you can find a list of industry codes for your search.
4. You can also limit your search by seniority level of a person by using seniority:seniority code. Here is a full list of seniority codes for your search.
5. You are able to search people by their necessary skills on LinkedIn. For that, you should type skills:skill. For example, write skills:marketing to look for people engaged in marketing.
6. You can also search by the headline by typing headline:occupation. For example, headline:hiring will help you receive a list of people who are hiring in their companies right now.
If you need to use several operators at the same time, you should put them in a row. For example, headline:CTO headline:hiring will bring you a list of CTOs who are looking for new employees to join their team.
By using a combination of the advanced Boolean search and the LinkedIn search filters you can generate highly targeted search results of your prospective clients.
LinkedIn Boolean search tool
There is also one useful tool on the market, LinkedIn Boolean search tool, which is designed to help users easily build targeted lists of prospective clients on LinkedIn. You can simply enter all the information about your target audience, and this tool will generate the correct Boolean search string. Then you paste this string into the LinkedIn search field and receive a list of your target audience for a given campaign.
How to use LinkedIn Boolean search tool?
1. Open the website and fill out all the lines with the relevant information:
2. You will receive the correct Boolean search string.
3. Copy the link and paste it into the LinkedIn search field.
4. After that, you can apply any necessary LinkedIn filters, such as geography and others, to narrow your search.
So, before beginning any sales prospecting on LinkedIn, you should remember that accurately targeting specific clients is key to every business, and using a Boolean search on LinkedIn is an extremely powerful way to target them and engage with them. With the help of a Boolean search, you get a more precise list of your target audience and, as a result, become more effective in your sales activities through LinkedIn.
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1. Can I do a Boolean search on LinkedIn?
Yes, you can. LinkedIn searches allow you to do a Boolean search for prospecting. Whenever you need to narrow your target audience, a Boolean search is something you should consider, as it helps you get as many appropriate potential contacts as possible.
2. What is an example of a Boolean search?
There are 5 LinkedIn search operators as well as 6 additional search operators that can be used while doing a Boolean search.
Here are some examples of a Boolean search:
- founder AND owner;
- founder OR owner;
- owner NOT “product owner”;
- CEO AND (founder OR owner);
3. What are the 5 Boolean search operators?
LinkedIn search supports the following operations:
1. NOT searches;
2. OR searches;
3. AND searches;
4. Quoted search;
5. Parenthetical searches.
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