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How to Fine-Tune Your “Saved Searches” on LinkedIn

How to Fine-Tune Your “Saved Searches” on LinkedIn

Eric Cook by Eric Cook

Chief Digital Strategist

Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Eric considers himself a “recovering banker” of 15 years, who for the past eleven years has focused his efforts as a digital strategist, helping his clients (mostly community banks) better understand and leverage the power of the Internet as a strategic business tool. An award-winning web designer with WSI, the world’s largest digital agency network, Eric is a two-time contributing author to the best-selling book Digital Minds – 12 Things Every Business Needs to Know About Digital Marketing. Consistently rated in the top five digital marketing books on Amazon, the book is in its second edition and available in three languages.

A sought-after, nationally-recognized speaker in the financial services industry, Eric is a member of the National Speakers Association and loves sharing his knowledge to help educate and inspire others. He is the co-creator of a weekly webinar show called Free Webinar Wednesdays, founder of the Banker Education Series webinar series, and serves as a faculty member at several banking schools around the country where he teaches bankers about digital strategy, online marketing and social media. He is a WSI Certified LinkedIn Professional and holds undergraduate degrees in business administration and psychology. While working full-time as a community banker, Eric earned his MBA and completed the three-year Graduate School of Banking program in Madison, WI in 2003.

Professionally, Eric helps his clients in all areas of digital marketing, which includes mobile-responsive web development, search engine marketing and optimization, social media strategies, e-mail communication, and “big-picture” digital strategic planning. He’s the co-founder of DigitalRCP.com, a service created to help businesses understand their risk when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. When he’s not helping his clients succeed online, he can typically be found on one of his many bicycles training for his next mountain bike/triathlon race or spending time with his wife and two (very spoiled) golden retrievers.

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Summary:

Have a free LinkedIn account but still want the LinkedIn Saved Search capability you could enjoy as a paid member? You’re in luck. We’re updating our popular article on how to create Saved Searches on LinkedIn, so come along for the ride and we’ll share our LinkedIn Search hacks with you.

We’ll cover a brief history of saved searches and then go into detail about how to search by topic and for individuals. We’ll discuss how your browser’s bookmark feature helps you save your searches and then talk about how to easily get weekly updates on your connections. Finally, we’ll close with a bonus tip on how to increase engagement on your profile. Let’s go!

History of Saved Searches on LinkedIn

If you’ve been around for a while, you may remember that LinkedIn’s history of providing members the ability to save searches has had a bit of an on-again, off-again feel to it for those with free accounts. From the beginning, they offered saved search capability but then took them away from free users. They brought saved searches back temporarily around 2017, only to take them away again, which is why we wrote this helpful article about how to save searches on LinkedIn

Well, things keep changing so we figured it was time to provide an update and provide some new pointers on how to save searches - so without further ado, here’s our updated post on how to save your searches if you’re using the free version of LinkedIn!

How to Save Search Results on (the free version of) LinkedIn

You can no longer save your searches using the free version of LinkedIn - but don’t worry! We’ve got a workaround that will do wonders for you. Personally, we think it’s even better than LinkedIn’s version that you get with the paid version of Sales Navigator because LinkedIn can take that away whenever they want to (as history shows). 

What makes this strategy possible, and most don’t have a clue this is happening, is every time you search for something on LinkedIn, it creates a specific URL. That URL will come in very handy once you start searching, whether you search by company, title, location, or even specific people. 

Searching by Topic on LinkedIn

As a banker, you likely work with a number of different businesses, but the first step to any topic search is to nail down what you want to search for. Perhaps your bank has a lot of clients who are in manufacturing. You can create a search for these types of businesses in your area and then save them to easily come back and see if there are any changes, new players in the market, or if any of your key contacts have left and moved on to another position. 

Here’s how:

  • Start in the top left corner of your profile where the LinkedIn Search bar is
  • Type in “manufacturing” and hit “Enter”
  • You’ll see an updated page with multiple manufacturer listings
  • Between the search bar and the posts, though, you’ll see several categories (if you don’t see several categories in the dropdown menu, set your dropdown to “See All”)
  • Click on “Companies,” the category which will be about midway through the list of options
  • From there, you can create more specific searches if you’d like (by location, industry, company size, etc.)
  • Skip down to Create a Bookmarked Folder for Your Search in this article to learn how to save these searches so you can come back later

LinkedIn Example: If you click this link, that will take you to a search result that will show you manufacturing companies in the Traverse City, MI area with 51-200 employees. 

Obviously, you don’t have to just search for manufacturers. You can also search for service companies, construction companies, agricultural companies… anything that you think would be of interest to you. You can even search for relevant employee titles, such as president, vice president, CEO, CFO, marketing manager, or any other role that you may want to build a relationship with on the platform.

Keeping Tabs on People’s Activity on LinkedIn

Another great way to get the most out of the platform and the people who are on it is to keep tabs on their activity (like when they comment, share, post, etc.). Doing so creates opportunities for engagement and also creates a unique URL that you can save to come back to later. . Here’s a rundown of how to keep informed of what people are doing on LinkedIn:

  • Type in the name of the person you’re searching for (or just pull them up in your Contacts if you’re already connected)
  • Click on their name to go into their profile
  • Scroll down to the “Activity” section
  • Click on “See all activity” (the bar will be located at the bottom of the “Activity” section)
  • You’ll see a breakdown of all that person’s LinkedIn activity, and the “All activity” button will be highlighted green
  • Click on “Posts” to get access to anything the person has posted (this is where they are actually creating content on the platform - and provides the best opportunity for interaction)
  • See the next section to find out how to save these searches

LinkedIn Example: If you’re interested in what I’ve posted recently, you can check out this link and that will take you directly to my Profile > Activity > All Activity > Posts section. 

You can search for direct connections, second or third-tier connections, or people you’re following by using this method. This method of searching for people is great at helping you build connections, get in on what people are talking about, and know when they’re posting. 

Create a Bookmarked Folder for Your Search

The key to being able to come back to these searches is to create a bookmark folder in your browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari). 

  • Create a bookmark folder and give it a title (some ideas are below)
    • Active Customers
    • Fellow Bankers
    • Prospects
    • Networking Contacts
    • Vendors and Partners
    • Local Community Influencers
  • Add your new folder to the bookmark bar so it’s available under the URL and easily accessible in the browser
  • When you complete your search or get to the Posts section of the contact you want to keep tabs on, you’ll then grab the lock by the URL for your search and drag it down into the relevant bookmark folder you want to save it
  • You can then easily come back to that folder at any time click the link, and the page with your search or contact activity will come right up!

Browser Tip: You may need to go to your browser’s settings and select View > Always Show Bookmarks Bar for these folders to show under the URL address area.

Weekly LinkedIn Updates Made Easy

You can even get weekly updates on LinkedIn every Monday (or whatever day you choose) for all of the members of a particular bookmark folder. It’s a great way to check on 5, 10, 15, or more profiles, companies, or other saved searches at one time and start the week off in the know. Here’s how:

  • Right-click on one of the bookmark folders you’ve created that has multiple LinkedIn bookmarks in it
  • Click the top option that reads “Open All” (This will be followed by the number of tabs you’ll be opening)
  • Every link you’ve saved in that folder will now open in its own new tab and be accessible to review, providing you with the ability to go right to their Post activity (if it was a contact link), or the saved search you used
  • You can quickly see what everyone you’ve been following has posted the last week

These weekly updates allow you to jump in and be part of the conversation without dropping extra cash on a paid account. You can save searches this way with a paid account too! It works for both LinkedIn account types since you’re saving it on your browser. It’s quick and easy, and you can still customize and narrow down your searches however you want. Pretty awesome, right?

How to Fine-Tune Your Searches

You can narrow down your search results by adding various filters. If you’re using it to grow your network, check the “2nd” option under “Connections” so you’re only getting results from people you’re not connected to, but will have someone in common. Think about the job title, phrases, or keywords that someone you’d like to connect with would have in their profile. Choose your filters accordingly.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Searches

Here are some more things you can do to get the best results possible:

  • Make sure that your phrases are in quotes (“vice president”) so that LinkedIn will search for the entire phrase rather than searching for each separate word. 
  • Play around with titles to make sure that you’re getting all the possible results. For example, if we use the phrase “CMO” there may be fewer results. Spelling out “chief marketing officer” gets many more results, although not as many as when you type “vice president” into the search. 
  • Use specific filters for specific results. You’ll have better luck if you use variables like location, industries, current or past companies, etc. 

Bonus Tip: Personalize your Invitations

If you’re not ready to connect to someone but they’re on your list, start by visiting their profile. Potential connections with the free version of LinkedIn may see your name as someone who looked at their profile, and they may take the initiative to visit yours back or try to make a connection with you. 

If you’re ready to connect with someone, a personalized message goes a long way! After you click the Connect button, be sure to select the option to add a note and personalize the invitation. Writing a note is a great way to share why you’d like to connect or discuss a common interest, which increases the likelihood that they’ll accept the invitation. 

Need More?

So there you go! TONS of great LinkedIn stuff to help with your social strategy. If what you’ve read here got you excited and you’d like to learn more (and you’re someone working in the banking industry), I’d encourage you to check out The LinkedBanker. We’ve created this mastermind and mentoring community to help banking professionals with things like this and help build their personal brand and establish themselves as subject matter experts online. 
 

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