Boolean searchingis built on a method of symbolic logic developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician. #Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search.

In other words, by developing targeted boolean searches it will help you pin point your buyers, influencers and stakeholders on LinkedIn.

As mentioned above, Boolean starts with understanding OR, AND and NOT.

When combining two titles or keywords with OR, you will get all inclusive results. For example a search that is defined as Sales OR Marketing will result in a list with everyone with the word sales and everyone with the word marketing in their profile.

AND is a limiting term. If you have the search terms Sales AND Marketing the profile will need to include both terms to show up in that search.

NOT helps to eliminate words and phrases from the search result. Sales NOT Marketing will only provide a list of profiles that contain the keyword sales but do not mention marketing anywhere.

The second part of understanding Boolean searches includes:

Parenthesis – ( ) If you use these with OR meaning you would like would like at least one of these terms.” parentheses is your way of telling the search engine that you are looking for one of these terms: (Sales OR Marketing). The parenthesis are only important if you are looking to use a second term or set of terms to complete your search (Sales OR Marketing) AND (Manager OR Director) In this case you are asking LinkedIn to find profiles that have either sales or marketing listed that are Managers or Directors. The AND means that they have to have one term from the first set of parenthesis and one term from the second to show up in the search.

Quotation Marks -“”; are very important when using phrases or terms that include more than one word. For example (“Vice President of Sales” OR “Director of Sales”)

(“Vice President of Marketing” OR “Marketing Director) AND (Philadelphia OR Chicago OR “New York City”). If you don’t include the quotes around the multi word term LinkedIn search will pick up each word on its own. So, anyone that fits the first set of criteria and has the word NEW would get pick up in the search results if you didn’t include the quotes.

Now that you have the perfect search – here are a few areas where you can use it!

  1. Identify who your client or networking partner knows (mining their connections) using this search helps to drill down to exactly who they know that you want to meet. First, you need to be connected to the person. Then, from their profile click on the 500+ or scroll down to the connections section. Click on the magnify glass and paste your search terms. If you want to drill down further, click on the “advanced” link on the top right of that section.
  2. When completing an advanced search, paste your search criteria in Keywords or Title.
  3. Paste the Boolean search term in the search box at the top. Click the hamburger on the left of that search box to choose People, Companies, Posts etc.

Take some time and build out your perfect boolean searches – I am confident that once you have this down, finding your buyers on LinkedIn will be much more targeted.