social media how toIf you’ve spent some time on LinkedIn, you may realize that the network allows for companies to build dynamic profiles on the site. Did you know that you can discover important information conducting company searches?

What is LinkedIn Company Search?

According to LinkedIn, your professional network isn’t just about the people you know, it’s also about the companies in your network and how you’re connected to them. LinkedIn’s new Company Search provides an opportunity to discover connections in your network and filter them by the companies they work for.

Why is this important? Not only can you search for companies by attributes such as location, industry and size, but also by how you’re connected! Ultimately, LinkedIn Company Search can help you expand your professional network in ways that you may not have thought about.

How Can You Utilize LinkedIn Company Search to Expand Your Professional Network?

LinkedIn Company Search results are more robust than the “People” search results for those who do not have a Premium LinkedIn account. These search results appear to be unlimited for the time being, as long as a particular company has created a company profile.

How to Expand Your Professional Network Using LinkedIn Company Search

#1: Set your Company Search parameters

Navigate to Company Search, located underneath the “Companies” tab. Next, refine your search in the left-hand column using the following parameters for the most relevant results:

  • Location (focus on your city)
  • Industry (target a single industry initially)
  • Relationship (choose second-degree connections)

Hint: Your current number of first-degree connections will directly impact the number of second- and third-degree connections that you have. If you don’t have many first-degree connections at this point, you’ll want to focus on building meaningful connections as quickly as you can!

company search on linkedin

Filter search results for location, industry and second-degree connections.

#2: When viewing these search results, look for the number of people in your network for each company listed

Each company that shows up in your search results will showcase a link to the number of people who are in your network. These “people” will all be your second-degree connections, given that you filtered for this parameter. The search results may also show you job postings by the company if you choose to view that parameter.

company search on linkedin

Identify the number of people who are in your network for each search result.

#3: Click the link to “View all X people.”

To expand the list of second-degree connections from each company who are in your network, you’ll need to click the “View all X people” link (see image below). Once you click this link, you’ll see a list of all of your second-degree connections who are associated with this particular company, along with the number of shared connections that you have with each person.

company search on linkedin

Click to view all of the second-degree connections who are in your network from this company.

Note that when these results are shown, in order to see those individuals who work in your specific geographical area, you’ll have to reset that search parameter in the LinkedIn Company Search filter on the left-hand side of the results page. (Just as you did in step #1, refine your search results by location once again.)

Now you’ll see the list of second-degree connections who are in your network and work for this particular company, as well as the number of shared connections that exist between you and this individual. LinkedIn will also show you any groups that you have in common with this list of second-degree connections, which could open up the opportunity to make a direct connection. (LinkedIn will allow you to send invitations to connect with mutual group members.)

people search results on linkedin

View the list of individuals with whom you have a shared connection.

#4: Click to view your “shared connection(s)”

The most exciting part of this search is being able to see exactly how you’re connected to this new list of people! Your shared connections in many cases will be key in providing you with an introduction to a new second-degree connection and can also share with you what they know about the person.

people search results on linkedin

Make a connection and if someone else is connected to that person as well you have a shared connection!

#5: View the second-degree connection’s profile and connect!

I suggest that prior to asking for an introduction from your shared connection that you spend some time learning more about the person. For example, view the profile of the second-degree connection and look for common experiences, interests or additional places on the web where you can connect.

Does the person have a blog you can subscribe to? Do they have a Twitter account that is visible on their LinkedIn profile? Are there groups that they are a member of that would make sense for you to join as well? Do you share common personal interests or past work experiences with this individual? You might also Google the person to gather additional intelligence.

This research prior to asking for an introduction to connect or sending any type of direct invitation to connect helps you have a more meaningful dialogue once you’ve become connected on LinkedIn.

#6: Promote, refer and engage your new connections.

If you want to build influence on LinkedIn, always remember to focus on promoting, referring and engaging your connections. You can “like,” “share” or “comment” on their status updates, invite them to join interesting groups or attend local events, and suggest or refer any of your existing connections with whom they can benefit from knowing.

In addition, you should consider sending relevant news and resources to your new connections that can help or benefit them in their business and networking efforts.

Don’t forget to be consistently updating your LinkedIn status on a daily basis if possible. This will also expand your visibility and increase your opportunity to be seen as value-added to your new connections.

As you can see, leveraging LinkedIn Company Search is not only a powerful way to manually build a qualified list of prospects by location and industry, but you also have a connection pathway to meet these individuals through an introduction or by sending a direct invitation, depending on your account level. Keep in mind, however, that the best new business relationships often come by way of referral or introduction!

Spend some time doing these kinds of searches for your business. If you have a Premium LinkedIn account, you can actually create folders and save the profiles of all of your new and prospective connections.

What do you think? Have you experimented yet with LinkedIn Company Search? If not, will you utilize this strategy to find new connections and expand your influence? Leave your comments in the box below.

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  • Kristi Hines

    Great tips Stephanie! I have thus far just looked for people in groups and by interest, but this should help me connect with people who are local and in my industry.

  • Are Morch

    Hi Stephanie.

    Great step by step tutorial here.

    Have spent a lot of time learning LinkedIn this year here. And I am just loving the multitude of great functionalities for companies there. LinkedIn is truly a B2B Social Network.

    For me LinkedIn really works great for networking within my niche, and get new contacts and leads.

    Have taken a lot of the LinkedIn training from Lewis Howes, and got his books. Also have LinkedIn for Dummies and waiting for Jan Vermeiren’s book How To Really Use LinkedIn here today.

    Any tips on LinkedIn books or courses?

    Cheers.. Are

  • Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Are, I think you are on the right track with the resources you’ve listed. The Social Media Examiner site also has quite a few detailed LinkedIn articles (I’ve written a few of those in addition to other authors). Just search the site for “LinkedIn”.

  • Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks Kristi! I do think the LinkedIn Company profiles open up a whole new realm of thinking about ways to grow your connections!

  • Antonio Coleman

    Stephanie I really haven’t had the chance to even put my company on there..but you just sparked my fire to do so today..thanks..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Stephanie Sammons

    I think LinkedIn Company Profiles are going to become more and more important for driving traffic to your business!

  • Brad Smith

    Great article Stephanie! I really like your unique approach to finding new people to engage. I’ve had great experience with meeting people or potential partners through LinkedIn Groups. Usually I find that the smaller, more focused ones are the best. I think the problem with a lot of larger groups is that people are too pushy, and selfish about promoting their service/product. It’s like the trade show syndrome where someone’s only goal is to pass out as many business cards as possible. If you have a smaller, controlled group, then you’re able to really engage with people and connect with them on a more personal level like you’re suggesting.

  • Jen

    Hi Stephanie,

    Great post, thanks for sharing. LinkedIn is truly coming up with some forward thinking best practices for B2B companies. Another really cool feature I love and that I think i underused is the “Product and Services” tab on LinkedIn Company pages. It allows businesses to feature everything about their company and what they sell. There is great recap of this feature and how to get started in Marketo’s Modern B2B Blog:

    Really cool stuff and thanks again!


  • Tony Morrison

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for the post. Using LinkedIn in the job search can be a great way to reach out and network. Many LinkedIn users probably don’t realize all of the different aspects of the site available to them with their free account. I like how you gave step-by-step instructions on how to use the company search. I only hope that more people take advantage of this feature!

  • Stephanie Sammons

    That’s a great point Brad. Group moderators have to have tight controls and get rid of that kind of activity if they want to preserve the value of the group for the members. This is they way that I run our group for financial advisors (Wired Advisor). We allow zero marketers in there and I think the members appreciate that.

  • Stephanie Sammons

    Jen you are right that is a great feature. I wonder how much traction/views the product/service pages are getting.

  • Stephanie Sammons

    Tony I think upgrading your account a professional is a must!

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  • Chris Arlen

    Stephanie, excellent actionable post – thanks for the pragmatic info.

    Do you feel LinkedIn’s additional services are worth upgrading from the free services?

  • Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    I loved what you have done here. The design is elegant, your stuff classy. Yet, you have got an edginess to what you’re offering here. Ill definitely come back for more.

  • Tarun

    Greart & informative article, Thanks.

  • Joost vd Heijden

    thx for sharing this tutorial! great and good tips!

  • Stephanie Sammons

    Yes Chris I do feel that an upgrade it worthwhile, but it also depends on your objectives. Check out this article on SME:

  • Stephanie Sammons

    You are welcome, my pleasure!

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  • Elene Cafasso

    Nice summary and really simple steps!

  • SEM Services


  • Brosix

    Great article about something I hadn’t really utilized, thanks!

  • Kolsson

    Hi Stephanie, I think this post was very informative regarding the functionality of LinkedIn’s new company search. But, it’s also important to inform LinkedIn users of the following regarding using their personal accounts for business development:
    1) Every LinkedIn user has a lifetime limit of 3,000 invitations (which can be lifted by contacting customer service).
    2) You can only send 50 invitations at one time.
    3) If more that 5 people select “I dont know this person” in the process of being invited to connect with you, your account will be frozen. 

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