social media how toDo you want to analyze your past interactions on LinkedIn?

Do you want information that could help you understand your LinkedIn behavior?

The LinkedIn Data Export tool offers deeper insight into your LinkedIn activity.

In this article I’ll share the seven export files you can use to target ads, build keyword lists, create a list of connections and more.

how to use the linkedin data tool

Find out how to download useful information using the LinkedIn Data Export Tool.

Why the LinkedIn Data Export Tool?

If you haven’t discovered the free LinkedIn Data Export tool or if you’ve found it but haven’t used it, you’re missing out.

While downloading data may seem dry, boring and not of any particular significance, it’s actually a treasure trove of information you can use in all kinds of ways!

The insights you can glean from your own behavior give you an important overview of how you use LinkedIn. If your clients will share their files with you, all the better.

linkedin data request

The Data Export tool is in your LinkedIn Privacy and Settings section.

To find the Data Export tool and request an archive, follow these instructions:

1. Go to your Privacy and Settings section. It’s on the far right under the Account and Settings link (the tiny picture of you).

2. In your settings, click the Account tab on the bottom left side.

3. Click the link for Request an Archive of Your Data.

4. Click the Request Archive button.

linkedin data download button

Finish the request for your archive.

According to LinkedIn, it takes 72 hours to get the link to your zipped archive, but the few times I’ve used the Data Export tool, I’ve received it within 24 hours.

When your archive is ready, LinkedIn will send you an email with a link you can use to start the download. Or you can periodically check the Request an Archive link; when your archive is ready, it turns into a Download Archive button.

When you have your archive in hand, you’ll see you have a lot of data to sift through. Read on to find the seven most important files to look at first.

#1: Ads Targeting

One of the most useful archive files is Ads Targeting. It shows you how LinkedIn classifies you when targeting you for other members’ paid LinkedIn ads.

Why is this important? It’s good to know how LinkedIn views you based on your profile. You’ll have a good idea of how accurate (or inaccurate) LinkedIn is in its targeting.

linkedin targeted ad

Ad targeting data can help you serve ads to new prospects who are likely to convert.

If you have clients who are willing to share their own Ads Targeting files, you can find out how LinkedIn is targeting them as well. Use that information to create and target your LinkedIn ads more precisely.

#2: Ad Click Data

By looking at your Ad Click Data file you can see your own ad click history and how those clicks reflect your interests. Again, consider how accurate it is.

If you can, take a peek at your clients’ Ad Click Data file to see what kind of LinkedIn ads they have clicked on and when. This gives you a pretty good idea of what your existing and potential clients are interested in so you can tailor ads and content to them.

#3: Skills

Not surprisingly, your Skills file lists each skill you have associated with your LinkedIn profile. This is good information to review and update for yourself, but if your clients share their data with you, you can build a pretty solid keyword list as well.

linkedin interests section

Use the Skills data to improve the Interests section of a LinkedIn presence.

Because the archived files are .csv, you can easily cut and paste your new keywords into the Interests section of a client’s profile, which makes it easier to find on LinkedIn.

#4: Connections 

I’ve wanted to export my connections list to use for retargeting ads, my Nimble CRM app and so forth, but since my list topped 10,000 connections I wasn’t able to. Maybe you were in that boat as well.

The Connections file fixes that issue. Now you can access a list of your connections and their basic information: first name, last name, email address, their current employer and their current position.

linkedin connections section

Now you can export data for all of your LinkedIn connections.

A quick note about this data: It’s important to follow social media best practices. For example, you don’t have free rein to upload these unsuspecting folks to your newsletter list. Not only is it poor practice, but it’s also against the CAN-SPAM Act and CASL.

#5: Endorsements and Recommendations 

When you look at your Endorsements file you’ll see every endorsement you have ever received. You may be surprised at how many you have. If you’ve ever wondered who your raving fans are, now you know. Make a note of them and see how you can leverage that support in the future.

UPDATE ALERT! LinkedIn has just made changes. The Recommendations file is no longer there. You can still see who recommended you. Go back to your profile and export your profile as a PDF where you’ll find the list of recommendations.

The Recommendations file is just what it sounds like—it’s filled with all of the recommendations you have received. Having these in a single file you can refer to makes it easy to pull references when needed.

linkedin recommendations section

Download your Recommendations and Endorsements for easy use as references and testimonials in other places.

Why not share these testimonials to reinforce your credibility? Use Canva or WordSwag to make some really cool infographics or images you can embed on your website and share on your LinkedIn profile or other social networks.

#6: Comments

Peruse your past comments on other people’s links to see if there’s anything you should follow up on. If you notice a particularly popular topic or one that matches your keywords, revisit the conversation and add to it.

The links you commented on can also spark ideas for new content creation or ways to repurpose existing content. Any time you’re stuck, open your Comments file and think about ways you can present those conversations in a new way.

#7: Search Queries

The Search Queries file is incredibly useful if you don’t have a paid account, but you want to see what successful searches you’ve made on LinkedIn. If you haven’t saved your past searches, this file makes it easy to find and replicate them.

linkedin search query

Now you can export your successful searches for easier filtering.

If your clients will let you take a look at their Search Queries file, you can see what searches they have done—clearly an invaluable resource. When you know what existing clients search, you can finesse those keywords or topics into your content and ads to attract similar prospects.


LinkedIn’s new Data Export tool allows you to download your LinkedIn data, including everything from how you interact with ads to who has endorsed you to past successful search queries.

I encourage you to take the time to export your information and show your clients how to do it too. Go through each file and come up with some new tactics for reaching current and potential customers more effectively.

What do you think? Have you used the LinkedIn Data Export tool yet? How did you use the information you found? Leave your experiences and questions in the comments section below.

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  • Ishita Ganguly

    OMG! I didn’t know about this tool. Thanks Viveka. 🙂

  • How this tool can be helpful? It provides your own data, which can be tracked from LinkedIn insight.

  • Dennis, ListsUK

    Great post Viveka, thank you. I wasn’t aware that all this could be exported 🙂

  • linkedinexpert

    Well – as written in the article – a lot of this data isn’t easily found – with this tool its all in one place. Also – much of the data isn’t found elsewhere – or in the case of connections, is no longer easy to export. Finally- if you work with clients – as mentioned in the article – you can ask them to export their data – which you would never have had access too. You just have to tell them the benefit of it.

  • linkedinexpert

    I know – it was like diving into a treasure trove!!!!!

  • linkedinexpert

    UPDATE ALERT! I just checked my latest export (LinkedIn is always changing things) and the actual content of the Recommendations is no longer there – BUT you can still see who recommended you and then its just a quick trip back to your profile. FYI – if you export your profile as a PDF then the recs are all in there. (Tin the dropdown to the right of edit profile)

  • Now I know how I should send annual newsletters! I love when I receive such newsletters from people about themselves!

  • I find it helpful to export just my contacts on LinkedIn, which is easily done if you don’t have 10,000 LinkedIn connections, like you do! 🙂 To export your connections list:
    Move your cursor over Connections at the top of your homepage and select Keep in Touch.
    Click the Settings icon near the top right to reach the Contact Settings page.
    Under Advanced Settings on the right, click Export LinkedIn Connections.
    Enter the security verification text if prompted and then click Continue.
    Click Export.
    Save the file somewhere you can easily find it, like your computer’s desktop.
    Open the file and print (optional).

  • Thank you, Viveka! I’ve added the update to the article.

  • Thanks for sharing, Karen!

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: Twitter Launches Digits, Gmail's New Inbox & 15 Video Ads CMOs Loved()

  • Angela

    Thanks for information. I didn’t know about this tool.

  • linkedinexpert

    True Karen – this was mainly for the folks with big networks. What I did notice was that this export was actually more complete (weird) and much easier to sort. Not sure why….

  • Thanks for the information…I didn’t know about this tool.

  • PositivelyKeith

    Hey guys this is great stuff as I run 1:1 mentoring sessions with business people helping them get the most out of LinkedIn. One thing I’d really love to be able to do is gather a contact list from the groups that I run. One in particular – Charity UK – now has over 23,000 members! But I cannot access their data – email addresses etc. Any way round this?

  • linkedinexpert

    Not that I know of Keith – My group (Social Media Marketing Consultants) has 20K people. We are actually thinking of creating an opt in membership site with additional (and of course valuable) info to drive people to. But the days of being able to export your group members is over as far as I know.

  • linkedinexpert

    Hey guys – getting ready to jump on a Marketing Cruise – so will get back to responses on Monday!

  • PositivelyKeith

    Yes, I’m planning to do the same but it is frustrating.

  • Enjoy your cruise, Viveka! And thank you for sharing your insights here 🙂

  • Great article. What a powerful tool sharing this with friends and colleagues. Thanks

  • This is great information. I wasn’t aware of this tool. Thank you!

  • Guest

    This is great information! I wasn’t aware of this tool. Thank you!

  • brian d

    I would like to find out who has clicked on my shared posts and articles that I have put on Link ed In, but is becoming a premium member the only way to accomplish this?

  • benkates

    But what about a data export tool for company pages? That’s what we need!!

  • flies88

    Does the tool also give insight to the analytics data of the pages you manage? Or is it purely information based on the personal page? In the last case, is there a way of (free) exporting the data of the company pages you manage as well? Many thanks.

  • Krishna Kumar

    How to use this tool

  • IgKttYm

    How about using AeroLeads with LinkedIn for lead generation? You can download profiles with contact details even if you are not connected.

  • Janis Strathearn

    Just got an email from LinkedIn this morning saying that using the saved contacts feature will no longer be available after Feb 25.

    Are you able to advise how it is possible to download / export this information before it is gone forever?