How Web Scraping Helps Extract Efficiently Use LinkedIn Data
The web is an inexhaustible source of information that businesses must exploit to the maximum for their benefit. The challenge, however, is that being inexhaustible also makes it expansive, making data scraping a tedious and resource-intensive undertaking. Fortunately, a few websites stand out as a single source of large data sets, with social media coming to the top of that list. LinkedIn is one such site that can provide a business with many customer and client data. It contains millions of data points about executives and companies that any business can use to build its network. By creating and executing a well-thought-out data scraping strategy, this platform’s data can spearhead your company’s marketing and customer outreach programs to reach out to and convert prospects.
Continue reading this article to learn about the full potential of web scraping when applied to collect LinkedIn data, especially when its data is extracted using a professional web scraping company.
The Reasons To Turn To LinkedIn For Valuable Data
LinkedIn has grown to become a professional social media site, with its users benefitting immensely from it with their careers and business prospects. Today, it is the 9th most popular social media site, with a monthly active user base of around 250 million. But there’s more to the site than what meets the eye.
Here are some mind-blowing statistics that make LinkedIn such a valuable platform for every type of user:
- 40% of the frequent user’s clock in over 1 billion interactions every month.
- Over 50% of adults on the site have at least a college degree.
- 11 Million of the 87 millennials on the site are in decision-making positions
- It is immensely popular as a job/recruit hunting platform, with college students and HR professionals actively using it to find the right candidate/job. Around 50 million people search for jobs on the site weekly.
- A survey by Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective than Facebook and Twitter at generating business leads.
- LinkedIn’s statistics show that 79% of marketers view it as a very potent source to generate leads, with 43% reporting that they’ve had at least one lead through it. Further, the platform also found that 80% of high-quality B2B leads occur through it.
These and more make LinkedIn data mining an inevitable investment for your company if you want to get ahead of the competition, find the right candidates to fill vacancies in your company, understand the market pulse, or grow your professional network. However, certain legal and ethical challenges around this practice require careful maneuvering. Many businesses prefer to enroll a third-party Linkedin data mining company as such agencies have the right professional support and know-how to handle data mining while uploading the law.
LinkedIn Segments That Yield Valuable Data
Like any other social networking site, LinkedIn is also composed of multiple pages/segments containing specific types of data. By adjusting their extraction methodology, web research services agencies can target these specific sections more accurately and extract pertinent data without unnecessary bloat.
The most targeted components of LinkedIn are mentioned below.
A LinkedIn profile is the main page of an individual user/ company that contains a summary of them. There is a brief professional description of the person/company in the main section showcasing their present job. There are also their educational details and their present location.
Scrolling down that page gives a brief history of their career, key skills, and achievements. Thus, on a single page, you get a concise view of what the person or company is about, making this site segment one of the most important ones.
Groups enable people with shared interests to get together on the website and discuss related topics. Extracting data from the Linkedin groups section is, therefore, something akin to finding a treasure chest. You get quick access to multiple relevant profiles simultaneously as each member’s name, and the display picture provides links to their profile.
You also learn about their interests through the content posted in such groups. If there are experts, you can even get a scoop on the latest developments in the field. By analyzing people’s frequency of interactions, you will know how engaged they are with the platform and the group, thus giving you an idea about how to market your offering to them.
Hence, when mining data on LinkedIn, it is important to go through every profile’s group links to build a tree of that person’s connections and interests.
The Home Page/Feed Section
This is the main landing page of LinkedIn, where all the posts and other content made by people in your network appear. It is also where most of the ads placed on LinkedIn appear too. This makes it an important part of anyone’s LinkedIn usage as you never know what random posts contain information beneficial to you.
This section is where real-time data scraping needed. Data extraction professionals typically use automation to keep track of important keywords and extract content from relevant people. The Hashtags used are another way to track relevant pieces of information.
You get to understand what the person posting that content is about and come across new people. Who are into things that align with your company’s business goals. The kind of posts being put up on the feed, their frequency, and the interactions they receive also helps. You have a finger on the pulse of current trends and issues.
The jobs section of LinkedIn functions like a separate portal unto itself. It attracts people who would otherwise not be interested in the platform. This segment is where you find out about the job market in your field, what your competition is doing with their hiring practices, the kind of jobs people are looking for, and other job-related data. This also includes metadata like how many job posts appear regularly and how many apply for them.
By posting your company’s job descriptions there, you can get the right candidates for the vacancies. While gathering important background information about those candidates.
LinkedIn Data Scraping Steps
Extracting data from a site as vast and data-ridden as LinkedIn requires masterful planning and execution. Every stage should be detailed so that the entire pipeline is efficient and cost-effective, avoiding unnecessary delays and losses that would otherwise take hold.
Here are the steps generally follow to get the most out of LinkedIn data mining. Note that you may need to add or remove one or two as per your business’s specific requirements.
- Define your business objectives clearly. Use them to define your LinkedIn data extraction goals. Prepare a robust strategy to reach those goals within a set timeline by noting the resources you have and how much you can expend for the process. Your budget and personnel form the most important considerations here.
- Choose if you want to go with in-house extraction or outsourcing. While you may have more control over the former, it also entails higher expenses and uncertainties. Hence, many enterprises choose to outsource the process to a professional web research services agency. It also gives you many additional benefits like quick turnaround times, instant access to experts, heightened data security, etc.
- Select your desired data scraping services provider by talking to them about your project and getting an estimate of the cost and valuable information. They must suit your needs without you needing to compromise on what you can get from their services.
- Now, the actual data gathering begins. Professionals will scour through LinkedIn based on your specifications and pull the necessary data. They will use sophisticated scraping software and manual extraction to do this.
The use of social media for multiple purposes has risen over the years and expected to stay on. Trajectory as more people connect to them and get their benefits. Your business must be ready to get all it can about them through portals like LinkedIn. Hiring a dedicated LinkedIn data mining company will see to it that. You get that valuable customer/client information on time and within budget so that you can make transformational business decisions.