Your University Name    the Competitive Edge

with Sean Campbell

Overview/What You Will Learn

In addition to the opportunities social networks offer to enhance your own visibility, the web contains valuable ways to gain quality contacts.  Sean Campbell, market research expert and author of Going Beyond Google: Gathering Internet Intelligence, highlights the variety of options on well known and less well known websites, demonstrating specifically how you can enhance your connections to gain potential introductions to your target company.

Key Points

  • Starting with LinkedIn, take advantage of the information it offers above and beyond being a place to advertise your expertise.
    • View updates from people already in your network. Have any gone to work for a company you hope to work for, or left that particular company?
  • See how often your profile has been viewed and by whom. Any recruiters or potential employers among them?
  • Leverage the Advanced Search feature. For example, search the specific job title, current, in a specific company and even narrow down further by zip code to see whom in your area and area of interest you might be able to connect with.
    • Save your searches to be sent to you as email updates. This way you see when new people meet the filter parameters you established and you can build a database.
  • Search further by filtering down by schools, industry, years of experience, seniority level, etc.   Again, save your searches to expand your focused pool.
  • Leverage the Groups feature. You can join a maximum of 50 and you can receive information from those you’re really interested in. Engage in conversations with people with the same interests.
  • Explore other business and social networks, including:
    • XING – Offers information on jobs, careers, groups and events as well as individual profiles.
    • Twitter – Leverage your ability to search people involved in your particular area of expertise.  See who’s active on the site and who posts frequently.
    • will help you identify people you should follow on Twitter.
    • Join Twitterchats -- conversations that happen at a particular period of time -- such as #bizchat, #B2Bchat, #getrealchat, #HBRchat, #blogchat, #usguyschat, #CXO, #mmchat
  • Social Q&A sites offer another avenue.
    • Quora, which focuses on questions and answers enables you to search individual topics, bringing up the best questions and top answers. You can send messages to those who post the questions and answers or find out where people are.
    • and offer similar options.

Your Next Steps / Tips for Growing Your Network by Mining the Web

  • Take advantage of the social networks you’re already on or can easily join, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Xing, Listorious, and Quora. 
  • Use the advanced search options and the ability to filter by search parameters to identify and reach out to potential contacts.  Focus on your professional interests, educational affiliations and geographic location.
  • Begin to build relationships with those who share your interests, and follow updates to continue to mine the web to help grow your network.   Connections to your target company are bound to emerge.

Expert BIO
with Sean Campbell

Sean Campbell founded his competitive intelligence work on many years of working with bleeding-edge hardware and software technologies long before they became mainstream. Sean has written several books for tech giants such as Intel and Microsoft and co-wrote Going Beyond Google: Gathering Internet Intelligence, listed as a must-read for 2009–2010 by the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals society (SCIP). As a recognized thought leader in the competitive intelligence space, Sean regularly speaks at national events on competitive intelligence and industry analysis. He received the Catalyst Award from SCIP and co-chaired the Oregon SCIP chapter. Additionally, Sean is a contributing assistant professor at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management, where he teaches industry analysis and competitive intelligence.  Learn about Cascade Insights at