Using LinkedIn Answers For Competitive Intelligence Research

Intelegia is always seeking out ways to using social media applications to gather information on sectors, companies, products / services and individuals.  LinkedIn is an efficient tool, if use correctly, to collect competitive intelligence data as seen in the posts, “Competitive Intelligence Research With LinkedIn – Who’s Hiring?” and “Using LinkedIn People Search To Profile A Company“.  Here is a look at applying LinkedIn Answers to access strategic information.

LinkedIn Answers is a database of questions and answers by business experts that are on LinkedIn.  The questions and answers are organized by topic however; users can conduct a basic or an advanced search query.  Figure 1 is image of the index page of LinkedIn Answers.

Figure 1: LinkedIn Index Page

Case Scenario:

As a competitive intelligence researcher in the biopharmaceutical sector, you are asked to find the prevailing trends in the diagnostic kits market.

Solution:

As an alternative to conducting an extensive web search or purchasing a report, you may attempt a search using LinkedIn Answers to gather insights from industry experts.

Figure 2 captures the input process to query LinkedIn Answers using the Advanced Search function.

  1. Keywords entered:”diagnostic kits” and “trends”
  2. Keywords match in: Questions and Answers
  3. Category: “Marketing and Sales” -> “Business Development”

Figure 2: LinkedIn Answers Advanced Search Form With Keywords

Figure 3 is a screen shot of the result given by LinkedIn Answers.

Figure 3: Result For Keyword Search, “diagnostic kits” + “trends”

If the search application furnished more than one page of results, you are able to sort the results by:

  • Degrees of separation away from the expert(s) answering the question
  • Relevancy
  • Date

Clicking on the results will allow you to access the full text of the question and the 10 related answers. Figure 4 is an image of the initial posted question and Figure 5 provides a look at two answers.  (Please Note:For the purposes of this blog post, the names of the individuals that posted the question and answers are not revealed.)

Figure 4: Question Posted To LinkedIn Answers

 

Figure 5: Answers Posted By Experts

As seen in Figure 5, LinkedIn Answers will highlight the best answer in green.  In the case above, the best answer was provided by a Business Manager, Sequencing and Microarrays, Roche Applied Science, Asia Pacific at Hoffmann-La Roche.    Reading further down on the page, other experts tackle other trends in the diagnostic kit market.

LinkedIn Answers is available at www.linkedin.com/answers