How To Hack Linkedin to See Who Visited Your Website
UPDATE: Some interesting discussion on HackerNews regarding the technical limitations of this.
Be honest, the page you visit most on Linkedin is the ‘Who's viewed your profile’ page. It’s ok, it’s the page we all visit most. And I would not be surprised if it’s one of the biggest drivers of upgrades for Linkedin. It was on one of these visits where I started wishing I could get the same information for our website at work. Google analytics is great but the data is all anonymous. Well I figured out you can.
The solution is actually amazingly simple and low tech. I took my ‘Who's viewed your profile’ page and embedded it on my webpage using a 1x1 pixel iframe. So at the bottom of every page on the website is a little window that also loads my linkedin profile page. If a visitor views a page on my website, linkedin also thinks they viewed my profile. If they have logged in to linkedin recently, they will be recorded on the ‘Who's viewed your profile’ page. The code looks like this:
<iframe src="LINK TO YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE" height="1" width="1" frameBorder="0"></iframe>
That’s the hack at its most basic. Now it’s not perfect. Linkedin is obviously doing some filtering of this so you get a load more users set as anonymous and profiles where you just get Job title or Company. But even this data is very valuable.
- To make sure the data is clean, and does not include people who are visiting my profile from other sources I created a fake Linkedin profile and made sure to add no profile information so it would not show up in linkedin searches. I am sure this is against the Linkedin terms of service so be careful.
- Then to view more than 3 profiles I upgraded the account to a jobseekers plan which is the cheapest one available.
- Make sure to put the iframe at the bottom of your page html so it loads last. You want visitors to see the information they came for and do not want this slowing down the page.
Export the data
Google Chrome have a great scraper extension.
Visit ‘Who's viewed your profile’, select the information you want to export on one profile.
Right click and select ‘Scrape similar…’
You can then export all the profiles to a spreadsheet.
How sales follow up with this data:
When sales see a suitable company in the list, they search for the most suitable manager over that department. They then reach out with a message along these lines (taken from Hubspot guide):
Some of [your COMPANY NAME] colleagues have been looking at our performance management resources and I wanted to reach out to you.
We work with many companies like yours and would like to offer you a call with our performance management consultant. We can talk through the most effective ways to boost the performance of your team.
Work Compass has a software platform that helps companies do three things -
1. Help managers become GREAT managers.
2. Ensure staff get the right things get done well and on time.
3. Give fair and structured feedback to staff to ensure they are more engaged and effective.
If you'd like, I'm happy to set up a time to provide you with some advice.
I look forward to hearing from you.
How marketing uses this data:
I get to see the type of people my marketing is attracting. Companies and Job titles. Over a few months I built up a great profile of the job titles visiting our website and the company type, size and industry they are coming from. If this is not the target customer we want we need to change our marketing.
I suggest trying this soon before Linkedin put a stop to it.