HOW TO USE LINKEDIN SSI (SOCIAL SELLING INDEX) IN 2021
- Your LinkedIn SSI (Social Selling Index) is a score given by LinkedIn to sales professionals indicating their success in building a brand and network.
- The higher your SSI, the better your sales results are likely to be.
- A higher SSI will help you create a stronger connection between targeted networking and prospects.
- It also enhances your perceived influence in your network.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular platforms globally for sales professionals and for a good reason. Boasting more than 756 million members and 57 million companies, this is the ultimate place to build, manage, and network.
For sales professionals, LinkedIn is just too big of a platform to ignore. All your competitors are using it – especially since the world transitioned to a remote work model, and so should you.
There’s hardly a better platform than LinkedIn for sales prospecting. As the number of active users continues to grow, LinkedIn has introduced a series of innovative tools to simplify social selling, including the LinkedIn Sales Navigator and the LinkedIn SSI score (Social Selling Index).
If ever there was a time for you to get serious about leveraging LinkedIn to generate more leads, this is it. But, without appropriate measurements and metrics, it can be hard to track the success of your campaigns. That’s why you need to focus more on your LinkedIn SSI.
Understanding the LinkedIn SSI Score
Using LinkedIn for sales in 2021 is an essential requirement for growing businesses. Over the past year or so, more and more companies have realized the sheer potential of selling through social media. The introduction of the LinkedIn SSI score shows how serious the company is about it.
At its core, the LinkedIn social selling index is a score given by LinkedIn to sales professionals using its platform. It ranges from 0 to 100 and indicates just how successful individuals are in building their own brand and network through LinkedIn.
Why is the LinkedIn SSI So Important?
The LinkedIn SSI has grown in importance since it was first introduced, and it’s something that you can’t ignore anymore.
If LinkedIn is a primary source of customer acquisition for your company, the SSI is essential for you. By keeping track of your social selling index, you can effectively figure out whether your efforts on LinkedIn are actually bearing fruit or if you need to up your game.
The best part is that LinkedIn even tells you where you are lacking and gives you tips on improving. Keep in mind that the social selling index is updated daily. When used in tandem with the Sales Navigator, you can easily increase your SSI by about 20% in a mere six months.
Ultimately, your inbound business inquiries will increase. It will also help you determine your performance on LinkedIn.
A lower score means that you are not as active on the platform, and the SSI will give you more insights into how you can improve the score. A higher score can be a useful KPI in tracking your overall presence on LinkedIn.
Your SSI directly impacts LinkedIn’s search algorithm, thus affecting the reach of your posts and the visibility of your profile. A higher SSI will help you project yourself as a thought leader on the platform while increasing your awareness and reach organically.
You will get more sales prospects and improve your social selling performance dramatically. Think of the SSI as a viable indicator that shows how active you are in four different departments. And what you can do to improve your score.
Wondering how to see your LinkedIn SSI score? Anyone who uses the platform can check their score through an in-built tool. It shows industry averages and gives deeper insights into where you may need to improve.
Simply put, this score indicates your success in building a personal brand and relationships. There are four key components that the company checks before calculating your LinkedIn SSI:
- Personal branding
- Finding the right people
- Engaging with insights
- Building relationships
Depending on how active you are on the platform and your niche, the score will differ. Here’s a brief overview of how it looks:
As you can see, the profile above is relatively new, with limited connections, virtually no relationships on the platform, and little to no activity. As you become more and more active on LinkedIn, these scores will automatically continue to increase.
This feature was released in February 2016, and the company has continued to update it to offer more insights.
What’s an Ideal LinkedIn SSI Score?
This is a bit difficult to define, especially considering the multiple variables that go into the calculation. Most people will want to take their score to 100, but that’s easier said than done. It takes a bit of time, but as long as you are consistent, you will notice your scores rising over time.
But what’s a good LinkedIn SSI score?
Ideally, for experienced sales professionals or the upper management of a company, the score should be 78 points and more.
If you didn’t know about the LinkedIn social selling index before, you could now work towards improving it. As you perform different activities on the platform, you can see how they alter the scores.
The 4 Best Tips to Increase Your LinkedIn SSI Score
Before you get started, it’s important to understand the factors that LinkedIn uses to calculate your SSI in the first place. There are four key elements that, when added together, result in your LinkedIn SSI.
1. Building Your Brand
The first step is to build your own personal brand. To do this, you need to start by completing your profile while keeping your end-consumer in mind. LinkedIn recommends that you start publishing posts that offer actionable advice. There are plenty of things that you can do to build your own brand.
- Use a Professional Picture
LinkedIn is a professional social network. Use a professional photo where you are making direct eye contact with the viewer.
- Use a Background Banner
Much like a cover photo on Facebook, LinkedIn gives you the option of uploading a background banner. LinkedIn doesn’t use any technologies to evaluate the quality of your banner, but it’s going to leave an impression on your buyers. It should feature some element of branding, and above all, it should be personalized.
- Optimize Your Headline
For most people, their headline is simply the designation given by their company. Not very personal, is it? Instead, please change it to focus on your consumers and how you bring value to the table.
- Work on your Featured Section
The Featured section is your way of distinguishing yourself on a crowded platform. Before you start tweaking it, think about your consumers. What do you want to tell them about your work or achievements?
- Improve Your Job Description
Instead of just writing down your responsibilities, focus on the value you bring to the table. Talk about how you help your clients and why they prefer you over others. Also, add your contact information prominently so that prospective clients can get in touch easily.
- Use Media
This goes without saying; using media like videos, PDFs (for case studies), and images is essential and paint a better picture for the buyer. Nobody wants to read through chunks of text!
2. Finding the Right People
There are going to be times where the conventional search features just don’t cut it. That’s why solutions like Growth-X exist. Growth-X is a LinkedIn lead generation platform that makes it easy for sales professionals to find, nurture, and convert leads through the platform.
Combined with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Growth-X makes it easy for sales professionals to automate lead generation. You don’t want to waste time chasing after false prospects on LinkedIn. When going after leads, you can discuss your plan with the Customer Success Managers at Growth-X. They will recommend important prospective tips that could dramatically increase your success ratio.
For instance, they can give you advice on running a Boolean search on LinkedIn to really pinpoint your ideal customers. You can send them a connection request.
LinkedIn essentially looks at how you use its tools, such as InMail and Sales Navigator, along with the in-built search function to reach your target audience when calculating this component.
3. Engage with Insights
This component primarily looks at how you engage with other members of your network. You can engage with others’ posts, create your own, and share interesting tidbits to promote discussions on the platform.
Simply put, this is all about your “activity” on LinkedIn. If you are active in multiple groups and send messages and requests to people, and more importantly, comment and respond to others, your score will rise. Keep in mind that your score is affected by how quickly you respond to others’ messages.
The best way to improve your score from this category is to become active on LinkedIn. Comment on posts shared by your network, create your own posts and start responding to notifications as soon as you can.
Another excellent tip is to think of LinkedIn as your primary blogging platform. If you run a business, make it a habit to share all important announcements on LinkedIn. Use hashtags to your advantage, especially those relevant to what you do, to make your posts searchable.
Make it a habit to spend at least 10 minutes on LinkedIn to interact with your network. Start posting in groups and respond to connection requests when you get them.
4. Building Relationships
This one is all about networking. If you want to improve your LinkedIn sales SSI, you need some networking acumen. This component focuses on the number of connections you build, your overall response rates for messages sent, and your engagement on relevant posts in your industry.
This actually works in your favor because most B2B buyers prefer interacting with a salesperson first before deciding to go ahead with the deal. By building more connections, you will notice an improvement in this score.
The Bottom Line
The fact that LinkedIn gives you access to your SSI for free makes it easy for people to track. However, you mustn’t let this guide your every move on the platform. When using LinkedIn for generating leads or sales prospecting, the aim is to be personable.
Create conversations with people in your network and focus on generating value. As you become a thought leader in your niche, buyers will automatically begin to gravitate towards you. It’s also important to note that the LinkedIn algorithm continues to change with time.
It used to be much easier to get to 99 or even 100 on the SSI, but it’s gotten more and more difficult. However, with persistent effort, quality content, and consistent engagement, there’s no reason why you can’t have a perfect LinkedIn SSI!
I’m Growth-X’s digital marketing, copywriter, and customer success expert who focuses on growth hacks for B2B companies. When not working, you might catch me doing yoga or planning my next adventure.