Developed to suit business needs, LinkedIn found a way to measure how effective you are at building your brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and establishing relationships. This is your Social Selling Index (SSI).
Founded on the above four sections, LinkedIn SSI shows your success as a salesperson and how effectively you are using the platform.
Each of the segments can grow up to 25 points, with the total score anywhere between 0 and 100. This implies that all four sections are equally valued when measuring your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn.
What does SSI represent?
SSI is available to everyone, whether using a free or paid LinkedIn account. (If you are not sure where to find it, type www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi in your browser’s search engine. Go ahead and check it. This is your first step towards knowing what you are doing right and what needs a little extra push.)
This is what you can expect.
Users with higher SSI are better positioned to make new leads, and therefore more likely to succeed in closing the deal. This is LinkedIn’s way of awarding those with high social selling skills.
On the other hand, in case your SSI is on the lower end, don’t despair. We are here to give you tips and pointers on how to improve the four pillars of the Social Selling Index and make LinkedIn work to your advantage.
Tip #1: Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
… to boost your personal brand.
Yes, your personal brand starts with a neat and complete LinkedIn profile. The way you communicate with your leads, the way you nurture them, the type of content you post, they all add up. But first and foremost, your profile.
It’s just like in the real world. It takes only a few seconds for someone to form the first impression. And they get attracted or rejected by your looks, not your brains. Sorry, it’s just the way it works.
Therefore, follow these simple steps to improve the Social Selling Index pillar #1 “Establish your professional brand”.
- Upload a professional profile picture that gives the impression of you being a reliable, yet approachable expert in the field.
- Write a catchy headline that sums up what your career is all about.
- Dedicate time to a summary that will make your profile stand out and grab the visitors’ attention.
- Fill out your professional achievements, but don’t overwhelm us. It’s like sending a CV to a recruiter. Only career highlights, please.
- List your fortes.
- Ask for recommendations (from people you worked and had a close bond with).
- Endorse others and others will endorse you. The law of reciprocity rocks.
While striving to fully complete your LinkedIn profile, always have in mind the keywords you would like to be connected with and searched by. Just like you are optimizing your content to show up on Google, you are optimizing yourself to show up in your leads’ search engines.
Tip #2 Think Strategically
… to find the right people.
Speaking of search engines, who is showing up in yours?
As mentioned above, LinkedIn was created to suit business needs. Not personal. Read that again.
Don’t invite people to connect because you like their looks. There are other platforms designed for that.
For you to improve the Social Selling Index pillar #2 “Find the right people”, focus on expanding your network according to the following parameters:
- People you already know in person.
- Users that are from the same industry, are industry thought-leaders, or share an interest in the same industry as you.
- LinkedIn members from adjacent industries.
- Audiences that you think (or even better: you researched) would be interested in your product or service.
Fortunately for all of us, LinkedIn has developed plans, each of them with different perks, depending on what you’re expecting from the platform.
LinkedIn Premium, for example, has the same filtering options as LinkedIn basic. However, it does give you unlimited profile search and views, together with 5 Paid and 800 free monthly InMails credits.
On the other hand, Sales Navigator, designed in particular for salespeople, has numerous other options that will make your life easier while searching for that perfect lead. Aside from advanced filtering options, Sales Navigator has Lead Lists, Saved Searches, and 20 Paid and 800 free monthly InMail credits.
You can improve the quality of your leads by:
- Checking out LinkedIn groups of your interest.
- Reaching out to people attending a certain LinkedIn event.
- Using the Boolean Search to narrow down your audience with more precision.
Tip #3 Make An Extra Effort
… to engage with insights.
Don’t just stand there looking good. Say something. Share your vision with the community. Don’t be afraid to speak up, as the world is full of people thinking differently. Luckily for you, there is plenty of fish in the sea and you will for sure find like-minded users. If that’s what’s worrying you.
For the LinkedIn algorithm to like you and for your Social Selling Index pillar #3 “Engage with insights” to grow, you need to:
- Post engaging content.
- React and comment on other people’s posts.
- Reshare what you find worthy of resharing.
Your Social Selling Index is not the only one benefiting from your engagement with insights.
LinkedIn pushes people who give value to the platform by sharing their insights, encouraging constructive criticism, and starting meaningful conversations. These users come up in the search results more often and get more exposure in comparison to inactive users.
By engaging with insights, you are telling people who you are and what you stand for. Consequently, you will start being surrounded by like-minded people.
A LinkedIn post can be an excellent source of leads. People who react and comment on a certain topic from your or your target industry are apparently interested in the subject. And are all gathered at one place. Whether picking them manually or scraping all of them by using a Sales Solutions, such as Skylead, making a reference to a certain post is a serious game-changer when it comes to acceptance rates.
Tip #4 Have Meaningful Interactions
….to establish relationships.
You can have 500+ connections and not stand for a particularly “engaging” member of the LinkedIn community.
If you just had a LinkedIn profile long enough and behaved professionally you are likely to have gathered quite a lot of connections. There you go. But that doesn’t help the LinkedIn algorithm nor it grows your Social Selling Index.
For you to improve pillar #4 “Establish relationships”, do the following:
- Approach other users with a valid reason, be genuinely curious about their career path, ask business-related questions, be ready to reciprocate, and know when to stop (read: don’t spam them).
- Comment on other people’s posts or on the comment someone else left. The only way to provide value and show integrity is to give your honest opinion instead of repeating what others said.
- Introduce your connections. If you see that someone works in the same or adjacent industry, or they might benefit from each other, speak up. Not only will your connections appreciate it but they are more likely to return the favour.
- Be responsive. Answer to messages, Invites to Connect, and post comments in a timely (and respectful) manner.
Briefly, you cannot go wrong with making a pleasant social interaction.
To Sum Up
In real life, you make sure you look professional, your network at events, you are kind and genuinely interested in other people, and you stand behind your values and opinions. Hopefully.
That’s LinkedIn in a nutshell. Just online.
If finding the right people and nurturing relationships is something you would like to take to another level, schedule a demo call and see how Skylead can save you up to 6 hours a day while generating 10 times more leads.