LinkedIn Social Selling Index score: how to improve it
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LinkedIn Social Selling Index score: find out how to increase it with this guide! We will cover the LinkedIn SSI Breakdown, how to measure LinkedIn SSI and how to take advantage of a high score. Moreover, although having access to your LinkedIn Social Selling Index is cool, don’t forget what’s even more important, i.e., to start conversations with the right people! Are you ready to level up your LinkedIn and take your social selling to the next level? Let’s start!
The last changes of LinkedIn to be a social selling platform
Before starting, it is important to give you a brief overview on what LinkedIn is and how it has changed over time. In February of 2016, LinkedIn gave users the possibility to see how well the platform rated their social selling skills, in particular in terms of where you are and how you rank up with competitors.
For the first years, LinkedIn was primarily used as an online resume, a platform where employers would look for their next employee and where would-be employees would look as professional as possible. Fast forward to 2021 and LinkedIn became a social selling platform. A LinkedIn profile, in addition to include important elements like a custom banner, an engaging LinkedIn title, and a professorial LinkedIn photo, must also contain the keywords with which you want to be found. This is a key part of using LinkedIn as a B2B sales prospecting tool. Sales prospecting has become an imperative for sustained sales success, and it is through keyword-focused content found in your LinkedIn profile that your qualified prospect will determine whether interacting with you will be worth their time.
How is the LinkedIn Social Selling Index Score calculated?
Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index score was developed to indicate how well you are leveraging your LinkedIn profile for sales and marketing opportunities. The LinkedIn SSI is a formula that defines how well you are doing with your social selling by giving you a score from 1 to 100.
The LinkedIn SSI score is split in 4 pillars and is based on:
- Whether your profile is filled out completely and, if not, how much.
- Whether you are finding the right prospects and what you are using to do it.
- Whether you are interacting with your potential customers or not.
- Whether you are building relationships and promoting them or not.
LinkedIn assigns a maximum of 25 points for each of the 4 pillars. LinkedIn Social Selling Index score tells you how well you’ve developed your brand, connected with your B2B target, established relationships, and engaged with insights. It is through the best practices of these four points combined that you can reach a good LinkedIn SSI.
Anyway, your LinkedIn Social Sales Index score is not visible on your profile to other LinkedIn users. Your score is only visible to you and anyone with access to your account. To measure your success with LinkedIn SSI, you can find out your score for free here.
How important is the LinkedIn Social Selling Index score?
While LinkedIn Social Selling Index may seem like a vanity metric at first glance, having a good LinkedIn Social Sales Index score is important because it lets you know that you are on the right track. If you’re doing a good job warming up leads, interacting with prospects and past customers, sharing industry insights, and working in the field, your score will reflect this, and your efforts will bring positive sales results.
As a LinkedIn user, have you wondered what levers you could pull to increase your LinkedIn Social Selling Index score? Sellers with higher LinkedIn SSI scores do better than peers with lower scores. SSI score is a great indicator that professionals cannot overlook. With a sales engagement tool like LinkedIn, any salesperson can harness the power of thousands of potential customers just a few clicks away. LinkedIn is the preferred sales prospecting tool for sales professionals and leaders, who are steering away from traditional emails, cold calling, and outreach campaigns in favour of social selling.
We need to trust LinkedIn when it says that the higher your score is, the more successful you are at reaching their sales goals. It’s important to note that your LinkedIn SSI is not a guarantee of increased sales success. For that, you should track your marketing and sales skills, your ROI and so on. Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index score, meanwhile, makes a strong connection between your specific and targeted networking activities and an increase in sales opportunities and potential prospects. If you’re actively doing outreach and booking demos through LinkedIn, you’re satisfying LinkedIn’s SSI. So, you should be using LinkedIn’s SSI rating as a benchmark for your profile’s health. It’s not easy to say what is a good LinkedIn SSI score because it depends on your industry. Therefore, the “people in your industry/network” sections are very useful. You should be constantly striving to increase your LinkedIn SSI.
What is a good LinkedIn SSI score?
With all the organizations, leadership should be encouraged to manage every sales rep at a minimum score of 80 out of 100 total points possible. Why? Well, a seller does with a higher LinkedIn Social Selling Index score of over 70 versus less than 30. According to LinkedIn, social sellers create 45% more opportunities than those with lower LinkedIn SSI and are about 51% more likely to hit their social sales share. Additionally, 78% quickly outperform their social selling peers on LinkedIn. The higher the score, the easier it is to show leadership that target accounts get engaged and that your sales team’s social selling capabilities are where they need to be. The benefit of having this metric available is that you now can manage your score and respond with action. You can see how different types of activities affect your LinkedIn Score. If it’s going the wrong way, make changes from what doesn’t work to what works!
How to Increase Your LinkedIn SSI
It’s nice to log in and see you’ve achieved “social leader” status on LinkedIn. But it’s even better when sales or career opportunities start rolling in as a result. Let’s start! LinkedIn says SSI is a useful measure of a social salesperson’s skills and execution, so you can use the index as a criterion to optimize your LinkedIn profile and your marketing activities. If one of your LinkedIn SSI pillars is low, you’ll know what you need to improve to increase your brand on LinkedIn. Basically, if your LinkedIn profile is optimized and your awareness campaigns are of high quality, you should expect better results and higher reach. Most of us are aware of the basics like optimizing your LinkedIn profile not spamming your network and joining relevant groups. But if you want to take your LinkedIn Social Selling Index score from average to “all-star”, here’s what we know:
- Fill out your profile completely
- Make your profile picture look professional
- Show the value you can bring to your customers
- Use keywords and advanced search for best results
- Always use search filter options to make lead generation
- Engage with your prospects
- Share business content daily
- Share posts directly with the LinkedIn publisher
- Never stop building your connections
- Nurture and engage your connections
Now, if you break LinkedIn SSI down, you can see how you can empower each of its pillars by spending up to 15 minutes a day.
LinkedIn SSI breakdown: 4 pillars and how to empower each
According to LinkedIn, there are 4 elements of social selling:
- Establishing your professional brand – Fill in your profile by keeping in mind your target customer. Become a thought leader by publishing quality posts.
- Finding the right people – Identify prospects in less time by using search and research tools.
- Engaging with insights – Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to your connections to create and grow relationships.
- Building relationships – Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision-makers and your leads.
Now, let’s look at these 4 elements in detail and find out the techniques you can use to power them up starting today.
Pillar 1: Establish your professional brand
Establishing your professional brand starts with optimizing your LinkedIn profile for your target audience. You’ll get top marks here if you have a profile picture, banner image, slogan, custom summary, compiled experience, unique recommendations, and so on. You will also need to regularly post relevant content and engage with content on your network. The goal here is to establish yourself as a leader in your niche. So, it’s worth working hard to optimize your profile and get your name out there. However, we suggest establishing your professional brand by completing your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing meaningful posts. Here you are some tips:
- Upload a background banner. While LinkedIn can’t evaluate if it is a good one or not, your buyers can. Uploading just any banner isn’t enough; make sure it is branded and professional.
- Include a professional picture that is up-close and in which you are making eye contact.
- Customize your Headline to be more than your title and company. We recommend that it include whom you help and how you help them.
- Fill in all sections of the profile from a client-centric viewpoint. Don’t focus on your resume, but take this opportunity to add value. Fill in your job description not only with what you do, but also the experience your clients get when they work with you and your company.
- Increase your approval (after all, it helps demonstrate your skills). Offer to help others.
- Endorsements should be relevant. You can easily dilute your professional brand if your specialities aren’t clear or you have too many skills. Consider pinning your top three skills so that people know what to endorse you for.
- Share high quality, useful and relevant content with your followers.
- Add rich media, such as videos and PDFs, to your education and experience sections. Consider SlideShare, published works, and videos (which see 3x more engagement than text-only posts).
- Write long-form posts related to your professional experience or industry trends. You can then generate followers from your long-form posts.
- Complete your Contact Information, including your professional email address and 3 website links. Be sure to add your contact information too, so you can be easily reached.
If you want to know more on profile optimization on LinkedIn, read also the article Personal Branding on LinkedIn: how to impress your audience
Pillar 2: Find the Right People
Finding the right people is essential for the results of your LinkedIn lead generation campaign and for increasing your LinkedIn Social Selling Index. This comes down to having your target audience defined and successfully connecting and interacting with them. To find your audience, you can:
- Carry out Regular and advanced searches on LinkedIn. Use the search feature to filter results or carry out searches to identify the ‘right target’.
- Join LinkedIn groups.
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find your leads via job change alerts, prospects like your existing customers, the “posted on LinkedIn” search filter and more.
- Automate growth-hacking and outreach campaigns.
- Save leads
- View people’s profiles. Don’t just search and connect or message! Show that you’re doing your due with diligence.
- View your third-degree connection’s profiles.
- Look at who’s viewed your profile. These are warm prospects, so don’t ignore them!
- Stay active on LinkedIn. In fact, LinkedIn looks at your number of active days. Increase your inbound profile views.
Pillar 3: Engage with Insights
Once you’ve built up your professional brand and you’ve started to connect with the right people, the next step is to discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.
This LinkedIn Social Selling Index pillar measures your engagement, i.e., the shares, likes and comments your posts are receiving. Interacting with information is a great way to organically attract the industry professionals you’re looking to connect with and work with. To develop their network, many people have turned to the post type “comment if you wish to receive this offer”. By offering value, you will be able to increase your reach and attract more people to engage with your content. Then, you can connect with them and, in turn, interact with their content with your insights.
To help you establish trust and engagement, you should:
- Follow relevant industry or topic hashtags.
- Join relevant groups and engage with them.
- Comment and share other people’s posts.
- Create original posts and share content in the newsfeed and in groups.
- Like, comment and share other people’s content.
- Respond to your notifications.
- Use an InMail with LinkedIn Premium.
Pillar 4: Build Relationships
LinkedIn defines this SSI pillar to strengthen your network by finding and establishing trust with decision makers and other thought leaders in your niche.
To strength your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers you should:
- Send connection requests to new people via a personal message
- Send welcome messages to your new connections
- Participate in the activity of your connections
Be aware of the factors that contribute to make your score:
- Total number of connections.
- Vice President level + connections.
- Internal connections (with other colleagues).
- Acceptance rate for connection requests sent.
To recap, we can say that LinkedIn Social Selling Index is a measure LinkedIn uses to track your sales success and your profile’s overall health. If you’re doing active LinkedIn outreach and lead generation, you should expect your LinkedIn SSI to rise accordingly. And if you want to boost your LinkedIn SSI more efficiently, you can rely on tools like LinkedIn’s secure Sales Navigator and automation tools. By automating some LinkedIn outreach activities (sending connection requests, follow-up messages, interacting with prospects, etc.), you’ll increase your LinkedIn Social Selling Index and generate leads much faster.
Here you are a summary on the most popular LinkedIn techniques to boost your LinkedIn Social Selling Index:
- The content strategy – Your content strategy can make or break your LinkedIn social sales score. Successful social marketers use written content and lots of engaging media to top it all off. So, when creating a content strategy, make sure you keep it diverse, informative, educational, and inspiring. Posting your current and past projects is also a great way to draw attention to your talent, services, and products. Interviewing your customers and encouraging them to share their honest experiences and opinions can also help build more engagement and excitement around your brand, so share!
- Growing your network should be part of your routine – You need to know that it is making social selling and growing your network a part of your daily life and routine with people in your industry. Not only add connections and interacting with them, but also catch up on what’s happening in the online world and reflect on how those events could affect your industry and target market. Check your feeds for answers, reactions, and questions, comment and interact on your friends’ posts, review your profile viewers and the “People Also Viewed” section for possible connections.
- Be likeable and be specific – Be industry specific and personable! Warm and friendly communication is much better than cold and distant communication. Sharing a little bit of yourself and asking questions is an excellent way to get the conversation going in the right direction and start discovering how you can best help your connections. The best results will come from industry-specific updates, posts, troubleshooting, and questions and answers.
- Use tools to be more efficient and gain better results – What if you could have someone else on your team on board the social selling program? If you’re ready to take it to the next level, we highly recommend investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You will be able to monitor, analyse and even take a closer look at your team’s performance and efforts.
- Be patient and consistent – When it comes to establishing yourself on LinkedIn and improving or maintaining your social sales score, be patient and consistent. To get the most traction, you need to make sure you keep looking for it and actively work to find potential customers on LinkedIn, improve your LinkedIn Social Selling Index score, and make those sales.
If you want to know more watch the video below!