If you want to attract more leads and make more sales through social selling, your social selling index (SSI) score on LinkedIn can be a good indicator of what areas you need to work on.
It’s basically LinkedIn’s way of ranking a profile’s quality, and therefore how well your audience will respond to it.
SSI is divided into four parts:
- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Build relationships
Each of these is worth 25 points, with a total of 100 up for grabs.
According to LinkedIn, people with higher SSIs are 51% more likely to achieve their sales quotas.
They also create 45% more opportunities than their peers with lower SSIs.
We recommend aiming for a score of 70 or over, as we’ve seen this to have the biggest impact on results. And while that may sound challenging, you can get there by spending just ten minutes a day on the platform.
The tools and techniques you use can go a long way to allowing you to do more in less time on LinkedIn.
Sales Navigator offers you better data, so much so that LinkedIn suggests Sales Navigator can boost your SSI by 20% in just six months. You don’t have to use Sales Navigator to improve your score, but it does help.
If you want to take your score from average to all-star, here’s what you need to do…
Establish Your Professional Brand
A professional brand done well explains to anyone who visits your profile who you are and what you do.
It’s not about sounding fancy here. You want to get those keywords in and make it clear how you help people. It’s all about clarity, not cleverness.
This applies to your headline, biography, and experience. You could even use your banner image as a chance to further advertise your services.
You’ll get the most points here for filling in as much of your profile as possible. Getting endorsed by your network for skills relevant to your audience helps, too.
As well as getting your colleagues to endorse you for relevant skills, see if you can get them to leave you a recommendation, too. The more recommendations you have, the more solid your profile will be.
Ensure that the endorsements and recommendations you receive are relevant to what you do, otherwise it could dilute your professional brand if your specialities aren’t clear.
If you’ve been endorsed for a variety of skills, pin the ones the most relevant to what you do. This will also encourage other people who visit your profile to endorse you for those skills.
Posting content regularly and engaging with other people’s content is another contributing factor. You want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, and each of these helps you work towards that.
Rich content, such as videos, will stand out among the noise. It’s a faster way to show your expertise and works great both in your timeline instead of a written post, and as examples of your work.
Sometimes it can be faster to put together, too, as you don’t need to do as much typing or upfront planning. If you create a video in Canva, you don’t need to use as much text as you would in a post.
LinkedIn really wants you to share high-quality content, and it will reward your for doing so with more engagement over time, and a higher SSI.
Using LinkedIn Pulse, or sharing longer statuses, will increase your professional brand on LinkedIn and your SSI.
Find The Right People
It goes without saying that to get the right leads, you need to find the right people. To do this, you need to really understand your target audience and how you can help them. And show that by engaging with them.
This pillar encourages you to use Sales Navigator, as, using that, you can carry out advanced searches, save leads, and take advantage of the lead builder tool.
Another option you can use is Boolean searches.
Boolean searches help you get super specific with what you’re looking for. For instance:
- AND – searches only include people who fit two criteria, such as “sales” and “manager”
- NOT – searches exclude anyone who has something in their profile, like “marketing”
- OR – searches include one or more items from a list, like “sales” or “marketing” or “manager”
Make sure you’re viewing people’s profiles and not just scrolling through the results or sending them a message without doing some research first. This shows that you’ve put some effort into your search, which people will appreciate before you message them.
Check out the profiles of any third-degree connections and view the profiles of anyone who finds and views your profile. The latter are warm leads – don’t lose the opportunity to connect with them!
LinkedIn looks at the number of active days you spend on the platform, so consider that when structuring your week. (And remember, you only need ten minutes a day for it to make a difference!)
Increasing how many inbound profile visits you get is also a contributing factor to this pillar.
Engage With Insights
This section is about the likes, comments, and shares you do on other people’s content, and the likes, comments, and shares your content gets.
At its core, it’s really about sharing valuable content that resonates with your audience.
A technique you could try to get more engagement is to offer something to those who comment on your post. Doing this can attract more of the right types of people to your content and therefore increase your engagement rate. You can then connect with them and engage with their posts, further improving your score.
Following industry hashtags can help you to find interesting, relevant content that you can engage with, too. Doing this is also useful for staying on top of industry trends.
Joining, and taking part in, LinkedIn groups also helps you build this pillar. They’re another great way to find more people from your industry and connect with them.
The response rate you get from sending InMails and connection requests plays a role here. To boost yours, make sure your requests are personal and relevant.
Do you have a second-degree connection who could introduce you to someone? This will always be the best way to connect with someone, and probably get you a higher response rate. If that’s not possible, look for common ground instead – a topic that’s interesting to you both, a shared industry, or an event you’ve both been to.
Your connection acceptance rate is likely to be higher if you use Sales Navigator.
Sales Navigator also contains information that you can only access if you use it, such as the accounts you’ve saved and research views (account page views + homepage scrolls in Sales Navigator). These can also influence your score.
Last but not least – these are all worth 25 points each remember – is building relationships.
This is all about building trust with the right thought leaders in your industry. It’s where the old phrase “know, like, and trust” comes in.
LinkedIn’s advanced search option can help you to do this (see above).
How many connections you have, how many of those are VPs, and how many connections those VPs have also influences your score.
Connecting with your colleagues is another factor, so be sure to add employees from the same company!
And, don’t forget to keep your connection requests personal as the acceptance rate of them will affect your score here, too.
The Benefits Of A High Score
While a higher SSI score doesn’t guarantee more sales, it gets you one step closer to your goals. To successfully measure the correlation between your SSI score and sales, make sure to track your leads and sales alongside it. This will help you to gauge what’s really working for you and the business.
Active outreach on LinkedIn, and booking demos through it, will mean that you’re already satisfying all four pillars and increasing your leads. Which means your SSI score will inevitably increase.
We recommend aiming for an SSI of 70 or more. It’s around this mark that we see the most success. It doesn’t have to take hours and hours every day to build this, either – all you need is a coffee break.
And remember: building your SSI is an ongoing task. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you hit your target then stop using LinkedIn, your score will inevitably go down. But, over time, if you follow these tips your SSI will continue to grow.