LinkedIn has the potential to be a powerful tool for your business when you know how to utilise it the right way as it has become the go-to platform for professionals to connect & network with each other. When used to its fullest ability, LinkedIn can build brand awareness, help you expand your network, generate leads and bring in more revenue into your organisation.
Having said that, it has not always been an easy task to assess how effective you are on the platform. Luckily for you, you are just about to unravel one of the most grossly overlooked features on LinkedIn that helps you with just that – the LinkedIn SSI.
The SSI feature, which is freely accessible to anyone with a LinkedIn account, allows you to test out your marketing capabilities and lets you fine-tune your marketing strategy.
This useful indicator informs you just how efficient you are as a social salesperson while also suggesting areas for improvement. Never heard of it before? Never understood what it really is? Want to know why it’s important for your business? Well, then you’re reading the right article.
Intro to Social Selling
Before getting into the intricacies of the LinkedIn SSI, it’s important to understand the concept of “Social Selling” first. Social selling entails the use of one’s personal brand within their social media channels to strategically connect with prospects, build a connection with them, engage with potential leads and then pitch one of your products. The main objective of social selling is building and nurturing meaningful relationships with potential customers as part of your sales process instead of simply relying upon cold outreach tactics.
According to Mike Derezin (VP of Sales at Linkedin), adopting social selling into an organisation’s marketing strategy increases your win rates as warm introductions have the ability to build relationships faster than cold outreach.
This is notion is backed & proven by the stats seen below, which states that:
- 78% of social sellers who are on social media outperform their peers who aren’t
- Those with leading SSI scores create 45% more opportunities than those with lower scores
- Social sellers with a high SSI score are 51% more likely to meet their sales quotas
Even though social selling can be done via all social media platforms, based on our experience we do recommend building business relationships on LinkedIn than on any other social network primarily because LinkedIn’s purpose is to expand your professional network and your company brand amongst other professionals. Moreover, it’s understandable that not many people enjoy being reached out on their personal social media accounts for non-personal reasons.
Now let’s jump on to LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index the so-called “SSI”.
What is LinkedIns’s Social Selling Index?
To put it short, LinkedIn’s SSI effectively measures how good your social selling skills and ability to carry out sales are. The SSI is calculated by evaluating an individual’s performance against the 4 Pillars of Social Selling defined by LinkedIn (which are each based on a scale from 0 to 25) and then adding all four scores together. By trying to score higher on each pillar, you are able to strengthen your own social selling abilities much beyond.
If you’re curious about your SSI score, you can check it out by simply:
- Logging into your LinkedIn account
- Navigate to https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
- You should now see a complete dashboard with your SSI and all other key metrics like the image below
Why does your SSI matter?
You may be wondering why we’re rambling on about SSI score and here is why.
There are various reasons why you should strive for a high Social Selling Index. For starters, a good score expands your platform’s reach. Even if LinkedIn algorithms do not directly impact your SSI when assessing the reach of posts, all of the individual criteria that go into calculating your SSI help you and your company to reach a larger audience.
Moreover, like any other KPI, knowing the analytics, performance and metrics behind your social selling campaigns is crucial in revising, learning and improving your LinkedIn marketing strategies.
Your SSI is not just a random number. It provides vital insight based on what you have been doing so far which can then be used to further refine your marketing approach. The feature assists with measuring your success, identifying opportunities and allows you to manage your approach when searching and campaigning for new leads. All of which are important aspects of successfully growing your business.
Anyone who’s eager to expand their business on social media while combining various interlinked elements such as authenticity, transparency, consistency, trustworthiness and creativity can do so by adjusting their marketing strategy to address the 4 Pillars of Social Selling.
The 4 Pillars as seen on the right side of the Linkedin SSI dashboard are:
- Establishing a professional brand
- Finding the right people
- Engaging with Insights
- Building relationships
Why are the 4 Pillars of SSI important and how can businesses use them?
Each pillar mentioned is important as it builds off of each other and therefore must be considered to guarantee success on LinkedIn.
Establishing a professional brand – Having a strong brand presence is crucial for the success of any business. A solid branding can help with attracting new customers and retaining the ones that already exist. Furthermore, customers are more likely to trust you and your services when they see that you have a credible social reputation.
You can build your professional brand by ensuring that you’re thinking of the customers when creating your profile, providing commentary on trending topics, creating content as well as writing articles, blogs relevant to your industry and showing yourself as a thought leader.
Finding the right people – Not everyone you connect with is going to be looking to work with you or have a need for your services. Engaging with the right people on LinkedIn can be extremely beneficial for your sales campaigns. Do ensure to use the search tools, keywords and filters when using the site to optimise your search for the most ideal connections. Having a clear idea of what your prospects want and need can also facilitate the search for your ideal clients.
Additionally, businesses need to maintain an active approach by displaying constant activity and engagement with prospects/leads on the platform in order to effectively connect with the right people.
Engaging with Insights – It’s also recommended to take a look at the analytical tools and insights that LinkedIn provides; search for and reach out to viable prospects by using warm introductions. You can even take advantage of the feature which allows you to check who has viewed your profile, as an approach to actively grow your network.
The way prospects perceive your content is extremely important; if people feel that you’re providing valuable content they’re more likely to trust you, connect and engage with your services. Therefore, posting relevant content and joining in on discussions with those that are part of your network or even with those that you’re in a group with, can help in showcasing yourself as a thought leader with valuable insight within your industry.
Building relationships – There is a saying that goes like this, “Your network is your net worth”. Building healthy relationships with prospects is essential for the growth of your business. Businesses need more than a quality product or service, they need the support of their customers too.
According to Nainil Chheda’s article on LinkedIn SSI (2021), 73% of B2B buyers prefer sales professionals that have been recommended to them by people they know. Through this, we can see how vital it is to maintain healthy relationships with prospects as it would assist in growing your business and adding value to it too
Whatever your SSI score is, there’s always something you can do to strengthen it. With that said, let us briefly look at how you can improve your SSI score going forward:
- Filling out your profile completely: The first, simplest and most important thing you should do to boost your Social Selling Index is to complete your profile entirely (i.e. profile & banner picture, tagline, summary, work history, education history, gathering skill recommendations, certifications, etc.)
- Connect With the Correct People on LinkedIn: To be successful on LinkedIn, you must have a large network. Keep in mind that quality often matters more than quantity. This means, whilst you connect with your friends & colleagues regardless, you should not send invitations to random persons. Instead, spend the time necessary to discover the proper individuals relevant to your niche and industry.
- Post or even Reshare Relevant & Interesting Content for your connections: Posting great content is one of the simplest and surefire methods to boost your SSI sections. This will help you create relationships, be a thought leader and engage with other people while also improving your own brand.
- Like, Comment & Share: It’s crucial to have a well enough, but it’s also necessary to interact and engage with them. You must maintain frequent touch with a significant portion of your network in order to demonstrate to the algorithm that you are devoted to developing long-term commitment and relationship building within the platform.
If you’re new as a LinkedIn marketer, there are several other measures you can take to improve your SSI score. It has to be remembered that the whole platform is centered on the premise that making connections and developing relationships is helpful to every professional on the site. Your own brand and authority on the web can help you stand out, create conversations and create leads.
LinkedIn provides an array of tools and insights that are vastly beneficial for the growth of your business when you know how to utilise them properly. One of which has been the main focal point of this article. The SSI feature exists to assist you in enhancing your overall social selling abilities and generating more sales from it.
Having said that, we do understand that constantly being on the LinkedIn platform and monitoring the performance of your organisation is tedious and also somewhat unrealistic given that there are millions of other fires to put out daily.
This is where Rocket comes into the frame. Our team takes the lead in lead generation; we are well seasoned in the art of profile optimisation, conversational engagement, social selling and LinkedIn algorithm (which are all aspects that are considered important when calculating the SSI) in order to execute the best social selling campaign humanly possible for our clients.
Curious? Do visit us at www.weareteamrocket.com to learn more.