Improving your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) is important for several reasons.
Before sharing our recommendations on how you and your employees can improve your SSI individually and collectively, here are reasons why SSI is important, especially if you are in a sales or business development role:
- Enhanced Personal Branding: A higher SSI score reflects your ability to establish a strong personal brand on LinkedIn. This helps in creating a positive and professional image, essential for networking and business interactions.
- Increased Visibility: High activity on Linkedin around connecting, viewing others and posting or engaging with others will result in a high SSI score. This means more people in your industry and target market are likely to see and engage with you or your content, leading to more opportunities.
- Effective Networking: LinkedIn's SSI is partly determined by how you build and maintain your professional network and the seniority of people in your network. Improving your SSI score indicates that you are effectively connecting with the right people, which can be crucial for business growth and career development.
- Better Reach when posting Content: Research on the Linkedin algorithm has demonstrated that if someone’s SSI is between 75 to 90, their reach will increase by 20%. More reach, more visibility, more opportunities.
- Lead Generation and Sales Opportunities: Linkedin as demonstrated in multiple reports and studies that sellers with a higher Social Selling Index are more successful, generate more pipeline, and close more and bigger deals. Improving your SSI or your team can directly impact your ability to generate leads and more revenue.
- Employee Advocacy and Adaptation to the Digital Landscape: In a world where digital interactions and reputation are becoming the norm, having employees having a high SSI score means your organization will have a stronger visibility on a plateform like Linkedin which is a huge assets for companies who want to use Linekdin for hiring, selling or marketing more effectively.
- Benchmarking and Improvement: Regularly monitoring and improving your SSI allows you to benchmark your performance against peers in your industry or in your network (see below) or in your company and continuously improve on Linkedin.
What is the Social Selling Index?
If you are catching up, your Social Selling Index is your score calculated by Linkedin that measures your engagement on the platform in relation to the four components below :
- Building a professional brand,
- Finding the right people,
- Engaging With Insights
- Building Relationships
(We have a full article on What is Linkedin’s Social Selling Index if you want to learn more)
How to improve your Social Selling Index?
Here is a list of actions on Linkedin that will improve your SSI score:
Some actions might only be relevant to sales professionals but most actions are relevant to everyone.
Establish a Professional Brand
Establish a professional presence on LinkedIn with a complete profile:
- Customer-centric content
- Endorsements and skills to show your value-add
- Position yourself as a thought leader
- Using multimedia / engaging material
- Post in a regular cadence and engage with others (content & posts)
Find the Right People
Prospect efficiently with powerful search and research capabilities:
- Use advanced search functionality to optimize prospecting
- Boolean searches on Lead Builder to increase results
- Who’s viewed you (engage with those relevant)
- Expand network through ‘warm introductions’ - 2nd degree / shared connections
- Leverage Linkedin groups
Engage with Insights
Discover and share valuable information to acquire new, or nurture existing, relationships:
- Share relevant assets and insights - to help you become trusted
- Follow companies, competitors and leverage industry updates to stay informed and current
- Engage with content your prospects share
- Customize messages leveraging relevant insights
Build Strong Relationships
Enhance network by connecting and consolidating trust with key decision makers:
- Connect with relevant contacts to expand reach
- Focus on senior level people and decision makers critical to buying process
- Connect within your company to optimize the opportunities for ‘warm intros’ through shared connections
- Take care to develop relations, maintain contact and show interest / shares timely insights
What NOT to do to improve your Social Selling Index
Now that you know what you can do to positively influence your Social Selling Index, let's look at some of the traps you don't want to fall into.
About your profile or professional brand:
⛔ Do not overdo it with keywords in your profile. Your profile should be meant for other members (humans), not search engines.
Your content will build your visibility and reputation over time and drive profile views. Learn how the Linkedin algorithm behaves and how to create and post content effectively.
About Finding the right people.
⛔ Do not use automation to simulate viewing other people’s profiles.
If Linkedin detects this, you can be banned.
Instead, learn how to use advanced searches, bookmark results in your second degree, and set time daily or weekly to review relevant profiles and send personalized connection requests or messages
About engaging with insights.
⛔ Do not engage with others because you expect something in return.
Engage with other people and their content in the meaningful way. Prefer adding comments to quick likes or reshares.
About building relationships.
⛔ Do not connect with people you do not know
Do not use connection request as sales messages.
Do not accept people because they look senior or relevant.
Real opportunities will come from people who you really know and who really know you.
If you are not confortable sending an email or calling some of you connections on Linkedin, they probably feel the same way so what is the point.
Improving your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) is crucial for enhancing personal branding, increasing visibility, and unlocking opportunities. Invest in building a strong personal brand, connecting with the right people, and engaging with valuable insights to maximize your SSI score and propel your career or business forward.