LinkedIn is used daily for research and interaction with prospects and customers, devoted to business dynamics, the B2B sector and lead generation activities. How to find new customers? Cultivating relationships with possible prospects by sharing valuable content on social networks means doing social selling. In this regard, the platform has prepared the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI), which defines the degree of effectiveness with which we use LinkedIn for these actions. This article tells you how to read the Social Selling Index and best integrate it into your strategy.
What Is The Social Selling Index (SSI)
The Social Selling Index (SSI) is a practical self-assessment tool within LinkedIn accessible by all its users to measure their ability to use the platform best. The Social Selling Index returns a photograph, helpful in focusing on the areas in which to implement the improvement actions necessary to achieve the objectives in line with the personal branding chosen for LinkedIn. The Social Selling Index is a mature tool that, since 2014, has been guiding marketing and sales actions in building a correct presence on the platform.
Starting from August 2015, after a short test phase and exclusive use only by some Premium users, it was made available to the whole community. If establishing valuable links is essential for building your professional network, the Social Selling Index or Linkedin SSI is the right tool that allows you to monitor and track the progress and quality of the actions in progress, or instead will enable you to define the effectiveness of their efforts in the network built on LinkedIn.
Social Selling Index (SSI): The Indices
When we talk about the Social Selling Index, we first refer to a numerical value between 0 and 100, obtained by adding the 4 Social Selling indexes. Each index is assigned a score between 0 and 25, the sum of the partials defines the final value of the SSI. The four indexes of the SSI are :
- establish a professional brand;
- find the right people;
- you interact with information;
- build strong relationships.
LinkedIn well supports the reading of the performances obtained by proposing, for each index, a rapid definition of the critical indicators to be used in a corrective and improvement key to the strategy in place. The opening dashboard of the Social Selling Index offers an overall summary of the profile’s activities, such as:
- the overall SSI, between 1 and 100
- The details of the composition of the score, according to the four social selling indices
- The personal position compared to people in the same sector and their average profile
- Your position for people on the network and their average profile
Dashboard access to check the Social Selling Index is available here, under ” Get your score”.
Establish A Professional Brand
This index refers to the authority of the personal profile, its completeness, and the constant updating of the information. How to achieve maximum performance? LinkedIn itself suggests it: high performance of this indicator passes from the correct setting of the contact information, from the addition of multimedia files on the profile and the cover photo, from the confirmation of skills, from the implementation of a content strategy through posts in long format and therefore from the relative interactions of the followers from the bars.
Find The Right People
This second index focuses on the ability to use the platform to identify potential customers effectively with the available research tools. Why is it to be considered? It is one of the fundamental indicators that analyzes the quality of the network. It allows us to understand how similar the network connections are to the reference sector. The quality of the users is a fundamental requirement for the realization of new business.
To keep the index high, it is helpful to search through LinkedIn’s internal tool for profiles in line with the sector and activities and use the lead builder for advanced searches for target profiles. A fundamental element of social selling is to give continuity to the expansion of connections, making the most of existing connections to expand the network. For example, second-degree connections can represent an excellent opportunity to explore.
Interact With The Information
The daily interaction with information and the sharing of quality and trendy content representative of the sector represents the two keys to understanding helpful in achieving good performance in the third index. To establish and maintain relationships, LinkedIn provides a relatively wide range of actions, such as publishing posts, articles and stories, being able to comment on other users’ posts, using the internal inbox and maintaining a rate of high response to InMail messages, participation in groups in your industry.
Build Strong Relationships
Finally, we come to the fourth index, which measures the ability to find leads and the quality of relationships with prospects on LinkedIn. If, as is known, inbound sales require a solid network of contacts that are on target with the company’s objectives, this index must be carefully monitored to be effective in deals and nurture business opportunities in the medium and long term.
The best way to network well is to insert a phase of analysis of the relationships established. This means evaluating the number of connections, and the quality of these connections, such as, for example, the relevance to the sector to which they belong and the number of 3rd-level connections or those with decision-making power, or still keeping the acceptance rate of the requested links high.
Social Selling Index: Why It Matters
Is the Social Selling Index a vanity metric? Not. A good SSI score is an important performance indicator that allows you to analyze whether the implemented strategies produce the expected results. LinkedIn itself highlights how the Social Selling Index is essential to improve the performance obtained on the platform:
- 45% chance to sell more,
- 51% chance to reach bigger sales goals,
- 78% chance to beat your competitors.
The higher your score, the more successful the person or company achieves its sales goals. The score achieved is not a guarantee of tremendous success in sales. Still, it creates a strong connection between the specific and targeted networking activities put in place and an increase in sales and prospect conversion opportunities.
Social Selling Index (SSI): Best Practice
The best way to increase your LinkedIn SSI is to work on each of the four factors LinkedIn uses to generate the score in the first place. This means dedicating part of one’s day to a networking activity, which lives and feeds on the continuous search for new and possible relationships and on a content strategy capable of facilitating interactions with users already present in one’s network. The SSI is an index to be considered in a long-term logic, so here are some best practices that can help improve it.
- Make a note of your current SSI score.
- Analyze the four indices, and verify which one has more excellent prospects for improvement.
- Update your profile information if it does not represent the current status quo.
- Work on the index in which you are most deficient, and take up what is explained in this article and the official LinkedIn guides to apply the correct support actions.
- Use LinkedIn daily, and dedicate a day to critical activities that can increase the profile’s effectiveness.
- After a week, check the update of the SSI. Have there been any improvements?
The four indices represent the keystones to be considered equally to obtain a good SSI score; the advice is to build a natural daily routine to use the platform assiduously with concrete actions that contribute to overseeing the improvement of all four indexes.