LinkedIn Social Selling Index, or SSI for short, is a unique LinkedIn metric that determines your profile’s rank. Essentially, if your LinkedIn profile is optimized and your outreach campaigns are high-quality, you should expect better results and a higher reach.
LinkedIn describes the index as a “first-of-its-kind measure of company’s or individual’s adaptation of the 4 pillars of social selling on LinkedIn, based on a scale of 0 to 100.”
The maximum score for each pillar is 25 and LinkedIn says SSI is a helpful measure of a salesperson’s social selling skills and execution.
Now, the validity and usefulness of LinkedIn’s SSI continue to be a source of debate among marketers and salespeople.
You can use the index as a criteria for optimizing your LinkedIn profile and your marketing activities. If one of your SSI pillars is low, you’ll know what to focus on to boost your brand on LinkedIn.
We’ll cover all 4 pillars, their benefits, as well as how to boost your SSI below. But until then, you should know that according to LinkedIn, social selling leaders get better results.
- Social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.
- Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach their quota.
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- LinkedIn SSI Breakdown: 4 Pillars and How to Boost Each
- How to Measure LinkedIn SSI and The Benefits of a High Score
Now, let’s break down LinkedIn SSI and see how you can boost each of its pillars by spending up to 15 minutes a day.
Oh but wait, did you know we’re constantly sharing the latest outreach hacks and successful campaigns – down to the exact templates and subject lines in our private Facebook group? Be sure to join the LinkedIn Outreach Family for all things email marketing and LinkedIn outreach as well!
LinkedIn SSI Breakdown: 4 Pillars and How to Boost Each
According to LinkedIn, there are 4 elements of social selling:
- Establishing your professional brand.
- Finding the right people.
- Engaging with insights.
- Building relationships.
To measure your sales success with SSI, you can find your score for free here.
LinkedIn claims that as your SSI rises, so does your sales success.
The fastest way to boost your SSI is to get Sales Navigator, which according to LinkedIn, can boost your SSI by 20% in 6 months.
Now, let’s take a look at these 4 elements in detail and discover techniques you can use to boost them starting today.
1. Establishing your professional brand
Establishing your professional brand starts with optimizing your LinkedIn profile for your target market in mind.
You’ll get top marks here if you have a profile picture, a banner image, tagline, custom summary, experience filled in, unique recommendations, and so on.
You’ll also need to post relevant content regularly and engage with your network’s content.
The goal here is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche. So, it’s worth going that extra mile to optimize your profile and get your name out there.
Check how to do that and other essential steps to prepare before launching a LinkedIn campaign.
- Make sure all of your LinkedIn profile sections are filled in.
- Make the most out of multimedia and add rich content on your profile such as videos and presentations.
- Aim to increase your endorsements and if possible, recommendations.
- Publish long-form posts natively on LinkedIn Pulse.
2. Finding the right people
Finding the right people is essential for your LinkedIn lead generation campaign results as well as boosting your SSI.
This boils down to having your target audience defined and successfully connecting and engaging with them (next step).
To find your audience, you can use:
- Regular and advanced LinkedIn searches.
- LinkedIn groups.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find your leads through job change alerts, prospects similar to your existing customers, the “posted on LinkedIn” search filter, and more.
- Growth-hacking and outreach automated campaigns.
Let’s focus on the last one for a bit.
This is what we’ve had the most success with when it comes to finding the right people for outreach campaigns.
Because once you have your target audience defined, you can set up an automated campaign using the world’s safest LinkedIn automation tool to reach out to them. This way, you won’t have to connect with your leads one-by-one and you won’t have to write a separate connection request every time.
If you know your audience well enough, you’ll also know what type of influencers they follow and engage with.
This was the idea behind our content retargeting growth-hack campaign. In it, we scraped the comments of a viral LinkedIn post and reached out to connect with them with the following template:
Saw you also liked the amazing LinkedIn Growth Hack post by Ugljesa Djuric from Lemtalk. I guess we have growth in common.
Simple campaign – strong results.
This way, you’ll be able to identify your prospects in less time using more efficient searches and research tools.
Check out this article on LinkedIn marketing influencers if you’re not sure where to start.
- Be proactive.
- Find the right people.
- Follow up.
- Keep track of your relationships.
- Use LinkedIn automation to your advantage when connecting with people.
3. Engaging with insights
Once you’ve built up your professional brand and you’re connecting with the right people, the next step is to discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.
This LinkedIn SSI pillar measures your engagement – in terms of shares, likes, and comments your posts are receiving.
Engaging with insights is a great way to organically attract industry professionals you’re looking to connect and work with.
To develop their network, nowadays, a lot of people have turned to “comment if you’d like to receive this offer” type of posts. Like this one:
By offering some kind of value, you’ll be able to increase your reach and attract more people to engage with your content. Then, you can connect with them, and in turn, engage with their content with your insights.
Check out our omnichannel growth-hack with hyper-personalization for more info on this and the rest of the above campaign that got us a ~72% acceptance rate and 40%+ response rate.
4. Building relationships
LinkedIn defines this SSI pillar as strengthening your network by finding and establishing trust with decision-makers and other thought leaders in your niche.
So, where do you find these decision-makers?
Well, for one, you can use the advanced LinkedIn search filter using boolean operators.
Boolean operators are a type of advanced search filter that allows you to combine keywords with modifiers such as AND, NOT, OR to produce more specific LinkedIn search results:
- AND – To find profiles that include all items in a list. E.g. “marketing” AND “CEO” for CEO marketers.
- NOT – To exclude a search term. E.g. “sales” NOT “manager”.
- OR – To find results that include one or more items in a list. E.g. “marketing” OR “growth-hacking.”
The more specific your LinkedIn search filters and outreach campaigns are – the better the results.
To take this a step further, you can also incorporate LinkedIn automation here.
Which is exactly what we did in one of our brand reach and awareness growth-hack campaign. Here’s what we did:
- Used Expandi to reach out and warm up our leads on LinkedIn.
- Used Zapier as a middleman and connected Expandi with the tools below.
- Hunter to scrape the email lists of our leads.
- Facebook Ads to retarget our warmed leads using a custom audience.
What makes this growth-hack so great is that we’re connecting with people on LinkedIn AND building key relationships with authority leaders along the way.
We used a relevant and free PDF as a hook to connect with our leads and then created Facebook ads to retarget them and book a demo call.
As far as brand awareness and building relationships go – there’s no better way than to offer free value upfront and then get on a call with your prospect to strengthen your bond with them.
From there on, you can continue engaging with them to further grow your brand.
Measure LinkedIn SSI and The Benefits of a High Score
So, what does this all mean exactly and what IS a good LinkedIn SSI score?
While it may be hard to gauge the practical benefits of SSI, we just have to take LinkedIn’s word for it when they say the higher your score is, the more successful you are at reaching their sales goals.
It’s important to note that your SSI is not a guarantee of increased sales success.
For that, you’d have to track your marketing and sales qualified leads, your ROI and so on.
Your SSI 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, that means you’re also satisfying LinkedIn’s definitions of the 4 pillars mentioned above.
So, you should be using LinkedIn’s SSI rating as a benchmark for your profile’s health.
It’s hard to say what is a good LinkedIn SSI score as it depends on your industry.
This is why the “people in your industry/network” sections are so useful.
The higher your SSI – the better.
And you should be constantly striving to increase it.
If your “finding the right people” element of your SSI is lower than the other pillars, you might want to focus on increasing your network connections.
As you focus on more LinkedIn outreach and campaigns, your SSI score will increase accordingly. Along the way, make sure you’re utilizing relevant growth-hacks and tools mentioned in this guide.
Once you do that, you should see an increase in your SSI as well as leads generation.
So, to recap, SSI stands for Social Selling Index and it’s a measure LinkedIn uses to track your sales success and your profile’s overall health.
The 4 SSI pillars are as follows:
- Establishing your professional brand – Complete your profile with your target customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing significant and relevant posts.
- Finding the right people – Identify prospects in less time using meaningful 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.
As long as 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 SSI more efficiently, you can turn to tools like Sales Navigator and safe LinkedIn automation tools.
By automating certain LinkedIn outreach tasks (sending connection requests, follow-up messages, engaging with prospects, etc.), you’ll be increasing your SSI much faster while also generating leads on autopilot. And the best part is all this happens in the background while you’re working on other tasks.
So, if that sounds like something you’d like to utilize starting today, here’s what you can do:
- Follow me on Twitter.
- Let me know you’d like to try out the world’s safest LinkedIn social selling tool.
- I’ll grant you a free 7-day Expandi trial and you can start using the growth-hacks mentioned above the same day.
PS. We’re constantly sharing the latest outreach templates and subject lines you can use in your marketing campaigns in our private Facebook group. Be sure to join the LinkedIn Outreach Family today!
Looking for other techniques and LinkedIn campaigns to boost your SSI?