It’s back-to-school time here in the United States. That means lots of new beginnings—teachers, friends, activities, and, of course, a new grading period. So, what does this have to do with LinkedIn? Well, LinkedIn has an awesome FREE grading system called the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI).
However, most people have not taken advantage of this great networking measurement tool.
Chances are you’re not a salesperson. But don’t be turned off by the word “selling.” Because, let’s face it—we’re all selling something. If you’re not selling products or services, you’re selling yourself every day. Or you wouldn’t be reading this post, right?
What’s Your Social Selling Index Score?
Yes, 100 is a perfect score. Although I doubt anyone has achieved that score other than maybe Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) or Ryan Roslansky (current LinkedIn CEO). But be sure to look past just the raw overall score, though. See how you rank in your industry and your network, both in total and in each of the four scoring categories (maximum of 25 points for each category). Also, take note of the trend line for your score. These spots are where the information gets particularly helpful for you personally.
What Is SSI and Why Should You Care?
LinkedIn came up with SSI to score sales professionals and their corporate teams and track improvement and results. Full disclosure: Their first goal was to prove the ROI from upgrading to their most expensive premium sales upgrade called Sales Navigator. So, of course, LinkedIn has a motive for spending time and effort to generate this information. They’re hoping companies will upgrade all their salespeople to Sales Navigator.
However, now all users can learn and improve by tracking their Social Selling Index (SSI). And after you receive your score from LinkedIn, it’s easy to see where you, from an interaction and networking point-of-view, stand now. The next step? Setting goals for improvement in the four critical areas outlined.
LinkedIn surveyed over 5,000 sales professionals, and they’ve shared the following fairly significant results that demonstrate the importance of becoming an SSI leader:
- SSI leaders create 45% more opportunities per quarter than SSI laggards
- SSI leaders are 51% more likely to hit quota than SSI laggards
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media
How Does LinkedIn Determine Your SSI Score?
Your SSI score is based on what LinkedIn refers to as “The Four Pillars of Social.”
- Establish your professional brand | Complete your profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by publishing meaningful posts.
- Find the right people | Identify better prospects in less time using efficient search and research tools.
- Engage with insights | Discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships.
- Build relationships | Strengthen your network by connecting and establishing trust with decision-makers.
You can view LinkedIn’s SlideShare presentations with additional insights on how to improve your score in these four areas. I highly recommend you take the time to click through these presentations. Focus first the ones related to the areas where your SSI results indicate you have the most work to do.
I’m in total agreement with LinkedIn that these are the four critical elements for getting results from all your social media channels. Not just for selling purposes but also for growing your brand, improving your business, and personal marketing. And, of course, finding your next great job.
And just in case you’re wondering, my SSI is currently 86, and I rank in the top 1% of my industry and network—but I won’t be happy until I get to 100. I only scored 16.42 out of 25 in the “Engage with Insights” area. I’m going to work on that… starting now!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula!
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.