To improve your chances of making influential connections, you have to possess a high SSI score
It’s no secret that data is the new key to success. If you’ve been in the social media marketing game, you’ll be familiar with the range of analytics available to you: engagements, click rates, likes, profile views, followers, and more.
But unlike other social media, LinkedIn goes a step further and provides users with a unique metric: the Social Selling Index (SSI) score. Leveraging this score is crucial–in fact, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media, and those with higher SSI scores generate 45% more opportunities.
To understand what an SSI score is and how it can be game-changing for your business, you must first understand social selling on LinkedIn.
This is the digital age’s version of relationship building. You’ll notice that the influencers in your industry who have truckloads of followers are the ones who engage with them.
These influencers, and even brands, don’t have to pitch their products and services because there’s already an organic conversation around them. Their audience feels like they have a personal relationship with them, and this social capital translates into greater outreach opportunities.
LinkedIn measures this using the SSI score, combining factors like the quality of your profile, meaningfulness of posts, strength of network and engagement with insights.
Ask yourself: what are you doing to become a credible, trusted brand that adds value to your audience?
If you’re not sure, read on for a comprehensive guide to increasing your LinkedIn SSI score to improve outreach, generate leads, and convert them into real business!
What Factors Make Up Your LinkedIn SSI Score?
Your SSI Score is the easiest, most effective way to measure how well your brand is selling itself on LinkedIn–not in terms of literal sales, which you already have enough ways to monitor, but as a predictive marker of your brand’s social capital.
The SSI score is comprised of 4 pillars, each with a maximum score of 25, totaling an overall score out of 100. Both individuals and companies can receive SSI scores, making it a valuable tool no matter what your professional goals may be.
Let’s take a basic overview of these 4 pillars before we get into ways to optimize them:
1. Establishing Your Professional Brand. What do you present yourself as to everyone who you meet? If this is important offline, then it’s just as important online too. Establishing your brand takes into account factors such as having a complete and well-crafted profile, a professional photo and catchy banner, a compelling headline, and a comprehensive summary. Additionally, you can even add a portfolio to LinkedIn to bolster your profile.
2. Finding the Right People. Throwing out a wide net is great but you need to make sure you’re fishing in the right lake. As our metaphor suggests, this pillar evaluates your ability to identify and connect with the right professionals and prospects. It considers your engagement in relevant groups, your ability to find and connect with decision-makers, and your overall networking activity.
3. Engaging with Insights. This covers your most common and direct communication with people: your content on LinkedIn. It looks at your participation in conversations, your sharing of valuable, insightful content ranging from newsletters to podcasts, and your interactions with posts, articles, and updates.
4. Building Relationships. How well do you nurture and build relationships with your connections? This pillar looks at your responsiveness to messages and your ongoing engagement with your network. For example, it considers both your connections on LinkedIn and the acceptance rate of your connection requests.
You can look at your own overall SSI score and subscores and compare with other people’s SSI scores in your industry and network. Ideally, you’d like to be in the top 10% in your area of expertise.
How To Increase Your LinkedIn SSI Score?
Your overarching LinkedIn sales strategy is incomplete without a careful plan for building up the various components of your SSI score. Let’s get a little in depth:
Max Out Your Profile!
The first step to effectively connecting with your audience is to make an impression when they check you out. Your profile needs to be a compelling, comprehensive representation of your expertise and brand.
What does someone see when they click on your profile? Your profile picture, name, and title. So get rid of your old selfie, and make sure you have a professional headshot, along with a relevant title. You can even alter your name on LinkedIn to include popular keywords as a title.
Along with these, there’s a banner image at the top of your profile page, which provides a good space for attractive visuals, a one-liner description, or even a call to action.
As you scroll down, the next item to pay attention to is your summary. This should synthesize your work experience, job duties and descriptions, certifications, education, and skills (all of which can be elaborated on later in their respective categories). You can also showcase your accomplishments by adding a portfolio to your LinkedIn profile. Use all these pieces to build an overall pitch for why you matter.
By the end of this process, your profile should have 100% completion.
Curate Great Content
Sharing your own and third-party content tells your audience that you’re a valuable source of insights they should regularly look out for. But don’t just share anything–you don’t want to be thought of as spam.
Making a content strategy includes making the most out of multimedia and adding a variety of content, from videos and graphics to promoting newsletters and podcasts. You can even make long-form posts natively on LinkedIn Pulse.
When sharing content, don’t just post–use multiple channels. This includes InMails, the LinkedIn premium feature which results in higher click rates, and sharing content in relevant groups.
Use Advanced Search Features & LinkedIn Sales Navigator
If you’re wondering whether using LinkedIn Sales Navigator is worth the investment, then the answer is simple: yes. In fact, it can boost your SSI by 20% in 6 months.
The feature allows you to save searches, get daily and weekly updates on new prospects, and access upper level decision makers in organizations. The Lead Builder function is part of what makes LinkedIn one of the best platforms for generating leads.
Even if you don’t have premium LinkedIn tools, you can still be smart about keywords and Boolean operators. These help you specify content for sharper results. Boolean operators, for those who don’t know, allow you to combine keywords with modifiers. For example, using “NOT” to exclude a search term or “AND” to ensure results have all the items in a list.
Engage! Engage! Engage!
Proving your credibility as an industry leader or a noteworthy up comer requires you to demonstrate awareness of industry news and insights. You should be liking and commenting on a daily basis on both the content your connections are sharing and content by relevant, leading influencers.
When you engage with your connections, try to show a genuine interest. Nobody likes phony marketing. By sticking with this, you build up a solid reputation over time.
Use Automation Tools For LinkedIn
Putting in manual work is great–hard work is never a bad thing. But you also need to work smart too. Instead of writing separate connection requests, set up an automated campaign with CoPilot AI for LinkedIn lead generation. And don’t worry–these campaigns are personalized to give them a warm, human touch.
After defining your target audience, using an automation tool helps you reach out to the most relevant people in your industry. While you’re at it, you should harness the game-changing power of AI for the most effective results.
Choose Your Connections Wisely!
Don’t just spam connection requests randomly; be sure that your targets are relevant. But don’t hesitate to send them when you think you have a solid shot.
A great way to ensure this is by adding a connection after engaging with them. When reaching out to organizations, diversify your tactics and reach out to multiple potential leads. Striking a balance of quantity and quality is the best recipe for success.
Confused about how to write a LinkedIn message to connect? Try the “Heads, Heart, and Hands” method. The “Head” refers to an introduction for yourself, the “Heart” to adding something personal, and the “Hands” to explaining your request.
Finally, don’t neglect people outside your immediate network. A great way to tap into this stream is by using hashtags. At the same time, tagging, both niche and generic, helps you attract new audiences who follow those respective hashtags.
Increase Your LinkedIn SSI Score And Improve Outreach With CoPilot AI!
Planning a detailed, customized campaign for LinkedIn lead generation can be tough work. But cutting through the noise and reaching out to higher quality leads will always lead to more success for you and your organization.
While LinkedIn Salves Navigator is a great tool to start with, optimizing it using AI will take your social selling game to another level. The best part? You’ll see the proof over time through your increased LinkedIn SSI score.