How to improve your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn – Part 3

In the third part of this series, we will be focusing on how to engage with insights to improve your social selling index (SSI) score on LinkedIn. The earlier two parts of this series can be accessed here and here.

The third parameter mentioned by LinkedIn for improving your SSI score is based on your ability to discover and share conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships on LinkedIn. Did you know that around 64% of B2B buyers report that they appreciate hearing from a sales person who provides knowledge or insight about their business? Which is why knowing how to engage with insights holds a lot of importance.

Linkedin SSI 3

The following pointers will help you ace your score on the engaging with insights parameter on LinkedIn.

  1. Share relevant resources to strengthen personal connections: Make it a point to post content that is relevant to your prospects. This can be in the form of industry news, trends, or updates from your own organization. Sharing and liking updates posted by others is also a great means of engagement. Make it a point to be on the lookout for insightful updates and sharing them. Show that you care about the successes of your prospects and tag them whenever you share an update relevant to them.
  2. Stay in the know with timely content: Remember to leverage industry data and news on LinkedIn to stay up to date. LinkedIn Pulse was earlier a separate platform, but it was merged into the main LinkedIn platform a few years ago. So, now any long form article published on LinkedIn actually goes on to Pulse. When searching for anything on LinkedIn, searching for “content” allows you to search for relevant content on LinkedIn that you can then share.
  3. Engage in discussion where your connections are: LinkedIn advises you to leave thoughtful, constructive comments on content posted by your prospects and to join LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups are a great way to find people with similar interests. Search for groups, especially large groups with a significant number of members, to join and engage with prospects and like-minded people.

    Power tip: When you’re sharing an update, always remember to add your own bit. For example, you can add your thoughts on the update or explain why someone should read that update or article. It’s always preferable to add a comment as compared to simply liking an update. But there will be situations when you’d like to just bookmark an update or show some immediate engagement.

  4. Use relevant information when reaching out: Nothing can match an informed and personalized message. When reaching out to anyone, always customize messages using relevant information you have learned about the person on LinkedIn. A simple example is to always remember to add a personalized message when sending anyone a connection request – explain why you’d like to connect with that person. To be able to do this, it’s best to visit a profile and then click on “connect” to add a personalized message. This will significantly increase the chances of the prospect accepting your connection request.

Engaging with insights is a great way to ensure that you win over the attention of your prospects. The key point is to never use a mechanical approach when trying to engage with prospects. Always try to personalize any message you send out to your prospects. That little bit of extra effort will go a long way in multiplying your engagement.

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How to improve your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn – Part 2

This is the second part in the series of posts on improving your SSI score on LinkedIn. The first post on “What can you do to establish your professional brand on LinkedIn” can be read here.

The second parameter mentioned by LinkedIn for improving your SSI score is based on your ability to find the right people. Hence, in this post, we will be elaborating on how you can improve your score on this parameter.

SSI 2

So, how can you go about finding the right people on LinkedIn? We’ve listed a few pointers below.

  • Use LinkedIn’s powerful search tool to zero in on the right decision makers: Now, LinkedIn earlier used to provide free unlimited profile searches to all users. But with time, they realized that certain recruiters and sales guys were finding loopholes in their system to search and download profiles. And all of this wasn’t paying off for LinkedIn. So, they have now limited search functionality for users unless you purchase a premium account. The search prowess of your account increases with each higher level of premium. You get more filters and greater reach with each higher level. Hence, if you’re really looking to leverage the power of LinkedIn and need to regularly search for various profiles, purchasing a premium account is indispensable. LinkedIn also recommends using Boolean search terms such as AND, OR, and NOT for your LinkedIn search.

Power tip: One important aspect most people don’t realize is that even if you purchase a premium account, your search capability on LinkedIn is still limited to your third-degree network. The larger your third-degree network base, the broader your search will be. Hence, it is really important to connect with LinkedIn power users with large networks. Further details on this are available in a separate post on How to increase your LinkedIn network exponentially. Note that this limitation of search capabilities does not apply to recruiters who purchase a national/global recruiter license (which is very expensive by the way!). 

  • Leverage warm introductions to expand your network: You might be wanting to reach out to someone who is in your second-degree network but you’re not sure if you can reach out directly without making it sound really intrusive and salesy. LinkedIn makes it easy through their introductions feature. Check out how you’re connected to that person. Then, reach out to the common connection between both of you and request the person to introduce you to the prospect. This will help you transform the cold outreach into a warm introduction through a common acquaintance/colleague.
  • Research potential prospects: LinkedIn advises you to look for commonalities to establish a relationship. When checking a prospect’s LinkedIn profile, check out the LinkedIn groups they’re a part of. This information is available right at the bottom of the profile. Request to join any of these groups. Once you are a part of the group, that can serve as a common point of engagement to reach out to the prospect. Furthermore, the advantage that Sales Navigator provides you is that you can save prospects as leads, and you keep getting regular email alerts whenever any of your leads posts anything on LinkedIn so that you can get a trigger to reach out or engage with the prospect.
  • Take advantage of who’s viewed your profile: This feature of “Who’s viewed your profile” is a great source for driving engagement on LinkedIn. Always keep checking from time to time who has viewed your profile. This will help you get a flavor of who all are really taking interest in your posts or profile on LinkedIn. You’re only able to see a few profile viewers with the free account. If you take a premium account, you can get to see profile viewers for up to 90 days ago. Treat profile viewers as inbound leads and always make it a point to engage with them.

So, there you go! These four pointers are the primary aspects that determine the score for your ability to find the right people on LinkedIn. Keep watching this space for more information on how you can improve your sales profile and ultimately your SSI score on LinkedIn.

Do share your thoughts using the comments section below.

How to improve your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn – Part 1

In a previous post, I’d written about what social selling entails and how to find out your social selling score (SSI) on LinkedIn. In this series of posts, we’ll explain how you can improve your SSI score based on parameters defined by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s SSI score is calculated on the basis of four parameters, namely, establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. It is important that you focus on improving each of these parameters to improve your SSI score. We’ll elaborate on “establishing your professional brand” in this post.

Professional brand

What can you do to establish your professional brand on LinkedIn? Read on for details.

  • Complete your profile: First and foremost, ensure that you complete your profile with the customer in mind. Remember to emphasize instances that illustrate how you’ve provided value to a client. Take care to complete every detail on your LinkedIn profile, including your profile picture, headline, summary, and experience. Pay special attention to your headline because that is what makes your profile stand apart from millions of others in your domain. To understand the importance of your profile headline, just search for people using any keyword on LinkedIn, and notice how you’ll tend to click on profiles that have self-explanatory headlines.
  • Add rich content to your summary: This aspect is one of the most underutilized items among LinkedIn’s profile page functionalities. Add content that can make you stand out as a thought leader. You can add an image, video, or a presentation to showcase examples of your work or your company’s specialties. You can also upload a deck outlining your company’s products and services on Slideshare and host it on your LinkedIn summary. 
  • Post and interact with content: Always keep in mind that the basic foundation of a strong content marketing strategy is nothing other than relevant and useful content. The key is to post relevant updates on a regular basis so that you’re perceived as a thought leader in your domain. Make it a point to spend some time to curate high-quality content that can be helpful for your target audience, and then, post updates summarizing that content and explaining the importance of why should someone read what you’ve posted. Merely sharing links might not get the kind of engagement you’re looking for. If you post high-quality and relevant content, the likelihood of your content being shared and liked increases several notches. 

Power Tip: Like I’ve mentioned in a separate post, LinkedIn’s algorithm tends to promote content with links to content on LinkedIn rather than that with links to content off LinkedIn. That apart, write long form articles on LinkedIn to share your personal experiences and industry insights. This can go a long way in establishing your brand value as a thought leader. 

  • List skills & get endorsements: The “Skills” feature of LinkedIn is among the lesser used features, especially by industry leaders who don’t have time for these nitty-gritties. But if you’re really serious about networking on LinkedIn, make it a point to add relevant skills to your profile. You can do this by clicking on “Add a new skill” in the “Skills & Endorsements” section. Once you add skills, your connections will view requests to endorse your skills from time to time. Make it a point to endorse the skills of your colleagues, friends, and acquaintances to expect favors in return. Now, this is a separate argument altogether as to how reliable these endorsements are. This situation has arisen from random endorsements by random people who haven’t even worked with you once. LinkedIn doesn’t seem to have figured out a way yet to address these concerns. That said, skills and endorsements remain a factor that can influence the aspect of “establishing your professional brand” on LinkedIn.

Now, all these pointers just constitute one of the factors, i.e., establishing your professional brand, that can influence your SSI score on LinkedIn. Keep watching this space for more details on how you can ace social selling on LinkedIn.

Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Do you know your Social Selling Index on LinkedIn?

Do you know how well you’re placed to drive social selling via LinkedIn? Are you in a sales/marketing role with a need to extensively network on LinkedIn and are looking for some metric to measure your success? Or in other words, would you like to know how effective you’re on LinkedIn? There’s a simple answer. LinkedIn has devised what they call the Social Selling Index (SSI).

Essentially, as per LinkedIn, your Social Selling Index (SSI) measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. These four parameters are monitored and your SSI is updated on a daily basis. You can check your SSI score simply by clicking on this link (you’ll need to log in to LinkedIn to know your score).

 

Minhaj SSI Score

Although some experts are sceptical and feel that the SSI has been devised by LinkedIn simply to promote their Sales Navigator offering. More so because LinkedIn claims that Sales Navigator helps users in improving their SSI score by up to 20%. Which is why you’ll find some views asking users not to bother too much about it.

That said, the four parameters that lead up to the final SSI score for an individual are actually quite indicative and necessary to determine your social selling skills. This article on how important is the LinkedIn SSI score weighs the different aspects quite well.

The SSI score feature was launched sometime in 2014 and must have definitely seen several refinements already. But it’s quite intriguing that despite being around for some time, SSI hasn’t been so popular with LinkedIn users. In fact, a huge number of frequent LinkedIn users are completely unaware that something like SSI exists! I’m certain that with continual feedback, LinkedIn will continue refining the algorithm that determines the final SSI score.

So, what can you do to improve your SSI score? LinkedIn has clearly outlined details for each of the four abovementioned parameters. We will be covering this in detail in a separate blog post soon. Keep watching this space for more.

PS: My SSI score is 75. What is yours? Do you feel that the SSI score is truly reflective of networking capability for social selling? Share your feedback through the comments section below.

How to expand your LinkedIn Network exponentially

If you’re looking to expand your professional network, LinkedIn is the place to be. LinkedIn has around 562+ Million members from across 200 countries and territories the world. What’s more? It is by far the most successful platform for generating B2B leads.

How big is your network?

Click this LinkedIn Search Link to get the size of your current 2nd degree network (works only on your desktop/laptop). Multiply the result by 100, to get a very rough estimate of your 3rd degree network size.

Why is it important to expand your network on LinkedIn?

Even though LinkedIn has 562M+ members, your search results are limited to only your network. What this means is that unless you search for a specific person by their name, your search results would only throw up people who are connected to you by at least 3rd degree on LinkedIn. Read this article to understand how LinkedIn defines various degrees of connections. So, your search results are quite limited unless your really expand your LinkedIn network.

Connect with LIONs

One of the best ways to get around this limitation and to expand your search is to connect with LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) in your target geography. LIONs are people with a huge number of connections and who never refuse a connection request. For example, if you’re searching for leads/potential recruits in a certain country/region, the best bet is to first start off with searching for and connecting to LIONs in that region. What this does is that for every person you connect with, your network can grow by 1K to 100K people depending on how connected that person is. Hence, it is important to develop a strategy to ensure that your target audience/prospects are somehow connected to you at least by 3rd degree – else, they won’t be visible to you.

Join large industry groups

Another useful and quick fix to expand your network is to join large LinkedIn groups. The advantage with doing this is that all members of a group you join are considered part of your network because you’re both members of the same group.

Make the most of your Premium or Sales Navigator Account

In fact, even if you have a Premium or Sales Navigator account, you won’t see more names than those in your 3rd degree & Groups. The advantage of these paid accounts is that you get to shortlist the results with more filters. So, even with these paid accounts, to see more people, you must increase the size of your 3rd degree network!

Click this LinkedIn search link to find LIONS with large networks – each connection will get you roughly around 1M+ 3rd degree connections. Change “United States” in the filter on top to your target country if required.

That’s all for now! Keep watching this space for more useful tips to network on LinkedIn.

Finally, remember to share your feedback through the comments section below.