The Social Selling Index (or SSI, for short) is a tool that can help you determine how well you’re selling yourself, your business, your service or products to customers.
The term entered the mainstream a few years ago when LinkedIn launched its own version of the analytical tool. It has since then become commonplace for businesses to check their SSI.
What is social selling?
Before we get into the specifics of how to improve your SSI, it might be a good idea to clarify the exact meaning of social selling. It’s not just about any old social media marketing technique.
Your SSI is an aggregate score that is determined on how well you can engage with people in all settings. It’s how you present yourself on sites like LinkedIn, it’s how you reach out to potential clients, and it’s how well your content resonates with your target audience.
Why is the Social Selling Index important?
Since SSI was introduced, many companies have begun structuring sales programs around it. That’s how much currency the term has gained.
And according to LinkedIn, there are clear advantages to having social selling abilities. The social media platform reports that almost 80% of social sellers outsell other salespeople.
How do you improve your Social Selling Index?
If you want to improve your SSI score on LinkedIn, then there is much work to do.
1. Brand yourself
Your brand should look professional, and that starts with your profile. When you complete 100% of your LinkedIn profile, then you get the All-Star badge. But it doesn’t stop there. You should also upload decent photos, presentations, videos, and links to other portfolio items to your profile. You should post long-form content on a regular basis to demonstrate your knowledge. And if you can get some glowing endorsements from other users then it’ll go a long way.
2. Connect with people
LinkedIn partially determines your SSI based on how well you connect and interact with other users. You can boost your score by using the search features to find relevant people to reach out to. Use the filtering options to sort the wheat from the chaff and send them a personalized invitation to connect. Once a connection has been established, it’s important that you follow up so you maintain the relationships you’ve built.
3. Be social
It’s kind of in the name. People with high SSI scores don’t tend to be wallflowers. So take ten minutes out of your busy daily schedule to engage with other people’s content on LinkedIn. Share your opinions in the comments section, and shoot off a message or two to the most interesting people you might have something in common with. Join some LinkedIn Groups to find more like-minded people that you can exchange experiences with.
4. Build trust
Finally, you should focus on building trust with people. No one ever bought anything from a person they didn’t trust first. You build trust by consistently sharing useful advice, answering questions from anyone who engages with your content, and by providing evidence to back up your claims.
Ready to boost your SSI?
That was a quick overview of what the Social Selling Index means and what it tells you. If you want to improve your own score, then follow the tips we’ve outlined here above. Or head over to LinkedIn’s dedicated SSI page to learn more about each of the components that make up your SSI.