Should You Care About LinkedIn's Social Selling Index?
If you have a profile on LinkedIn, you've been rated by them. Based on your activities on LinkedIn you've been given a Social Selling Index score, whether you knew it or not. Remember Klout? It was all the rage when it was first established in 2008. Social media influencers and wannabes checked their Klout scores daily. You could find books and blog posts about how to increase your Klout score. Now some people are worrying about their LinkedIn Social Selling Index with the same amount of frenzy. (Klout died in 2018.) Called SSI for short, LinkedIn's social selling index is, according to LinkedIn, a measure of “a salesperson's social selling skills and execution.” LinkedIn made your SSI public to you back in 2015.
Before we go much further, if you are on LinkedIn you are there to gain visibility and make sales. So LinkedIn counts you as a “salesperson” no matter what your title or function may be. You may not consider yourself a salesperson, but LinkedIn does.
How To Figure Out Your Social Selling Index
Here's how to find out your SSI. Go to LinkedIn and open your account. While you are in LinkedIn enter this URL: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi. You will find that LinkedIn has rated you on four separate metrics.
- How well have you established your professional brand?
- How well do you find the right people on LinkedIn?
- How well do you engage with insights?
- How well do you build relationships on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn says that your SSI score changes daily, depending on your activities on that platform. If you have a company page on LinkedIn as well as a personal profile, you'll find an SSI score for each.
Can Anyone See Your Social Selling Index Score?
No. You can only see your own score (or your company's score), you cannot search and see the SSI score for others. So it's between you and LinkedIn unless you decide to share it. It's not common to ask someone to share their SSI score.
You can find dozens of blog posts and articles about whether your Social Selling Score means anything or not. In this article from Social Media Today, the answer was up for debate. Since the score is between you and LinkedIn, spending time trying to increase your score becomes a self-motivational tool if anything. Many articles call the SSI a “vanity score” similar to the Klout scores people bragged about when that tool was popular. One article mentioned that your SSI score shows your ability to virtually “work a room” since it's all about networking over on LinkedIn.
What Should You Do About Your SSI Score?
Here's my take about LinkedIn's Social Selling Index or any other “rating” system on a social platform. You can spend an inordinate amount of time trying to manipulate the system and work toward getting a high score, or you can focus on your business and your own personal development. If you focus on your business and yourself, the rest of it will take care of itself. I'm not worried about what some rating system has to say about me. Instead, I'm focused on what my customers have to say about the benefit they gain from working with me. I'm focused on constantly learning and keeping my own skills better than par.
LinkedIn will argue that if you focus on their four metrics you will naturally make more connections and increase your sales. I will argue that if you pay attention to your business and spend your time doing the right things, it doesn't matter what LinkedIn or anyplace else gives you as a score. Taking their 4 metrics, my suggestions are these:
- Pay attention to your branding and your messaging. You can read more about brand clarity in these articles and get specific tips to make sure your messaging is clear. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated (check it twice a year.)
- Pay attention to who your best, most ideal customers are. Seek to connect with these idea customers not just through LinkedIn, but also locally, through your website, and in your email marketing.
- Establish social proof about yourself and your capabilities in ways that work for you. If you're a writer, write articles and share them widely (not just on LinkedIn). If you're a speaker, get more speaking engagements. Gather testimonials and share them on your website. Shine your light.
- Be open to meeting people and seeing what they are about. Do this more in real life than focusing only on any given social platform. Connect with those you've met through platforms like LinkedIn after you've met elsewhere.
LinkedIn is there to serve you, not the other way around. Use it or any other social platform as it can benefit your business, and let rankings worry about themselves.