Let’s be honest:
Most of wish we could do better on Linkedin, don’t we?
Time and time again, we’re told how useful the platform can be for building connections and taking our business to the next level, yet despite our efforts, it seems we’re just not getting the kind of return we’d like on all that time we’ve invested in Linkedin.
Where are we going wrong?
If only there was some kind of tool that could help us determine exactly where we need to up our game.
Here’s the good news:
There is, and it’s called the Social Selling Index.
The Social…what now?
Social Selling Index, though for the sake of brevity, we’ll refer to it as SSI from here on in.
In a nutshell, SSI is a quick and easy-to-use feature which analyses your Linkedin activity and provides you with a report on how effective you are in four key areas:
Establishing your professional brand
How well are you doing at presenting yourself and maintaining a prominent LinkedIn presence?
What about posting and commenting, interacting and generally raising awareness of your brand?
Finding the right people
Making those all-important connections, finding the right people for the right purpose of making the most of your open introductions.
Once you’ve made those initial connections, how are you doing at taking things to the next level with your prospects or potential partners?
Are you building and developing from cold contacts to mutually beneficial relationships?
Engaging with insights
Or, to put it in English;
How effective are you at using relevant, insightful and informative content to connect with your audience and achieve all of the above.
So far, so simple, right?
Well sure, you’d think so, but if you’ve stumbled across any of the countless SSI articles already doing the rounds out there, you’ve likely noticed that it all seems to get pretty complicated pretty quickly.
A guide for the rest of us
Naturally, top-flight sales professionals have taken to SSI like ducks to target-infested waters, raving about what this tool means for them in terms of things like sales pipelines and customer decision processes.
That’s all well and good for them of course, but what about the rest of us?
What about those of us who whom sales is a necessary evil rather than the be-all and end-all of our entire professional existence?
How can we make sense of SSI and put it to work in improving our brand and taking our business to the next level?
Here’s a few pointers:
How to use Social Selling Index
Here’s an easy one to start with. You don’t need any special app or spend ages filling out forms to make use of SSI. As long as you’re logged in to Linkedin, just head to https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi and let the site do all the hard work for you.
What SSI can tell you
Top and tailing your report with information about how well you rank compared to both your own Linkedin network and your industry peers across the board, SSI provides several useful features which go into detail about how effective you are in those four key areas without bombarding with you information overload.
Those rankings themselves go a long way to explaining why you’ve seen so many of your contacts putting in the extra Linkedin hours of late; everybody’s working that much harder to outrank their peers and improve their score, mainly by using the following:
Your overall Social Selling Index breakdown
Here’s where you’ll be given a score out of 25 for each of those four key areas.
Since we’ve moved on a bit since we last discussed them, let’s look at them again quickly so you don’t have to scroll up for a quick reminder:
- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Build relationships
- Engage with insights.
Each one of these is colour-coded so that you can easily refer to them in the graphs and diagrams included in your report. As you may have gathered, the more you do in each individual area, the higher your score.
Again, let’s keep this nice and simple, shall we?
This graph tracks your Linkedin activity throughout the week and shows you how that activity contributes towards improving your score in each area.
What SSI can’t tell you
IF you’ve already taken a peek at your SSI report, you’ll have noticed that this isn’t something you can tinker with or customize; there’s no way of feeding in your own goals and objectives and having Linkedin generate a personalised report for you. That is, unless those objectives are directly tied into those four key metrics.
So, why use SSI?
Does the lack of custom reports mean SSI isn’t worth bothering with? Not at all. If that was the case, would so many of our peers already be joining the mad scramble to improve their scores?
Besides, if you’re really using Linkedin to its full potential, most of your goals and objectives should already fit in closely with at least one of those four areas anyway.
Think about it, doesn’t the ‘Establishing your brand’ score give you something to look at if your main aim is to increase web traffic and get more eyeballs on your products?
Or how about finding the right people and building relationships, can’t they tell us something about how well we’re achieving lead-generation and similar goals?
And that’s before we even mention success rates. According to Linkedin’s own research, social selling leaders generated 45% more opportunities than those with a lower SSI score, whilst 78% of those using social media to sell were outperforming those who weren’t.
Impressive, isn’t it?
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