What Is LinkedIn Social Selling Index: The Ultimate Guide And The Case Study On How To Grow SSI In Six Weeks

LinkedIn Social Selling Index featured image

Social selling on LinkedIn is your unique opportunity to reach prospects in a natural and, most importantly, non-intrusive way. 

But how effectively are you doing it? How can you measure your success?

The answer is the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)

If you’re not familiar with SSI, we’ve got you covered. After reading our guide, you will know what SSI is, where you can find it, and how to grow it.

Let’s get into it.

What is a LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)?

LinkedIn Social Selling Index is a metric introduced by the platform to help its users estimate their social selling efforts on the scale from 0 to 100. The overall score reflects how effectively users establish their professional brand and build meaningful relationships with people.

 

📈 DID YOU KNOW?

According to Pipeline Signals, 61% of companies that already gain insights from their SSI have reported a positive impact on their revenue growth.

Want to generate more leads and increase revenue on LinkedIn and beyond?

Snov.io has all the necessary tools to get you covered.

Want to generate more leads and increase revenue on LinkedIn and beyond?

How to check the Social Selling Index on LinkedIn? 

You can check your Social Selling Index with either a free LinkedIn plan or a Sales Navigator subscription.

  • For regular LinkedIn users:

Step 1. Log in to your LinkedIn account.

Step 2. Go to www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi.

  • For Sales Navigator subscriptions: 

Step 1. Click on your Sales Navigator icon.

LinkedIn SSI

Step 2. Find your user dashboard in the top right corner, click the icon, and select Social Selling Index.

LinkedIn SSI

Step 3. Now, you can check out the detailed breakdown of your score.

LinkedIn SSI

What is a good Social Selling Index score?

A good SSI surpasses 75, whereas the typical social selling index on LinkedIn falls between 40 and 50 out of 100.

After conducting our research, we derived the following Social Selling Index indications:

LinkedIn SSI

As you can see from the screenshot above, my first Social Selling Index score was 48 points. Not very high, right? But I’ve taken some steps to improve the situation. Here’s my result after six weeks:

LinkedIn SSI

Yes, 62 points is still far from perfect, but it’s a promising start. It shows that you have to spend just a bit more time to get it higher.

With the foundation laid, let’s transition to some actionable steps.

 

❗BEFORE YOU START

  • Don’t worry about hitting a specific Social Selling Index score. Just focus on improving your profile and increasing engagement over time. Keep track of how you’re doing and work on getting better step by step.
  • Pay close attention to the components of your SSI and develop an actionable plan for what actions you can implement to increase your score.

Why high SSI is important for your business growth?

Your SSI score indicates the effectiveness of your social selling strategy on LinkedIn. It showcases your expertise and provides more opportunities for lead generation and business development.

 

Benefits of improving your Social Selling Index:

  1. Quality lead generation
  2. Natural collaboration & networking
  3. Personal brand growth 
  4. Better sales

1. Quality lead generation 

According to HubSpot’s 2024 State of Sales Report, social media has proven to be one of the primary sources of high-quality leads. In addition, research shows that 46% of social media traffic to company websites comes from LinkedIn, and 65% of B2B companies gain customers directly from the platform.

Most effective social media platforms graph
Source: HubSpot 2023 Sales Trends Report

In the United States alone, the number of LinkedIn users is forecasted to increase continuously between 2024 and 2028 by 10.4 million. That’s a lot of potential for lead generation, don’t you think?

LinkedIn users graph
Source: Statista

Since a higher LinkedIn SSI score usually means more connections, it also promises more potential leads.

2. Natural collaboration & networking 

Smart business owners who excel at social selling focus on building relationships and trust with customers before trying to sell. Your Social Selling Index helps you understand how deeply and effectively you bond with multiple audiences, pushing you towards more meaningful interactions. 

Instead of randomly calling people or pitching your product here and there, you create a “safe space” that helps move leads through the sales process and keeps customers coming back.

And you’ve got all the potential for that as users already choose LinkedIn as the safest and most reliable platform.

→Want to know how you can grow your network without exceeding invitation limits? Check out our in-depth guide to avoid getting into the “LinkedIn jail.”

3. Personal brand growth 

In 2024, B2B leaders are still keen on building strong brands. By staying active on LinkedIn and connecting with others, you can get noticed by potential clients and partners, hence improving your brand awareness. 

LinkedIn B2B statistics
Source: LinkedIn B2B Marketing Benchmark Report 2023

Regularly sharing your professional advice and engaging in meaningful discussions might make you a well-respected opinion-maker. 

And many will appreciate your effort! According to Linearty, around 60% of LinkedIn users join the platform only to gain valuable industry insights. Bringing industry-specific knowledge breeds trust in you and your brand, eventually leading to better sales.

“Most of your growth potential lies in reaching people who won´t buy from you today but who will buy from you in the future.”

Ty Heath

Ty Heath

Director of Marketing Engagement at LinkedIn

4. Better sales 

The research shows that about 73% of buyers show more interest in sales professionals who reach out to them first on LinkedIn. And when it comes to conversions from the platform, marketers see up to 2x conversion rates, particularly on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn statistics

However, before anyone agrees to buy from you, they will likely view your profile first. Your Social Selling Index score can be instrumental here as you will need to optimize your page, regularly post engaging content, and participate in lively discussions.

How byers research sellers on LinkedIn graph
Source: LinkedIn State of Sales 2022

LinkedIn really emphasizes the importance of social media lead generation. So, it’s safe to say that the higher your Social Selling Index, the better results you will get.

LinkedIn statistics
Source: LinkedIn

LinkedIn introduced the concept of “deep selling” in its B2B Sales Playbook 2024 relatively recently. This particularly caught my attention regarding the LinkedIn Social Selling Index, as the platform highlights three core habits necessary to increase your revenue:

LinkedIn tips
Source: LinkedIn Deep B2B Sales Playbook 2024

So, watching your Social Selling Index is like checking whether you’re adhering to these important “deep seller habits.” 

If you are, you are “nearly 2X more likely to exceed quota than shallow social sellers”. Shallow sellers, in this context, are those who don’t pay much attention to their SSI.

“LinkedIn is the native habitat of high-performing sales reps. LinkedIn is an ideal venue for reps to share their hard won insights and information that helps people — including their target customers — do their jobs better”

Manny Medina

Manny Medina

CEO & Cofounder at Outreach

Social Selling Index components

I carefully studied the SSI elements, using them as a detailed roadmap to guide my efforts to improve the score. 

Four components of your SSI score

Each component earns you between 0 and 25 points. Your overall SSI score is the total of these four indicators (max 100).  Here’s a brief description of each of them.

1. Establish your professional brand

Personal branding on LinkedIn revolves around how you showcase yourself on the platform, from completing your profile to the quality of content you share.

2. Find the right people

Networking is an integral part of LinkedIn. The platform encourages you to connect with relevant prospects, influencers, and decision-makers in your industry or target market. Engaging with these people can lead to valuable opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and business development.

3. Engage with insights

This SSI component reflects your activity on the platform, including how often you share and interact with other users’ posts, participate in discussions, and offer valuable perspectives.

4. Build relationships

This aspect measures your effectiveness in nurturing and maintaining relationships with your connections. It shows how well you engage with them, provide value, and establish trust over time. 

Below is a summary of what steps you need to take to increase your Social Selling Index.

LinkedIn Social Selling Index Components

 

Focus on

 

 What needs to be done?

Brand building  

  Fill out all profile sections: 

  • Include images, videos, presentations. 
  • Add a professional profile photo & background image with relevant information about you (your role, contact info, etc.)
  • Get endorsements from connections.
  • Regularly create & engage with LinkedIn posts 
Stronger relationships   

  Enhance your network with: 

  • Relevant connections
  • VP-level LinkedIn members
  • Niche-specific professionals
Right audiences  

  Improve prospecting with:

  • Advanced lead and account search filters 
  • Targeted profile views
  • Saved lead lists
  • More active days on the platform
Sharing relevant information  

  Gain and receive:

  • Content engagements
  • Quality posts 
  • Active shares 
  • Messages/InMails sent/response rate
  • Group membership invites

The path to a higher SSI

In this section, I will provide my tips and tricks for increasing your SSI score over the course of a few weeks.

 

How to increase SSI score on LinkedIn

  1. Carefully fill out your LinkedIn profile
  2. Find relevant contacts 
  3. Be mindful of LinkedIn’s limits
  4. Encourage interactions off-site 
  5. Engage with your audience in multiple ways
  6. Analyze & track your progress
  7. Use a reliable automation tool

1. Carefully fill out your LinkedIn profile

Establishing your professional brand means ensuring your LinkedIn profile speaks directly to your target audience.

What I’ve learned is that your profile matters. You’ll shine brighter if:

  • Your profile picture shows your personality, 
  • A background image captures attention,
  • You’ve got a catchy tagline, a personalized summary, detailed experience, standout recommendations, etc.

Let me share the example of a profile that inspired me to improve mine:

LinkedIn Profile

This profile has a detailed description with relevant keywords and a clear profile picture. It also reflects a person’s consistency in sharing helpful content and interacting with others in his professional network:

Your profile should be top-notch to help you become a respected voice in your field and earn more points for your SSI.

I already had a proper profile photo and a description of my blogging career on my page, but after reviewing the top pages on the platform, I realized I had to spice it up a little. So I added more info into the ‘About’ section, as well as skills and recommendations (they really matter for establishing your brand):

And it did bring positive results for my SSI on LinkedIn.

 

A short checklist for brand-building on LinkedIn: 

Complete profile: Optimize your LinkedIn profile to tailor to the audience’s specific needs.

Multimedia: Incorporate various media types into your profile, like blog snippets or videos.

Cover photo: Utilize a cover photo that enhances your brand.

Endorsements: Display them to highlight your value proposition.

Long-form content and followers: Craft insightful posts to enrich your profile page and attract more followers.

→ Want to transform your LinkedIn profile into a powerful sales tool? Download our free handbook and start optimizing your account today!

2. Find relevant contacts 

Identifying your target audience and engaging with the right people is vital to making your LinkedIn campaign successful and improving your SSI.

For instance, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator automatically shows your leads’ relationships with people you already know. Say, if you’re looking at person B’s profile but have person A in your contacts, Sales Navigator will display your connections with person C, who is known to both of you. This helps you build better relationships through mutual connections.

Plus, if you deepen your search for a particular company where your target lead works, you may find other people who share the same contacts as you. 

So, I looked for new leads daily through the advanced filters and paid attention to recommended contacts. Thanks to my new strategy, my network is now filled with relevant contacts.

 

A short checklist for finding the right people on LinkedIn: 

Advanced lead and account searches: Take advantage of them to locate target audience and prospects. Focus on quality over quantity.

Prospecting and inbound profile views: Monitor how many prospects have visited your profile. Increased interest signals you gain more popularity.

Leads saved: Assess the quality and quantity of saved prospects. Avoid connecting with irrelevant matches.

Days active: Stay online and engage with the right people consistently.

3. Be mindful of LinkedIn’s limits

The next step was to send connections and engage with contacts smartly. When I say ‘smartly,’ I mean staying within the limits.

 

❗REMINDER:

With Sales Navigator, you are typically restricted to 50 InMails per month and 100-150 weekly invites. The maximum number of credits that you can accumulate in total is 150.

Here is a helpful article about LinkedIn invitation limits and how to deal with them.

These limits meant that I had to focus on people adjacent to my field of work. Yes, it took me time to do some research to send invites to decision-makers and experts in my industry, but it was worth it. 

What is more, daily research helped me support my invitations with customized messages. This has also influenced my LinkedIn Social Selling Index positively.

 

📈 STUDIES REVEAL:

96% of marketers recognize the impact of personalized outreach in fostering repeat sales. An additional 94% acknowledge its effectiveness in driving overall sales growth.

Lastly, I monitored my acceptance rate and deleted contacts who didn’t accept my invitation within two weeks. That’s another good piece of advice for keeping up with LinkedIn algorithms.

 

A short checklist for engaging with the LinkedIn community:

✅Connections quality: Ensure your network includes industry leaders and decision-makers.

✅Internal links: Stay connected within your company network.

✅Acceptance rates: Monitor connection request acceptance to gauge meaningful engagement.

4. Encourage interactions off-site 

I want to emphasize the importance of communicating with your prospects using other means, such as emails. This helps you expand the pool of potential clients and build a substantial lead generation strategy.

Here’s what I did:

Step 1: I sent personalized connection requests on LinkedIn and contacted leads weekly. As soon as I maxed out on invites, I changed the outreach strategy and started utilizing email.

 

📈 WHY EMAIL? 

99% of people still check their emails daily, with 58% making it their first task at work.

Step 2: I used Snov.io LI Prospect Finder, a Chrome extension specifically designed to help find prospects’ emails. This tool works on three types of pages: 

  • Search page: Find positions, companies, or content, gather emails, and add them to your prospects list.
  • Lead’s profile: Extract emails from profile pages and save them directly to your lead base. 
  • Company page: Search the company’s name, go to its page, and collect employee emails.

LІ Prospect Finder is well compatible with both free and premium LinkedIn plans. I used it on my Sales Navigator account.

Step 3: After installing the extension, I activated it and pinned it on the tab.

Step 4. I found the target position in the Sales Navigator search bar and clicked on the LI Prospect Finder icon to start collecting emails. Then, I created a new list for my LinkedIn leads and chose “Save.”

When the system completed the search, I clicked on the link to the newly created email list.

I was immediately redirected to the Snov.io workspace, where I got a brand-new pool of pre-verified emails to contact.

A brief description of the statuses of emails:

Email verification statuses by Snov.io

This allows you to quickly sort out emails and delete invalid or duplicate ones from your list. 

Step 5: I used Email drip campaigns to engage with my audience through email, bypassing LinkedIn’s limitations.

Following these Snov.io guidelines, I created an email message, chose the list of prospects and sending options, and the tool automatically launched the email campaign. Luckily, it brought me some opens, and people added me on LinkedIn themselves.

Snov.io Email drip campaigns

Snov.io offers a user-friendly editor that allows you to easily customize every step of your campaign according to your preferences. You can tailor your campaigns to your prospects’ actions using smart triggers. 

And yes, I used both Snov.io tools on a FREE trial. 

LinkedIn is just a starting point.

Collect emails with Li Prospect Finder and connect directly via email.

LinkedIn is just a starting point.

While creating my email copy, I implemented another cool feature — AI Email Writer. It is powered by OpenAI technology and generates engaging messages matching your audience’s needs based on your prompts.

You can tweak the tone and message type to fit anything from a casual follow-up to a full sales pitch, all available in over 36 languages tailored to various regions.

 

✅ Key takeaways

While your followers may enjoy spending time on LinkedIn, remember that real connections extend beyond the platform. Keep this in mind while improving your Social Selling Index, and continue nurturing your relationships off-site, too!

5. Engage with your audience in multiple ways

As you remember, one of the components of LinkedIn SSI score is engaging with insights. It measures how much your posts are liked, shared, and commented on. Interacting with insights is an effective method to naturally draw in industry professionals you want to connect and collaborate with.

Many users grow their networks by posting prompts like “comment if you’d like to receive X type of valuable info.”

You can tell that this post has really struck a chord because of all the likes, comments, shares, and reposts it’s received. Plus, the author included a link to the promised material for everyone to access freely.

In my opinion, this post received a lot of love from the audience, not just because of the freebie but also because it’s crafted with great storytelling. It’s relatable and straight to the point, yet it really speaks to the challenges many professionals face when creating content.

 

📈 STATS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES:

According to Emplifi’s 2024 Social Media Benchmark Report, visual storytelling continues to dominate online engagement. Visual posts are an excellent tool for captivating attention and conveying important info.

I’ve also learned that multi-image LinkedIn posts and videos can boost engagement. 

 

📈 NUMBERS DON’T LIE:

Multi-image LinkedIn posts increase engagement rates by 44%, whereas a video post is 20 times more likely to be shared by LinkedIn users.

I liked adding funny pics and memes in my posts. Gone are the days when LinkedIn was a formal social platform where people shared dry facts and career updates. Now, the trends are changing, and you can really benefit from adding some variety to your content.

Another SSI-friendly hack I recommend is mastering the art of asking questions. Inquire about industry trends, business challenges, new products, content your network would like to get, and more.

There are so many ways to share your expertise on LinkedIn. I tried to participate in discussions, message my contacts, and comment on other people’s posts every day, sharing valuable content every four to five days.

 

A short checklist for finding the right people on LinkedIn: 

Engagements: Monitor post interactions (shares, comments) and off-LinkedIn conversations to refine future content.

Group participation: Gauge activity in relevant groups to bolster authority.

Questions: Ask your audience what they think about industry trends, updates, and content they’d like to get from you. 

Visuals: Use multi-image posts, videos, and other interactive content to boost people’s engagement.

6. Analyze & track your progress

Again, remember, your Social Selling Index isn’t the ultimate goal. It indicates how well you balance the key pillars: brand building, network expansion, relationship growth, and insights engagement. Hence, it’s crucial to continuously work on each aspect to ensure your SSI keeps growing. 

 

A short checklist for tracking your progress:

Set goals: Determine what success looks like for you in each component of the SSI. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to guide your efforts.

Regularly monitor your metrics: LinkedIn provides analytics for your posts and articles and insights into your network growth. Use these data points to assess your progress. Adjust your strategy accordingly.

Experiment with different approaches: Test different types of content, engagement strategies, and outreach techniques to see what resonates best with your target audience.

Use LinkedIn-specific automation tools: These will save your time and efforts in streamlining routine analytical and lead generation tasks. But if you do, do it smartly. Set your tools so that they mimic human behavior on the platform. Follow the limits and rules; otherwise, you may get suspended from the platform.

7. Use a reliable automation tool

LinkedIn automation tools may help you boost your SSI swiftly. The problem is that LinkedIn doesn’t approve automation, so not all automation tools may bring you the perks you expect. 

The good news: Snov.io has recently launched a reliable and already high-acclaimed LinkedIn automation tool. With a dedicated proxy and smart LinkedIn activity limits, this cloud-based service may work real miracles.

You can auto-pilot profile views, post likes, prospecting, and outreach so that LinkedIn algorithms will not detect suspicious activity.

What’s more, the Snov.io LinkedIn automation tool allows you to mix your LinkedIn and email outreach naturally well. All based on your preferred schedule and specific triggers you’ll set.

Snov.io LinkedIn automation tool

With this solution, you can network with key decision-makers more easily and boost your SSI faster.

Safety on LinkedIn is crucial

With the Snov.io LinkedIn automation tool, you can set it and forget it

Safety on LinkedIn is crucial

Final word

It was a pleasure for me to conduct my own experiment on improving LinkedIn Social Index Score and share the results with you. I hope the above tips and hacks will help you authentically present yourself to your customers, find the right people, foster a friendly connection with them, and showcase your offering through valuable insights.

If you’re seeking the right people on LinkedIn, Snov.io is your go-to for quality lead searches. Give it a try, and let your LinkedIn SSI soar!

A collection of sales tools designed with revenue growth in mind

Each tool is a powerful solution to a specific sales problem. When used together, they’re a game-changer.

A collection of sales tools designed with revenue growth in mind

FAQ

  • How often does the LinkedIn SSI score update?

    LinkedIn's Social Selling Index is updated daily based on how you manage your activities toward building your brand, finding the right people, engaging with posts, and sharing valuable content on the platform.
  • Does LinkedIn SSI score define social selling effectiveness?

    Active LinkedIn users reportedly see a 45% boost in sales opportunities, a 51% higher chance of hitting quotas, and an 80% increase in productivity. Yet, some argue that the SSI may not fully measure the quality of networking and sales efforts. It focuses on numbers, potentially missing the depth of relationships and effectiveness.
  • Can I improve my LinkedIn SSI in a team?

    Absolutely, teamwork can significantly boost your LinkedIn SSI score. For example, you can encourage your team to share informative comments on your or your colleague's posts. In addition, team members can brainstorm content ideas together, endorse skills and recommendations to each other, etc.

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