How to Boost Your LinkedIn SSI Score

People have been asking me about the LinkedIn SSI Score, what it means, and how do they impact it.  Here is how I got a score that’s nearly double my network average and more than three times the average sales or marketing rep.

First of all, you don’t jump to 95 overnight.  I started a few months back with a score of 80 – which I was pretty happy with compared to the averages! At that point, I figured that the only way to get higher was if I was posting original articles on Pulse, which I had not decided to do. Let’s suffice it to say that committing to post regularly and in an effective way to get engagement is a big step.  I had been focusing on my website and blogs so felt I wasn’t ready to take that step yet. By the way, it is ok to post the same articles on your blog and LinkedIn and there are no duplicate content penalties with Google (at least so far).

Then I started to notice my SSI climbing each week, taking a jump as I began doing more networking and sales events. But I hadn’t started posting. Just doing my regular stuff. So what was up? My score was indeed rising.

What is the LinkedIn SSI Score?

SSI is an algorithm that LinkedIn came up with after analyzing a group of top performing sales leaders and the results they achieved. The result is a score between 0 and 100. The formula for the LinkedIn SSI score is based on the 4 elements of social selling:

  • Establishing your professional brand
  • Find the right people
  • Engage with insights
  • Building relationships

Since I teach people how to showcase their personal brand in my workshops, I was glad to see that establishing my professional brand was an area I scored well on!  But what about the other areas?

Do you need to be a LION?

The question here being, it is quality or quantity? I have a decent size network at over 3,000 connections but by no means is that even close to the connections of my peers who are LIONS (LinkedIn Open Networkers) with 5,000 or 10,000 or even more.

Based on this, I’d say finding the right people is based on quality. I’ve spent a lot of time thoughtfully building my network of prospects, recommenders, company alum and partners or potential partners.  I am reasonably liberal about accepting invitations to connect but am careful about avoiding anyone who looks “fake”.  I do make sure I connect with everyone I meet in person. And I regularly use Premium search and Sales Navigator Lead suggestions to find new targets to connect with.

Do you need to use automation or post hourly?

No!  I don’t currently use auto-posting or scheduling or any other tools on LinkedIn.  It doesn’t really help to be seen hourly and lately I’ve seen some articles talking about burnout or visibility fatigue.  Post frequently, yes.  Do spread your comments and updates throughout the day so people don’t see a big list of your updates all in one lump in the timeline.  It can be useful to use a scheduling tool for sharing some relevant content.  But don’t use sketchy tools that fake looking at profiles or scrape info. It doesn’t really help and it can get you banned from LinkedIn. LinkedIn is about one-on-one engagement, not mass blasts.  This is a place to build rapport with individuals.

You should look at a profile before you connect or call them (yes, that does get you a better response!)  Be authentic and actually have a conversation in real time.  You only need about 30 minutes a day to devote to LinkedIn; break it up into 3 ten minute chunks throughout the day.  Studies show a lot of people engage during the commute (trains, not in the car!) or lunch hour.

Do you need to be posting your own articles?

As I mentioned above, I am not writing Pulse articles currently (nor Forbes or Inc. or Huffington Post).  So the answer that is no, it’s not necessary –  but it could help.  “Engaging with insights” is my lowest score of the four areas.   Posting without any engagement will have a negative effect so don’t just do it to do it without a plan and a commitment to be regular. And LinkedIn has started “rewarding” engagement by promoting articles that get more likes and comments.

Where I do focus my engagement is in groups.  I belong to several very active sales and marketing groups and try to comment on those regularly as well as local community groups like SMLA, AA-ISP, and CyberTECH, that I am involved in live as well as online. I schedule myself time to comment on other people’s Pulse posts at least 4 times a week. And I regularly share content in a handful of groups where that is permitted. A tip: if you want extra engagement, when you comment on a post, tweet out the author’s post as well.  It won’t get you more SSI points but it will make you more friends.

Where do you start?

First, update your LinkedIn profile, get a headshot, and fill in all of your sections.  Create a compelling headline.  This is your 122 character “ad” what people see when you comment or send them an invite.  Then start small.  Join some groups, read and lurk before commenting.  Here are some more tips on picking the right groups so you aren’t wasting your time on the wrong LinkedIn Groups.

Follow some interesting people who are writing articles.  Find some thought leaders in your space.  You’d be surprised how approachable many of them are and will thank you for your comments if they are relevant. Scan the Alumni tab for potential connections.  This is a gold mine.

Check out your LinkedIn SSI Score progress weekly. There are some more useful reports under “Who has Viewed Your Profile” that will tell you how you are doing with Actions Taken that boost your rating such as adding connections, liking updates, endorsing people, liking articles, etc.

Does it take hours a day?

No! It doesn’t have to.  About 30 minutes a day is all it takes to establish your brand, build trust, and grown your connections.

You can check out your LinkedIn SSI Score here.

Oinkodomeo  provides sales consulting and sales enablement process improvement, social selling, training and coaching built on a foundation of sales and marketing alignment. We work with and evaluate emerging sales enablement tools and content management solutions.