One of the questions I am often asked from customers is, “What is the true value of the SSI score?”. The answer to that question is not simple but complex, and thus the basis for this article. However, there is no doubt that the SSI score can be an insightful tool to measure your performance on LinkedIn and give an indication of how good you are at exploiting the possibilities of the platform, and your personal brand building.
What is the SSI score, and how is it measured?
The SSI score, short for Social Selling Index, is LinkedIn’s way of measuring their user’s activity and performance in relation to effective use of the platform. The SSI score is measured using four parameters, which are your ability to:
- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Build relationships.
Each parameter is scored separately to make it easy to get an overview of your performance on them and to determine areas where you might want to improve or make some changes. Thus, the SSI score is the joint score of each parameter and changes accordingly. The SSI score can be found here.
To give you an idea of how the SSI score looks, and to express my experience with increasing it, here is a screenshot of my score:
Establish your professional brand
The first parameter is establishing your professional brand, which is determined by the degree of completion of your profile – do you have a profile picture? Have you filled out your current and past jobs, including correct dates and descriptions? Have you included video content to your profile? Etc. Additionally, the parameter is concerned with your ability to post meaningful articles for your connections and followers.
From personal experience, I know that meaningful articles are essential for your score on this parameter. The frequency is less important, which might be surprising.
The picture below shows the views and engagement an article I once wrote received. Even though it is an article from January 2015, it is evident to me that the article still affects this part of my SSI score.
Additionally, the number of times you appear in a search result, and the number of profile views you have also influence this parameter. The more complete your profile is, the higher the number, and the better it is for your professional brand.
Find the right people
The second parameter is based on your ability to find the right people through efficient search. This includes searching with the right tools, such as filters, considering the network of your connections, and identifying relevant prospects in less time. Finding the right people is an important part of using LinkedIn for professional purposes and, thus, has an impact on your score.
Engage with insights
The third parameter is your ability to engage with insights, which is concerned with your ability to discover and share content with your network that opens up conversation and activates your network. This includes scrolling down your feed and commenting on other posts, sharing posts, and becoming a member of different groups and actively participating. Messaging other LinkedIn users through the chat function is also an essential factor for this parameter. Messaging can be an indication of the effort you put into contacting and networking with people of relevance to you and thus is rewarded on your SSI score.
I sometimes have periods of 3-4 weeks without sharing something in the news feed. However, it still does not lower my score significantly. Again, this underlines the fact that it is not the frequency that is determining but the degree of received engagement on posts that matter.
The fourth parameter measures your ability to build relationships by requesting to connect with people of relevance to you and, at the same time, being asked to connect by other users. Asking to connect might be personally challenging as it can be interpreted in different ways from the receiver of the connection invite. However, there is good news for you here. LinkedIn offers the option to write a short message attached to the connect invite. Use this to clarify the reason for the request and the potential benefits that might arise from the connection. If you choose to attach a message, the intention becomes clearer, and less is up for interpretation.
In sum, the SSI score is an insightful measure of your activity and performance on LinkedIn. However, use it as a landmark and not too strictly. How you choose to evaluate your performance is individual and depends on your purpose with the platform.