The LinkedIn Social Selling Index has been around for a while but this week it has become a tool available for everyone to use. Social Selling is becoming something everyone is talking about, changing from a new technique to one accepted as highly powerful by the people who know in Sales. The Social Selling Index (SSI) gives users a score out of 100 based on 4 categories.
- Establishing Your Personal Brand
- Finding The Right People
- Engaging With Insights
- Building Relationships
The SSI allows you to track your progress toward Social Selling over time. Social Selling can be something difficult to measure or quantif but with the SSI you can get a number value for your efforts and see what you need to improve.
Why should you care about Social Selling? The numbers speak for themselves. Even if you’re not a Sales professional you’ve got something to sell. Your personal brand or company brand. You want people to find you, trust you and believe in who you represent. Social Selling is all about that.
Create a Professional Brand
If you present a professional appearance across your Social Media and establish yourself as a thought leader then you solidify your credibility as an industry expert.
- Ensure a properly completed profile including all information and professional images
- Write insightful and conversation provoking posts regularly
- Gather endorsements and reccomendations from clients and colleagues
Finding The Right People
Building a strong network is one of the main functions of LinkedIn. Quality is more important than quantity, 10,000 connections are useless if you can’t leverage them from prospects or information.
- Learn to use all of the functions in Advanced Search to streamline your prospecting
- Actively engage with people you connect to or who you see viewing your profile
- Use Trigger Events and Advanced Search to qualify leads
Engage With Insights
It’s important to engage with content created by other people to show that you have in-depth industry knowledge. It’s easy to only post your own content but it doesn’t show industry engagement.
- Share and curate content from industry influencers and experts
- Join groups and engage with discussions, give something back to the community when you can
- Remember that the key is to solve problems, inform and educate, not to sell
Connecting to someone is only the first step. Nurture existing relationships by helping people, interacting with them and solving problems.
- Expand your network with the right people, then interaction should come naturally
- Engage on different levels, comment on posts, use InMail and join groups your connections are in
- Remember Social Media etiquette
LinkedIn is the most effective medium for B2B Social Media. Use the SSI to keep track of your Social Selling efforts, set benchmarks and set yourself apart from your peers. In 2015 if you’re a Sales person you can’t afford to not be engaging in Social Selling in some capacity. If you want to do business and connect with decision makers in any capacity then going in as a cold call is only making life difficult for you. Qualify yourself into the warm call category by having a strong Social Media presence and Social Selling strategy.