How to use social selling to outsell your peers by 78%

By Rob Oakley

Consultant at EASTWEST Public relations

What is social selling and why does it matter?

Social selling is simply using social media to sell. This includes building a professional brand, establishing yourself as a thought leader, and building a rapport with prospective customers.  Done well, it can even replace cold calling as it can potentially turn a huge audience into warm leads, before you even call them.

I think this definition from Hootsuite blog sums it up quite well:

“Social selling is the art of using social media to find, connect with, understand, and nurture sales prospects. It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers so you’re the first person or brand a prospect thinks of when they’re ready to buy.”

Social Selling is important for professionals as it increases opportunities by 45% which means that you are 51% more likely to reach your sales quota, according to data provided by LinkedIn. Their data also shows that Social sellers outsell peers, who don’t use social media, by a massive 78%.

If you are reading this you probably already have an account on LinkedIn which means that you already have the basics set up to start social selling, even if you haven’t started to consciously do it yet.

If you don’t yet have your LinkedIn account set up – check out this free training I created.

To get started with Social Selling, you need to know where you are compared to your peers, and where you can improve to increase the effectiveness of your social selling efforts. To help, LinkedIn created the Social Selling Index.

 LinkedIn: Social Selling Index (SSI) 

Social Selling Index or SSI was developed by LinkedIn and measures your personal brand on LinkedIn. The formula measures the performance of social selling strategies on a scale of 0 to 100.


SSI looks at 4 main areas to measure your professional brand on LinkedIn:


  1. Profile Completeness
  2. Finding and connecting to the right people in your industry
  3. Sharing and Engaging with valuable content
  4. Building Professional relationships by commenting and sharing their content


Each of these elements is ranked from 0 to 25, if you add up all these elements, the result will be a maximum of 100.


Getting the data is not just for vanity. It can be used to take a strategic approach to your activity on LinkedIn. Which is what we do for our clients here at EASTWEST PR. Once you know your SSI you can see what areas you need to improve to increase it. You can then start taking action on LinkedIn.



What’s your LinkedIn SSI?

You can find out your LinkedIn SSI score by following this link Get Your LinkedIn SSI Score or clicking the button below.

Let’s look at the report in more detail. 

While a simple short report, it provides a great deal of detail and insight.

At the Top of the report we see the headline figures of your current Ranking.  It shows you where you are in your industry. As you see here LinkedIn founder Jim James is in the Top 1% for International PR Experts and the Top 3% of the LinkedIn Network. 


The second section is the daily snapshot of your Index. It measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.


Next, you can check the evolution of your LinkedIn index over time.
Finally you can see how you compare with other professionals in your industry and your network 


The example below is from one of our clients who we started working with, in May. Karl’s Social Selling Index has risen from 42 to 61.


This increase has come from posting valuable content, that is liked and shared by his connections. This is part of the work we have done to help build his professional brand on LinkedIn.

The report also shows us where we can take action to improve his overall index score. As you can see our relationship-building activities are paying off, and we can now focus on improving his professional brand and finding the right people to engage with. 

Now it should be noted that the SSI index is a tool that helps LinkedIn sell its Sales Navigator product.  As you can see in both Jim and Karl’s reports the ‘Finding the Right People’ score is one of the lowest in the index. Neither Jim or Karl are paying for a sales navigator subscription.  I am not saying that LinkedIn is purposely scoring them low in this metric to upsell sales navigator, I am just suggesting that the factors they use to rank this element are closely related to the benefits that subscribing to Sales Navigator provides.  For example, on the LinkedIn page for SSI, there is a section for  ‘Finding the Right People’ in the presentation it provides some ‘expert tips’ such as


“Engage your prospects at the right time with real-time insights on saved leads in Sales Navigator”


And “Check who’s viewed your profile regularly to see inbound leads, see the past 90 Days with Sales Navigator” so being strategic about who you engage with and when is probably part of the calculation.


The point is, that finding the right people to connect with is important as this data shows:

How to improve your LinkedIn SSI 

To increase your LinkedIn SSI score, you need to focus on the following:

Your personal brand.  Create a complete profile so other users know who you are and what you do.

Ask people you work with or have worked with for endorsements and recommendations.

Building relationships. Comment, like or share content from other people, be active in groups and share your professional expertise.

Engage with people in your industry by creating and sharing valuable content, regularly and consistently. 

If you would like more help with your LinkedIn marketing strategy, for you or your brand, don’t forget to watch the 7 free LinkedIn training videos and keep checking this blog for some of my posts like this:

Getting Noticed on LinkedIn 


LinkedIn New Poll feature 

or contact me today via our web form or connect with me on LinkedIn through my profile here Rob Oakley on LinkedIn.

You can get your own SSI report, from LinkedIn by clicking on the button below.

(You need to be signed in to LinkedIn to access the report)

Get Your SSI Score

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *