3 reasons to be cautious about LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI)

Chart showing Roger Stone's LInkedIn SSI July 2017


This week I took part in a webinar organised by BuzzSumo on “7 LInkedIn Publisher Secrets” with a presentation by Viveka von Rosen, “the LinkedIn expert”.

Viveka presented many useful insights into what content to post on LinkedIn and how best to promote it.

One insight she gave was on LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI).  If you have a LinkedIn account, you can check your SSI by logging in and going to this page.


The SSI aims to measure four pillars of social selling success

  • Establishing your professional brand
  • Finding the right people
  • Engaging with Insights (i.e. posting and commenting on LinkedIn)
  • Building relationships

Initially I was impressed by this, since the list includes key activities for selling via social media.  However I did some more thinking and read some other peoples’ reactions, and realised there are 3 strong reasons not to put too much emphasis on the SSI

  1. The index often measures QUANTITY and not QUALITY.  So you can boost your score by making lots of connections, or submitting lots of comments on other people’s work.  However, unless you are going after the right connections or writing valuable comments, you are not being productive
  2. If you are a salesperson, then it is not necessarily your job, and certainly not the best use of your time, to be writing or commenting on lots of posts.  Your marketing department should be doing that to build the inbound marketing channel and serve you with qualified leads.
  3. We are distracted by indices and scores where we can easily compare ourselves to others.  So we spend too much time trying to build our scores and outdo our colleagues.  In sales, we should be trying to outdo others on revenue, margin and follow-on sales.  In marketing, we should be trying to excel in quality leads.  Other indices or scores can just take away our focus.

Barrow on beach piled high with inflatable toys and swimming aids

The SSI can be useful if used sparingly and if you focus on the elements which are relevant to your job.  But don’t waste your time obsessively trying to get your score just that one point higher.  Don’t overload yourself with less important measures at the expense of the ones that really matter.

For more analysis on using SSI with care, read Andy Foote’s article https://www.linkedinsights.com/what-linkedins-social-selling-index-really-measures-i-know-how-your-ssi-is-calculated/ or Jeff Molander’s http://www.makesocialmediasell.com/improving-linkedin-social-selling-index/

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