This Week in Publish or Perish: What’s Wrong with LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index?

Depending on how you look at it, LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) is either a vanity metric or a valuable measurement of your social selling activity on LinkedIn. According to Jeff Herrmann, the host of Publish or Perish podcast, it’s a little bit of both. This week’s episode again features Jon Pogact, Director of Marketing at Fathom. Jeff and Jon talk about the ability of SSI—a function of LinkedIn Navigator—to measure relationships. Listen to this week’s episode of Publish or Perish to find out how SSI can help you understand your LinkedIn activity, how the measurement breaks down, and why you shouldn’t take it too seriously.


If you prefer to read instead of listen, you can find an abridged version of the interview below.

JH: Jon, you’re our Director of Marketing, but somehow you have an SSI of 84. How does a marketer get a score that high?

JP: I think it helps that I joined LinkedIn early in 2007 or 2008. When I first joined it was basically a place to look for jobs. It has really matured since then as a space to scale relationships. So, even though I’m a marketer I’m still sales minded and I regularly reach out to people on LinkedIn.

JH: There are 4 elements to SSI. The 4th element is Building Relationships—which we both have high scores in. Why do you think this is?

JP: I think this indicates we’re both mature users who regularly connect with people. We’ve both been around the block and know the importance of reaching out.

JH: I agree. The first of LinkedIn’s four SSI elements is Building a Professional Brand, which means your profile should be complete, you have endorsements, etc. We’re both pretty maxed out on that score. What do you think?

JP: It’s hard to say what would improve the score on that element other than what you’ve already said. We could possibly post more, but I haven’t yet figured out if LinkedIn rewards quantity over quality.

JH: The next element is Finding the Right People. I think this number is purely a function of whether you’re using Sales Navigator or not.

JP: Absolutely. This is all about output in the tool, in my opinion. I think there’s a way for marketers to use these Sales Navigator tools, though. For example, I used it to help reach out to people for an event we’re planning in the next few weeks.

JH: Didn’t you build some of the curriculum for that event based on Sales Navigator lists?

JP: Yea, absolutely, you can get a lot of information and interests on contacts from running lists through Sales Navigators. As far as nailing down a highly qualified target list, Sales Navigator has been an effective way to find the right people and send the right invitations.

JH: The third driver of the social selling index is Engaging with Insights, which basically means taking part in groups. I take issues with this, I slip a little in this area.

JP: I am weak in this area too. I have a little bit of a prejudice against the way that these groups are run anyways because I think they’re overly promotional.

JH: As far as sharing articles, you tend to see the same dialogue resurfacing. It can be a great way to build relationships with people you’ve never met because you know you have the same interests.

JP: I’ve met people that I’ve interacted with on Twitter or LinkedIn in person and it does feel like you already know them, which helps your relationships get off on the right foot.

JH: Bottom line, using social media tools and connecting with people to create that initial personal connection is what really matters.

JP: I agree, it’s just a way to have better and more scalable conversations with prospects

Are you a marketing minded salesperson who is ready to take the next step in social selling? Listen to the full podcast to start building relationships and measuring your social selling success.

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