LinkedIn’s definition of LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) is a measure that ranks a company or individuals’ utilization of LinkedIn as a social selling tool. Based on four variables your SSI score is being calculated
Data about your professional brand
Data about your use of LinkedIn to find prospects
Data about your engagement on LinkedIn
Data about your relationships
Before I proceed with how to boost your Social Selling Index, it’s important to understand. What’s social selling and why it’s so important ?
Social selling is leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals / KPI.
Why is it so important ?
Days of Cold Calling are over. Buyers are more aware of you and your products than ever before, Thanks to various social media channels. It’s utterly important to know the need of your buyer, know what problem(s) your buyer is facing and learn about his/her interest. As a sales person you need to step up to Industry 4.0 level, where information is readily available.
And that’s where social selling can help B2B buyers.
This sales technique enables better sales lead generation. You can learn about your buyers need, problems and solutions he/she is looking for. It eliminates the need for awkward cold calling. When you make your first call to your prospective customer, you directly provide answers to his/her problem. Which enables you to create stronger impression and helps you to build and maintaining relationships is easier within the network. According to LinkedIn Research Center, you are 51% more likely to hit quota if your SSI score is good.
So, now that I got your attention, here’s how to improve your Social Selling Index (SSI) Score:
Complete your profile: Before approaching any future customer, you must complete your profile 100% and make sure you have a professional representable profile picture.
Add Rich Multimedia: use the rich content on your profile such as your company website, presentations, and videos etc related to your function.
Give & Get Endorsed: Request your existing customers, colleagues to endorse you. Endorsed others, request for recommendation.
Stay hungry and proactive: Search and find your prospective customers via LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool. Don’t just send out random request. Always add personal touch why do you want to connect to that person.
Use Filters: Use the detailed filter criteria’s of LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find the right clients. With recent updates of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it automatically organizes the search results based on the decision maker. It’s always learning and improving.
Regular Follow up: Stay on top of their mind. You are not the only one who is contacting them for business. So you should regularly check-up and engage with your clients.
Daily Engagement: Spend just 15 mins per day to like and comment shared by your prospective customers.
Share Contents: Share relevant contents, research, articles which are industry related and can add value to your peers and future customers. Establish yourself as an expert.
Join Groups: Join groups related to your industry and actively engage in niche discussion. By sharing your view and expert opinion you can open doors to business which you have not even thought of.
Use InMail: You can contact ANYONE in LinkedIn platform by using credible InMail service of LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Reach out to your prospective customers and engage in genuine discussion.
Grow your network: to start with, connect with your ex-colleagues, current colleagues. And if you want to connect with prospective customers, make sure you add a genuine message / introduction stating why you want to add him/her in your professional network. Use Team Link / Mutual connections to introduce you to your prospective customer. A warm introduction will take you a long way.
Target the decision makers: Your time is valuable. So, focus on connecting with people who will make the decisions at the end of the day. In the B2B scenario, there’s up to 12 people sometime involved, before you get your golden RFQ. So, use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to narrow down to the persons who make the final decision.
If you are new in LinkedIn and the concept of Social selling. Then, you need to spend at least 1-2 hrs just one day in the beginning to set your profile right. After that, if you regularly spend 15~20 mins daily, and follow the above tips, in no time your SSI score will boost up in no time.
Feel free to add your comments / view / your opinion, if you have better practice or examples for boosting your social selling index.
I got my hand on Remix Mini in November 2015, wasn’t disappointed at all. They delivered as they promised. It was cool in design, easy to set up and fast android operating system that the market has to offer.
Well, the Jide team didn’t just stop there. A few weeks ago, in CES 2016, they had announced that, they will release the Remix OS for FREE for everyone. On 12th of January, 2016, they opened the door for everyone to download the Remix OS for free. Before, I go into detail about its features, allow me to explain what is Remix OS?
Remix OS is a fully customized Android. But unlike other Android OS, it has a user interface. What does it mean? Imagine you are using an Android OS on your PC or Laptop or even on your TV, but it feels like a desktop operating system. In other terms, it’s like a Windowed Android OS. It has a task bar, a desktop, and support for running Android apps, like Windows OS or OS X.
Now getting back to its features, it basically runs on any Intel based PCs, even on Macs. One of the coolest things about using an Android based OS, is you can download / use over 1.6 million of Android apps available on Google Play Store. For example, you can run adobe applications. Microsoft office, Chrome browser and what not. Just like other operating systems in the market, it offers start menu, multi-window features, ability to minimize, maximize, drag & drop etc. All you need to do is to download the Remix OS on a USB 3.0. Plug it in and run. It even gets better, you can use the Remix OS on a Windows or Mac PC. It will run without any interference. All these you get without spending a single penny. Just make sure your USB and Computer has the following minimum requirements:
A USB 3.0 flash drive that supports the FAT32 format, with a minimum capacity of 8GB and a recommended writing speed of 20MB/s.
A CPU with 64-bit compatibility.
The team behind Remix OS, is just not from any other company. This is just the beginning and they are here to change the world of technology. I am personally convinced after using my Remix mini and Remix OS. Try it out yourself. You can download it here:
2015 was a great year for tech & social media development & milestones. We have seen various new features & innovations. New changes are emerging faster than we could ever imagine. I personally believe, marketers should keep in mind the following trends when getting ready for 2016.
In 2015 we have seen the rise of many new companies focusing on live streaming features, such as Periscope, Meerkat, Livestreaming etc. Marketers are currently experimenting with various apps as a storytelling tool. As Facebook is currently working on its live streaming feature called “Facebook Live”. It’s no doubt that it will be one of the strongest broadcasting tool in 2016 with 1.5 billion users. Even Mobile manufacturing giant Samsung phones have live broadcasting feature on their latest phones. In 2016, we can expect companies of all levels to play with this trend. Won’t be surprised, if a professional social network like LinkedIn starts giving such features to its users.
Virtual Reality / 360 Degree Videos
In 2015, Virtual Reality tools became affordable and currently can be easily experienced with the help of your smartphone. Yet, it’s not widely used by everyone. But, I am sure to see more virtual reality videos in 2016 from brands, publisher, events, etc. As the 360° cameras are becoming affordable, users of social media networks will be able to make and share 360° videos with its followers with ease. Recently, we have seen the 360° video of Star Wars : The force Awaken on Facebook.
Currently, YouTube / Facebook allows us to upload 360° videos. With no doubt, we expect to see more of this trend in 2016 as the tools will be more available to users.
Interest based contents / ads was the trend of 2014 – 2015. In the mid of 2015, we have seen the rise of the concept of social selling. Social Media giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn already started playing with this feature. Facebook already implemented “Buy Button” B2C players. Also with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, users can stay one step ahead when it comes to B2B selling. This year, we can expect all the global brands, SMEs, Start-ups directly start selling their product and services via social media channels. Also, the emergences of the Buy Button in Pinterest on smartphones are expected to boom in this year. Also, it’s time for Instagram, LinkedIn to offer such online store for companies to showcase and sell their products.
2015 had been a fast year for social media. Looking back at the historical trends and current technologies, I am sure 2016 is going to be a great year for social media and marketers need to me prepared with these trends to take their brands to the next level.
Ask any marketer, what tool they use for reaching out B2B customers in the EU. Most of them are likely to say, direct mails, social media, emails, etc. We have already seen many B2C companies, News Agencies, magazines, event-management agencies in America have started using several mobile messaging marketing tools to reach out to their customers and to enhance their brand presence.
Am I the only one who thinks that marketers can reach their B2B customer more easily and effectively using Mobile Messaging Marketing Tools? B2B industry in the EU is still using old school methods of acquiring and retaining their customers. Nothing wrong in that. But in order to stand out in the crowd, I think it’s time to step up and use unconventional tools create that WOW factor. Here’s my Top # 3 mobile messaging marketing tool for B2B industry in the EU.
Number # 1 – Whatsapp
54,9% people in western Europe owns at least one smartphone and that’s the highest in the world. For example, the Netherlands has one of the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world with 61% WhatsApp adoption rate. Imagine the number of customers you can reach out in one go. Moreover, Whatsapp has recently introduced Web Version, where typing and managing the contacts are even more easily than before.
As a B2B Company all you need to do is to have a fixed number, which your customers can add as a contact. You will not only be able to take care of customer request quicker, moreover, be able to reach them proactively with your latest offers/products.
Number # 2 – Snapchat
Snapchat – photo-sharing app has expanded in recent times to go beyond sharing disappearing photos. Snapchat has recently signed up with several companies such as BuzzFeed, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, MTV, Fusion, CNN, Vice, Food Network, People etc. The core idea is simple, “Less is More”; the users get to view the videos, images, news items in a very compressed format.
In the EU, this trend is still limited. By Snapchat, B2B Marketers can promote their events, showcase employer branding (for example, how it’s to work at X, Y, Z company). If your company doesn’t have the budget for paying $ 750,000 (Approx € 683,932), then all you need to do is to install snapshot and ask your customers to add you (your company snapchat account). Just create your SnapCode and share it with your customers to add / follow you. Then you can regularly SHARE YOUR STORY and customers can view them whenever they want.
Viber allows for free calls to and from people using Viber, and you can use it ViberOut for your PC as well. As a B2B marketer, you can use the “Public Chats” option, which allows people to follow the charts of companies, or a specific topic, etc. Users can also download sticker collections from brands.
Moreover, you establish a single contact point for the customers where they can call / reach irrespective of the location. Moreover, you communicate High-Resolution images (such as Posters / Offers / Event news etc.) With customers proactively.
These apps are still relatively young. It’s still an unexplored territory for B2B marketers. Before jumping into it and destroying your brand reputation, it’s highly recommended to understand your customers, research what type of tool they use in their smartphones and make a clear communication strategy. After all, it’s about how to use the proper mobile messaging marketing tools customer specifically.
“New Horizons space probe”, “Pluto flyby” are the current buzzword. Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, was that historic moment; where we have proved once again the capability of you and me, us the humans. New Horizons blasted off in January 19 2006, and was the fastest launch recorded, reaching speeds of over 36,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft passed the Moon after just nine hours, around eight times quicker than the Apollo program, and reached Jupiter the following year. After 9.5 years, and traveling more 5 billion kilometers it had reached the orbit of Pluto and even sent back mind boggling images of the youngest planet in our solar system, Pluto. The New Horizons project is a success. But, that success didn’t come over night. Just like any business projects we carry out in our professional lives, it was a project for NASA. In our business world, we do many projects every year. Some fails, some succeeds and some succeeds beyond expectation. After reading several articles, watching documentaries about New Horizons space probe projects, I personally thing, there’s 5 crucial factors which has lead this project to a successful project. We can surely learn from it and implement in our business projects to make them successful.
Factor # 1 : Team
Without the right team in place, any strategy and plan has the potential of completely falling apart. The New Horizons team comprised of 4 majors teams -Team Leaders, Science Team, Co-Investigators, and Team Leads with defined responsibilities and goal. It is important to assign the right people to each aspect of the project and make sure that they are working well together.
Factor # 2 : Planning
Proper and Detailed planning sets up a project for success from the start. It’s crucial that all the team members are involved in the planning process and always know in which direction the project is going to go. Planning can help the team to meet deadlines and stay organized. For example, New Horizons team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the probe was able to reach Pluto when it’s nearest to us. It’s crucial to remember that Pluto follows a highly elliptical orbit around the Sun. At the closest point of its orbit, called perihelion, Pluto gets to within 4.44 billion km from the Sun. The team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the New Horizons probe reached when Pluto is at the closest point of its orbit. Hence, the probe was able to reach Pluto in quickest time possible at a reliable and realistic time-scale.
Factor # 3 : Foreseeing Risk
During the planning phase, it’s crucial to produce probable list of risks with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. For example, the new Horizons probe is traveling at speed of 84,000 kilometers per hour. Even a small rice grain size space rock can damage the equipment’s on board. The new horizons team were able to take care of this ensuring that the radio antenna was always faced towards the path direction so that if any small objects will hit the large antenna and won’t damage the equipment’s behind it. This gave the team confidence and resulted in success in the project.
Factor # 4 : Improvising
Projects rarely go off exactly as planned. Even after identifying and going through probable risks, teams faces unforeseen risks. It doesn’t mean that that project should be stopped and restarted again. Stopping or restarting a project can be highly costly in terms of money and time. It important to improvise. It’s crucial to openly communicate within the team about it and trying to find a smart solution with least cost and time. Same happened with the New Horizons team. They launched the probe on January 19, 2006. They later realized that they had miscalculated the orbit of Pluto as they didn’t have a lot of information about the planet’s orbit. Later with improvement of technology and in combination with images captured by researchers, the team was able to find the accurate info about the orbit. Hence, they were able to send information to the probe in advance to save the project from total failure.
Factor # 5 : Project Continuation & Closure
If a project does not have strong closure or succession planning, then it has the potential to continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree that all critical success factors have been met. Some cases, projects turn into actions or evolves into daily routines of the team members. It has to be clearly defined in the project scope, whether the project will end once it has achieved a certain goal or will it continue and evolve to be part of daily work. For example, the New Horizons space probe has received his goal of taking images of Pluto and sending them back. But, it will now continue to go further and explore the universe beyond Pluto till 2030. It’s a classic example of project continuation even after it has completed its main goal.
For a long time, I was thinking about writing an article on LinkedIn, specially focused on professionals who are in mid-level of their career or just finished their Masters and looking for a new career opportunity. There’s many blogs, articles written on how to make an ideal profile on LinkedIn. Most of the blogs touches the basic ground for sure, but I wanted to focus a bit more on how to increase your ranking in LinkedIn pragmatically.
So here’s my 7 simple ways to increase your ranking in LinkedIn…
Step # 1: Choose a professional picture
Let me get one thing straight in the beginning; “This is NOT Facebook”.
You can put your drinking, partying pictures, family pictures, selfies on Facebook, but not in LinkedIn. Recruiters appreciate a social employees, no doubt about that, but it will not help you land the dream job you are looking for. I have seen many users using their Passport photo as LinkedIn profile picture. Ask yourself this simple question…
“Are you applying for a visa via LinkedIn?”
So, please get a professional photo taken by a photographer. If you are a fresh graduate, can’t afford a photographer’s service charge. Just ask one of your friends, to take a picture of in outside in a park when it’s a sunny day or even you can take a picture in the university premises. Make sure your face is clearly visible and don’t forget to smile.
Step # 2: Start networking
Start connecting and networking with your colleagues, ex-colleagues, classmates. Spend a few minutes in sending a personalized invitation. LinkedIn provides standard templates, but it’s always appreciated / liked by recipients when you a little personal touch to it.
Also, don’t hesitate to add professional in your business fields or recruiters, but please add a line or two in the invitation, why you would like to connect to them. Don’t just send out add request, just for a sake of it, be professional.
Networking professionals will land you jobs and career opportunities before you know it.
Step # 3: Get your profile proofread by a professional
You may have a brilliant CV and excellent achievements, but you have grammatical mistakes in your profile, the likely hood of your getting called for an interview is lower. I work closely with HR colleagues in my current professions and I have seen CV’s getting rejected due to poor grammar skills. According Harvard Business Review, people who care about their writing demonstrate credibility, professionalism, and accuracy in their work.
Firstly, get your profile’s contents checked via free grammar checking software’s (for example: www.gingersoftware.com). Then ask your friend who is good in English
Step # 4: Don’t apply for just any jobs, because you are desperately looking for one.
A lot of fresh graduates and experienced professionals start applying for jobs out of desperation. Remember one thing, every time, every single hasty job application you send out, you are closing door to that company.
Read the job profile thoroughly, see the language requirements and skills. For example, usually in the Netherlands, if the employer is looking forward expats, they post the job in English. Don’t apply for a job where language requirement is Dutch or German or a language which you don’t know.
Most importantly, think through and adapt your CV accordingly based on the job you want to apply for.
While counselling many of professional networks and friend about how to make an ideal profile on LinkedIn, I encounter many saying “I don’t have any achievements in my professions”.
“You have worked 3-4 years and at a mid-level or managerial position, but don’t have any achievements??”
Think again? Achievements, not necessarily means that you have received a certificate for something. If you have an award or certificate, that’s great, put in on the LinkedIn profile under respective jobs or academic degrees.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any awards in paper, think once again. Maybe you have optimized or reduced cost to the company or achieved your KPI 100% or beyond. Or maybe you introduced or came up with an idea to make a project more efficient, which resulted in an increased sales.
It’s just a food for thought. End of the day, even the laziest man has achievement, you must be wondering how. As rightly quoted by Bill Gates, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
Last but not the least, don’t forget to add your extra curriculum activities. It represents your personality. For example, you were the class president, it shows your leadership skills or you were part of football team, which showcases that you are tend to be a team player.
Step # 6: Ask for recommendation and endorsement
You can always ask your colleagues and classmates to write a few lines about you, your work as a recommendation in the LinkedIn. You don’t necessarily have to ask via email. You can always casually ask them to do it in their free times. Remember one thing, Recruiters doesn’t know you as a person or doesn’t know your excellent interpersonal skills. The best way to showcase that, via your network or people who knows in professionally and personally via LinkedIn recommendation feature
Step # 7: Add the projects
Add the name of the completed projects that you have worked. By including the name of the projects, you will not only showcase that you have experience in handling / managing / contributing projects, but also it will work as keywords; and will increase your ranking in LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn: it’s the world’s largest professional network with 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. If you are looking for a job or want to take your business to the next, this is the right place to be.