Walking into the office today on Friday, February 10, 2017 has been interesting.
Our email inboxes and voice messages are piling up with concerns, complaints, frustration and fury from customers. But it’s not something we did. It seems to be something that LinkedIn has done.
The Drop in Scores & The Concerns from Users
From Singapore to San Francisco, New York to the Netherlands, the data seems to be similar: many users have experienced approximately a 7% drop in their SSI scores.
Has this happened to you?
Here is the main question that users and customers are asking:
Why is my score dropping when I’m not doing anything different?
Think about it: you have a score of 90, you’ve worked hard to get there, and then all of a sudden, the score drops.
For some users, this event marks the 4th or 5th time that they’ve seen their scores drop. They’re writing to ask me, “what’s the point of using the SSI as a success metric?”.
LinkedIn has done an excellent job in marketing the SSI score as an important KPI for social selling adoption. Companies, especially those using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, have made a monetary investment and use the SSI in their basket of success KPIs. But is it accurate?
The Good, Bad & Ugly of the SSI
The SSI is a great way to track the overall social activities one needs to execute on LinkedIn. Developing relationships, finding people, engaging with insightful content, etc. are all key things that should be done daily to boost social adoption and serve our buyers.
But, it can’t be the only way to measure social selling success.
Enabling LinkedIn usage must be a part of a broader digital strategy with sales impact at the center.
Play a Game Without Knowing the Rules?
“Unless this is a LinkedIn product glitch,” one sales leader remarked, “using the LinkedIn SSI score is like playing a game without knowing the rules”.
Another sales enablement leader left a voice message that said, “I’ve worked really hard in convincing everyone that Navigator is the way to go and how using the SSI is a great metric. And now this.”
While these statements are critical, they pose a genuine question on what algorithmic changes increase or negatively impact the SSI score. Without this visibility, it’s challenging to play along.
Other Considerations: LinkedIn’s New UX
Now let’s add another layer of complexity. As sales people’s LinkedIn UX changes to the new version, access to advanced searching and saved searches will disappear with it. As this comprises a main component of one of the LinkedIn SSI score dimensions, users will experience a point drop here as well.
In fact, this has been confirmed by a senior product representative at LinkedIn.
The Measured Response
As baffling as this move is, the reality is none of us individually can convince LinkedIn to make changes.
Here’s the way I look at the usage of the LinkedIn SSI Score: it’s ONE way to measure success. The increase or decrease are good arbitrary indicators, but leeway (considering present day circumstances) should always be used.
I like the spirit of what the SSI score tries to accomplish: to gamify and quantify the usage of the right behaviors that drive long-term adoption.
The Bottom Line
Know this and know this well: this won’t be the last time LinkedIn’s SSI score will change randomly.
The point drop from the UX change alone (as mentioned above from lack of advanced search capability) will enhance the perception that LinkedIn’s goal lines are in constant flux. Only time will tell what this will mean for users’ perception of the believability and importance of the SSI score.
Overall, note that the drivers of the SSI score are a good thing – attention and focus in organizations should be to enable these through training and long-term reinforcement.
Did your score drop? Leave a comment and let us know!