Social media’s importance to the talent access world is no longer up for debate. Savvy recruiters know that to build an audience and establish themselves as an expert, they must stay active on social channels — especially LinkedIn.
But staying active on social media has a greater goal: to build trust with potential clients, candidates, and colleagues. Recruiters who simply post for the sake of it will see themselves wasting hours on planning, creating and posting content with little professional payoff.
As a recruiter, you have the opportunity to help your network grow in their careers, reach their goals, and lead fulfilling professional lives. To do that, they need to trust you — trust your expertise, trust your word, and trust that you have their professional best interests at heart.
Here are five ways you can make sure your LinkedIn activity is helping you build trust with your audience.
To build trust with your LinkedIn audience, you need to show up and spend time on the platform consistently. People need to know that they can rely on you, online or off. If you’re inconsistent about posting or slow to reply to messages on LinkedIn, it can seriously hold you back from building up trust with your audience.
I get it — being truly present on LinkedIn is a lot of work. That’s why you need a plan. It’s simply not sustainable to put in this amount of energy unless you’re well-prepared and all efforts are supporting larger objectives. Every month, invest the time upfront to build out a social media calendar that’s guided by your unique brand, audience, and goals. I promise that it will save you time and amplify your results in the long run. You can also block out a few minutes every day, or every other day, to spend liking, commenting, and engaging with your network’s LinkedIn activity.
So, with a plan in place, what exactly does it mean to show up for others consistently? On LinkedIn, it means actually dedicating time to staying active on the platform both by posting your own content and engaging with others’ content. If people never see you in their feed, they can’t get to know you professionally — and it’s impossible to trust someone if you don’t know who they really are.
Think of it this way: do you have more trust in the friend who not only attends every function and party you host, but helps you clean up when it’s over, or in that old pal from high school who only makes the occasional appearance and doesn’t even bother to RSVP?
People trust real people. Don’t put up a stiff, impersonal, or overly promotional facade. Professional doesn’t mean one-dimensional or robotic — you’re a multifaceted human, and your audience will respond to you showing that authentically.
Go ahead and be vulnerable, let your imperfections show, and make use of humor where appropriate. Your content should be driven by your personality, your story, and your unique voice. Trust is built on a foundation of honesty. In the physical world, it’s always obvious if someone isn’t being their true self — and LinkedIn is no different.
One great way to stand out and share authentically with your network? Instead of your typical message, DM your next candidate or new professional contact a voice memo introducing yourself, complimenting their content, or just checking in to see how they’re doing. In a sea of copy-and-paste messages, speech is powerful — it shows you care, helps clarify your intentions, and gives your new contact an opportunity to hear your voice.
Trust is all about good intentions. It’s built on the amount of goodwill and kindness that others perceive in your words and actions, leading them to feel safe and comfortable around you. That’s why a little kindness and empathy on LinkedIn will go a long way towards building trust with your audience.
It’s not just about making sure the tone of your messaging is warm and friendly, as well as professional. You can also demonstrate kindness through your engagement and responsiveness on LinkedIn. Try complimenting people on their professional achievements, liking and sharing their content, and leaving thoughts or feedback in the comments that help drive conversation and increase their posts’ performance.
If you give back to others and show kindness through all your professional interactions, your colleagues, clients, and potential candidates will come to see you as a well-intentioned, trustworthy person.
It’s one thing for others to trust your intentions — but they also need to trust your professional capabilities. That’s why you should find opportunities to provide statistics and examples that demonstrate your expertise and experience as a recruiter.
Don’t just tell your network about your most exciting professional wins — show them! Highlight recent placements you’re especially excited about, so your network can see the types of roles where your recruiting talent really shines. Profile the successful candidate, the role, and explain your process and what made them such a great fit.
Then, back it up with numbers. What is your submission-to-fill ratio? Your average time to placement? How long have the individuals you placed stayed with your client organizations? Whenever candidates you’ve placed are promoted or reach professional milestones, share the good news with your network. It will make those individuals feel great and want to keep you close by, and it will build trust with prospective clients and candidates.
Trust Matters, Online or Off
At the end of the day, building trust isn’t so different on LinkedIn as it is in the real world. At work or at home, online or off, we trust people who are kind, reliable, show up for us when we need it, and share their authentic selves.
If you let those principles guide how you communicate with your network on LinkedIn, you’ll be well on your way to building strong, trusting, and mutually beneficial relationships with your audience.