LinkedIn Leads Social Media in Digital Trust: How to Tap Into that with Your Marketing & Sales Campaigns

Posted by LinkedSelling in LinkedIn Marketing Insights

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According to Business Insider, LinkedIn is the #1 trusted social media platform - for the third year in a row. There is critical information that you can leverage in your business as you analyze your sales development strategy. This post explores why the level of digital trust on LinkedIn matters, what that means for you and your business, and how you can realistically take advantage of it.

But first, what is “digital trust”? Business Insider describes it this way:

“Digital trust is the confidence people have that a social platform will protect their information and provide a safe environment for them to create and engage with content.”

This comes from the latest research report from Business Insider Intelligence where new data suggests that social media users are more receptive to ads on platforms that have high digital trust. Business Insider surveyed 1,974 members of their proprietary panel to “gauge how perceptions of digital trustworthiness differ among seven of the largest social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest.”

They looked at six pillars of digital trust for each platform:

  1. Security — Q: How confident are you that the following social platforms are protecting your privacy and data?

  2. Legitimacy — Q: How likely are the following platforms to show you deceptive content like fake news, scams, or clickbait?

  3. Community — Q: How safe do you feel participating in or posting on the following social platforms?

  4. User Experience — Q: Which platform has the most annoying ads?

  5. Shareability — Q: On which platform are you most likely to share content you come across?

  6. Relevance — Q: How likely are the following platforms to show you ads/sponsored content that are relevant to you?

And the social media platform that tops this year’s list? LinkedIn.

According to Business Insider:

“LinkedIn was the most-trusted platform among respondents for the third year in a row. LinkedIn held the top spot in three out of our six pillars, and second place in the remaining three — Shareability, User Experience, and Relevance.”

Why Does Consumer Trust In LinkedIn Matter For Your Business?

Business Insider explains,

“When users feel a platform is prioritizing their interests, they're likely to engage more authentically and perceive that environment as trustworthy.

Brands that create compelling campaigns on trusted platforms can both avoid brand-safety issues and also receive more positive engagement from audiences.” 

In other words, because your prospects trust that their data is safe, that they can engage with you in a safe environment, and that you… by extension are also trustworthy.

At LinkedSelling, we talk a lot about building trust with prospects. It sounds like a vague cliche, but it’s essential if you want to open up real business conversations with quality prospects. They need to be able to trust you before they’ll share what they need and what they’re looking for.

Buyer sophistication is more advanced than it used to be. Your prospects know when they are being sold to vs when they are having a conversation with someone who truly wants to help them find a solution. By the same token...they know when to have their guard up vs when they can be trusting. By LinkedIn leading the way among social media platforms, their members feel more free to be themselves as a result and to engage in conversation with people. This creates a better platform for businesses to build authentic relationships that can ultimately lead to better sales opportunities.

For example:

If your prospect doesn’t have a basic level of trust that you have their best interest in mind, at best they’ll see you as just another vendor, at worst, they’ll feel like you’re trying to take advantage of them and they won’t give you the time of day. 

You must develop trust in order to even open the possibility of a sales conversation. 

Now, as far as Business Insider’s Digital Trust Report is concerned, I’m not saying that means people have 100% blind faith and trust in the platform, and therefore you. Of course not. But LinkedIn has consistently ranked atop this list.

Wouldn’t you rather try and start as many business relationships as possible on the social media platform that has the most inherent consumer trust?

How To Realistically Leverage Trust In Your Sales Development

From a high level view, sales development is simple. You identify who you want to speak with, you get in front of them and make contact consistently, and you make the ask, usually to get on the phone, consume some material, or something else that will lead the conversation further into the buyer journey.

On LinkedIn specifically, it’s a game of outbound tasks, involving making connection requests, sending outbound LinkedIn messages, putting out content, and or leveraging LinkedIn’s ad platform to get in front of your prospects and encourage them to either make an appointment or to consume your educational content. 

It works when two things happen:

  1. You’re consistent. It’s like a mind hack, that the more people see you, the more familiar they are with you and the more they trust you. 

  1. You strategically position yourself as a trusted advisor. Instead of going for the sale right away, you first prioritize building rapport and sharing value. 

Combine that with the fact that LinkedIn as a platform inherently ranks pretty high for consumer trust, and you’ve got a winning combination. However, remember that even though it’s entirely possible to use LinkedIn almost exclusively in your sales development efforts, you can take things to an entirely new level when you combine the trust you build on that platform.

With touch-points on multiple channels, including email, outbound calling, direct mail, and depending on your business, even other social platforms like Facebook ads. Your prospects live on various platforms, and you should too! 

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