5 ways to create trust online

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For any leader, creating trust is essential.

Merriam-Webster.com defines “trust” as “reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something : one in which confidence is placed.”  So creating that trust in relationships formed is crucial for the growth of the organization that you lead.  And when it comes to social media, trust is absolutely crucial.  Since you’re one voice among millions, you get one shot with potential followers.  One eye-grabbing tweet.  One game-changing blog post.  And if you don’t capture people there, you’ve likely lost them forever.  Hate it if you want, but that’s the game.

Without trust, people won’t follow you.  Well…they’ll follow you for a little while.  But positional leadership will only get you so far.  With trust, you can develop healthy, robust communities.

5 ways to create trust online

  1. Consistency – I’ve given up on trying to figure out which posts are going to do well and which aren’t.  I’ve resorted to this: post consistently.  I’m bound to strike a nerve with someone at some point.
  2. Quality – Add value, create discussion, spark interest, share an idea, encourage change, or share your story.  If it’s anything less, then why post?
  3. Honesty – people are looking for transparency and relate-ability…not just someone who has got it all together.  Don’t just tweet the good things…tweet the bad ideas, the failed initiatives, and ways you’ve struggled.
  4. Generosity – it’s not just all about you, promoting your stuff, making a name for yourself.  It’s also not just about giving products away.  Give away ideas, encouragement, and insights.
  5. Uniqueness – if you start something new, then you are, by nature, unique in that area.  If you’re jumping into an existing area, let your platform set you apart from the rest of the pack.  Your story’s not the same, your passions aren’t the same, your job’s not the same, and your family’s not the same.  Don’t try to be me, and I won’t try to be you.

Trust is essential in building any relationship.  Social media is no different.

What am I missing?  How do you build trust?  Jump in the conversation HERE!


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    Show up. That is a big one for me. You hit on this with your consistency key, but it is so true. You show up and it is a great start in building trust.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Very true, Kyle.

  • http://theperkinsblog.net MichaelDPerkins

    Have fun. I know it sounds silly, but it’s the truth. I think too many bloggers put too much pressure on themselves. I think it should be fun.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      That’s a great add, Michael.

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason Wert

    Honesty is the big one. Of course, that has a down side to it as well. Some people don’t want to see a guy going through a deep valley because they tire of it.

    This is a killer post, man.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Yeah, honesty, but they want to see progress and growth, you’re right.

  • http://stephenalynch.tumblr.com Stephen Lynch

    Involvement – Writing a blog may be an individual thing, but blogging is a community. It’s not all about having a soapbox; commenting and sharing posts (which falls under your Generosity category) builds trust for me.

    Great list man.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Thanks Stephen!

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