LinkedIn Myths: Myth #3: On LinkedIn, recommendations don’t matter that much.
We often have people tell us how they think LinkedIn works and it is not always correct. There are a lot of myths about what it takes to make LinkedIn work so we have created a series of blog posts to dispel the most common myths we see.
Myth #3: On LinkedIn, recommendations don’t matter that much.
Relationships and referrals always come down to trust. You do business with those you trust, with those you like, and when you are recommending someone (either through LinkedIn or in person) you do so on that basis. The same principles apply on TripAdvisor when it comes to hotels, eBay when it comes to buyers and sellers, Amazon when it comes to books, and TopTable when it comes to good restaurants. All of these platforms help people to make decisions based on trust (of other users).
Try this. Pretend for a moment that you’ve never met YOU. Now go to LinkedIn and search for yourself.
You will see your name, professional headline and number of connections (if less than 500). In other words, these are the handful of factors that are presented to people searching for you (or someone like you). These are the first things they see, and probably the only things they judge you by before deciding if to meet you in real life.
There’s plenty of research that confirms that recommendations are important. On LinkedIn, just like real life, they are the currency of trust. The more highly recommended someone is, the more likely people are to take the leap of faith and do business with them. People like to associate with – and do business with – people who are popular and liked.
Where the recommendations are genuine and thoughtful, this can be powerful. But I would caution against “gaming” this feature in any way. These need to be genuine recommendations.