Being involved in the community is good for any business. For locally owned and operated businesses, though, it’s even more exciting because you can actually interact with your customers and prospects outside the walls of your establishment. Here are five reasons to get involved in your local community.
1. It Shows You Care
Actions speak louder than words. You can say you care about your community all you want. Put action to your words. Show the community – your community – that you care about them and want them to grow along with your business.
When you get involved, you can see what issues your community is currently facing. Perhaps the school system is struggling, or the transportation infrastructure is lacking because of a recent economic boom? Knowing about the problems your community is facing helps you decide where and how to get involved.
Problems aside, being involved in the community gives you an insider’s advantage to the good things happening around town as well. There are plenty of noteworthy local headlines worth celebrating.
2. Increased Visibility and Brand Awareness
Just being out there can do wonders for your brand awareness. Community involvement shows your customers what you’re doing to make their immediate world a better place for everyone. Another brand awareness benefit is added content for your social channels or blog. It’s one thing to be at an event. Take it to the next level and talk about it before, during and/or afterward.
Get your employees involved in giving back and volunteering through a local event. For example, in our St. Cloud office, we sponsor the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build. Every year women (and some men) from around the office sign up to head out to a job site and swing hammers to build a home for a local family in need.
3. Nurture Relationships with Other Companies
Get out there and shake your fellow business owner’s hand, even if they’re your direct competitor. Nothing can bring businesses together quite like community involvement.
Join the local chamber of commerce and attend the monthly meetings. If your office is large enough, go ahead and host a meeting at your location. Maybe you’ll meet another business in the area you can partner with or exchange ideas with.
There are plenty of industry networking groups you can join as well. Keep your business up-to-date on the latest trends and tricks of the trade.
4. Edge Out the Competition
While I don’t suggest this be your only motive for getting involved in the community, this is a nice benefit. Especially, if your competition isn’t involved much at all. If you can be seen more often than your competitor(s), you’ll have greater top-of-mind awareness.
It also helps paint your business in a positive light, giving you a platform to be your own advocate in the area. This, in turn, gives others reason to choose your business over the competition.
Aren’t you more likely to patron a company you know is involved in the community than one who isn’t? I know I am.
5. Get Social
In today’s day and age, every business should have an active social media presence. While you’re not physically involved in your community, you’re socially involved. Social media is where your customers are all the time. You should be too.
Getting social has the added benefit of responding real-time to customer feedback. Whether positive or negative, any response is better than no response.
Finally, being active on social media can increase your bottom line. Research shows that 53 percent of people who follow a brand on social media are more loyal to that brand.
Our Commitment to Community
Our passion is to “Serve, Connect and Celebrate our Community.” Even though we’re a marketing company, our passion statement says nothing about marketing. That’s because, without the community, we couldn’t thrive. Without our community, we have no live broadcasts to host. We have no giveaways to do on-air, no social media sites to maintain, no listening audience. Without our community, we have nothing. We’re thankful for the communities we serve.