Successful community engagement is often one of the first ways a small business looks to grow, by building up local loyalty/customers from which then to use as a springboard to thrive in future. This is because local businesses and the community have a mutually beneficial arrangement. Whereas the community appreciates shopping somewhere that’s personalised; you need the community’s support to grow.
Once you answer the question on why community engagement is important, you need to find ways of enhancing this relationship to increase brand awareness and penetrate new markets. Once you identify the unique traits that make your business an integral part of the community, build on them to establish yourself as a leader in your local area. We’ve outlined below a handful of engagement strategies you can use to help grow your presence in the local community:
Open Your Business to the Community
People are encouraged to buy from a business when they feel a sense of belonging. That is why you need to open your business to the community. There is no better way of ensuring your business is an integrated part of the community than positioning it as a thriving hotspot for local community events.
Hosting community events allows the community to interact with your company at a personal level, unrelated to business. People are always looking for authentic connections with business, and this allows you to achieve just that.
There are countless community event ideas for businesses you can leverage that do not interrupt your daily business activities. Use your shop/office’s free space and centre the events around the specifications of your place of work/commerce.
As a large shop owner, you can play host to monthly networking events. The events you choose to host could include community engagement initiatives like book clubs. Also, you could consider hosting artists and freelancers who need a workspace. Getting new customers into your shop who may have never visited is one of the benefits of community engagement.
Be socially involved with the community
Interaction and engagement is another way of making sure your business is an integral part of your community. Working with non-profits and local charities ensures locals view you as a business actively working towards improving the community.
Embracing your social responsibility gives your business a good image. Besides, volunteering for local charities and development projects allows you to give back to the community.
The best part is local business community involvement allows you to be part of the conversation. You can learn about locals’ needs and use this information to develop your business model. Community outreach and engagement strategies allow you to anticipate customers’ needs and strive for a positive shopping experience.
Leverage Social Media
As a business owner in today’s digital-focussed world, you need to establish a solid online presence. Even though your aim is to engage the local community, leveraging social media is also crucial because these platforms will be regularly used by members of your local community. As such social media is an excellent digital platform to find and engage your local online community.
Consider joining geographically local groups and forums to ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest happenings. Such groups also allow you to interact with similar businesses and learn from like-minded individuals.
Work with other businesses
Business community engagement is one of the community engagement tips you can leverage to boost business growth . As you learn how to engage with your local community, don’t forget to interact with other local businesses as well. Forging partnerships and deals with other businesses in your community results in positive results for parties involved. When you own and operate a small business, you need all the help you can get to thrive. Furthermore, working with other local businesses can result in your customers getting access to better deals.
Become a Community Board member
You could also look to engage the local community through becoming a community board member. Joining a community board is a positive move for your business because you get the opportunity to show locals that small business impact on community is significant . As a business owner, you are bound to find a board that will benefit from your contribution. Whether it is a board relevant to your business or one that works towards developing the community, your involvement increases visibility for your business.