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6 ways to create community engagement with your business

6 ways to create community engagement with your business

“Buy local” has become a popular catchphrase, and there are huge benefits to be gained by keeping your business top of mind with the local community through the staging and sponsoring of local events and initiatives.

Here are six ideas on how you can create an effective community engagement strategy for your business.

1. Donate to charity

A good way to enhance your reputation and attract more socially conscious customers is to donate a percentage of your company’s profits to a local charity. This could be an animal shelter or a program for at-risk youth – any organisation whose goals and values are closely aligned with your own.

2. Get directly involved

You could volunteer with community groups, donating some of your time and expertise to community development projects. Honest face-to-face interaction between your employees and local residents can help to build trust, forge new relationships and distinguish you from competitors. The people you assist are also more likely to recommend you to friends and family.

3. Sponsor a community sports team

A sporting event can be a great way to get your logo and other branding materials in front of a large, captive audience. There are many ways to achieve this – in broadcast media, on advertising materials such as signs and billboards, and on uniforms.

4. Have a presence at local events

If you run a catering business or trade in arts and crafts, a community event such as a cultural festival or fete can be a great chance to promote your products in a fun and relaxed environment. In fact, just about any local business can benefit. For example, you could have your employees put on a sausage sizzle while also acting as ambassadors for your company.

5. Get active in online media

A presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites can also be a great community engagement strategy. And publishing simple videos to YouTube can demonstrate your expertise in your industry – especially ‘how to’ videos. These days, most local businesses are urged to have a social media presence, but you can stand out from the crowd by posting interesting content, being responsive to followers’ questions and concerns, and nailing down a unique and compelling brand voice.

6. Become an expert

An excellent way to build trust is to research the needs and pain points of your local community, and present your business as the best solution. Radio programs, training seminars and courses and workshops are just some of the ways you can do this.

Getting involved in community-building initiatives and other local activities does take time, but given the extra trust and loyalty it can generate, it’s usually more than worth the investment.

Remaining top of mind in your local community is crucial to the enduring success of your business. Learn other ways to stand out as a force for good in your neighbourhood.

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