Community engagement and professional support can be the best way to boost your brand awareness, helping to set up your start up.
You need to actively engage your community, but what is the best way to do this?
Be an Industry Leader
Firstly, establishing yourself as an industry leader by demonstrating expertise is a fantastic way to instil community confidence in your business. If people can see that you know what you are doing, they are far more likely to trust you in the long term. This requires finely tuned interpersonal skills, tact no matter the situation, thick skin and compassion for those that you are dealing with on a daily basis. Good leadership inspires the same in others, which helps a community to grow as a result of forward-thinkers taking the reins and moving the community in the right direction.
Interact and Engage
A great way to engage your community is through volunteering. Showing you are actively working to make the community better, that you hold a degree of social responsibility towards it, and actually care, gives your company a good image. The relationships that you form are the bread and butter of your business. The idea of ‘giving back’ to the community is a strongly instilled ideology; a lot of big businesses actively do so and promote this work as a part of their brand.
Understand Your Community
If you are aware of the needs of the community, knowing the people that it comprises of, you have already taken the first step to a good relationship. A large part of beginning to understand your community is to talk to them one on one. Speak to them about the issues they face and learn from the source. Learning about a community from anywhere else would be ill-advised, especially if this research was fundamentally wrong and thus leading to a completely ineffective engagement strategy.
Host or Sponsor an Event
Community engagement works best in situations which gather the community together. A fun event, especially with a lot of activities for children and families to enjoy, is a fantastic way to bring the community to your door. Sponsoring local fairs or other events helps to keep the spirit of the community alive and would be greatly appreciated. There is a growing separatism in communities, a feeling of isolation from neighbours as much as from businesses. Helping to bridge this gap helps to solidify your company as a community business.
Use Social Media
Most people use social media as part of their daily routine. Brand engagement, with content-led marketing, is a brilliantly effective way to reach audiences in this growing modern world. Sharing fun articles, promoting offers or adding a level of exclusivity for following your company on social media is a great way to increase engagement on a digital platform. Getting to know your community online is also a great way to understand what strategies to use offline.
There are many ways in which you can engage your local community. The fruits of your labour will create a feeling of good will, both towards you and your business. After all, no business can be an island.