Highlighting community service online boosts recognition

September 26, 2019 By    

While your company may be involved in community outreach efforts, are these efforts being promoted? Are you using them as leverage to gain recognition and, ultimately, more customers?

As noted in my June column, social media is an excellent way to humanize your business: to show who your company is, highlight your company’s personality and share accomplishments. It’s also a useful tool for highlighting your company’s community service projects.

“Propane might not be the sexiest thing in the world,” says Jeff Stein, internet marketing consultant at ReachLocal, an online marketing and advertising solutions provider. “What you do with it – what you’re doing, how you’re helping the community and how you’re giving – that’s going to make the difference on who you are.”

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2005, only 5 percent of American adults used at least one social media platform. By 2011, that share had risen to about 50 percent, and today, that number has increased to 72 percent.

In other words, it’s critical to reach people through social media, and chances are high that through your community outreach efforts, you’ll come across someone using social media to promote those events.

Where to start?

If your company isn’t involved in community outreach efforts yet, there are several ways to decide which route to take, from paying attention to community bulletins to gauging your employees’ interests. Even participating in something as simple as a toy drive during Christmas time or sponsoring a Little League team can create a lasting impression on your community.

“Maybe it’s a food drive, maybe it’s something that doesn’t cost you any money, but you’re creating a promotion and a buzz around that,” Stein says. “Now you’re getting people in your community to talk about you, as opposed to you talking about yourself.”

Once you’ve chosen your path, let your employees know how they can participate and make sure you’re present for the event. Though you want people to talk about you, don’t be afraid to post photos or videos from the event and share them on your business’ social media platforms.

“I think probably one of the most untapped areas of social media is promoting your community and helping your community,” Stein adds. “If you can help people out and put out positivity, you will grow your business year over year, no problem, because you’re helping out the community and they’re talking about you in the right way.”

Getting involved in your community requires dedication and commitment, but the effort will result in a win-win situation for you and your business.

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