Why You Should Be Connecting your Brand to Community
For brands who want to connect to the community in which they are located, authenticity is key.
Whether a business has been in the community for a while or has just opened, we believe that local marketing and engagement efforts must be relationship-driven rather than transactional.
Here are some tips for building deeper brand connections with people in your geographic area:
1. Asset map your community.
Make a list of every local event, initiative, non-profit, athletic team, key community leader, etc. that you know.
After you finish your list, see where your brand might be able to leverage these assets.
Then, attend or sponsor a local event. Become a board member, volunteer, or donate to an area non-profit. Grab coffee with someone who is deeply embedded in the community to see how your brand can become a better community member.
2. Partner with other local business owners.
Form relationships with other community business owners who you can collaborate with. If there is a natural overlap between your customers, consider mutual cross-promotion by offering a deal to those who patronize both of your businesses.
3. Use social media to connect – but on a targeted, community level.
Rather than relying solely on organic social media posts to grow a following, find out where your customers are already gathering online.
There are groups and communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and more that are dedicated to specific geographies and interests. Join groups that align with your brand and begin posting valuable, authentic content that showcases your expertise. Rather than just spamming promotions, become an engaged member of those online communities.
4. Be responsive – and agile – with customer feedback.
Respond to reviews and customer feedback quickly (whether positive or negative) while making sure your replies sound like you and your brand’s authentic voice.
We recommend setting up a customer service playbook that clearly outlines how your business responds to various types of feedback. You’ll be able to be clear, consistent, and quick with your replies.
Responding to negative feedback, while sometimes uncomfortable, is vital. Depending on the situation, you might be able to turn a 1 star review into a 5 star one. And if not, responding to that 1 star review shows others who read it that you care.
Don’t forget to respond to the positive feedback as well. Thank those who leave positive reviews and consider asking individuals if you can re-use or repurpose them as testimonials for future marketing.
5. Host your own in-person events.
Bringing people together is a fantastic way to build a sense of community around your brand.
Identify what’s unique about your business offering and brainstorm how you can build a unique and engaging experience around that. It doesn’t have to be complicated, nor does it have to be attended by hundreds of people in order to be successful.
Instead, focus on who your core customers are and what types of experiences would actually draw them to your location.
Following these tips will help your brand quickly stand out as an active, engaged member of the community.
Feeling overwhelmed? Still unsure where or how to start? Don’t hesitate to reach out!