As public engagement begins to expand across the globe, people expect governments and organizations alike to return the involvement. Community engagement builds constructive relationships between an organization and its audience. It’s an essential part of being a successful company in this modern business climate.
Community Engagement Builds Trust
Public trust is vital. An audience wants to know that you aren’t just out for their money. They want to know that you are looking out for them. Community engagement serves as a way to let them see how invested you are in their wants and needs. The more time spent serving the community, the more trust you earn.
Research has shown that top-down information is far less likely to spread than peer-to-peer information. Community involvement gets information into the hands of people that will spread it around. Members are far more likely to listen to other members rather than listen to leaders of any organization.
Community Involvement Ensures Better Decision-Making
Once you have proven yourself trustworthy, you can ask your community for their opinions on projects. An audience is more likely to engage with you when they know you will listen. Your community will present concerns and issues you never thought to consider. The different histories and backgrounds converge to create a better understanding of how you can serve the community.
The more involved you are with your brand community, or the wider internet community as a whole, the more you learn. Knowing what people need and expect from your brand helps you make better decisions. People are more likely to be happy with your organization if you are engaging with them and making them feel heard.
How to Get Involved with Your Community
When learning how to get involved with your community, it’s important to get active and stay active. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Find where brand and community intersect
The community’s values and your brand’s values will intersect somewhere. Find where their passion and your business can work in tandem. This is considered “cause marketing.” Cause marketing was started by American Express in 1983 when they started a campaign to renovate the statue of liberty. Americans believe that following your passion is an important part of life. They are more likely to respect a company with a passion for a cause.
Be in it for the long haul
Community involvement isn’t a one-time deal. It’s continuous, either growing and maintaining the same project or regularly spawning new, smaller projects. A one-time, incomplete project loses major credibility.
Partner with Community Involvement Programs
If you aren’t ready to start your campaign or program, you can also partner with local community involvement programs. Don’t get too hung up on plans and strategies. Just dive in! Pay attention to what is going on in your area. Showcase in local art and business fairs, or have a float in the local homecoming parade. Consider attending a city council meeting or any other event for residents of the area.
Sponsoring local schools and sports teams is a great opportunity for community involvement. It gets your name on the flyers, uniforms, and social media posts, eventually creating visibility. It also gives you a chance to start conversations and engage audience members.
You can start small and work your way up or go big and host your event. It all depends on your capabilities and what you can reasonably promise your community.
Help Manage Community Contacts with StayTouch
StayTouch is an app that combines modern networking and easy relationship management. Build a community with ease, instantly exchange information, and explore scheduling and time management functions. Make notes and create reminders to reach out regularly to your network of contacts, helping you build a stronger community. Start building your community with StayTouch. Contact us to learn more.