Get Involved: How to help the community and grow your small business
As a small business, community involvement is extremely important. According to a May 2013 study, 82 percent of consumers would rather shop at a business with good corporate social responsibility .
Host contests on social media
Utilizing social media and giving back to the community? Kill two birds with one stone. There are a variety of ways you can structure this type of contest-it's completely up to you. For instance, you could create a Facebook post encouraging engagement and comments with a gift card incentive to your local business. Alter the rules and the prizes as you wish, with a goal of growing your social media following and give back to the community. It is always important to have your contest rules reviewed from a legal perspective.
This is a great way not only to show your community that you care, but also to build employee morale and increase team building. Consider breaking away from the normal schedule and offer your employees the opportunity to volunteer at a local food bank or community garden. Your employees will be grateful for the chance to give back, and your community will notice, too.
Set up booths at events
Whether it's a festival, a parade, whatever, just be there. This is your chance to directly interact with the public. Bring some genuine smiles and get to know the faces of your customers. Give away company gear, like a free t-shirt or some candy to those who give you their contact information for a future lead.
Donating to a charity can be tied to almost all of the above tactics. Pick an organization that aligns with your business to help build your brand. If you're a hair salon, partner with a group that donates hair to children with hair loss due to medical treatments. If you're a restaurant, consider teaming up with the local food bank. You can incorporate this into your social media contests and volunteering, as well!
You are small but you can be mighty. Make it a priority that the community see you in good light. Not only is this a good business practice, but giving back will make you feel great too.
 The Power of Giving Back: How Community Involvement Can Boost Your Bottom Line, Entrepreneur
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