If community partnerships are the grassroots of marketing tactics, then social media and digital technology might just be the Miracle-Gro®.
While the importance of networking and building strong relationships within your local community hasn’t changed, the way it can enhance your marketing efforts has expanded by leaps and bounds.
Consider a scenario where your executive director has agreed to speak to the local Rotary club about a particular issue related to seniors and retirement. Are you leveraging that connection through your digital channels?
- Have you “liked” the organizations you have relationships with on Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter?
- If you’re speaking at another place of business, or taking part in an event, are you posting video to social media, or sharing it on your blog or in your newsletter?
- Have you tried using the latest social trends, such as Facebook Live, to maximize these community partnerships? For instance, if you’re hosting a groundbreaking and the mayor is on hand, you might consider interviewing him or her live on Facebook. Promote the interview in the days leading up to your event.
It’s also important to consider who best to partner with from a social and digital standpoint. Do they have a Facebook page? How many people like that page? Is it a similar audience to the one you want to reach?
- Is there a college or university nearby? If so, these partnerships have great potential. Consider a Facebook campaign where you donate a dollar for every ‘like’ to a worthy university cause or scholarship fund. Be creative.
- Who are the civic leaders in your area? There’s great credibility in making these connections, whether it’s through something as simple as inviting them to participate in a grand opening and sharing the video, or asking them to provide a testimonial.
Examples of civic leaders and community partners might include:
- City or state government officials
- The local Chamber of Commerce
- Civic groups such as Rotary and Kiwanis
- Church groups
- Colleges and universities
- Arts and entertainment organizations
- Parks and Recreation
- Local sports organizations
- Boards of directors at community foundations
What social connections have you made lately? How has your community relations strategy changed over the last few years?
The importance of community connections is as strong as ever, with social media and digital technology only beginning to change the way we think about community partnerships.
Communities that learn how to “digitalize” their community relations efforts will surely see increased results.