Being Social Not Just in Social Media

Dealers should step beyond the popular social media and embrace the important face-to-face time with members in their local community to build the staying power of their business.

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Many dealers and business owners are using social media to attract members of their local community to their business’s doors. While this is often an effective strategy, it’s important to also be an active visible member of the community.

Supporting community causes

A company’s facebook page or group can acquire many “fans” and “likes”, but what about the value of spending time out in the community supporting a business or cause? It is important that dealers realize that the members of their community are what allow their business to thrive.

"Our company is in a rural area surrounded by several small towns that support our sales efforts," says Carole Miller of Bertels Sales & Service in Dorsey, IL. "We make an attempt to support most functions which we are invited such as local benefits, schools and churches."

Donations of goods

Dealers can donate both their time and their money to community events and causes. Though when some causes which are not tax-deductible, other items can be consider for donation.

"Since some things are not tax-deductible and we do not want to contribute with cash, I have had some affordable items, such as pens, lunch bags, t-shirts and hats, printed with our company logo," says Miller. "These items promote our business by keeping our name out there and are purchased through our advertising budget."

Open house events

An open house is a great way for dealers to showcase their products and services, but also an ideal opportunity to involve community. By inviting community members and not just big-ticket customers to an open house, it shows that you appreciate their support.

"Our employees, and their families, are asked to help out with our annual open house.  This event is a social, fun day that the employees, customers and the community enjoy," says Miller. "The employees do the cooking and the family members, including the children, take care of serving food, keeping the coolers filled with soda, emptying trash and helping with attendance prizes. We sincerely show how much we appreciate everything."

Miller relates that the employee participation helps to build relationships. Customers and community members enjoy knowing they are dealing with a business that has caring employees who care about the business and the quality of service it provides.

Building trusting relationships with members of the community and other business members is important to the staying power of your business. In supporting other local businesses and community events, your business then gains support from neighboring businesses and residents.