While it might seem obvious, it’s important for anyone beginning a start-up business or non-profit organization to consider their local community before they begin operations. After all, when it’s time for the grand opening, the special events and the volunteer opportunities, it will be the locals offering their support and skills. Locals are the ones that are going to help before, during, and even after you establish your organization within social media and real life.
To reach all your potential local followers, you’ll need to start early with social media. Get involved before you actually need people to volunteer or contribute to your organization. You have the first word in building anticipation, telling your story, and setting the tone in a number of different forms — text, events, images, videos, etc. Use these free tools to create an interesting story that users will want to like, retweet, and share. Then hope that their interest online will mirror their interest in person once you need their participation.
Your business’s initial success will depend on the locals getting your name out into the community. When you initiate your twitter or Facebook, you’re going to start with followers who are already involved with your organization, and slowly expand outward. Friends of friends will join among those from afar. Even as you grow, the initial local users engaging in content will likely be the most invested with the organization and its people.
And once you open your non-profit or small business, locals are crucial to your clientele and volunteer base. These are the people that are showing up to your events, giving to their local charity, and volunteering for a good cause in the community. And locals, among other clients, will be the basis for which future investors, contributors, and clients rely on when determining whether or not they want to be involved with you.
It is crucial to take your local community into account as you establish the tone and content of your website and social media. Create an online community that mimics the reality of your organization, because it will establish loyalty and growth that transcends the local sphere.
Taylor Crouch – Marketing Assistant