Community engagement is a great way for franchises to promote their brand while building positive relationships within the community. If you are a franchise owner, community engagement is an opportunity for significant growth. That’s why we’ve written this article to offer you some useful tips before getting involved and, some of the benefits you can gain.
Tips for Community Engagement for Your Franchise
Put People First
As business owners it can be easy to get obsessed with the numbers and metrics. When approaching community engagement for the first time, it should be a priority to put the people with whom you’re engaging at the top of the list. It’s important that we stay in touch with the human component and physically get out there to get face-to-face with customers.
Communication is everything and yours should always aim to be as direct and transparent as possible. It’s important to make the community feel like they are a part of the business and are valued as a result. Your community deserves to be in the loop, so don’t hesitate to put your message out there (and often!).
Always be passionate about what your business does and how it affects the wider community. Having passion at the core of your franchise is attractive to the community and opens for the opportunity to build strong relationships. It also allows you to understand how your engagement with the community and vice versa shows how you can grow together.
The Benefits of Community Engagement
Increases Awareness of Your Brand
Brand awareness is probably the most invaluable metric for your franchise and, engaging with the community is a great way to increase it this. When you and your employees support your local community, people learn about your franchise allowing you to reach customers who may not even be a part of your target audience.
Customers will only continue to purchase your product or visit your store if they trust that you can deliver on what you promise. You can cultivate this trust with the community by providing exceptional customer service, responding to customer reviews, and having an active presence on social media.
Empowers Your Employees
Encouraging employees to become more involved with the community can have a huge positive impact on the culture of your franchise. Remember, employees have friends and family too so try to tap into what should be a wide additional resource. It can help to develop important staff skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and communication. Although, it most significantly promotes a more positive company culture where morale improves, trust and respect improve, and company pride is fostered.
How You Can Involve Your Franchise with the Community
Start a Charity Drive
Either starting or joining a charity drive is a great way to give back to the community without having to spend a lot of time or money. You can donate food or offer your services for at half the price at specific location, which can bring the community together. Start researching some local charities and get in touch with them about improving your community together.
Sponsor an Event
If your community regularly hosts events, it can be a great opportunity for you to increase your brand awareness. Events such as fundraisers, fun runs or local festivals are great opportunities for you to interact with all kinds of different people. It also helps if your employees can attend one of these events with branded merchandise.
Sponsor a Sports Team
It’s very likely that your local community hosts many youth or adult sports teams across a variety of different sports. You and your franchise could try to sponsor a team and enjoy some great publicity at the same time, with your logo front and centre on jerseys or at sports fields. This is a great and fun way to give back to the community that doesn’t require as much time on your end.
Start applying the above tips to your community engagement strategy and enjoy the benefits that come to your franchise and the community as a whole. For more informative articles like this, check out the franchising blog.