The explosion of social media has made one thing clear: Giving is something that extends well beyond the holiday season.
While many companies push the love during the season of red and green, the most successful know to carry that giving feeling year round. They know giving will help their companies. In a press release posted Dec. 12, Will Marre, CEO of Realeadership Alliance, says companies that give are more likely to receive.
“When giving becomes an essential part of your culture, employees are inspired to create more value and consumers choose you.”
But what kind of giving? For huge, well-known corporations like Apple or Zappos, it’s easy to give a few thousand here, a few thousand there. But what about small businesses that can’t afford to give thousands and thousands?
Thanks to social media, small businesses can prove their desire to give and they can, in effect, increase what they’ll receive from current and potential customers.
It may not be as beneficial to society, but many around the community will appreciate what you have to offer. For example, small businesses or individuals could use social media to:
- Provide free advice and information. For example, if you run a small bakery, you might not want to give out that delicious secret cake recipe. But, via Facebook, Twitter or a blog post, you could share a tip or two on creating the perfect flower from frosting or keeping cookies from going stale a week early. It can be anything large or small — but something extra the customer feels he or she is getting just for paying attention.
- Request photographs of customers using (and enjoying) something about the small business’s product or service. They can then use post the photos on the company webpage, within the business facility or perhaps even share it with local media. This tactic works for two main reasons. First of all, don’t take this the wrong way, but people love talking about themselves, their hobbies and things they like or enjoy. Second, people love seeing and talking (positively or negatively) with or about their friends. By sending a photo relating to your business, this tactic gets people talking about your business.
- Host open house events for Facebook fans and Twitter followers to enjoy some sort of discount or freebie, depending on what your small business can afford. Use this opportunity to meet customers in person, chat for a bit and really get to know them. While this strayed slightly from social media, it’s important to get customers on your business premises.
- Communicate and build meaningful relationships with customers. After all, giving friendship (even if it’s friends between a customer and a business owner) is one of the most special gifts a human being can ask for!
In conclusion, it’s important small businesses stay knowledgeable when it comes to giving to the community. While giving financially is certainly great, it’s not the only way to give. Giving time and energy through building sincere relationships and showing appreciation is often more well-received than giving money, anyway.
How else can small businesses give to the general public without spending a ton of cash?