Why is it that people seem to connect so strongly with local businesses?
We recently posted a blog about why connecting with your neighborhood is so important for small businesses, but this is an intriguing topic that deserves further discussion—mainly because the reason behind it is psychological.
The truth is, you can advertise your business nationally or even globally, but at the end of the day, you probably won’t have the same advantage elsewhere than you do in your town. Local connection is everything because people crave community. If your business is a part of your community, you make yourself invaluable to local customers and your neighborhood as a whole.
What’s particularly interesting is that the importance of local connections persists despite the growing social media sphere. You’d think that with the ability to shop and order products online, a physical and personal presence mattered less in the real world. In reality, that’s the furthest thing from the truth!
Unfortunately, with so many ways of connecting electronically, many people find themselves in a situation where they feel hopelessly unconnected to friends, family, and their community as a whole.
For instance: did you know that psychologically, a sense of trust in our neighborhood and the community at large has been integral to our wellbeing? Even if the thought makes you cringe, there’s something priceless about being able to knock on your neighbor’s door for support, whether you’re having a crisis or are simply in need of an egg!
Today, the overwhelming majority don’t have the “just drop by” mentality. We’ve all been conditioned to leave each other alone, and creep on each other instead via social media (what a world)...but that’s actually highly unnatural.
And that’s where local business comes in. It’s one of the last avenues for community closeness that exists, and an opportunity to connect with others—even if only briefly.
Of course, if you flat-out denied the significance of social media for promoting and growing your brand or business, you’d be deluding yourself. That’s why a successful business will strike a balance between online presence and community presence.
If you own a bricks-and-mortar in town, be sure to feature a clear call to action for customers to follow you on social media. Alternatively, your business’s social media pages should be all about driving foot traffic through your door. Do you see how one medium feeds the other?
Ultimately, the more presence you have, both online and in person, the better. You want your customers—and potential customers—to be reminded of your products or services at any given time. You’ll increase your odds of securing new and repeat customers if you use your local connections to grow your social media audience, which will in turn grow your in-person business.
If you manage to make your business feel like a valued neighborhood staple, there’s a good chance you’ll continue to thrive. Why? Because the vast majority of people value loyalty, community, and connection.
Establish these tenets of successful business with the locals, and your business will be stronger for it, guaranteed!