LIMA — Establishing an online presence and giving back to the community are two ways small businesses can become prosperous, according to Heather DeSantis, Miss Ohio International 2018 and Publicity for Good CEO.
In order for small businesses to be successful and have an impact in their community, it is essential that they are on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, according to DeSantis.
“Being on social media is non-negotiable,” said DeSantis. “Now, more than ever, people are checking social media to essentially check out the company before they even chose to buy.”
Once companies have established their social media accounts, they should immediately follow influencers that live in their region, according to DeSantis. She suggests that companies follow local television stations, newspapers, bloggers and any individual or group that can help promote their business.
DeSantis also suggested that businesses establish what sets them apart from other businesses and how their product or service truly makes a difference in consumers’ lives. Companies who are more transparent with the community tend to be more successful, according to DeSantis.
“People want to buy local,” said DeSantis. “People honestly want to know the person running the company — is it a good company and how do they treat their employees?”
Attending local events where the target audience or consumers are is yet another way for small businesses to become more successful, according to DeSantis. This will allow the company to form relationships with the consumer and market their products.
She also believes that it is beneficial for companies to donate to local charities because they are then more willing to endorse the company. Volunteering in the community, getting involved with a local organization or becoming a part of a local board are also other ways that companies can make an impact in their communities and become more successful, according to DeSantis.
“A lot of people who live in Lima stay in Lima and raise their families there,” said DeSantis. “People want to know these businesses, and I truly believe that there is a strong sense of hometown pride. If you allow yourself to represent that and utilize that to your advantage, you can become more profitable and have a positive impact on your community.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.