NEWS & VIEWS

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A Deeper Meaning to “Community”

by Brightworks Marketing Team - March 30, 2020

When you think social media, “community” is a term typically used to refer to the following a brand has.  But right now, its meaning extends so much further than that; it represents a support system, an information hub, a source of laughter and release.  Online communities once separated by interest are now all in search for the same reassurance: We can make it through this. 

We’re all doing our part to practice social distancing (and if you aren’t, you should be!), leaving many of us missing the face-to-face time we once took for granted. But thankfully, with social media, there is a way to be safe and social.  At a time when people want to feel connected the most, we need to do our part to bring people together online.  Yes, products and services are necessary, but so are reassurance and understanding.  Building trustworthy, supportive online communities can provide consumers with a safe space to connect with one another – and also allows us to communicate directly with them instantly.  Be it with a post, a story or a thoughtful reply to a comment, being there to offer words of comfort and support can make a big impact and help build meaningful relationships that will last long after this has passed. It’s not only what we say, but when and how we say it, that will really make a difference:

· React quickly, but have something valuable to offer.  Things are changing constantly so a lot of communication will be reactive at this time, but it’s important to also be proactive in sharing the information and support we know people are looking for

· Be sensitive to the current situation.  Using a celebratory, happy tone is not very appropriate right now – we want to be straightforward and to the point, but still compassionate and supportive.  This also applies to any visuals used – they should not contradict the health guidelines that are currently in place (i.e., not feature large gatherings of people)

· While some people may be looking to share support and offer words of encouragement, this may not be the case for everyone. Make sure you have thoughtfully considered how to respond and handle negative sentiment during the crisis

· Think first about what people need right now, not just what your brand needs

We’re all in this together, and we all want the same outcome.  So let’s take this opportunity to create online spaces that bring us together and make us all feel heard.  Because at the end of the day, that’s what “community” is all about. 

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