Even when in-person contact can’t happen, there are still ways for brands to foster genuine human connections.
How many people had ever considered a Zoom happy hour with coworkers until this past month? With restaurants and bars closed, workout buddies separated, and concerts postponed indefinitely, consumers are searching for new ways to connect. Whether that’s finding new technology to use to connect with existing friends or finding new people sharing similar issues, people are discovering new ways to stay above water socially. Human beings are social animals, and the forced isolation is a challenge for many people, above and beyond the health and economic risks they are facing.
Source: Pew Research Center
Brands are stepping in to help forge bonds within their communities by opening up new and thoughtful opportunities. Netflix created their party plugin so that groups can watch the same movie together and chat throughout it, while knowing they are on the same frame. Instagram Live is flooded with talks, classes, performances and more that are scheduled so consumers can make a virtual plan with a friend to watch. Zoom has emerged as a critical tool and consumers are looking to have fun with it, including using clever backgrounds that brands provide to them. If you love watching concerts in person, then you have probably tuned into famous artists like John Legend and Chris Martin serenading their audiences from their living rooms on Instagram.
If your brand had a regular in-person community or retail element, it’s time to make it virtual. Brands are shifting to creating Slack channels, streaming video, Facebook Live, and more to keep the conversation going with their consumers. In addition, you can help fill the gaps of what they miss doing in person — Amazon Prime is working with SXSW to put up the films that would have premiered at the cancelled festival, which expands the reach even further. A win-win for all parties, especially consumers. Hosting experts to speak on topics that are useful to consumers as they navigate the COVID-19 landscape is a huge benefit to consumers, while also helping to establish greater authority for your brand. Bringing people together emotionally when they can’t be together physically is a service that a brand can provide, and with the right forethought, can enhance the brand.
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