Community is at the heart of our human needs. We thrive off connection, and a community fills these needs. With the coronavirus displacing many communities and forcing people to remove themselves from social situations, how do we nurture community and connection remotely? Here are three great ways to nurture online communities, stay connected with your members and encourage engagement remotely.
Ask “how are you doing?”
Don’t underestimate the power of checking in on your members, friends or family g. In such an unusual time as this, people’s state of being changes day to day. Taking time to ask someone how they're doing can bring some positivity and understanding into their day. Staying engaged in what’s happening in their lives creates meaningful relationships. Pick up the phone and call a couple of your members. In addition to establishing deeper connections, asking how people are doing informs you what individuals are going through so you can be more informed when reaching out to others.
It’s important to be relatable because it establishes an environment where people feel safe to discuss their problems. No one is perfect. When everyone is going through a tough time, it feels disingenuous to pretend everything is fine. Imperfection and openness establishes more relatability than trying to appear as if everything is okay. In times of crisis, relatability gives a sense of stability and familiarity. Some of the ways you can be more relatable include sharing a little about what’s going on in your life, a mistake you’ve recently learned from, or expressing emotions around what’s going on. It doesn’t have to be a long explanation. Keep it short; you’d be surprised at how impactful this can be for someone having a bad day.
Find new ways to bring people together.
At the core of a community is a group of people. One positive of the coronavirus pandemic is all of the emerging new tools dedicated to creating connection virtually. As more and more organizations embrace working remotely, our society has been forced to embrace this newer technology and tools for bringing people together. Consider hosting virtual meetups, social media challenges, or group chats where people get the opportunity to connect, talk, and engage with one another beyond a Zoom call. The key is to try new things, experiment, and find what works best for your specific community's needs.
The secret to creating community is communication and authenticity.
The common theme in many online communities is ease of connection through collaboration and communication. Not only will you create a breeding ground for great ideas, friendships, and creativity but you’ll establish a loyal community for people to turn to in times of need. As long as people are able to share ideas with one another, community will form naturally.