Building an online community for your customers can be much more than just bringing like-minded customers together.

“Connectedness with other mammals, other humans, and even our pet dogs and cats, is really, in a very pragmatic way, our purpose in life.”

– Stephen Porges, Renowned American Psychologist

However, the COVID-19’s stay-at-home restrictions and an indefinite need for social distancing can affect brain health and development. The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded a wave of social isolation. Medical sources confirmed that social disconnection can increase blood pressure, inflammation, cause depression, and make people more aggressive.

The ventral striatum is a part of the brain, which acts as the reward center and is stimulated by rewards like love, companionship, compassion, etc. Social Isolation abstains humans from such rewards, eventually causing loneliness leading to stress.

Thus, in times of crisis like the pandemic, building an online community for your consumers can be much more than just bringing like-minded consumers together. It’s a great platform for brands to extend support, and demonstrate togetherness to come out stronger collectively.

Build a supportive environment for the community members to use their own skills to support one another. Studies have shown that the more people are a part of homogenous groups, the less they are affected by information that could heighten the risk of survival. Therefore, foster a community for your consumers and maintain regular interactions with them.

Take a look at ways in which brands can make the most out of a collective brand community:

1. Engage with your community virtually. Encourage dialogue and take part in the conversations.

2. Create a positive environment and motivate the members to share inspiring stories. Use the platform to spread positivity and happiness.

3. Conduct sessions to encourage members to practice relaxation response to counter stress.

4. Address psychological health issues and empower members to help one another.

5. A study of the brain revealed that the brain likes to operate on an autopilot mode, under something that what experts refer to as the law of least effort. We tend to follow a routine on a day to day basis and therefore, function on auto-pilot unconsciously. However, in times like the pandemic, where our daily routine is disrupted, we are no longer in the comfortable auto-pilot zone. Therefore, encourage members of the community to stay active and make exercising a routine. Help out trainers, instructors, and professionals to offer virtual health and fitness sessions like Yoga, Zumba, At-Home Workout Routines, etc.

6. Conduct virtual workshops/ tutorials to encourage members of your community to learn something new and keep them engaged.

Anushka Malhotra

Anushka Malhotra

Anushka is a Content Executive for Birmingham Tech Week and writes about innovation, digital trends, new technology, and data science. She is an alumna of Warwick Business School where she studies Marketing & Strategy and has worked for a number of high-tech businesses.

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