People, as we know, are ‘communal’ by nature, and thus social media has given a ‘common man’ an opportunity to be part of many communities as they want, whether they are communities of friends, families or shared interests

  

This article was written for BW Marketing World

Today, the whole world is forced to maintain social distancing. Spending one on one time with friends, and the sense of being a part of the community have significantly changed, like many other activities of public life. With the profound impact on our socialisation, it is only social media that has brought us together and empowered us like never before. Social media by no means is a contemporary concept and the phenomenal rise of smartphones in our country, followed by the rise of social media apps, it has boosted the digital wave in the country.

‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.’- MEDITATION XVII Devotions upon Emergent Occasions John Donne

People, as we know, are “communal” by nature, and thus social media has given a ‘common man’ an opportunity to be part of many communities as they want, whether they are communities of friends, families or shared interests. Social media communities allow users with similar principles to connect and make them virtual. Moreover, in this time of the pandemic, social media communities have enabled all of us to share experiences with family and friends to help combat both literal and emotional isolation while reminding us that we’re all in this together.

Social media apps-the new face of a community: The core idea behind the entire social media industry is to maximise social engagement. The need for social media apps in socialisation and commercialising ventures has become quite prominent post-pandemic. With the world’s cooping up during the pandemic, we have witnessed an emergence of a new social media wave. People have started using social media apps extensively as it has opened a wide range of opportunities in the way they facilitate socialisation.

In this digitally backed world, social media apps have become the most convenient places for people to magnify their voices, showcase their talents and also to optimise businesses. Social media apps have given a whole new dimension for people to build stronger communities. For instance- today’s crisis has allowed us to deeply influence the performance of tomorrow’s changing world, providing an opportunity to retain greater agility as well as closer ties with family, friends, customers, employees, suppliers and more.

Spreading awareness for different causes: Social media as we know is a great way to stay connected with people even while we are physically separated. During these trying times, the social media communities have played an exceptional role in spreading awareness about the situation and tackling fear and misconception. NGOs, health workers and various activists have built communities leveraging social media apps to successfully deliver correct information to the masses. Having said that, we all know that no social media platform is perfect. It is often said that social media apps are also equally responsible for spreading misinformation too. Today to ensure the circulation of quality and credible content on the platform, several responsible apps are initiating features and campaigns to handle fear spread through social media. In a recent campaign led by Tiki- IndiaFightsCorona, the brand has come up with a series of hashtag challenges, such as #MaskUp and #CovidAwareness to spread awareness about wearing a mask and following other COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

Helping people to take cause-driven actions: Social media apps have been significantly used to carry out movements and shared amongst millions in the social media world. It has helped to bring people together to learn about important topics and encourages them to make a change. Along with spreading awareness, social media communities have enabled people to fight for a better cause and take action-driven steps. With the help of social media communities, several movements have seen the light of the day. One such movement- #StopIndiaSpitting came alive post lockdown. The campaign was effectively carried out through social media to create awareness about this ignored issue and spread the word about systemic social change in the mindset. Many such movements have gained momentum with the help of social media apps.

Encouraging local businesses through social media communities: The outbreak of COVID-19 has given us a glimpse into the future, one in which social media stands as a central mode of every interaction. Taking a cue from business conglomerates, small business owners have brought in new business trends that are emerging and helped them to find their footing again. Social media channels such as Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat have helped the small-businesses to tell their stories to drive awareness and excitement. In 2022, these businesses must start adopting social media community culture as it can multiply the business owners’ efforts exponentially by connecting with other business owners. Besides, the Social media community has helped business owners to gain referrals, leads and learn new perspectives. It has also helped them to learn from others’ experiences and team up and form relationships that inspire and fuel each other’s growth.

*The author is Ian Goh, Chief Executive Officer, Tiki