Virtual Communities Provide Connectivity as We All Navigate Social Distancing
At a time when we are diligently practicing social distancing and following “Safer at Home” guidelines, it’s also true that we can and need to be even closer to others. Social connection is one of our fundamental human needs, as it impacts our mental and physical health. That’s why it is important to maintain a sense of community and connectedness.
During this time of physical distancing, the power of community has been felt virtually. From birthday parties to business meetings and game nights, communal events are taking place through our ability to connect in a virtual environment. Today’s technology is helping create a sense of social normalcy by enabling us to stay in touch and carry on – as much as possible – with our daily activities.
The Benefits of Being Social
Studies indicate there’s a real health benefit to having a social network of friends, family, and contacts to establish your own sense of community not bound by geographic limits. In fact, having a variety of social relationships may support:
- Reduction of stress and heart-related risks
- Immune system response
- Mood and feeling of wellbeing
These relationships are so important. We are meant to be in community. We may be physically isolated but that does not mean we need to lose our connections to others. Telephone or video calls can be a great way to stay connected.
Staying Connected to Support Wellness
There is also the power of a virtual community showing up while you exercise! We know that when you exercise, you enhance your body’s natural release of endorphins. This surge in happy hormones can boost your mood and reduce stress. Gyms, workout studios, and personal coaches are not able to provide in-person instruction, so they are using social technology platforms to help people stay healthy and remain focused on their fitness goals. The good news is: you can exercise anywhere, even at home in a group using technology while still practicing social distancing.
For many, fitness is not only essential to physical and mental well-being but is also an important way to connect with the community. So, whether you decide to join a live workout with your favorite fitness expert or enjoy a virtual yoga session with friends, it is important to remember to keep moving, keep encouraging each other, and maintain those social connections, even if it is at a distance for now.
Small Businesses Are Leveraging a Virtual Community
For more than 30 million small businesses in America, social media is the closest touchpoint to their consumers with 77% of U.S. small businesses using it to facilitate key business functions, including customer service. Small businesses are finding creative ways to meet customer needs virtually.
The power of a virtual community is important for small businesses:
Staying in touch with customers and communicating on a regular basis is key to fostering a sense of connectedness. Virtual channels are being used to share updates and news with customers in real time.
As we enter an unprecedented age of remote engagement, small businesses are exploring new ways to connect and continue building authentic customer relationships via digital platforms including live chats, sharing timely content, and simply checking in on their customers with messages of hope and positivity.
One-on-one communication can be extremely beneficial during this time. Like so many small businesses, for Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors, human-to-human interaction is the primary way they contact their customers. Whether it’s sharing weekly meal plans on Instagram or talking about weight loss journeys on Facebook Messenger, distributors can connect with their customers on social media from anywhere. The relationships they support on a daily basis are a huge part of building and maintaining a successful business.
Kellie Stoner is an Herbalife Nutrition independent distributor who conducts her business mainly through social media. It allows her to establish connections based on similar interests and stay connected with people who are looking to lead a healthier life. Through technology, she is empowered to build relationships online and offline, while growing her business.
Small business are invested in their communities so it’s no surprise the outpouring of support we’re seeing around the world. From supporting our health care workers to local food banks, we’re witnessing the incredible strength and unity on social media.
In a world where making connections is now more important than ever, virtual communities provide connectivity crucial for small business to maintain vital communications.