Staying “Social” During Social Distancing

By Barbara Gobbi of BG Marketing

When it was announced in March that schools and businesses were closing due to Covid-19, I’ll admit I was a little bit excited with anticipation of a slower pace to my new schedule. I think we all assumed it would be like hunkering down for a hurricane, except we’d have internet and Netflix.

Even though I own a social media marketing agency, I consider myself shy and a bit of an introvert, not “social.” Despite being named the class “Social Butterfly” in second grade, social distancing was going to be a piece of cake for me!

Until it wasn’t. I found that after a couple of weeks, I was missing some people. I also discovered that there were people in my life that were completely alone and isolated. They desperately needed some social interaction and connection with others is so essential for mental health. So I used my social media skills to connect people.

I run a Facebook group for entrepreneurs, and we organized a weekly virtual happy hour. The first week was somber as people lamented about how Covid-19 has devastated their business. But the second week we vowed to make happy hour…well, HAPPY! It was a weekly BYOB virtual event that connected people from all over the world.

Through the use of video conferencing with Zoom, our agency conducted more meetings than ever before. We hosted weekly training sessions and one-on-one consultations for business owners. As a result, our agency had a record month, up 20% over the previous six months.
Networking groups and service organizations that I belong to also moved to virtual Zoom meetings. I created videos showing people how to use Zoom, even teaching retirees at John Knox Village how to “see” their neighbors.

For all the things we may hate about social media and technology, we would all be in a much different situation right now without it. Children can attend virtual school and continue distance learning, doctors can see their patients via telemedicine, businesses can communicate with their customers, and people who are self-isolated can connect with friends.

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype have made it possible for some businesses to stay in touch with employees and customers. But they’ve also been an essential part of helping families stay connected to loved ones as well. Before Covid-19, how many people even heard of Zoom? Today, it’s easier than ever to stay connected and “social” during social distancing!

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