3 creative ways we grew our community during COVID-19

Updated: Oct 14

One of the most important reasons that the Floreo Labs team and I started Tech | Hustle | Culture is because we believe in the importance of community in all aspects. From connecting, educating, collaborating with, and empowering the various members of our network, community is very central to our work. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen some really interesting growth in our digital community worldwide, and I wanted to share some reflections on some of the work we've done in that capacity.


1) Create space for authentic check-ins 💕


In these turbulent times, the single most important action we should be taking right now is to check in with folks in our community to assess needs and uncover ways we can support one another. How often do we create space to exist and express ourselves as fully as we can without judgment?


Some ways we did it:

  1. Reaching out to our members directly via phone or text to check in

  2. Setting up community conference calls with an open format

  3. Using social media posts, DMs & responding to comments to connect with community

Tip:

Authentic communication is a result of empathy. Don't make assumptions about what people are going through. It's better to genuinely ask them and hold space intentionally to offer support.





2) Hype up and spotlight your people 🙌🏿✨


Show your members some love! Nothing feels better than having someone share encouraging words about your life and work. As an organization you can use your platform to feature more of your community members and include them in your outreach. Not only does this allow for them to feel a sense of belonging, but it also gives them a reason to participate in sharing and engaging with that content.


Some ways we did it:

  1. Sharing content from our members on our social media and newsletter

  2. Hosting interviews and personalizing content about our community's creative work

  3. Doing shout outs of our members and finding ways to connect them 1-1


Tip:

Inclusion is the name of the game. User generated content significantly facilitates the process of creating social media assets, and automatically increases the likelihood of engagement. By structuring your content around your community and featuring members more directly, you make your platform an inclusive hub for everyone involved to engage.






3) Organize curated digital events and networking 🤳🏿


Even though the escalating situation with COVID-19 has meant that we've all had to stay inside and cancel any large group gatherings, there are still many ways to leverage modern technology to remain connected to the people in your network. Platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts have made it easy for folks to substitute physical meetings with virtual ones.

Some ways we did it:

  1. Maintaining some traditional digital calls with an open format

  2. Organizing more creative digital events with specific formatting / preselected topics

  3. Restructuring our Slack so that any member can initiate conversations with the group

Tip:

Because the entire world has tried to shift to digital, we've found that it is important to offer varying formats for your digital events so your members don't get "livestream fatigue" or any equivalent feeling of uneasiness from constant digital connection. Try and find some asynchronous ways of connecting, everything doesn't need a video chat.









Convention leads us to think of "community" strictly as a noun, but we are blessed to surround ourselves with folks that tend to look at it more as a verb. To us community should be as much about solidarity and action as it is about the people we are surrounded by. There's no secret recipe to build engagement outside of Empathy, Inclusivity, and Intentionality. If you're interested in getting connected to our growing community during these uncertain times, sign up here! We'd love to have you <3

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