And we’re live! How quarantine is transforming social media.


In the wake of COVID-19, we are beginning to see new ways to engage and connect with audiences. While some of the features may not be new, they are gaining unprecedented popularity and proving to be favorites that will hopefully be around for the long haul.

Now that celebs have more time on their hands, they are making the most of it and finding ways to keep fans engaged. Marketers should take a page from their book and stay tuned in to customers.

My cousin texted me a picture of her and LL Cool J chatting on IG. Yes, a fan from Thomasville, GA, getting the chance for some facetime with LL. What we are seeing is that ‘live’ stories have taken on a life of their own, granting even more personal experiences with friends, family, and even celebrities in truly remarkable ways.

Early ‘live’ celeb adopters Chris Martin of Coldplay and John Legend, welcomed followers into their homes taking music requests and answering questions. In a moment where the world is having to practice social distancing, social media is keeping people united and feeling heard.

Just in the month and a half I’ve been in quarantine, I have tuned in live with some of my favorite celebrities like Oprah and Jennifer Garner, got some of my questions answered by my professional idol Ann Handley on a LinkedIn Live session, and played Pictionary with Zooey Deschanel and Johnathan Scott. In what normal world would that have happened before?

Not to mention, I now have Zooey Deschanel’s, Alicia Keys’, and Hugh Jackman’s cell number saved in my contacts. Ok, it may not actually be their cell, but it makes me feel special. The rise of SMS has made its debut thanks to quarantine. Although not a traditional social platform, is changing the conversation, literally. Now offering a waitlist, the conversation platform is taking social media to a deeply personal place.

What we see trending are celebrities utilizing the platform to make fans feel valued. Alicia Keys will send a message each week sharing a song or a thought encouraging contacts to keep going and letting them know how special they are.

For Zooey and Johnathan, they used it to play some games live and give out gift cards to winners as they read names and answers aloud off their phones. I have yet to add more, but the Jonas Brothers, Ashton Kutcher, and Ellen are all using community to stay in touch.

While the world may slowly begin opening up over the course of the next few months, social life as we know it is going to change and virtual interactions are going to become more important than ever before. Social media and communication platforms are going to redefined personal interactions beyond the traditional post.

As brands have had to close brick-and-mortar doors, there are new opportunities opening up to remain relevant and meaningful. And marketing teams need to adapt like celebrities and embrace innovation more than ever before.

And just in case you’re wondering, LL Cool J is pretty cool. He made my cousin, a frontline nurse, pretty excited.

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