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The Digital Chronicles – Close Encounters of the Social Kind

My very first relationship was long-distance. Be it my age or my generally naive outlook on the future, it ended on a sour note. Five years later, I met my current boyfriend and more than half our relationship was spent oceans apart. I’d grown a lot in those years, developed a love for personal space and revered alone time for gaming, reading and the occasional writing. He upheld the same values and we got along famously via Skype, Google Hangout and WhatsApp.

Time differences, sometimes upwards of 3-4 four hours, were the biggest hurdle. We worked around it as best as our schedules would allow. Co-op games were a refuge and we logged 200+ hours in Borderlands 2, playing late into the mornings most weekends. 

Long distance is hard work, requiring trust, commitment, understanding and adaption to tough situations. I can’t help but relate it to my current role as a content creator and curator, and digital marketer. The same traits apply and are as beneficial to growing and nurturing a brand as they are to supporting a relationship.

The landscape of long-distance isn’t meant to be a smooth ride, and there are bumps and diversions along the way that can make or break you if sincere communication isn’t employed. From a business and marketer’s perspective, communication is our lifeline. We are experiencing such rapid changes and innovations, from technology, to markets’ tastes and preferences, to the type of content considered worthwhile, to the way content is consumed…it’s a veritable minefield and only those brands who take the time to foster meaningful relationships with their audience will traverse said field with minimum casualties.

A photo posted by AC Marketing Worldwide (@acmarketingworldwide) on Jun 24, 2016 at 4:51am PDT

It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder and I’m here to tell you, for the most part, that is utter BS. Absence breeds frustration, doubt and indifference. I’m very sure that without the many different social tools at our disposal, our long-distance wouldn’t have last a month. For a business, your virtual presence, consistent and reassuring, puts you in front of your audience 24/7. Your digital strategy is as important as any of your channels, and awarding it the attention it requires, and deserves, will keep your audience coming back.

As I dive deeper into this new role, I look back on my past personal experiences with digital tools. As they shaped how my boyfriend and I built our now 4 1/2 year relationship, it continues to help make our world smaller, more accessible and more connected than ever. 

For me, Seth Godin sums it up perfectly:

“Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and new…If you fear special requests, if you staff with cogs, if you have to put it all in a manual, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low.”

‘Traditional’ is no longer the accepted norm and perhaps some (strategic) spontaneity and creativity are the orders of the day. In my professional and personal life, those two traits are more important than ever in pushing me outside the box. 

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