It’s all about the hard to reach places

Nooks and crannies fuel deeper connections that brands can leverage, argues The Social Element's Chloe Mathieu-Phillips

Life is full of little moments.

The extra time we take on our morning commute to grab our favourite coffee. A girls’ weekend away. The stolen half hour watching TV with a child that can’t sleep.

These ‘nooks and crannies’ define our connections with each other. They can be found in the physical world — but also in digital media. We don’t speak on the phone anymore. Our communications are more succinct, more frequent. They build anticipations for rarer – but often deeply meaningful and fulfilling – in-person gatherings.

As a society, we try to live life to the fullest. This is difficult, however, when you are juggling the pressures of everyday life. Family, work, an active social calendar — maintaining balance is a struggle.

Nooks and crannies are the glue that hold us together. They fuel deeper connections and provide us with human interactions that keep us alive and well.

So what do these moments look like — and how can brands leverage them to stay connected with their communities?

Nooks and crannies are stolen moments of selfish media consumption

Compromise is a staple part of life. Whether you’re debating with your partner about what to watch on Netflix or trying to get a business deal over the line — one party must always concede.

But there are small moments where we can be selfish. Watching, reading and listening to what you want isn’t a crime — it’s part of being human. These moments of selfish media consumption, where we’re not compromising, are an effective way to refuel and refresh. Scrolling through magazine articles in bed at the end of a long day, or browsing through Pinterest on a Saturday morning before our kids roll out of bed. These are the moments that refuel us, and give us currency for the social connections we crave.

Consuming our favourite pieces of content allows our creative and analytical spirits to run free. We’re so busy, planning for free time is often a nearly impossible task — we must grasp every opportunity that comes our way with two hands. These micro-moments of media consumption provide us with a sense of control, a sense of fulfilment. And they’re often the result of happenstance.

I was recently wandering through London one early morning — I was about 7 minutes away from the office and found myself without headphones. Suddenly, I got a text from a friend. She lives in Hong Kong, was waiting for her toddler to fall asleep at the same time, and texted me while she had a minute of quiet time. This moment was pure happenstance — we found ourselves online at the same moment, and the instant exchange of texts, despite being short, allowed us to reconnect.

Unpredictable, unplanned moments such as these fuel our friendship, keeping it alive and fresh. This is the true power of nooks and crannies — and this is how brands can inject life into their communities.

Keeping your tribe alive

Forming initial connections with consumers is easy — but maintaining these relationships requires work.

Nooks and crannies provide us with a sense of belonging. These bitesize moments create tangible connections using a touch of humanity. And they allow us to access information – information that we use as currency to maintain our seat at the table — with our friends, with our peers, with the people we admire.

Think about the times you’ve listened to a podcast whilst washing the dishes — and then recommended it to a colleague. Or seen a TikTok recipe which you thought your friend might like. These types of prompts are excellent excuses to stay in touch with the people that matter most.

And brands can follow suit. Social media is a powerful channel. Each profile represents a chance to interact with your tribe in a thoughtful, authentic manner. Nooks and crannies are the pieces of content that inspire us — and inspire our communities. Information is power. And its ability to sustain our relationships is second to none.

Living life in the fast lane

We live our lives in the fast lane — but this was the case long before social media came around. Holding down a steady job, growing your family, staying in touch with friends — all of these are challenges that your consumers are facing. And all of these take time.

Nooks and crannies on social media can be leveraged to weave deeper connections with your tribes — despite the fact that everyone is living life at a breakneck pace. These moments shouldn’t be shunned — they should be celebrated. After all, it’s the little things that count.

Featured image: Howard Phillips / Unsplash

Chloe Mathieu-Phillips

Chloe has spent her career at the intersection of community building, content strategy, and digital marketing, leading and growing some of the brightest teams in the industry both in Europe and in the United States. She currently runs The Social Element's social media strategy and activation teams in Europe, working with some of the largest global brands across most major European markets and languages. Having started her career at TripAdvisor in London, Chloe then launched and scaled the social media marketing team at 360i New York, before supporting the rebrand of The Social Element when she first joined the agency in 2016. Chloe now lives in London with her partner and two daughters, and likes to summer in North America with her elderly rescue dog Brian Wilson.

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