The Upside to “Social” Distancing


“Viral” has taken on a whole new meaning as of late. With half of the world’s population isolating at home, people are headed online in search of a community more than ever. Indeed, over the past few weeks, an influx of creative energy has surged from digital platforms worldwide, bringing people together in never-before-seen ways.

Ticking the box

Take TikTok. The short-video sharing app with over 500 million users not only has emerged as a prominent social media player, but has surprisingly become a useful tool for governments fighting against COVID-19. In February, for example, after Vietnam’s Ministry of Health released a music video on YouTube to educate people about the virus, the platform quickly saw its adaption into a hand-washing tutorial by a popular dancer-influencer. The video went viral with the hashtag #GhenCovyChallenge, and a series of hand-washing challenges ensued.


Similarly, cleaning-product brand Dettol launched its own TikTok challenge with influencers in India, where the app counts roughly 81 million monthly active users. The campaign #HandWashChallenge became a fast success, garnering a record-breaking 67 billion views—18 billion of which were logged in a single week. Meanwhile, TikTok announced a partnership on March 16 with the World Health Organization (WHO) for a livestream on its official TikTok page. Thus far, the organization’s campaign hashtag #SafeHands has generated a phenomenal 4 billion views and counting.


The success of these campaigns shows that in times of global crisis, social media’s creativity often fares better than traditional channels of communication. This is in large part due to the very nature of the world’s current circumstances, as social distancing is causing people to turn to social media for human connection.

Social disdancing

A perfect example of this is club nights, now broadcast via Instagram Live. These virtual dance parties can be traced back to March 17 when DJ D-Nice hopped on Instagram to play music for a small group of friends, using simple equipment as he streamed live from his kitchen. While the first night saw just two-hundred “attendees”, by the next day two-thousand people had joined in, followed by twelve then twenty-five thousand. Three days later, more than one-hundred thousand people—including Drake, Jennifer Lopez and former first lady Michelle Obama—were jamming together in #ClubQuarantine.


Indeed, “Club Quarantine” is now an online destination, where users may find themselves dancing with some of the world’s biggest names—an unlikely scenario in a non-virtual world. Interestingly, though Instagram Live is not a new function, its popularity has recently spiked as people rediscover ways to connect to the world they once knew.

It’s a sign of increased creative content, greater positivity and a sense of boundary-defying community—making social media more essential than ever to any brand’s survival. And when it comes to achieving maximum impact and greater virtual connections, Datawords Group’s digital consulting team are leaders in the field, guiding companies around the world to define the principal touchpoints in their global communication.

Because with kindness and good vibes on the rise, the only way to go is up. #InThisTogether

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