Interest in the metaverse is evolving at a phenomenal pace. Only a couple of years ago, nobody was talking about the concept of a digital future where people could communicate, collaborate, and engage with different realities via computer technology. Now, the “metaverse” is everywhere.
Since Facebook, the world’s leading social media company, rebranded to “Meta”, conversations about the Metaverse have grown astronomically.
Virtually every major technology company, from Microsoft to Amazon are planning their own “Metaverse” future. Plus, many major brands are beginning to think about how they can also engage their audience in a more immersive, “digital” future.
While definitions of the metaverse have varied in recent months, most experts agree this landscape is intended to be a space all about bridging connections and bringing people together.
As such, it makes sense that a core component of embracing the “metaverse” would be community building. Just as communities are strengthening the evolution of Web 3.0 and NFTs, they’ll also be crucial to the future of the business-focused metaverse.
Community building in the Metaverse is all about finding ways to engage and delight audiences in a new digital landscape. The Metaverse is already being defined by an enslaught of new virtual worlds, built to bring people together and help them share experiences. Just look at the “Sandbox” for instance, where people can build their own environments, and showcase their NFTs online:
Companies can take advantage of these existing environments to carve out their own space in the “Metaverse”, where users can share and collect NFTs, interact with brand assets, and even explore digital twins of different branded environments.
For instance, Charli Cohen, Selfridges, and Yahoo RYOT lab teamed up to create a virtual city users could explore, inspired by the world’s fashion capitals. The project also provided consumers with an opportunity to shop for exclusive physical and digital garments, which they could wear via an AR snapchat lens or custom AR avatar.
Metaverse Communities are an important part of building a sense of ownership and loyalty among consumers as we approach the Web 3.0 era. They allow consumers to become more involved in creating products and assets for brands to sell, as well as allowing customers to show their support of a brand by collecting NFTs, or purchasing other assets.
At present, while many brands are jumping into the Metaverse, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy on how to engage and delight consumers. Some businesses are partnering with digital creators to bring NFTs to life, giving their customers more way to “invest” in their brand relationships.
Other companies have taken advantage of hybrid opportunities designed to combine the real-world landscape with the digital world.
One of the most popular ways to start building communities in the Metaverse, is to take advantage of one of the many existing platforms already leveraged by digitally-transforming brands.
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of various Web 3.0 optimized environments for metaverse and NFT community creations. For instance, Discord, Twitter Spaces, and even channels like Roblox have grown increasingly popular.
One excellent example comes from HSBC, the banking group.
The $3 trillion dollar company is purchasing a plot of land within the “Sandbox” community environment.
Here, it’s going to be producing a range of sports, e-sports, and gaming activities for fans.
According to HSBC, the company sees massive potential in creating new experiences, particularly to engage a younger community of online bankers.
Although full details of the HSBC metaverse environment are yet to be revealed, the early pictures from the landscape highlight how HSBC plans on bringing people together over shared experiences to increase consumer relationships.