Talkspace and how to build a community of support

Build A Community Of Support


The idea of what “community” means for brands on social media has shifted more in 2020 than it has in a decade. What used to be a place for brands to rally their loyal audiences around the brand itself has evolved into a platform for wider connection, where the brand is the catalyst but no longer the focus. A primary example of this is Talkspace, the asynchronous, chat-based therapeutic and mental health app.

Therapy has, for generations, been a very private, 1:1 relationship between therapist and patient. It’s no secret that we as a culture have been reticent to discuss mental health as an issue, but Talkspace and its contemporaries have modernized the process of finding and building a relationship with a therapist. Not to mention, the app meets today’s patients where they are by allowing for both text and video chatting. But what is truly compelling about the brand is the destigmatization of mental health and therapy that it promotes across social by turning its channels into a platform of togetherness, belonging and a mutual desire to be healthier and happier. This social strategy, rooted in the idea that we can be better together, has been even more effective for Talkspace in the current global climate. The further we are physically from each other, the more important the virtual community becomes.

What you can learn

1. Be the approachable authority.

The long-standing stigma surrounding mental health has created an aura of secrecy about what constitutes a disorder and how therapy can provide support and relief. Therapists have long been cast as mysterious or threatening, holding some power over us that we don’t understand. By pulling back the curtain on what it means to be a therapist in today’s world, Talkspace is demystifying the practice and opening up mental health as a normal part of overall wellness.

  • Getting started: Your brand is likely considered an authority in your space. But the real authorities are the people who design, build or implement your products or services. Opening your brand to the community by providing resources through the people who built your brand will reinforce your authority and build community through shared, human experiences.

2. Tailor your resources to where your audience is right now.

Certainly the current global pandemic has created an unprecedented need for mental health support, which Talkspace recognizes and has addressed with additional resources, access and focus on those who may need it most. What I love about this is how organized they’ve been on social, ensuring that current subscribers and non-subscribers alike can easily find the resources they need whether they are longtime therapy patients or if they are considering mental health support for the first time.

  • Getting started: Regularly assess your audience’s needs and align your brand content with those needs. Social listening is a great way to learn about what is exciting or vexing your audience in real-time, giving you the ability to provide resources and information at the very moment it’s needed most.

3. Make social the easiest access point for people new to your brand.

Talkspace understands that the COVID-19 crisis is driving many people to recognize external threats to their mental wellbeing for the first time. The idea of trying therapy can be threatening or daunting to someone who’s never experienced it before, so Talkspace has set up risk-free resources that let therapy newcomers explore the options for mental health support and get some answers before they commit to the process. By using social to introduce complex topics in an approachable way, Talkspace is priming its audience to be more open to the brand experience than they might otherwise be.

  • Getting started: Word of mouth through social is many peoples’ first introduction to your brand. They may not be ready to buy or subscribe, but they may be looking for information to help them make that decision. Creating social content and experiences that give them a peek at what your brand can offer, stands for or believes in will make newcomers feel welcome to explore without pressure or obligation. When they are ready to commit, that positive experience will be at the forefront of their minds.

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