Even prior to the pandemic, most of us were doing a portion of our business interactions digitally, such as by email and networking on social channels. Of course, these days and at least for the foreseeable future, our business connections with others have shifted almost exclusively to the digital environment.

Many of us wonder: With the in-person element removed, how can we foster more meaningful interactions? Here are four things you can do to add authenticity and depth to your communications:

1. Take a genuine interest in others (relax, the sales will come later). So many of us are under pressure from heavy workloads, deadlines, and sales quotas that we don’t take the time to really connect with others, something admittedly harder to do remotely. Still, it’s vital to get to know the person on the other side of the screen—their personalities, interests, and what you have in common—in order to bond.

All relationships, especially those established virtually, are superficial until you take the time to go beyond the “likes” and “shares” to really establish a dialog. You’ll also find that if you focus on meaningful interactions before eventually moving the conversation to sales, it goes much easier because you’ve gained their friendship and trust first.

2. Make it personal with video. People are craving human interaction, and video is the best way to engage with your audience on a more personal level. We’re all used to Zoom videoconferences by now, but recorded video is a great way to get out a marketing message on a one-to-many basis. For example, video in email can boost open rates by 19 percent and achieve a 50 percent rise in click-through rates.

3. Collaborate to increase interaction. One of the downsides of working remotely is the tendency to go it alone. But that means we’re missing the substantial benefits of collaboration. Greater ideas emerge when we put our collective heads together, and we also establish a camaraderie when we interact to serve a common goal.

There are lots of tools out there to help us collaborate—Slack, Asana, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and many more—even when everyone isn’t in the same room. Also, asking people to participate on a project can help to get their buy-in since they’ve made an investment of time.

4. Know that the fastest forms of communications aren’t always the best. Emails, direct messages, and other electronic communications are quick and efficient, but don’t overlook the power of simply picking up the phone or videoconferencing with someone. So much is communicated through voice inflection and facial expressions, things you miss out on when all you do is email or text. Don’t get us wrong—those communications have their place. They just can’t replace the human element of real-time conversation.

To be certain, establishing meaningful interactions in our current remote-working world is harder than in the “good old days” of face-to-face meetings and live events, but we’ll get back to those things eventually. Even post-pandemic, virtual communications will continue to be an ever-growing part of our lives, so it’s important to find ways to make our online interactions as authentic as possible.

Working remotely doesn’t have to mean isolation. We have the technology to keep in touch even if we can’t be together in person.

This article was originally published on The Connector blog and reprinted with permission.