The Art of Social Media

Art is a step in the known toward the unknown.

Kahlil Gibran

As the technological landscape continuously changes, there are more and more voices participating in the social space. Anyone with an internet connection can write and publish anything at any time.

With this, social media has evolved from its original purpose. It’s more than just a place for friends and families to stay in touch. Instead, individuals and brands alike have the opportunity to share content. But with more voices comes more noise. Social media is sometimes seen as the void that internet users are shouting into. Everyone is saying something, but is anyone listening?

For this reason, social media sometimes gets a reputation for being superficial. But here at Brieffin, since we manage social channels for our industrial clients, we make a special effort to practice mindful social media. To us, this means designing and writing content with purpose. Purpose that meets our clients’ needs while also providing value to our audience.

In each of our Brieffin blog posts, we include a song at the bottom: our moment of bliss. Last week, I heard a song for the first time that really made me stop and think. Of course, it’s included at the bottom of this week’s post. But let me explain why I found it so interesting.

The song is called “Blood,” by the band ANIMA!. Its lyrics talk about the process of creating art and the struggle behind it. It made me think: the writing process that we go through when writing social media is similar. By that definition, does it mean that mindful social media is art?

Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics and see if/how that pertains to social media.

“Art is a mean meditation, staring at a blank screen
In between what we mean and the things we say.”

In general, I think that most types of writing qualify as art. It’s a creative practice. Anyone who has ever written something they cared deeply about has had the experience of staring at that blank screen or blank page trying to find the right words. Whether it’s poetry or social media, we often write with intention, but that doesn’t always mean writing plainly. There’s a careful strategy to everything.

“So I try to put a little piece of myself in
Keep the pretty people listening.”

This first line relates very closely to what we firmly believe at Brieffin: that personality is an indispensable ingredient to any type of brand or social media strategy. Putting a piece of yourself into your message helps to humanize it, therefore connecting with your audience in an authentic way.

The second line refers to the nature of performance when it comes to art. Painting, sculpture, music, theater, dance, or social media – all are generally meant to be public, made by varying degrees for audience consumption. For some of these, such as social media, they wouldn’t really exist without that audience. Keeping that audience in mind is crucial when creating that art form.

“Too many sides to a story, all these colors and shapes
I’m afraid if I love it they won’t agree.”

When sitting down to create, design, or write, there’s a decision to be made about the art’s creative direction. With so many options, choosing the most meaningful and impactful way to tell the story can be overwhelming. Along with that, especially when you’re working with your audience in mind – whether that’s your client, the consumers, or both – you have to remember that it’s possible they won’t like what you came up with. It’s opening yourself up to be in that vulnerable position.

“Art is love, love is work
It hurts to give yourself to it.”

Writing has always been something I’ve loved doing. From the time I was young, I was always writing – from stories and journal entries as a kid, to articles and campaign strategy books as I got older. These days, I spend more time writing blog posts and social media. But there are times that I work on a social campaign and feel totally spent afterwards. Just because it may be a 280-character Tweet or an Instagram post with emojis and hashtags, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t carefully thought out, written with intention.

These are only a few of the lyrics from this song, but just from these ones, I’ve personally come to the conclusion that social media – mindful social media – can be art.

If your business is looking for mindful social media content creation, or to take a more hands-on approach to your marketing strategy, get in touch with us. We’ll be here to help you however you need, to help you create social media art of your own.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Art is work, work is love, reminding us why we do it.” – ANIMA! (Blood from Art:Work)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your artistic being.

A Different Perspective on Brand Personality

Find out who you are and do it on purpose.

Dolly Parton

Many people have heard of the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, also sometimes known as a personality test. When I was in my first year of college – and an “undecided” major – I went to our campus career resource center to do a few tests that could hopefully help to provide me with some clarity. One of these tests was the Myers-Briggs.

While some discount its accuracy – or even usefulness – it’s still the most widely-administered personality test that exists. And whether or not it’s totally accurate, doesn’t actually matter. We’re just going to talk about it in a way that’s fun and could potentially give us something new to think about.

When you take the MBTI, the classic result format is something like INTJ or ESFP. Test-takers are grouped into one of two categories for each of the four “digits.”

First: I (Introversion) or E (Extroversion)

Second: N (Intuition) or S (Sensing)

Third: T (Thinking) or F (Feeling)

Fourth: J (Judging) or P (Perceiving)

Most recently, when I took the test, I was allegedly an ENFJ. But looking at the acronym, even knowing what all of the individual components mean, does that really tell you anything about my personality?

A newer development in the Myers-Briggs world is the website, 16personalities.com. It rounds up each of the 16 possible results into a tangible personality – not just an unhelpful string of letters. Nearly 200 million people have taken the test via this platform.

My result: “The Protagonist.” According to 16personalities, protagonists are “charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerize their listeners.” My sister is an ENFP – “The Campaigner,” and campaigners are “enthusiastic, creative free spirits, who can always find a reason to smile.”

The website breaks it down into four subgroups with four personality types in each:

Analysts

  • Architect – INTJ
  • Logician – INTP
  • Commander – ENTJ
  • Debater – ENTP

Diplomats

  • Advocate – INFJ
  • Mediator – INFP
  • Protagonist – ENFJ
  • Campaigner – ENFP

Sentinels

  • Logistician – ISTJ
  • Defender – ISFJ
  • Executive – ESTJ
  • Consul – ESFJ

Explorers

  • Virtuoso – ISTP
  • Adventurer – ISFP
  • Entrepreneur – ESTP
  • Entertainer – ESFP

Having a concrete title for each personality type definitely tells you more than just the four letters. You can also dig into more information about each personality type’s strengths, weaknesses, workplace habits, relationships, and more.

Now switching gears… let’s talk about it from a brand perspective.

At Brieffin, we believe that personality is an extremely important part of any brand. It’s the magic dust that brings your brand to life. Finding a way to humanize your brand will make it relate to your customers. They’re looking for connection. “What is your brand personality?” is a great question to ask yourself when evaluating your brand’s humanity.

The idea of these 16 personality types can be a different angle when looking at, or trying to determine, your brand’s personality.

Even with just the brief descriptions of each type, you start to get an idea of who that “person” is. Those who identify as the Logician, for example, are “innovative inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.” And the Entertainer is someone who is “spontaneous, energetic, and enthusiastic. Life is never boring around them.”

From a consumer perspective, can you think of any brands that fit the above profiles, in your opinion?

As you read all 16 profiles, which ones stand out to you? Which ones resonate with who your brand is, or who you want it to be?

Even if you already feel that you have a strong brand personality, choosing one of the 16 types and reading the additional information may inspire you to look at your traits or messaging from a new perspective.

If you’re not sure, an interesting idea might be to actually take the test, and answer how you think your brand would answer – or how you’d want it to answer. Getting that result back can tell you a lot about how your brand interacts with the world, what your brand values, how your brand processes information, and how it reacts to different situations. These are all definitely human traits, but that’s what we want to do – bring humanity to your brand.

When it comes to the result – whether you distinguish it for yourself, or let the test do the work – it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a right or wrong type. Just like people, every brand has a unique set of characteristics; strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. The goal here, is not to be boxed in by any results, but to be empowered with the knowledge of seeing your(brand)self from a new angle.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Don’t concern myself with all of the lives I might’ve had.” – K.Flay (I Like Myself (Most Of The Time) from Solutions)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe in and out. Namaste.

Falling in Love with Brand Awareness

Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Brand awareness is sometimes seen as a marketing buzzword in the world of strategic communication. But what does it really mean?

Put simply, it’s the a measurement of consumer consciousness or recognition of a product or company. Within that, there are multiple levels to brand awareness. First, is the product or company recognized by its name? If not, it’s lacking brand awareness. If so, it’s a step in the right direction. The next question: what qualities or characteristics are being associated with the brand? What are the defining aspects that are easy for consumers to recall?

In some historical cases, the level of brand awareness has been so strong that the brand name of a certain product has replaced the generic term.

“Can you pass me a Kleenex?”

“Why do you have a Band-Aid on your finger?”

“I can’t find my Chapstick.”

Despite being part of our everyday language, Kleenex, Band-Aid, and Chapstick are actually just industry-leading brand names for generic products – facial tissues, adhesive bandages, and lip balm, respectively. Generally, these “generic trademarks,” as they are called, actually go against the trademark holder’s intentions, though it represents market dominance or monopoly.

Okay, so these are extreme cases. Brand awareness doesn’t always have to – and rarely does – go that far. Even if you aren’t aiming to be the next Velcro (which was also originally a brand name!), you should still strive for brand awareness – whether that’s business or personal.

When considering your brand awareness strategy, keep the following things in mind:

A differentiated message will help set your brand apart from its competitors. What about your brand is special? If your brand doesn’t have anything distinctive to offer, there’s no reason for your target audience to remember it. Find your niche and make your unique claim. This helps prevent market confusion when your customers know exactly what you alone can offer them.

When consumers know what you’re offering, they’re more likely to go straight to you for their product needs, rather than researching other brands. It’s like a shortcut through the decision-making process, which can sometimes be stressful. With a strong brand and clear and consistent message, you’ll become front-of-mind for consumers – that’s your number one goal.

Speaking of that clear and consistent message, your brand is your message. When your brand is sleek and coherent, it creates harmony. That harmony is appealing for consumers, and strong branding gives you credibility – before you’ve even said a word. For this reason, you’re more likely to be viewed as trustworthy by your target audience. And according to HubSpot: “In a world where consumers rely on extensive research and others’ opinions before making a simple purchase, brand trust is everything.”

Social media is one useful way to increase brand awareness, regardless of your industry. Whether you’re an industrial engineering brand like many of our clients, a small business owner, or anything in between, you can use social media as a tool to help create recognition.

We’ve previously posted here about the benefits of a strong social media presence. Not only is it something that virtually every brand can use, it also can help create a strong community. This community can become a base of your most devoted customers, who may be quite outspoken in their loyalty. After they’ve made that bond with your brand, they’re unlikely to waver from it. The consumer loyalty aspect is another key feature of a brand-awareness creation.

If you’re interested in developing a comprehensive brand awareness campaign, we at Brieffin are here to be your partners on that journey. We invite you to learn about our roadmap and philosophy for designing your unique strategy that gives your brand the WOW! effect you’re looking for.

“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” When your brand exists without awareness, it’s in the dark – unknown, unseen, unspecified. Bringing awareness is the special ingredient that transforms the anonymous into the familiar.

It’s time to fall in love with brand awareness.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Breathe in and out and go easy.” – WHY? (Easy from The Wild Honey Pie Buzzsession)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe in and out. Namaste.

Human Connection in a Technological Society

Our well-being depends on our connections with others.

Matthew Lieberman

It’s an age-old question: how is the technology in today’s society affecting the connections we make with others?

Well, maybe it’s not age-old. The technological world we live in today is constantly evolving, and at a faster pace than ever before. So in decades past, most of us didn’t even realize we’d ever be asking this specific question.

As a late millennial, I’m old enough to remember dial-up Internet, but it also feels like it was forever ago. The majority of my tech-related memories involve more modern developments, such as social media and – of course – mobile phones.

At the beginning of the shift, I was a preteen using AOL Instant Messenger to send chats tHaT lOoKeD lYkE tHiS to my middle school classmates. And for some reason, we also liked chatting to the AIM Bots. (Hi, SmarterChild and MovieFone.) The idea that technology had advanced to a point where insentient “beings” could understand and respond to us humans in real-time was interesting and exciting.

But all of the things that have changed in the last 10-15 years, one of the biggest might be the attitude toward doing just that: talking to bots. As much as we can recognize how far technology has come, and as much as we recognize that we’re online, we’d still almost always rather talk to a human.

How many times have you called a customer service line, only to receive a list of automated options? Or the robotic voice on the other side asks you to explain your issue, as it “listens” and attempts to direct you to the correct department?

Or what about when you engage in an online chat with a business – and you can just tell that it’s a robot talking to you? (And no matter how many times you ask, “Are you a real person?” you just don’t believe them?)

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get in contact with an actual person, especially if you’re already contacting customer service because you’re having some sort of issue with their product.

While businesses may feel that it’s in their best interest to streamline their helplines by employing these types of strategies, it often has the opposite effect when it comes to gaining and retaining consumer trust.

In fact, 88% of consumers say that “talking to a person” is their preferred method of seeking customer service (GetApp). It’s not just because it’s often faster and easier than talking to a bot. It’s because humans crave social connection. And because they’ll always trust a human more than a robot.

And while your consumers know that you’re a brand, they are still able to form emotional connections with it. They want authenticity. They want openness. They want inspiration.

Humans have always needed connection – in every society, through every period of time – and that hasn’t changed just because we’re living in a digital world.

The only thing that has changed is the ability for that connection to happen in a lot of different ways.

So when it comes to your brand, here are some questions you can ask yourself to evaluate its humanity:

What is your brand’s personality?

Why should consumers feel connected to you?

What type of interactions will you have with your consumers via social media platforms?

What is your tone and style, since the interactions aren’t face to face?

What type of community are you creating?

How are you acknowledging your consumers as individuals?

What story are you telling?

How are you being authentic?

How are you being true to your values?

If you’re feeling stuck or could use a little help, we at Brieffin are here. With mindful planning and consulting, we’ll support you as you take important steps to put the best version of your brand forward to connect with the world.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Never thought I’d find love and peace of mind.” – Merk (Ash & Sand from Swordfish)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

5 Ways Your Brand Can Use Social Media

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

Robert McKee

When building a brand on social media, there are lots of different things to consider.

For example, our specialty is industrial brands. At first, it may seem difficult to imagine how industrial brands – or other highly-technical or regulated industries – can or should use social media.

We recently shared some best practices for social media engagement, but sometimes there is uncertainty whether your industry can use social media in the first place.

First, consider these statistics about using social media:

– There are nearly 3.5 billion social media users worldwide – that’s almost half of the world’s population. (WeAreSocial)

– 95% of adults 18-34 online follow brands on social media. (MarketingSherpa)

– 71% of consumers who have good social media experiences with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)

Now that we’ve established some of social media’s benefits, you may still be wondering how your brand fits in. Here are just a few of the ways all brands can leverage social media:

1. Share news

No matter your brand’s industry, social media is a fantastic way to get the word out about exciting news. Maybe your company is attending a prestigious conference, got an award, or even received a great write-up or review in a publication. Sharing news with your brand’s followers via social media helps distribute information in a way that has a larger reach than it might have had originally.

2. Promote existing content

If you have a website, you’ve got social media content. But that’s not to say that you should cut and paste directly from your website into Twitter. However, you can certainly repurpose your existing website content into compelling social media. It helps you keep in front of your audience, and you may introduce them to information about your brand that they wouldn’t have encountered without digging around your website on their own.

3. Answer questions

Even in highly-technical industries, your followers may still have questions they want to ask you on social media. It’s an easy way for the consumer to get in contact with your brand, and they do expect you to respond, even if not immediately. Of our industrial brands, we occasionally receive questions on social media about LOESCHE Mills or MACARBON® bricks. Though we as the social media managers may not be able to answer these questions, we always acknowledge the question and then call in a specialist from the brand who can actually provide a detailed response.

4. Tell a story

Storytelling is part of human nature as we attempt to connect with each other. Social media is no different. Though more brands are creating content online than ever, you’ll have to find creative ways to cut through the noise. Sharing your brand’s story in an interesting and authentic way can go far in capturing and keeping your audience’s attention.

5. Create trust and provide value

Not everything you post on social media has to be selling something. If you inundate your followers with nothing but links, they’ll quickly lose interest and potentially unfollow you. Social media provides an opportunity to engage with your consumers in a different way. You have the potential to provide them with meaningful content about your industry that keeps them coming back – because they want to, not because they’re being targeted. Blog posts are one great way to deliver value, so make sure you share them on social media.

These are only a handful of the many ways that brands can leverage social media to develop relationships with their audience, but each and every brand can benefit from an individual strategy.

Though our specialty is industrial brands, we’re social media strategy experts and we are here if you need some assistance with your business’s online presence.

We also provide tutoring and consulting to those who want a more hands-on approach to their marketing strategy, and we can help you get started – so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Our Moment of Bliss

“I hear a song from inside the maze.” – Aldous Harding (The Barrel from Designer)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

Industrial social media specialists of the year 2020 - Spain