Brainsport is one of the clients we have the most history working together. Brian and I had worked together running his stores for years before I opened T Squared and began focusing on their social media exclusively.
It's been an incredible journey watching the culture grow and being a part of the success team. Like every client, the more we know about the business the better the content is, and Brainsport is no exception.
Building a series.
One of the tactics that have worked incredibly well and is something I suggest to many of our clients are creating a series. This can be done very literally, like making a weekly/monthly show. Or it can be done just in the planning stage and never be explicitly communicated to your audience.
When establishing a series for your content, it must satisfy your goals without being so specific that it restricts you. One of the series we created was a video shoe review. We invited people into the back stockroom with a shoe expert to hear about the latest updates and new shoe releases from their favourite brands. This behind-the-scenes format helped to make the audience feel more connected to the team.
Running virtual events.
This past year many events went online, and that was the same story for the super popular Gingerbread run. The big challenge with online events is making them feel alive. We created a bunch of pre-event videos to help build the hype. We made sure to be very clear and straightforward with how we wanted people to engage during the event without overcomplicating it. By sharing participant's posts, baking gingerbread cookies together and hosting IG live interviews during the event, we could capture the spirit of the run.
Selling local online.
By far, one of the biggest challenges we faced with Brainsport was during the lockdowns last March that required many businesses to close their doors
The move to online stores was swift and urgent. We collaborated with the team to secure their new e-commerce website by creating campaigns that drove traffic to the website through their established social channels. These campaigns included original product photography in recognizable environments to develop familiarity.
This new way of doing business required a lot of education and awareness. Now a year later, the pickup and delivery process seems second nature to most of us.
Moving towards the future, we are working closely with the team to stay flexible as things change and to create goal-focused plans for success. As someone super passionate about retail, working with Brainsport on their social media continues to be a joy. We are looking forward to a great summer of content and sweet running shoes.
Some of our favourite ladies in craft beer from Shelter Brewing Company, High Key Brewing Co. and Black Bridge Brewing.
In 2020 we were approached by the Saskatchewan Craft Brewers Association to document the incredible things happening in our province within the craft beer industry. We could not have been more excited to dig into this delicious industry as avid craft beer lovers. So this is the story of some of our year in beer.
Behind the scenes at the annual Collaboration Brew in Regina, SK at Pile O' Bones Brewing Company.
A Saskatchewan Story
When we sat down with SCBA to talk about their goals, a few key messages kept floating to the top. The biggest one was the superfan culture built around the industry and how to tell that story. The second was the way their narrative so deeply meshed with that of the local agricultural scene. We wanted to create compelling photos and videos that would inspire people to try different kinds of locally crafted beers because there truly is something for everyone.
Filming an interview just outside North Battleford in a local producer's field.
The Night the Taps Turned Off
Only a few months into our work with the SCBA, the world as we knew it was about to come crashing down with some severe restrictions and new ways of doing business. The perseverance of the brewers we worked with through the association was truly inspiring. From shifts to delivery and pick up to other incredible pivots, it was amazing to watch the community come together, especially to support the smaller businesses within the group.
Filming with the entire SCBA at their 2020 Annual General Meeting in Regina, SK.
Blood, Sweat and Beers
As things began to thaw, we went back on the road to visit one of our favourite breweries in North Battleford, Armoury Brewing Co. We talked about the building's history and the brewmaster's approach to beer recipes that incorporated many local ingredients. It once again reminded us how deeply connected to the province the craft beer industry truly is.
Chatting with Brennan from Armoury Brewing Co. in North Battleford, SK.
Craft beer is an art. It finds its voice in the community that it serves, allowing that dialogue to help guide its unique flavour profiles. Seeing the return of the taprooms and capturing the connection people share over this beverage was the best part of our year. It was an immense delight for us to be able to tell the story of this fantastic community, if only for a year!
Interviewing the 2020 Board President of the SCBA and the owner of Rebellion Brewing Company, Mark Heise.
For more stories about the SCBA, follow them on social media or any of their members. Support local and drink local craft beer!
Call it whatever you want. I'm a big guy. I grew up bigger than most of my peers and have always been above average. When I started T Squared close to five years ago, I knew I would have to be in front of the camera, and it gave me anxiety to think about how others might perceive me. Would they think I'm lazy, unintelligent or unqualified based on my appearance? I didn't know.
The truth is that I've always been comfortable in my skin as an adult. But I knew that putting myself out there on social media, news interviews, and print editorials would make me subject to other people's opinions of myself. If you are the person in your business that has to be the face (and body) of your company, you know exactly what I am talking about. In this modern marketing world, it feels like a requirement to put yourself out there if you want to succeed. So the choice becomes do you fit in or do you stand out.
Trust me when I tell you, being who you are will always be your greatest strength.
Judgement is a hard thing to process.
It forces us to ask the question, do I subscribe to this idea of who I am? I'm no mental health professional, but I am a marketing guy. So here is what I know. Feedback will always come in positive and negative forms. And with more success, you will receive more feedback, and if you don't like it, you better close up shop now. It's part of the gig.
You need to set healthy boundaries to protect yourself from dysfunctional comments. Stop sending anonymous surveys if the data collected is unhelpful or hurtful. Turn off comment sections on blogs or posts if they are a source of negativity. You are not obligated to take feedback from every possible point of entry. You most certainly are not compelled to take abuse online. You absolutely wouldn't tolerate this face to face.
I'm not too fond of the term IRL.
In real life implies that what happens online is not real. It devalues the influence and power that online interactions have on us as humans and as businesses. What happens on social media is in real life.
Choose what serves you.
We all operate our business based on our available time and resources. We make choices every day that may not be perfect, but they are vital to our business's profitability. It's easy for us to take feedback personally, but we need to pull back and breathe. Take a beat, not a beating.
It's your job to protect all of your assets, including yourself. The notion that being on social media is a licence for people to treat your company, your hard work, like a punching bag is no longer relevant. So go ahead, call me Fatboy, but you just might get blocked.
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.