Today I present a new interview to a Social Media professional working in Switzerland. This series of interviews pretend to reveal the person behind the social media strategies of successful companies based in Switzerland. It consists of community managers, social media managers, content strategists, SEO/SEM managers, etc. It is the interviewee the one that decides who will be the next person to interview, making in this way a chain of Social Media professionals.
Today I have the pleasure to interview Taïssa Charlier (@taissacharlier), Digital and Social Media Strategist at Buzz Brothers. Buzz Brothers is a digital and social media agency specialized in web + mobile design and development, together with effective social media strategies.
Hi Taïssa. How would you define yourself in just one tweet?
Happy chick. Creative thinker. Art Lover. Passionate and perfectionist. Full of energy. Curious and generous. Tomboy in heels.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your origins, how you ended up in Geneva, and anything you want to make public.
I was born and raised in Brazil, from a Brazilian dad and a French mother. I moved from Salvador de Bahia to France when I was 10, during one of the harshest winters in France! I travelled quite a lot in my life, studying in Oxford and in Paris, spending some time in the U.S., working briefly in Spain… In September 2009, when my son was born, my husband was offered the opportunity to come and work in Geneva. I knew the quality of life was amazing in Switzerland, so I did not hesitate to move here.
What are your interests in life?
I love everything around culture, and contemporary art in particular. Movies are one of my biggest hobbies, be it big productions or indie films. I’ve also played volleyball for many years, and I love sports. Oh, and I take singing classes!
In Geneva it’s common to master three, even four languages. But you speak fluently five languages. What is your secret?
I’ve always been curious about people and learning languages. I naturally chose to do a masters’ in foreign languages, and traveling and meeting different cultures has always been a passion. Plus, all the people I know that are good with languages have a great musical ear, I guess that could be one of the “secrets”. Maybe having a good memory helps too! Few essential tips: keep practicing, reading newspapers or books, listening to foreign radios or watching movies in original languages.
You have worked on a pro bono basis for different organizations including the Smiling Children Foundation. Tell us about that experience.
Smiling Children (now the Womanity Foundation) does truly a wonderful job in empowering girls and women to shape their future and accelerate progress within their society, in countries like Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, Brazil, and more. One of my main contributions was to help them write one of their newsletters. Doing this was an eye-opening experience for me; I could further comprehend that rights we take for granted in our “modern” societies were still a far cry from reality for many women around the world. OWIT Lake Geneva, (Organization of Women in International Trade) another non-profit I work for on a pro-bono basis, is a professional business network whose focus is to connect professionals across industries, providing networking, development, and social opportunities. I’m responsible in particular for their social media strategy and implementation.
Let’s talk a little bit about your current mission. How different is it to work for a digital and social media agency compared to an art gallery or a foundation?
There are actually many similarities working for an art curator, like Sascha Gianella, a boutique digital and social media agency, and a non-profit. First, you must achieve an optimal utilization of human and material resources. Second, you need to be very effective, a quick learner and a team player. I’d say OWIT Lake Geneva stands obviously apart in terms of status, and also has a very international environment.
Looking at Buzz Brothers’ website, one sees visually striking images and very little content. A picture is worth a thousand words?
Yes, that’s very often the case, although pictures need to be relevant to your communications objective. I recently read an interesting article about a hot trend, textification, described by the author as “texts dressed up in photo’s clothing” In the information age, where we are overfed with plethora of images and texts, your visual strategy needs to clearly illustrate your values, your mission, and your ideas. The challenge is finding the most suitable ratio of relevant images and text. You want to make it easy for people to find information, but you also want to make it appealing for the eyes!
You have an overwhelming range of responsibilities. How is a normal working day like? Do you stress from sunrise to sunset?
I certainly must be focused, organized and effective not to stress and get the job done! Like all the people working in digital and social media, my job requires a very good – i.e. methodological and consistent – watch on trends, new tools, and business intelligence. Monitoring is crucial for all the missions I am in charge, be it strategy, content or community management, and so forth. Since I am also responsible for all the content on our agency’s blog, I need to find on a weekly basis topics relevant to our activity, and that reflect our specialties, as well as our centers of interest. Moreover, a regular day includes performing advanced analyses and reporting of specific digital and social media actions.
What are your favorite tools for monitoring, reporting and analytics?
The list is long, but HootSuite is one of my favorite tools. Netvibes and SocialBro are really for good monitoring too. Listorious is a great source of potential Twitter influencers. I also use a lot Google Alerts. Paper.li is one of my most faithful companions. It really allows for a good digest of all activity on Twitter in particular and on other social networks, organized the way I want and presented in an easy-to-read virtual newspaper.
The qualities a good Digital and Social Media Strategist should have are…
- Passionate about all things digital and social
- Well organized
- Good listener
- Able to see the ‘big picture’
And finally, which professional working in Switzerland with social and media would you recommend for the next interview? Why?
Romain Vetter (@digitalrmv) should be a very interesting digital specialist to interview. He lived and worked in digital in the U.S. before moving to Geneva. He now works as a Digital Manager for PHD Switzerland (Omnicom Media Group).
About the author: