OUR GREAT MINDS

Braxton Huggins, Social Media and Digital Strategist, H&N Media Group

Braxton Huggins

Social Media and Digital Strategist, H&N Media Group

Braxton Huggins, 24, was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, and grew up in a city called Paradise. Yes, it only had one stop light in the town. He attended Abilene Christian University, where he received his degree in international studies with a minor in business. While attending ACU, he taught English at Yangtze University in China and also completed his second language, Mandarin, at Shanghai Normal University. Braxton also has a degree from Rice University in leadership for non-profit executives.

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Braxton is no stranger to change and innovation. The oil and gas industry is home for Braxton, as a third-

generation strategic partner with RigData, where his grandparents, Pat & Ed Seifert, have been owners for nearly 30 years. Braxton has experience working with mom-and-pop service companies, drilling contractors, major service companies, as well as operating companies to multinational government agencies, state agencies and Wall Street analysts. Braxton has been trained from the bottom up from product creation to product marketing to sales to customer service to accounting, and now to digital strategies. There’s no comparison to the experience of having an environment where one is able to talk about the gas industry from the breakfast table with family to the boardroom with family. Braxton’s entire life has revolved around the oil and gas industry in one way or another on almost a daily basis. It is no secret that oil and gas professionals are the world’s innovators, so it should be no surprise that being a digital strategist is just part of that innovation.

Unafraid of change and driven by innovation, Braxton strives to make an impact in the industry. Currently, chief strategist and consultant for H&N Media Group, Braxton’s role is to create impactful social media and digital strategies for companies around the world. With this shift in how people obtain messages, Braxton’s goal is to get the oil and gas industry more involved in modern and innovative marketing techniques. Braxton is partnering up with some of Houston’s biggest brands to hold the oil and gas industries first Energy Digital Summit in April. Every day, he works with an exciting lineup of brands to dream up and deliver stunning campaigns supported by proven real-time marketing capabilities, killer creative executions, and insightful analytics.

We asked Braxton:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Braxton: I believe that sustainability is a combination of variables, defined as “a global state of existence of minimal conflict, environmental stability, just and open-minded societies, and overall good governance that operates in close-looped cycles, maintaining and improving upon itself simultaneously.

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

Braxton: Yes, Scott Huggins. My father has played an extremely crucial role in the development of my career, along with the development of how I live my life. An avid entrepreneur, my dad has taught me a lot from his mistakes and the way he learned things from his father and great-grandfather. Teaching that service is more important than anything is where I get my willingness to serve my clients, and it helps build a relationship with them outside of just a working relationship.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Braxton: Success is setting goals for your life and obtaining them one at a time, no matter how small or how big; success is accomplishing those goals even when others say you can’t. “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him”—David Brinkley.

The OGM: If you were to describe your career in three words, what would they be?

Braxton: Challenging. Worthwhile. Digital.

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the Energy Industry?

Braxton: While it may be hard to break into a niche part of the industry, there are plenty of opportunities that help support the energy industry. My advice to someone getting into the industry is that it’s not going to be easy; it’s extremely competitive, but once you get in the opportunities are around every corner. Find your niche and stick with it.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

Braxton:  I would say that the largest milestone in my career is winning my first social media contract for an oil and gas service company. As an entrepreneur, any win is a good win. Being able to get that first contract helped me gain a lot of momentum and allowed me to add to my portfolio.

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

Braxton: As a social media and digital consultant, every day can be a challenge, especially in the energy industry. Being a part of an industry that hasn’t quite adapted to social media marketing strategies yet, it is a constant challenge to teach and convince companies that they need social media.

The OGM: What impact does technology have on your career?

Braxton: Technology is my career. Without innovation and thought leadership in the technology industry, I would face challenges that could potentially end my career. Technology allows me to communicate with people around the world at a moment’s notice and will continue to be the number one resource for social media and digital marketing.

The OGM: What do the next five years look like in your career?

Braxton: Looking five years out is difficult. Being a part of the digital/technological industry that constantly changes and also being a part of the energy industry that likes to stick with its current ways make career planning hard. I would like to see myself hosting the fifth year of the Energy Digital Summit, potentially holding it in Europe or possibly in Dubai.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in Energy?

Braxton: Absolutely, the energy industry is what put me through college, what helped me grow up, and what has allowed me to be successful as a social media and digital strategist.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the Energy Industry?

Braxton: The energy industry is intriguing, and, as a social media and digital strategist, the amount of opportunities and growth are endless. Many companies are looking for talented individuals to fill these new roles and being a part of that process excites me.

The OGM: Do you have a role model you look up to?

Braxton: Sure, my parents would definitely be my role models. They both live to serve and to make sure their children and people around them are taken care of. I owe my whole career to them.

The OGM: What does Energy mean to you?

Braxton: I believe that energy is the force used to make change happen; it’s the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

Braxton: Having one favorite is difficult, but since I love to travel, my favorite app is SkyScanner. It always pulls the best fares for flights.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the Energy Industry?

Braxton: I think that we will see a huge impact as the Millennial Generation is put into leadership positions across the industry. We are called the change generation for a reason, and I believe you will start to see a more sustainable way of living because we know that things can be taken away from us at a moment’s notice. I think we will start to see a vibrant, powerful opportunity due to the overlapping nature of what each generation needs and wants, and what each has to give.

The OGM: What’s your take on Social Media and our ever changing digital world?

Braxton: I wouldn’t be a part of it if I didn’t think that it could help others. Social Media, just like any other type of media, plays a vital role in how we communicate today. The relationships I have built and contacts that I have met through social media have helped me propel my career forward. Social media is important to the digital landscape today—how we market, how we sell, how we communicate, and how we share. It’s a part of our lives now, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

The OGM: What Social Medium do you use on a daily basis?

Braxton: A mix—I use LinkedIn, twitter, Facebook, and Google+, although small social networks like Oilpro.com and RigHands.com also play a role in my strategy for social media networking in the energy industry.

The OGM: Do you use Social Media for work?

Braxton: Every single day—social media is my work.

The OGM: What do you think of Social Recruiting?

Braxton: It’s key for the oil and gas industry to become masters of social recruiting. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re behind. If you are on twitter trying to recruit, you better have the right strategy. If your company is trying to find world-class talent, you have to be where they are, and that’s on social media.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Braxton: Like my parents, I love to serve. Having the ability to teach and help others about social media and the unique ways to help their business is what motivates me. As a Millennial, I find my purpose in helping others.

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