Category: News Article

Should You Give a ? About Emojis?

Adding emojis to your social media posts is definitely something you should consider. As users become more and more accustomed to creativity in their social media feed, a post with some colorful emojis can make your message stand out in a crowd!

According to Hootsuite, using emojis in your Facebook posts can increase your number of Likes by 57 percent, and comments and shares by 33 percent.

Here are a few examples of how we use them in actual posts from some of our clients.

1. Tell the story visually throughout the post

In this example for the West Cabarrus YMCA, we wanted people to immediately know that this was a video for a cycle class and that it is a great workout alternative for working out indoors during colder weather. For the Y, we frequently use the muscle emoji and the high five, so that there is consistency as well.



2. Bold or highlight a phrase that you want to stand out.
Since Facebook does not give you the option to bold your text, you can use emojis instead to make something stand out. In this case, for the Cabarrus Partnership for Children, we wanted the URL to really POP so we used two shopping cart emojis on either side of the link.

3. Use the same emoji like a bullet to make a list stand out
Facebook also does not give you the option to do a bulleted list, but in this post for Hilbish Ford, we were able to use the same star emoji multiple times to resemble a list and make each car stand out.

4. Make calls to action stand out with a different emoji for each.
Sometimes using a few different emojis in a single post can really catch the users eye. In this post for ReStore Catawba Valley, we were able to accent each call to action with a representative emoji.

5. Use emojis to create a clever script.
In this post for S&D Coffee & Tea Retail Market Center, we added the coffee plus coffee equals love equation to highlight the fun BOGO offer we were promoting.

As you can see in these examples, emojis can definitely give your posts a little extra punch to get someone to stop and engage with your brand. Remember to make sure you know the meaning of the emojis before using them and try to land on a few that you use regularly for your image.

Other resources for emojis:

Adding Captions to Your Facebook Videos

Hopefully, by now, you know that you should be doing videos regularly on social media as part of your marketing strategy. What you may not realize is that according to Digiday, 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. For our clients, that number is usually closer to 90%.

That is why it is critical that you add captions to your videos so your audience can still get your message. We have put together a quick blog article to walk you through the steps of how to use Facebook’s built in caption feature.

Step 1: Upload Video to Facebook

Click on the “Share a photo or video” icon and upload your video.

Then choose “Upload Photos/Video” from the popup window and browse to select your video.

Step 2: Enter Your Title and Tags

Before you move onto the captions, Facebook requires you to add a Title and some tags (or keywords) for your video. You can also change your thumbnail. Sometimes the default thumbnail has an unattractive mouth wide open or closed eyes image. Flip through using the side by side arrows to find one that looks good or you can even click on “Add Thumbnail” and upload a custom image to be your thumbnail.

Bonus Step: Add Messenger Button

You always want to give people an opportunity to reach out to you. Now, Facebook gives you the option to add a messenger button to your post that will pop up and prompt the viewer to message you! This is a great feature to add to your videos.


Once you are done with adding the title, tags and messenger button, click on Publish > Save as Unpublished. You must take this step before you can autogenerate your captions.

Step 3: Edit File and Autogenerate Captions

Once you have saved your file, go to Publishing Tools > Posts > Drafts to see your unpublished video. Click on your video and then select “Edit.”

Once this screen options, click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and choose “Edit Video.”

Now, when you click on “Captions” you will see a button called “Generate”. NOTE: prior to saving your video, you will NOT see this option. You must save it first and then come in and edit it.

When you click “Generate”, Facebook will automatically generate your captions.

Facebook automatically generates your captions for you, but you do have to edit them as they will have typos, misspellings, etc.

Step 4: Save and Publish

Once you are done fixing your captions, click “Save to Video” in the bottom right hand corner. You can then change your video from “Draft” to either “Schedule Publication” to have it post at a pre-selected time in the future or “Published” to have it publish immediately.

PerryPro Tip: We recommend that you always watch your video all the way through after it has posted to your page (or better yet, have someone else watch it to catch any typos) BEFORE you boost it. Once you boost, Facebook temporarily locks the post while it is under review and you won’t be able to change it.

You can go back and edit your captions if you do happen to find a typo.

This is how a finished product looks! Note the thumbnail image (with my eyes open!) and the video title.

Another way to add captions to your video on Facebook is to upload an SRT file. Social Media Examiner recently published an article about how to do this. Click here to read the article.

3 Local Candidates Use Social Media to Their Advantage and WIN!



Lisa Perry, Marketing Strategist

For a long time, yard signs, postcards, and newspaper ads have been the staples in building awareness and name recognition in local election campaigns. Yet recently, three local Concord, NC candidates running for Mayor (Bill Dusch) and City Council (Terry Crawford and J.C. McKenzie) saw the value in adding a strong social media presence to their strategies and how that could extend their campaign reach. Two of the three had very little, if any, social media activity prior to starting their campaigns.

When we were contacted by the candidates, they each told us that multiple people had told them that social media was one of the top things they needed to focus on and that they needed to hire Perry Productions. It was flattering to hear that we were the company that people were recommending, but I was hesitant to take on political clients since things can get very heated on social media around political issues.

However, our team at Perry Productions accepted the challenge and went to work. I was sure that social media would have an immediate impact on their campaigns, and when all three candidates won, I knew that we had created a really solid formula and strategy.

1. Lay Out a Social Media Strategy That Does Not Look Political

The very first thing that I told each of the candidates was that their posts on social media should not be pictures of their yard signs, and two of them laughed when I said that because that is exactly what they had posted before our meeting! Yard signs work great for name recognition and have a place in any election marketing plan, but it is not want people want to see when scrolling through their Facebook page. Potential voters will immediately tune you out become annoyed if that is all you do.

Task number one was to create a distinct and unique brand for each candidate that highlighted their strengths and personalities that we could use over the next several months, so every time voters saw it, they thought of that candidate. There are inexpensive stock photography and vector resources out there to help you create an image, even if you are running on a small budget.

We also asked each candidate to have professional photos taken that we could use throughout the campaign as well as some “human interest” photos that would allow potential voters to get to know them more personally. We were looking for pictures of them doing things professionally as well as in the community, with family, and in their neighborhoods. Our goal with social media was to help the public get to know them better as people and citizens and not just as candidates.

2. Consistency Without Over-Saturation

What we loved about working with all three candidates is that they never questioned our strategy and fully trusted our advice. They realized early on that they needed to be out in the community meeting people face to face while we worked on their behalf sharing a consistent virtual message. That virtual message helped them reach a larger number of people on a regular basis that they might not have reached otherwise.

We spent the first month developing posts, branded graphics and plotting an editorial calendar for the next two months leading right up to election day. We kept it to about two posts a week, but when using Facebook’s boost feature, each of those posts would actually loop for almost a week for only $5 or $7 per post.

I was afraid the candidates would start asking me to post more often, but I knew that social media users would become frustrated with that. Name recognition is very important, but you definitely don’t want your message to be so over-saturated that people get annoyed.

Those consistent posts also gave their supporters things to share on their own Facebook feeds which we saw happening frequently, and that we think also helped get more people to the polls. People will definitely go out and vote in a presidential election, but municipal elections traditionally see a painfully low turnout. Concord’s 2015 election only saw 3600 citizens turn out to vote. Because of that, part of our strategy was also to make sure new voters got to the polls. The 2017 election turnout increased to 6300! This was a big increase and we were certain that the social media awareness that we created was a major factor. We really pushed early voting as that can be more convenient for a busy, working person to fit into their schedule and we actually saw early voter turnout double this year.

3. Highlight Your Strengths Using Different Messages

One candidate, Terry Crawford, was actually running against an incumbent who had been in office for over 30 years. He would have name recognition on his side, so we had to focus on getting new voters out in Terry’s case and highlighting his extensive business experience.

For mayoral candidate Bill Dusch, who was running against an experienced and current City Council member, we focused on Bill’s charisma and engaging personality and really did some fun posts. We even incorporated his love of running marathons into some of the posts. Bill also hired a local videographer to do a great series of videos around town talking to voters about his long commitment to the community. We saw huge reach especially with those videos on Facebook and Instagram.

Candidate J.C. McKenzie had the least social media presence prior to the election but knew it needed to play a role in his race. He had the most people in his race, so he definitely needed to stand out. J.C. hired us for every piece of his campaign, from the yard signs and postcard design to the Facebook posts and paid ads. One of his first stops was to local photographer Michael Anderson for photos that we ended up using in a variety of ways over the next three months. He had a very consistent and professional image out in the community. He also focused on endorsements which we actually turned into videos to get more reach on social media.

4. Remember That Social Media is a Two-Way Conversation

If you are going to be active on social media, be prepared to manage conversations digitally. People will want to reach out to you and not only will they expect a response to comments or direct messages, but they will get mad if you don’t! Something else to keep in mind is that other people are watching the conversation, and if they see you avoid questions, that can leave a bad impression.

We often get asked about how to respond to the really negative ones or ones from people who are clearly trying to make you look bad. Our advice is to always try to take them “offline”. Don’t get into a debate on social. Let them know that you hear what they are saying and would love to discuss the issue further with them, offering your email or phone number if you are comfortable with that.

5. Use Analytics to Steer the Ship

Even when you outline a game plan months in advance, be prepared to change course when needed. There are many social media tools out there that offer analytics on your posts and evaluate engagement. If you see that something is not working or that a certain post actually exceeded your expectations, you might want to adjust your plan. Facebook’s Insights and Sprout Social are two great resources we use to track reach and engagement on social media.

What the Candidates Had to Say

“I would like to commend Perry Productions on the great job they did on my mayoral social media campaign. From the start, they worked with me on gathering the proper information that would allow them to build a truly professional and aggressive social media presence. Perry Productions developed a schedule for the final 4 months of the campaign utilizing text, graphics and video to create Facebook, website, print and Instagram releases. They adhered firmly to this schedule and released a quality product each time that helped build a positive image of me and my campaign. I appreciate their efforts and know they were a big part of my successful run.” – Bill Dusch, Concord Mayor Elect

“The team at Perry Productions did a great job with the image of my campaign from start to finish. They put together quality materials that helped me stand out and really amplified why I was running. I appreciated their expertise especially in the realm of social media as I wanted to reach as many people as possible, but have zero experience using Facebook myself. The team at Perry Productions played a major role in helping me get elected.” – J.C. McKenzie, Concord City Council Elect

“I just wrapped up a very successful campaign for in my run for City Councilman for Concord, NC. The end result was that I won the Council seat and defeated an incumbent, which is rare in our local elections. Our campaign was very focused and strategic. One key element was our use of social media. To make sure we went at it professionally, I hired Lisa Perry and her company, Perry Productions. Lisa and I developed a social media game plan and she and her team executed it. We developed a new Facebook page specifically for the campaign. Lisa created a new, fresh look for the page that centered on my campaign platform. As I said, the result was victory. If you are considering running for political office, I would highly recommend Lisa and Perry Productions to develop and manage the social media element of your campaign.” – Terry Crawford, Concord City Council Elect

Conclusion

Regardless of how you feel about politics on social media, I frequently tell our clients…it’s where the people are! But remember to try to use social media to allow people to get to know you authentically and shine a light on what you have already done in your community, both professionally and personally while sprinkling in some of your campaign messaging.

Learn How to Run Your Own Political Social Media Campaign

We are creating a program that outlines step by step how to launch and manage your own campaign on social media.

Click here if you are interested in receiving information about it once is available.

Chamber Recognizes Perry Productions as the 2016 Small Business of the Year

We are thrilled to have been recognized as the 2016 Small Business of the Year by the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce. We wanted to share the kind words that were shared about our business when we received the award! It was sponsored by F&M Bank and presented by Steve Fisher.

The nominees for the Small Business of the Year Award must meet the following criteria:

  • Fewer than 500 employees
  • Demonstrated growth in number of employees, sales volume, or financial position
  • Innovation in product, service, or management
  • Response to adversity
  • Contribution to the community

This year’s winner has been an exceptional community partner through the years as their business has continued to grow and expand, adjusting to changing marketing needs and trends to meet the needs of their clients. The winner of the Chamber’s 2016 Small Business of the Year is Perry Productions.

Brian and Lisa Perry began Perry Productions as a newly married couple transplanted from Ohio to Cabarrus County over 20 years ago working as technical writers and publishers for their first client, Electric Power Research Institute, that continues to still be one of their largest clients today.

Recognizing the importance of the internet and website design for businesses early on, they added website development to their services. One of their first web/social media clients was The Gem Theatre in Kannapolis. The success they garnered through that account brought them many more businesses and nonprofits, and they began to grow rapidly.

In 2013, Lisa was contracted by Constant Contact to speak on email marketing and social media, a great fit for the work they were already doing. In 2014, Perry Productions added social media management as a more prominent service resulting in 15 monthly retainer accounts that have made tremendous impacts in revenue and awareness for their clients.

After working out of their home for 20 years, Perry Productions decided it was time to move their office to Synergy Office Suites at the Old Creamery to obtain a more prominent location within the business community to accommodate their growing staff and offer more accessibility to their clients. They quickly outgrew that and in 2016, Brian and Lisa purchased a historic home in downtown Concord that is the new location of Perry Productions.

Education has always been an important focus for Lisa and Brian. They were active volunteers at their sons’ schools (when it was still cool for them to be there) and later with the Cabarrus County Education Foundation. Knowing the importance of mentoring, they are working with Cabarrus County Schools to establish an annual high school internship with their company.  

Through their business and personal journeys, they’ve been engaged and active in our community through Cabarrus Rotary, the Chamber, Central United Methodist Church and many more. Our community is definitely a better place to live because of Perry Productions who says, “As we reflect on our past, we judge ourselves not by our profit and loss statement, but by the success of our clients, the happiness and job satisfaction of our employees, and ultimately, our positive impact on our community.”

Please join me in congratulating the winners of the 2016 Small Business of the Year – Lisa and Brian Perry of Perry Productions! 

Gem Theatre Surpasses 20,000 Fans on Facebook

Long time client, the Gem Theatre, has surpassed 20,000 fans on their Facebook page! We are proud to have helped them grow their social media presence over the past 12 years to reach this milestone.

The Gem is a single-screen historic theatre located in Downtown Kannapolis, NC and still has affordable ticket prices at only $5 each ($4 before 6pm and for seniors and kids).

Visit them online at www.gem-theatre.com.