3 Simple Ways to Turn a Photo Shoot into a Video Shoot

Collecting content isn't always easy. And quality photo shoots can be hard to come by. Even if you shoot great photos on your phone, it’s not always clear how best to capture what your clients do, or why your audience should care.

It’s clear across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and more: social users don’t just want quality photos; they also want quality video.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to maximize those (often) rare opportunities for photo shoots by additionally capturing video footage.

But how best to collect video content in ways that are visually engaging? This can be especially tricky for clients like restaurants, whose products don’t perform any actions on their own (or at least we hope your food doesn’t leap off the plate 😳).

Here are three simple and easy ways to duplicate your photography efforts in order to capture engaging video assets for later use. Whether you take your own photos or hire a pro, these tips should help you get the most out of your next photo shoot:

1. Rack Focus

While you’re set up to shoot a still object or person, lock your tripod, turn your camera to Video mode, and capture a long take in which you slowly “rack” the focus from soft to sharp.

If you’re using a mobile device’s camera instead of a DSLR or other professional camera, try hitting record, tapping the background so your object/subject is out of focus, then tap the object/subject to bring it into sharp focus. Tap back and forth a few times so you can ensure you got at least one good rack clip.

2. Loops

Before GIPHY and Boomerang, the old school folks had to make their own loop clips from scratch. What a time to be alive!

To create a sweet loop without the use of an app, find a repeating pattern or get your subject to perform one. This can be waving a hand, showing off a product, or in our case, tossing a bowl of fries. Similar to racking focus, you’ll want to have your phone or camera set up with a tripod, especially if you’re trying to achieve that coveted “perfect loop” where it’s hard to see the cut in the footage.

3. Time-lapses

Almost any business can find a way to make their product or service look cool using time-lapse. Find an action or task that takes between 30 seconds and a few hours, and set up your camera to capture it. Broken record time: using a tripod is essential to time-lapse because if the camera is even a little shaky, the whole clip will be messy and harder to watch.

Once you’ve captured your long clip of action(s) being performed, speed up the footage until it’s as rapid as you like. Ideally, your sped-up clip is only 5-15 seconds.

But what to use for editing? We assume DSLR photographers have editing software already, such as Adobe Premiere Pro. But here’s a bonus simple way for you mobile phone photographers:

4. Videoshop

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This is just a cool and cheap mobile app that lets you edit and rearrange video clips. You can merge multiple clips into one video, copy/paste clips for loops, change the clip speed for time-lapse, and much more.

Good luck making the most of your photography opportunities! Did I miss any easy ways to make more videos? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @ThinPigMedia!

 

Generation Z – Tomorrow’s Complex Consumer

Understanding your audience and grabbing their attention has never been more important than it is today. With the ever-increasing use of social media, being able to reach millions by the touch of a finger and influencing a target audience’s buying pattern is a very powerful tool for marketers. But it can be equally powerful in a negative way. Targeting the right audience and sending a message that not only conveys you as a brand and your product, but avoids alienating or even offending your audience isn’t always as easy as it seems. Many marketers have learned the hard way, sparking controversies such as Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or the Dodge Ram’s Super Bowl spot featuring a Martin Luther King Jr. speech.

Although in hindsight it may seem easy to see where those spots went wrong, there was certainly lots of smart people reviewing the campaigns before they were launched.  It’s not easy to get it right, and today’s social media users are quick to let companies know when they got it wrong in LOUD and CLEAR voices, and in some instances spreading it like a wildfire on the net in mere seconds.

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But this precarious and volatile environment isn’t likely to change anytime soon, and thus keeping an eye on your future buyer is equally important. For many companies, their future (and in some cases current buyer) is Generation Z. Generation Z includes those born in the mid 1990s to the early 2000s.  They are today’s teenagers and the fastest growing hobnobbers of tomorrow’s trendsetters. Something unique about Generation Z and what sets them apart from any of their predecessors, is that they have never known a phone that wasn’t smart or an ad that wasn’t targeted. They make up 25.9%  of the U.S. population and when you factor in their influence on parents and home purchases, they have a buying power that is close to $200 billion making them very hard to ignore.

Here are some interesting facts on what made Generation Z tick:

  • They want highly personalized interactions
  • They are protective of their privacy
  • They give feedback
  • They prefer to browse anonymously and use aliases on sites such as Instagram and Twitter, and they love Snapchat for its privacy.
  • 85% of Generation Z learn about new products on social media
  • Instagram is the preferred social media for discovering brands, while YouTube is the preferred media for shopping recommendations
  • They’re influenced by Vloggers and internet stars more than celebrities.
  • They have a high tolerance for digital ads, preferring skippable ad formats. Marketers have a mere 9.5 seconds to get their message across.
  • They welcome ads with incentives
  • They’re the most culturally and socially diverse generation, and they expect marketers to be the same
  • They enjoy voice-activated ordering. Anything that makes shopping seem faster is appealing
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I decided to interview a group of budding Generation Zs to get a first-hand view on their favorite social media platforms and why.  As you read through their opinions, you will notice they are not talking a lot about making purchases through social media.  But you will learn which platforms they like the best, and how they use them. This should provide some insight on how to start to building brand awareness with them.

TPM: What social media platforms do you like and why? And do you ever watch the ads?

Bailey (a Freshman): I like Instagram best. You can chat with more people than on any of the other medias. You can post photos and watch videos. Instagram also has more functions than the other social medias. I follow certain celebrities and I like looking at the ads on Instagram, especially ads with cute clothes. Sometimes I buy stuff that I see on Instagram. I don’t post stories on Instagram. I prefer Snapchat for that. I also like Snapchat for group chats and streaks.

Annika (a Sophmore): I like Snapchat best. I like texting with my friends on Snapchat, and I like its privacy and that nothing stays there for long. I send photos to my friends using the filters or the stickers. I have streaks going with my friends and I post stories almost every day.  I also like that you can do group calls and groups chats on Snapchat. I don’t usually spend much time on ads, I prefer to just swipe them. Instagram is more the place where I like looking at ads. I follow celebrities and internet stars on YouTube, and I get some of my news feed there. I also like to get the news from Twitter.

Lorryn (Middle School): I prefer YouTube to all the other medias. I watch videos on vloggers and internet celebrities that I follow. If I see a product they like or they advertise, and it has my interest, I will buy it. My second favorite is Snapchat. I like to send my friends photos using the filters or the stickers. Sometimes I like to post a story if something cool happens in my day. I always watch the ads on Snapchat because I think they are interesting, and because it’s usually on stuff that I like. I use Twitter to check in on my community and to get the news.

Magnus (Middle School): I like Instagram best because I can see what my friends and family are doing. I also check out celebrities and internet stars that I follow, and I like the memes. I also like looking at the ads on Instagram. I recently bought a hoodie that I saw advertised on Instagram. I don’t post much on Instagram. I mainly post on Snapchat. I really like YouTube too. I watch comedy or horror movies, and vloggers that I follow. I like watching the ads, but the food ones I skip. I use Twitter for the news and to tweet random stuff.

Quin (Middle School): I only go on YouTube. I mostly watch other people’s gaming strategies and people playing games. Sometimes I watch people prank other people and movies. I also follow celebrities and vloggers on YouTube. I mostly go on YouTube when I want to relax.

Colton (a Junior): I primarily use Snapchat. It’s more personable than any of the other social medias. I use it for chats, to post stories and I have streak with my friends. I also use Snapchat for group chats and group calls, and I follow internet stars, vloggers and celebrities there. I never watch the ads. They’re boring! If the ads had an incentive they might catch my interest. My interest in a product is usually peaked through an internet star or a vlogger that I follow. My second favorite media is Instagram because it has a lot more variety of stuff. I post photos and follow celebrities there as well. I will send my friends messages on Instagram, but Snapchat is primarily where I go to connect with my friends. I go on YouTube for entertainment. I watch gaming videos and stuff on cars. I’ll watch the ads here, but I skip through all the girlie stuff. I mostly watch ads on trailers for movies or games.

Tor (Middle School): I just use YouTube. I like watching the videos. I watch a variety of stuff. Anything from people talking with other people to National Geographic videos to gaming and tutorial videos. If an ad takes a long time to load, I will skip it. But if the ad has a bit of suspense it will usually keep my interest.

TPM: None of you mentioned Facebook. Why is that?

Unanimously: Facebook is for old people. That’s where parents hang out (said with scrunched up faces indicating a huge dislike of said media).

And there you have it: Generation Z in a nutshell and tomorrow’s diverse buyer. Getting it right with your target audience can be tricky. If you need help reaching your audience, don’t forget we’re just a call away!

 

Welcome to the 4th of July. I'll Be Your Tour Guide.

Last week I was on a business trip visiting some of our great clients in Austin, TX. Our "tour guide" on the trip, Andy (also known as the President of Thin Pig Media), was spitting out tidbits of knowledge as we drove or walked from place to place. Local history to plant names and everything in-between. This is something I’ve really come to enjoy when I travel with Andy. These random pieces of knowledge seem to make the locations we visit so much more interesting. With the Fourth of July just a day away it got me thinking, how much do I really know about it? Ever since I can remember it has been my favorite holiday. I always picture it in my head like that scene from The Sandlot. Kids running around and families barbequing in the streets. Sparklers, bottle rockets and mortars lighting up the sky. Everyone laughing and enjoying the warm summer night. I figured that it’s time I learn a little more about it.

So, I did some research and have compiled these fun facts for you to enjoy. Hopefully you can use these to drop some knowledge bombs (see what I did there) on your friends this holiday.

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HISTORY

  • The Fourth of July does not celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence; it celebrates the adoption of the Declaration by the Second Continental Congress.
  • Contrary to popular belief, only two Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The majority of signers penned their signatures on August 2, 1776.
  • Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on your lap.
  • Massachusetts is the first state to recognize the Fourth of July as an official holiday on July 3, 1781. It wasn’t until June 28, 1870 that Congress decided to start designating federal holidays, with the first four being New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  • Our country now boasts over 326 million citizens, but on the first Fourth of July there were only 2.5 million.
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FIREWORKS

  • Fireworks were first invented by the Chinese over 2,000 years ago.
  • They were originally built by stuffing hollow air pockets in bamboo stalks with potassium nitrate, charcoal, sulfur and a few other ingredients. Eventually paper tubes replaced the bamboo stalks and the modern firework was born.
  • The first fireworks were used in warfare, but as the formulas and knowledge traveled to Europe, the celebratory use of fireworks became popular.
  • Italians are credited for creating the brightly colored displays we now enjoy. They included trace amounts of metal and other types of additives to create the multi-colored sparks and bursts in fireworks.
  • It’s all in the chemicals. Copper produces blue sparks, while a mix of salts and other substances make red. Barium yields a green glow, and sodium burns yellow.
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 FOOD & DRINKS

  • An estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on July 4th.
  • Americans will spend around $7.1 billion on food and other cookout expenses, averaging out to about $73 per person participating in a barbecue, outdoor cookout or picnic.
  • It’s estimated that Americans will spend around $1 billion on beer and more than $450 million on wine for their Fourth celebrations.
  • Barbecued treats and booze have become synonymous with Fourth of July celebrations. However, according to legend on July 4, 1776, John Adams and his wife, Abigail, sat down for a celebratory meal of turtle soup.
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FUN FACTS

  • Nothing screams Independence Day like red, white, and blue, but that wasn’t always the case. Some accounts from the 1700’s indicate that green was used for decorations.
  • The world’s largest fireworks display was not for July 4th. Church of Christ, Philippines set the record with their countdown to New Year celebration in 2016. They set off 810,904 fireworks in a display that lasted 1 hour, 1 minute and 21 seconds, in the pouring rain.
  • July 4th is a rough day for Presidents. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Monroe all died on July 4th.
  • If you want to know how far you are from the explosions: as soon as you see a flash, count the seconds until the “boom”. Multiply the number of seconds by 0.2 to get the distance in miles.
  • Sparklers, which are commonly used by children, burn at temperatures upward of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the Fourth of July parade in Bristol, Rhode Island. It began in 1785.
  • There are around 15,000 Independence Day fireworks celebrations every year.
  • If you are going to light off fireworks, wear cotton. The static electricity in synthetic clothing can unleash sparks that could detonate fireworks.
  • Do you have any fun facts about the Fourth of July? We’d love to hear them. 

 

These fun facts were gathered from the follow resources:

http://www.rfdtv.com/story/32328872/4th-of-july-fun-facts
http://mentalfloss.com/article/502369/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-fourth-july
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/03/4th-of-july-facts_n_3542777.html?slideshow=true#gallery/306682/1
https://www.realmofhistory.com/2017/07/04/10-facts-4th-of-july-independence-day/
https://parade.com/488324/tamrabolton/fun-fireworks-facts-for-the-fourth/
https://www.livescience.com/21313-fantastic-fireworks-facts.html
http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-firework-display/
https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/math/how-to-find-the-distance-to-thunderstorms-and-fireworks?page=2

Kauai: Off the Beaten Path

Recently, my role as a Social Media Manager at Thin Pig sent me on a client visit to Waimea Plantation Cottages, a Coast Hotels property, on the west side of Kauai. Over the course of a week I was shown all of the “must sees” and SO many hidden gems!

Unless you’re living under a rock, you are probably familiar with the Waimea Canyon, Spouting Horn in Poipu, and the stunning Nā Pali Coast. Take the road less traveled with some of my recommendations for great sights and bites on the Garden Island.

Where to Stay:

  • Waimea Plantation Cottages. If you are interested in an authentic way to experience the island of Kauai and to soak up relaxation at its finest, I highly recommend staying at Waimea Plantation Cottages. The charming cottages were built in the 1800s right along the ocean and vary from one bedroom to five bedrooms to accommodate small to large groups. Friendly smiles greet you when you arrive and lush scenery surrounds you as you make your way to your cottage. Once you get settled in, I highly recommend walking the beach and relaxing in a hammock under the palm trees. The sound of the waves is something I’ll never forget. Pro Tip: Try to check in during the day so you can see the lay of the land and experience the beauty immediately instead of having to wait until the next morning to soak it all in!

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Notable Spots to Enjoy Breakfast:

  • Gina’s Cafe. This little spot is located directly off of Kaumualii Highway in Waimea and serves breakfast and lunch. I had the Kenny Scramble Omelet with a side of rice and a hot cup of coffee. The food was tasty, the prices were good, and the service was great. Pro Tip: Add bell peppers to the scramble to add vegetables to this meal heavy in meat.
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  • Midnight Bear Bakery.  We stopped at this artisanal bakery in Hanapepe off of Hanapepe Road for a quick coffee and pastry, and ended up loving everything we had and the atmosphere. The inside is quaint with limited food and drink options, but the aroma was fantastic and all of the pastries were fresh and featured local ingredients. While the offerings may have been limited, I think everyone can find something they would enjoy and is perfect for the small town of Hanapepe. I chose a Papaya and Cream Cheese pastry with an iced coffee. Yum! Pro Tip: Stop back in for lunch as their lunch menu featured sandwiches that sounded awesome.
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  • Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Co. Based off the consistently slammed parking lot at this restaurant, I’m not sure if it is truly considered a hidden gem but we’ll go with it! This restaurant is located in Kalaheo off the Kaumualii Highway and serves breakfast and lunch daily and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Their breakfast menu is pretty extensive offering fresh pastries, local coffee along with omelets, pancakes, waffles, benedicts, and more. I chose an Iced Chai Tea Latte and the Kahili Breakfast and both were fantastic. Pro Tip: Order a latte. It comes in a large coffee cup with a decoration in the foam and from what I heard, was awesome.
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Places to Go at Lunch Time:

  • Plantations BBQ & Bar. Plantations is located at Waimea Plantation Cottages and opened just a few months ago. It operates under the name Plantations BBQ & Bar but is actually a Chicken in a Barrel franchise, a barbeque restaurant with two other locations on the island. This laidback restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers a couple local beers on tap along with their famous barbeque, burgers, salads, and more. I had the Chicken in a Barrel plate which came with chili and rice and it was SO much food. This is a great option for a casual bite to eat while staying at the cottages or for those hungry when leaving the nearby Waimea Canyon. Pro Tip: Try the onion rings!

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  • Koloa Fish Market. This little market is very easy to miss when driving through Koloa as it is located on a corner of a building and is smaller than the average living room. However, this is a MUST VISIT when on the island if you want to experience some of the best poke you’ve ever eaten. If you are unfamiliar, poke is a seafood salad comprised of marinated seafood (most commonly raw tuna) with soy sauce, sesame oil, onions, and sometimes avocados. Poke translates to the word chunk in Hawaiian. Anyway, this little fish market serves a HUGE variety of pokes by the pound and it tastes SO fresh. I tried the avocado poke and it was literally the best I’ve ever eaten. Pro Tip: Bring cash as this is a cash only market.
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Unique Dinner Options:

  • La Spezia. I would consider this truly one of the biggest gems on the island of Kauai. Who would have thought you could find authentic Italian food in a small town in Hawaii? Located in Koloa (almost next door to the Koloa Fish Market), this restaurant provides a great atmosphere, a small menu of carefully thought out Italian dishes, an impressive wine list, and customer service that will almost have you feeling as if you’re a guest of the family. We started our meal with the Prosciutto Flatbread that was better than I was expecting it to be and their fresh baked bread that was delivered to the table with oil. Next came a Caesar Salad before the main course of Nonna’s Lasagna (nonna meaning grandmother in Italian). Holy moly. This lasagna was unlike any restaurant lasagna I’ve had. For the time we were at this restaurant, I would have thought I was at a little Italian restaurant in New York, Chicago, or one of the other major cities that are known for classically good Italian food. I highly recommend stopping here for a nice dinner while visiting this island. Pro Tip: Order the Amaro Cheesecake to finish off your meal if you can share amongst the table. So. Good.

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  • The Saddle Room. This is a local spot in Waimea located near Gina’s Cafe on Kaumualii Highway and serves burgers, steaks, an assortment of appetizers, and has a full bar. I had a steak that was pretty good and we also ordered Chichiron, which are deep fried pork skins that were pretty unique but good. Why am I recommending this place when my food was pretty average? I’ve heard rave reviews about the burgers and I loved the atmosphere. It’s a small, rustic environment with live music and is very relaxed. I would give this place a second visit or two. Pro Tip: Check to make sure they are open before you plan on making the drive out to Waimea for a visit. They are only open Thursday - Sunday.
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Things to Do and Places to Visit:

Hanapepe. This town may be little but it has a lot to offer. There is a Swinging Bridge that goes over the Hanapepe River that is historic and a pretty neat find if you have the time. This town is also named the home of Lilo and Stitch, and you can find a mural on Hanapepe Road (near Midnight Bear Bakery) that is fun to see if you’re a fan of the Disney classic like me. There are a couple art galleries and small restaurants that make this little town worth stopping in for a few hours. Pro Tip: Visit Hanapepe Friday nights from 5pm to 9pm for Friday Art Night. I didn’t get to attend personally, but it was highly recommended to me a few times by various people on the island.

  • Hanalei. While this is definitely not a hidden gem or local find, I do want to bring attention to the fact they have reopened after the devastating flooding they endured in April. Chin Young Village is a unique shopping center with a couple restaurants, small boutiques and more, and across the street you can find Havaiki oceanic and tribal art and more little shops. I heard Hanalei is normally much busier than when I visited due to people avoiding the north shore from the flood damage. I can’t stress enough how important it is to visit the fun, hippy town of Hanalei to boost their tourism to support their local economy. Not much of a shopper? Visit for the views. They’re breathtaking. Pro Tip: Visit Hanalei Bread Co. and order the BEST Avocado Toast I’ve ever had. The Iced Chai Tea Latte was also my favorite I had while in Kauai.
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Salt Pond Beach. This is one of the better public access beaches on Kauai. With its large size, covered patios for get-togethers, and a shallow area for the kiddos, this makes for a great afternoon destination. Pro Tip: Check this area out to see Monk Seals sunbathing. I’ve heard this is a great area to see them along with Poipu Beach.

  • Kekaha Beach. This beach is on the far west side of Kauai and is part of the longest stretch of white sand beach in Hawaii. A lot of people don’t venture this west for a beach day so it is known for being less crowded and more secluded. Pro Tip: Visit here for breathtaking sunset views. Don’t forget your camera!

Maluhia Road. Take a detour down Maluhia Road on your way to Koloa through the Tree Tunnel with your windows down. Pro Tip: Listen to the local 95.9 FM Da Pa'ina radio station. The songs are Hawaiian and Reggae, or also called Jawaiian, and really make you feel the vibes of Hawaii.

The Web Never Forgets

I recently read an article called "Think Again Before You Post Online Those Pics Of Your Kids" that made me think. It made me think A LOT about what I have been posting about my family and friends on social media. How many of you have posted a funny video of your kids that might be slightly embarrassing for them, but it is just too good not to share? I know I have. But what I have failed to do is to think about how many will view and share that particular video, and for how long it will be available for anyone and everyone to see.  The carbon footprint, so to speak, that we leave behind of ourselves on social media is there for the public to view forever! That ‘fun’ video you posted of your kids will be on the internet for your kids’ friends to view forever, even when they are teenagers and most likely do not want anyone to see it.

In trying to keep my kids safe, I have always been very concerned with what my kids share on their preferred social media platforms (which, incidentally does NOT include Facebook). I often tell them that what they post will be there for an eternity. I have put down a long list of ‘rules’ of what is okay and what is not okay on their social media; there can be no indecent photos, no bad language, no mean comments, no bullying, no connecting with strangers, no rude comments about myself or their dad, and he and I both have to be a ‘friend’ of theirs, so we can keep tabs on their social media activities. But in all honesty, I haven’t given much thought to the longevity and potential reach of what I post on social media. Of course, I don’t post anything about my kids maliciously, but rather to share what is going on in my life, which includes not only my activities but also those of my kids. My family lives in Europe and it is an easy way for me to connect with them and vice versa for them to see what is going on in my life here. But here is the thing: How do my kids feel about what I post about them on social media? I am embarrassed to say that I have never asked them…

Social media hasn’t been around that long (Facebook started in 2004, about the time when most current middle school students were born,) so it is hard to say how growing up on social media can affect your kids’ privacy and security. However, it’s time to consider the issue seriously. What we as parents post on social media about our kids shape their online image, which is there to stay forever. My daughter turned thirteen in the fall. As any other young teenager, she is concerned with her image and wants to be portrayed in a positive light whether it is on my social media or at school.

After reading that article, we decided that it’s time we sit down with our kids and draw up guidelines for what they are comfortable with being posted on social media. Working together on deciding what to post and what to avoid will create a mutual respect and appreciation, and at the same time teach great social media etiquette. In my household, we have set up a family meeting for this Saturday to make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to posting on our social media.

With that said – Good luck and happy posting!