Aneta Pawlik https://www.anetakpawlik.eu Freelance Marketing Consultant Mon, 19 Feb 2018 19:34:37 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cropped-favicon-coloured-32x32.png Aneta Pawlik https://www.anetakpawlik.eu 32 32 Last Minute Useful Gifts for Female Freelancers https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/gifts-for-female-freelancers/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/gifts-for-female-freelancers/#respond Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:29:41 +0000 https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=6488   This article contains affiliate links.

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Do you have friends, who are freelancers? Are you a cool #bosslady looking for ideas for her ‘From me to me’ present? Do you need a cool idea for practical Christmas gifts for freelancers? I got your back!

This nifty guide to useful gifts for female freelancers by a female freelancer will give you a good idea how to make the giftee squeal with joy.

Subscriptions

Enter 2017, where it’s okay to gift subscriptions to online services. In fact, some of these are better than yet another sweater…

Aneta Pawlik Resources Page Skillshare

Skillshare is the perfect gift for marketing, SEO, IT, business and creative freelancers, who want to hone their skills and continue learning. I have been using it for the past two years to improve my Photoshop skills.

Visit Skillshare

Grammarly is a real life-saver for those, who write a lot, even professionally. It takes care of typos and suggests words or syntax improvements when writing a social media post or answering client’s e-mail in a rush.

Visit Grammarly
Last Minute Useful Gifts for Freelancers by Aneta Pawlik eu Spotify

Thousands of songs categorised into productivity-boosting playlists at your disposal make Spotify a must during those long afternoons of hustling through your workload. Work playlist anyone?

Visit Spotify
Last Minute Useful Gifts for Freelancers by Aneta Pawlik eu - Audible

The repetitive tasks and long commutes between meetings are not a hassle anymore when you can listen to books! Amazon’s audiobooks service, Audible, is the best gift for those, who need a distraction for their manual work.

Visit Skillshare
Last Minute Useful Gifts for Freelancers by Aneta Pawlik eu - Calm

Being a freelancer is really stressful, there is no way around it. Daily meditation has shown to reduce stress and improve the general wellbeing so why not try Calm, a mindfulness meditation app. It helps to re-focus on what matters the most – our health

Visit Skillshare
Last Minute Useful Gifts for Freelancers by Aneta Pawlik eu - Memrise

Something for us, freelance ladies in Vienna. Knowing German will open many doors but the language is so friggin hard! Memrise premium version helped me get into daily vocabulary practice AND actually improve my German speaking skills.

Visit Skillshare

Books

Everybody loves good books! Especially if they come with a valuable piece of advice from the industry thought leaders. The ones listed below had a huge impact on me; they helped me create healthier work habits and changed my attitude towards being my own boss.

Mobile worker essentials

Nothing spells ‘useful’ like handy gadgets for mobile workers.

Every drop of motivation helps

Let’s be honest – we need something to keep us going and grounds us in those difficult moments. Being a freelancer is not a walk in the park!


 

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The Simple Guide to Organised and Safe Folder Structure on Windows https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/folder-structure-guide/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/folder-structure-guide/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 21:02:00 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=6418  

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You are working on your computer putting together a new Facebook ad campaign for your brand. Then the deceptively easy to answer question pops up: ‘Where are the photos I took last year at my launch party?’. And the search begins…

Working with gigabytes or terabytes worth of data is less of a headache when you have an easy to navigate folder structure. Whether you manage your own files or share information with your team, the first step to making your work efficient and productive is to set up a clear folder map. Top three reasons you should organise your files into an intuitive system are:

  1. Faster and more efficient work
  2. Clarity of navigation for new users
  3. Ability to back up new files on top of the old ones, rather than having to back up the whole file folder from the beginning

The following article is based on my experience on managing large volume personal and professional file libraries. It will provide you with guidance and tips on how to set up an organised and safe folder structure for your small business on Windows OS, which you can later maintain and backup effortlessly.  Let’s dive straight into cleaning up your file system!

1. Decide where you store your files

For most people, it’s obvious that they store their most important files, including business ones, on their computer drives. This is the most convenient option, however, complications arise when the computer breaks or you need to start sharing your files with somebody outside your home network.

Not to mention that computers of regular users are incredibly prone to hacking because we visit different corners of the Internet compared to work time browsing.

The first question every small business owner needs to ask themselves is:

Do I divide personal and work folders?

Yes, this is the first question! Here is why:

Small business owners often start off with working on personal computers and, due to convenience (and limited resources combined with a heavy workload!), rarely care to separate their work and personal files on their machines. As a business owner you do need to reconsider this approach, not only in terms of protecting sensitive business files, client information, logins and assets from being accessed via personal computer but also in terms of making a clear-cut division between your work-life and off time.

A personal computer is, in fact, used for personal things and we are way more demanding of it than of our designated work laptops. We make it the centre of our virtual lives but what will happen when it gets damaged by a family member or taken on holidays and stolen?

The answer to that one question will also guide your choice of data vehicle for your business.

If you own only one computer, then I suggest you consider hosting your business data on a cloud. I have two computers – one is used as a portable writing machine and stores no files, the other is my work computer. It was important to me to have access to my files regardless of which laptop was in use. I also wanted to share files with my clients without having to play the e-mail game.

I purchased space on Google Drive couple of years ago and have been a faithful GD user since then. The benefits of using Google cloud storage for your files are:

  • Accessibility
  • Security against cyber attacks as well as data loss
  • Work sharing
  • Incredible features for Google Drive users

On a side note, if you will host your website and domain with World4You, you will receive 10GB cloud storage for free together with Domainserver 2017 package (starts at € 2.99 per month).

If you do not want to completely switch to cloud storage, you can decide which assets have to be accessed by co-workers/clients and move them to the cloud, leaving the rest on your hard drive.

Really important step about which I learned in an episode of Hackable podcast: do not install Google Drive App on your computer to sync locally stored files with the cloud. If your computer becomes the target of, for example, ransomware, which works by encrypting files to make them unreadable until you pay and receive a special key, your safe cloud mirror folders will be replaced with the infected ones after the first automatic computer-to-cloud sync.

You will most likely still store your files on your computer for accessibility reasons and I suggest to limit whatever you store locally to just the files you need and nest them in a designated folder (which is: not on your Desktop). For example, I store design elements on my computer as the file contains 100GB of data and I need access to it every day – downloading elements would take too much time and bandwidth. However, I do not store invoices or sensitive documents on my computer. I keep that backed up to an external drive and on a separate cloud storage.

Tip: Take a piece of paper and draw the infrastructure of your folders starting from the device you will host them on, the type of files you will put there and where each data bank will be backed up to. Save this file in your business administration folder and update it regularly. 

2. Categorise Your File Folders

You decided where you will store your files so now it’s time to clean up the actual file system.

The regular folder structure is simply a hierarchy cascading down from the generic term to more detailed content. There is no golden rule for how to categorise your files – this is as personal as taste in music goes, and should be based on the way you work.

For example, the top tier of my folder structure is divided into three folders: Life, Work, Side Projects. This is based on how and when I use my files, as well as divides up my files into three nice chunks I can safely back up to different platforms. The same folder structure is copied across all of my data storages, helping me maintain order. When I download files from my cloud, I immediately drop them into one of the three folders.

Tip: Create one folder structure and apply it across all devices you own. It will make it easier to remember where you drop your files, what to back up and, if you switch computers, what needs to be moved.

The easiest way to categorise your files is to think about their purpose or ownership.

For example, you are a shop owner, who is cleaning up resources on her work computer. You could decide that you want to have six main folder groups:

  1. Business Documentation
  2. Finances
  3. Website
  4. Social Media
  5. Photos
  6. Team

Another example: you are setting up a new file system for you, your Designer and your Assistant. You might want to base the root folders on the ownership of the files:

  1. Your Name
  2. Assistant
  3. Designer

3. Go as Detailed as You Want

I don’t think there is such a thing as ‘Too many folders’. If somebody wants to create a folder for every single file they own it’s fine. Problems start when your new system takes more effort than the actual work you need to do.

You might choose to use year-month-date named folder structure, which is my favourite because it helps me speed up my backup routine. Or you could keep branching out to as many sub-folders as you deem necessary based on the category of your files:

  • Social Media:
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Pinterest

Designers will diligently document their projects in separate dated folders but people like me will save their designs in folders based on the purpose of the design file, for example, all social media adverts will go into one folder regardless of when they were created . Think about the easiest and most logical way for you to save and later find your files.

Whenever possible, create folder structure templates. If you are blogging for your business and create a new folder for each post, your folder template for blog posts could contain:

  • Blog post:
    Research
    Article
    Photos

In terms of business folder structure, you should definitely templatise tax year folders!

Tips:

  • Add folder icons to make your folders easy to recognise. Right-click on the folder you want to personalise, click on ‘Customise’ tab and select ‘Change Icon…’. Select your preferred image and save!
  • Pin your popular folders to ‘Quick access’ panel. Right-click on the folder and select ‘Pin to Quick access’. Now it will appear in the list on the left in your File Explorer window.
  • Pin frequently used files to Windows taskbar, which is the bottom file strip in Desktop view. You can do so by dragging and dropping folders onto Windows taskbar.

4. Name Your Folders Right

I see the tendency to either be very generic or too specific when naming folders. The rule I use is the further down subfolder path you are, the more detailed names become. However, don’t get too elaborate with the names of your folders or single files – a good idea is to code your folders based on simple criteria, such as:

  • Project name/code/acronym
  • Project number
  • Location
  • Purpose (for example, ‘FB’ for all Facebook-related folders)

Tip: You can hashtag your projects to make them easily discoverable in the folder search. While Windows folders can be searched by keywords, you can create custom filters by adding codes to your folders. For example, all of my website related files are tagged with ‘#AKP_WEBSITE’. The name of my design folder will be as following ‘AKP_WEBSITE_Design’.

Don’t fall into the trap of keeping everything saved aka being the hamster:

  • Avoid backing up Word files of your blog articles to your computer – if you regularly back up your blog and server files, this data is already saved.
  • Delete copies of social media posts you have already published.
  • Archive. Consider archiving folders from previous years to a secure backup drive.

5. Stick to your system

Once you spent time making sure your folders are neatly tucked into their designated homes, make sure to upkeep your files.

Say no to messy desktop and put your files wherever they are supposed to go immediately. Save them directly into their dedicated folders and keep the structure maintained. It takes 1 minute to do so and will save you hours in the future.

The same goes for creating generic mixed files folders – steer away from dropping files without categorising them properly.

It’s also a good idea to plan a maintenance hour each month – for example, schedule your back up in Google Calendar, update the list of folders and their content in your administration document and archive old files.

Conclusion

Maintaining a clear and cohesive folder structure, which makes it possible for you to find files, organise them and back them up fast is a luxury you can afford.  I hope this simple guide to organised and safe folder structure on Windows will give you a gentle kick to start thinking about the way you can make your small business administration easier!

The Simple Guide to Organised and Safe Folder Structure on Windows- Easybill cloud-based invoicing software
Cloud-based Invoicing Software
The Simple Guide to Organised and Safe Folder Structure on Windows- Google Drive Recommendation
Versatile Cloud Storage
The Simple Guide to Organised and Safe Folder Structure on Windows- External Hard Drive
Portable External Hard Drive

 

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How to Design a Great Online Brand https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/design-great-online-brand/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/design-great-online-brand/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 05:16:19 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=6342 The first challenge of online marketing is to build something that your audience will be inspired by. Whatever your industry, your success will be underpinned by your branding strategy. After all, it is your unique brand that sets you apart from your competitors, makes you recognizable to your customers, and forms the basis of all […]

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The first challenge of online marketing is to build something that your audience will be inspired by. Whatever your industry, your success will be underpinned by your branding strategy. After all, it is your unique brand that sets you apart from your competitors, makes you recognizable to your customers, and forms the basis of all aspects of your marketing campaigns.

Your brand is not just a name and a logo. It is the identity of your business, incorporating everything from your aspirations to your ethics. This identity will influence buyer perceptions of your organization. Meanwhile, the personality that you define for your brand will determine the style and tone of all marketing content and communications created in your brand’s name.

Creating a new online brand can seem daunting to begin with. However, if you have a promising idea, and the commitment to make it great, then you are already halfway there. The following steps will guide you through the process of fine-tuning your brand identity, building your online presence, and giving your business the boost it needs to succeed.

Defining Your Brand

Naturally, the first order of business is to figure out exactly what your brand represents. If you have a business idea in mind, then you already have the makings of your brand. Alternatively, you may still be looking for the perfect niche within which to set up an online store or provide a bespoke service.

Your brand’s identity is founded on your business aims, ethics, and aspirations. However, at its heart, your business is also a reflection of your own interests, enthusiasm, and dedication to your chosen industry. This commitment should also be conveyed in your brand’s personality, as it provides your audience with an insight into the person or people behind the brand.

The reason this is so important is that, today, customers are far more interested in dealing with people than with faceless organizations. They are just as keen to know why you launched your startup as they are to hear how great your products are. Building trust and familiarity is a powerful way to secure leads and convince your audience to put their faith in your brand.

As such, it is important that your audience not only recognize you as the mind behind the brand, but also that they recognize you as being one and the same in terms of your morality, business aims, and dedication to your customers.

Build Your Image

Constructing your brand’s image should not be as challenging as it might initially sound. After all, you have already figured out your brand’s identity, so the next step is simply to convey this in a manner that will appeal to your chosen audience.

Here are the most important steps to keep in mind when constructing an image for your brand:

  • Be authentic
  • Be consistent

Tell your story, so potential buyers can build a picture of who you are and what your business can offer them in comparison with your competitors. Furthermore, this is your chance to demonstrate what makes your brand unique, to tell your audience where the business is going, and invite them along for the ride.

Honesty and transparency come with the added bonus of making it far easier to be consistent in your brand marketing. In order for your customers to easily recognize and understand your brand, consistency and cohesion are vital.

This encompasses everything; from the colour palettes used in your marketing communications, to the style and tone of your content. Over time you will become more and more at home with your brand’s voice. However, the more genuine this is to begin with, the easier it will be both to maintain and to impart through marketing communications.

Be Responsive

With your brand’s concept established, it’s time to let people know it exists. Reach out to friends and family, generate valuable, relevant content for your onsite blog, and begin to develop your social media presence.

Until you begin directly interacting with your audience, you cannot truly understand how they will engage with your brand, and how your design may need to evolve to fit the needs of your customers.

Be aware of feedback, queries and complaints, and be sure to establish clear times during which you or your team are available to answer customers directly. This will be your main point of contact with the individuals your brand is made to inspire, so it is vital that you present a positive, consistent face across all platforms.

A well-designed brand is not only intuitive but one that all members of your team can understand and promote effectively. Remember, to your customers you are a unified entity, so everything from your email copy to your complaints handling procedure reflects on the consumer perception of your brand.

Test, Adapt and Grow

However successful your brand may be in its early weeks, to maintain its popularity and enable it to continue to grow and evolve, you will need to monitor its performance data, and be prepared to make changes. Tools such as Google Analytics can provide a range of invaluable insights into aspects such as your web traffic, content engagement, and social media interactions.

Similarly, if your online store uses an e-commerce CMS, you should be able to gather useful analytics data from the platform itself. These details not only give you a clearer picture of who is engaging with your marketing, and showing an interest in your brand, but also highlight when something is underperforming.

This information will help you to further improve your branding by optimizing failing content, retargeting your marketing efforts, and generating more accurate buyer personas.

In the long-term, the style and personality of your brand will evolve in line with the growth of your business. After all, however successful your brand may be, it hinges on the interest and approval of your audience. It is your awareness of changing trends and your continued attention to the needs of your business that will enable you to adapt proactively to keep your brand relevant.

Nevertheless, your success in designing an impactful brand gives you a firm foundation on which to build. As such, if you continue to follow the above guidelines, and keep the aims and identity of your brand at the heart of your decisions, your business will go from strength to strength, fuelled by your dedication, and the support of your growing audience.


Victoria Greene Brand Marketer & WriterVictoria Greene, Brand Marketer & Writer

I have helped multiple ecommerce brands deal with the demands of the global marketplace. I know what it takes to succeed as a global enterprise — and memorable online branding plays a big part in that.


If you would like to become a guest author at anetakpawlik.eu, please visit this page. 

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How to Increase Engagement with Emojis Marketing https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/increase-engagement-emojis-marketing/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/increase-engagement-emojis-marketing/#comments Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:42:25 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=6046 It’s incredible to think that these tiny digital ideograms created by Shigetaka Kurita became a language on their own. Colour me impressed, they even got their own holiday – the 17th of July is the official World Emoji Day! There is more – they have grown to be an irrevocable part of digital communication to such […]

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It’s incredible to think that these tiny digital ideograms created by Shigetaka Kurita became a language on their own.

Colour me impressed, they even got their own holiday – the 17th of July is the official World Emoji Day!

There is more – they have grown to be an irrevocable part of digital communication to such an extent that the scientists confirm their ability to affect emotions of people, who see them. This is not something you can nonchalantly walk past.

This post will let you in on the emoji marketing secrets and explain how you can successfully increase engagement with emojis marketing on your online channels without appearing out of touch.

Emoji Fun Facts

There are 2,666 emojis in the Unicode Standard as of May 2017, reports Emojipedia.

In 2015, for the first time ever the word of the year was the universally loved ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ –  ????

Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”). The resemblance to the English words emotion and emoticon is purely coincidental. (Source: Wikipedia)

In the first large-scale study of emoji usage, the researchers at the University of Michigan analysed over 427 million messages input via the Kika Emoji Keyboard and announced that the Face With Tears of Joy was the most popular emoji.

The Emoji Sentiment

The mystery of how big of a deal this is dissipates once you dig into the actual emoji research, namely emoji sentiment analysis. A map of emoji sentiment was published in December 2015 indicating what emotions are caused by all existing at the time emojis against three point scale: positive reaction (colour green), neutral reaction (colour yellow) and negative reaction (colour red). How come emojis are able to elicit strong emotions? To put it simply, first emoticons and then emoji filled the void in digital communication that nothing else had been able to remedy with the same dexterity and popularity before – by adding what the author of Texting Toward Utopia defines as ‘ the nuances of face-to-face or voice-to-voice interaction […]which are necessarily lacking when you’re interacting by way of the screen’.

“Emojis are actually making us more effective communicators in the digital communication space because they’re filling in something that’s actually missing… the non-verbal cues that tell us how the message should be interpreted’, Vyvyan Evans, the author of Emoji Code.

In fact, a research by TalkTalk Mobile conducted in 2015 found that emojis are the fastest growing language ever, with eight out of 10 people using the symbols and icons to communicate. The survey even revealed that 72% of 18- to 25-year-olds found it easier to put their feelings across using emojis than with words.

Still wondering how come an emoji can influence the recipient of a message more than the text itself? Actually, the conclusion has nothing to do with the power of emoji itself- humans are naturally inclined to pay more attention to images because our brains process them faster. According to a study by 3M, the corporation behind Post-it Notes, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, which means you can deliver your point quicker with an emoji. The finding also points a finger at the Internet speech preferences – we do like to read posts that are short and punchy and naturally gravitate towards such content.

What Do Emojis Mean for Marketing?

Well, quite a lot. Larry Kim wrote in 2015 that adding an emoji to a tweet increases engagement by 25.4%. Twitter is the prime location for emoji bonanza – giants such as Coca-Cola and Taco Bell took their emoji business to Twitter,  cashing in on the correct assumption that users love to participate in playful brand stunts when they feel the companies speak their language. In addition, Twitter’s functionality makes it possible to trigger an emoji with a branded hashtag – an attractive option to strengthen brand identity and invite virtual crowds to the party.

How to Increase Engagement with Emojis Marketing - Game of Thrones Twitter Campaign 2017
Game of Thrones Twitter Campaign 2017

The natural affinity of Twitter users to express themselves with emojis is unquestionable. You can witness it with this real time Twitter emoji tracker.

Instagram is not falling behind – in 2015 the platform conducted a research analysing emoji usage and it came up with some staggering statistics:

Now, nearly 50 percent of all captions and comments have an emoji or two. Instagram’s research has also revealed that folks in Finland insert emojis most frequently, with 63 percent of all text posted from the country containing at least one graphic. The US (38 percent) takes the ninth place in that list, after France (50 percent), UK (48 percent), Germany (47 percent), Italy (45 percent), Russia (45 percent), Spain (40 percent) and Japan (39 percent).

Instagram’s parent brand, Facebook, can also benefit from a smiley face or praying hands, reporting that ‘posts that use emoticons have a 57% higher like rate, a 33% higher comment rate, and a 33% higher share rate’. Recently revealed Facebook emoji usage stats present even more interesting numbers: ‘more than 60 million emojis are used on Facebook each day, paling in comparison to the more than 5 billion that are used on Messenger daily’, writes Adweek.

Facebook - World Emoji Day Infographic
Source: Adweek

 

On top of increased post engagement, emojis have the distinct ability to humanise your brand and create the sense of relatability, which in turn puts your brand on the same level as your customer. Needless to add, brands, which try to create the aspirational world (‘You need to fulfil certain requirements to use brand x’) rather than positioning themselves as readily available to solve your problem will see a smaller share of voice as the time goes by.

How to Incorporate Emojis into Your Marketing Strategy?

You know the emojis matter but you are not sure how to seamlessly plot them into your content plan without missing the mark or seeming fake. Understandable – your brand has a tone of voice and the way you express it online needs to be harmonious. Take note of the following steps when choosing to play the emoji game.

#1  Match Emojis to Your Audience

“The approach we use is going to be much different than a company targeting Millennials in terms of what emojis we use. While we might use a simple smiley face in an email subject line, a business looking to really grab the attention of a younger target market might use more edgy emojis,” explained Buzz Burgett of Northwest Mechanica to The Entrepreneur, exhibiting more than just a basic understanding of the dynamics of emoji language – he realised that emojis, just like the regular language, differentiate in terms of being generic and demographic-specific.

Emojis are versatile in terms of being commonly understood but your target audience will have emojis preferences. Your dream clients will use certain emojis more and give cold shoulders to other symbols. Make sure to spy on your ideal customers’ online behaviour and get a sense of what emojis they tend to gravitate towards and which ones are expressive of their lifestyle.

For example, back in 2015 Norwegian Air Shuttle decided to target specifically millennial audience with their new direct flight connecting Copenhagen and Las Vegas. They chose to promote their offer on Instagram (a platform native to Millennials) using emojis, a language loved and popularised by them. They had eight influencers (another representation of how well they researched their target group) post an image of an URL exclusively made up of emojis. On the day of the campaign launch, 600 people visited the site, reached over 500,000 users and generated 4,171 likes on all promotional posts in total.

Norwegian Air Shuttle Emoji Campaign

#2 Match Emoji to Your Audience

It does not matter what industry you are sitting in when choosing to use emoji marketing. However, it does matter who your audience is. I once had a client tell me that emojis are not to be used on their social media accounts because they do not match their luxurious profile. I would have agreed with him had he not tried to reach influential and young urban celebrities.

However, don’t fall into the trap of assuming that every single emoji will be suitable for your brand.

Let’s look at the memorable House of Fraser emoji fail from 2016. House of Fraser is a British premium department store known for upper-shelf goods. Last year for unknown reasons the brand suddenly filled its Twitter feed with emojified photos, trying to speak the lingo of the younger generation. Except 1) they are known for a refined and classy tone of voice and 2) that target group does not shop in HoF stores unless mum is paying.


Imagine the confusion:

How to Increase Engagement with Emojis Marketing House of Fraser Emoji Fail Twitter Reaction

How to Increase Engagement with Emojis Marketing House of Fraser Emoji Fail Twitter Reaction

Pro tip: instead of plunging right into the conversation, start small – select couple of emojis matching your brand’s personality and introduce them gradually. Don’t know what your brand personality is? Contact me here.

#3 Be Wary of Double Meaning

When you look closely at the map of emoji sentiment and what emojis are inducing positive reactions versus negative reactions, you might get a little bit confused why some innocent symbols have negative sentiment. While originally emojis have been generic communication aids, some became appropriated to ambiguously represent cultural topics, such as the nail painting emoji 💅 , which stands for carefree attitude and sassy women having none of it.

Do your research and figure out the cultural and implied meaning of your chosen emoji as well as in what way your target demographics use them. You can use Emojipedia to see what emojis are available and also what they look like on different software or operating systems.

Good examples of how deceitfully innocent emojis can be are two symbols: peach and eggplant.

How to Increase Engagement with Emojis Marketing - The Meaning of Peach Emoji

In Durex’s campaign aimed to encourage the use of condoms, it took ownership of the eggplant emoji due to its phallic shape and heavily incorporated emoji language into their communication obviously targeting younger generations.

#4 Emoji-Talk Naturally

Use emojis naturally rather than with the intention to attract people otherwise you are leaving a whiff of desperation behind. How to distinguish between the right dose and trying too hard?

First of all, the way you use emojis should emulate the way one would write a personal message – this is the make or break of emojis marketing for a lot of brands.

“There is a constant push and pull between people finding new ways to express themselves online, and companies trying to make money off that expression,” Luke Stark, a digital media scholar, told the New York Times, hammering the point home – if you are trying to take advantage of a trend for financial gain, you will be found and online-shamed.

How to Increase Engagement with Emojis Marketing

When emoji marketing was fresh and exciting, many brands went on the emoji craze creating branded emoji keyboards, IKEA and Burger King being prime examples. However, the novelty of custom emoji quickly worn off, something that could have been avoided had the brands decided to incorporate existing emojis into their communication.

The best example of a brand, which was ahead of the game and appropriated one particular emoji creating a cohesive online front is Domino’s Pizza. Pizza slice icon became their signature and the centrepiece of their Domino’s Emoji Ordering campaign in 2015 when customers with an online DP account could post a tweet with pizza slice emoji and this way order a pizza.

Years later the slice is still there:

Similarly, PETA, an organisation that does not pull its punches, tied existing emojis to their animal mistreatment awareness Cruelty Beyond Words 2014 campaign.

The key takeaway is to sound natural and take things slow as opposed to using emojis without the goal of connecting with your audience. A great example of taking it too far is the 2015 press release for Chevrolet 2016 Cruze written in emojis…

#5 Involve Your Audience

When it comes to emoji and engagement, many brands successfully ran posts along the lines of ‘Respond with an emoji to enter the draw’ or ‘Comment with your favourite emoji to let us know …’. Direct request to express yourself in the simplest way possible rarely goes unanswered. The funkier the poll, the better…

Facebook extended its emoji offering by adding reactions and feeling statuses with emojis assigned to different emotions. This gives you the tools to start getting personal with how your brand is behaving on social media. Speaking of which…

#6 Make It Personal

Many marketing experts argue that emojis give brands a human demeanour. When talking about getting closer to your audience, don’t forget about email marketing.

Emojis marketing and email marketing mix well – 56% of brands using emoji in their email subject lines had a higher unique open rate, according to a report by Experian.

A study by the University of Missouri-St.Louis, examined the effects of “smiley emoticons” on the various relational outcome and the effects of emotions on the perceived credibility of the sender in task-oriented and socio-emotional contexts. The researchers found that ‘Participants in a task-oriented condition actually liked the sender more if the sender used an emoticon rather than if the sender used no emoticon’. Going further, they confirm that actually using emoticons is desirable in business emails: ‘in order to build credibility or professionalism, using emoticons in an email might create a positive expectancy violation by being friendly, emotional, and personal’.

The findings go hand in hand with the research by the Florida Institute of Technology, which concluded that using emoticons in business emails ‘reduced the negativity effect in the business-related email messages, such that the same message sounded less negative when paired with a positive (smiley) emoticon.

Campaign Monitor compiled these two amazing guides on emojis in email marketing, which you should read if you want to start adding smileys to your subject lines. Read the real scoop on email emoji in subject line, and a ‘Using Emoji and Symbols in Your Email Subject Lines’ guide.

Conclusion

As Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps, says:

“Currently 270 [billion] messages are sent per day and somewhere around 6 [billion] emojis [are sent] per day. Assuming the projected growth holds, this medium will become more important, not less.”

They are here to stay and you have no choice but use them. When you decide to venture into the land of emoji, make sure you remember this point:

Emojis should be tailored to

  • your target audience (What emojis are they using?)
  • your brand (Will these emojis express the values of my brand?) and
  • your message (Is this emoji appropriate? Could it be misunderstood?)

Whenever choosing emojis to accompany your branded message, don’t forget that, while teenagers use them aggressively and are fluent in the art of decoding them, you are tuning into an existing conversation as a commercial entity with an agenda. Be respectful of that, don’t try to steal the thunder and appear cool. Instead be clear, supportive of what makes your fans tick, and stay relevant.

If you check these boxes, your audience will respond.

As you can see this article is preeeeeeeeeeeeety long. I did a lot of research to provide you with the most comprehensive guide on using emoji marketing. I would appreciate your feedback or you sharing this post on your social media 🙂

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How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website’s Bounce Rate? 10 Great Error Page Design Examples https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/404-error-page-design-that-converts/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/404-error-page-design-that-converts/#comments Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:59:46 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=5745 Clicking on an interesting link and getting a plain ol’ 404 Error Page is like being given a beautifully wrapped present and discovering it’s empty. A webmaster will hate 404 pages, because, while increased number of them is a warning signal to Google, it’s the poor UX of your site that hits your credibility the hardest. […]

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Clicking on an interesting link and getting a plain ol’ 404 Error Page is like being given a beautifully wrapped present and discovering it’s empty. A webmaster will hate 404 pages, because, while increased number of them is a warning signal to Google, it’s the poor UX of your site that hits your credibility the hardest.

Also, your website’s bounce rate will increase – imagine a random user arriving at your page through a search engine results page and being smacked in the face with 404. Of course, he won’t stick around! Multiply such instances (as is in many cases when site owners underestimate the impact of removing pages they do not like anymore gleefully) and you are dwarfing your ranking. Backlinko’s thorough analysis of 1 million Google Search results discovered that websites with low average bounce rates are strongly correlated with higher rankings. They state further:

Google may use bounce rate as a ranking signal (although they have previously denied it). Or it may be the fact that high-quality content keeps people more engaged. Therefore lower bounce rate is a byproduct of high-quality content, which Google does measure. (Source: Backlinko)

4 reasons you should think about 404 Error Page design:

  1. There will be errors, so get yourself covered. Designing a smart 404 Error Page has nothing to do with thinking fatalistic – it’s about thinking futuristic. Somebody will make mistakes, whether it will be you doing something unintentionally or an external force. Be ready to plug that hole with a creative 404 Error Page, that uses friendly language to guide the user to a helpful location.
  2. You will annoy users. Somebody comes to your website seeking information and gets nothing. They made that journey, trusted your link and just learned that you removed the piece of content that was the only reason of them visiting your site in the first place. Don’t leave them hanging! In fact, use them: provide a way for them to report a broken link.
  3. It’s a lost opportunity. A lifeless 404 page, which does not help your user access information they could be looking for, is a lost visitor. Which means increased bounce rate, broken conversion path or in general a bad impression.
  4. They are cramping your style. The default 404 pages are just… ugly. Dip your digital brush in the digital paint bucket and make them look like they belong to your brand.

 

How to track 404 Error Pages?

 

Convinced that your error page needs a revamp? (If you don’t know how to see it, add/404/ to your website’s URL). Scroll down and dig deeper into these 10 great Page Not Found examples from real websites, which I am breaking down to show you how different CTAs (call to actions) and designs can prevent your visitors from leaving your site.

#1 404 Error Page with a Simple Message from TwelveSkip

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Converts - 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

TwelveSkip sits in the same industry as me, an online marketing consultancy. Her visual identity is polished, bold and steel-cut, also when it comes to her copy. Notice how she requests that the user lets her know that the website has a broken link. There is a search box underneath in case the visitor would like to give the website another go and a clean user-friendly menu on the right to aid navigation.

I like this design because mistakes happen and a webmaster asking visitors to get involved and help them flag a page error is a great way to give your visitor the impression that you are serious about your website.

#2 Awkward Llama + Easy Navigation by QuickSprout

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Converts - 10 Great Page Not Found Examples - Quicksprout

If Neil Patel, an internationally acclaimed content marketing guru, does simple but clear 404, you should follow. This 404 Error Page from his QuickSprout website embodies Neil’s brand personality. His language and style of writing are funky but professional, not free from random metaphors which deliver his points home. Underneath the funny image of a confused llama you can see two buttons leading to key areas on his page – notice how blog comes before ‘About me’ page. This is a clever move because blogs are in general more engaging and, if interesting to visitors, tend to draw them in for longer.

I like this design because it shows the user, where his key destination should be – the blog – or who the person behind the website is – Neil Patel. When you build a 404 page, think about the pages you want your user to head over to when they stumble on an error message. What is your biggest asset that will have them hooked after this small faux-pas?

#3 Comedy Goat from BlueEgg

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website's Bounce Rate? 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

BlueEgg has a running undertone of fun nested on every page of their website. No wonder their 404 Error Page is no different – a short message featuring a screaming goat will have you gasping with laughter. To be honest with you, entertaining people is one of the best strategies to prevent somebody getting annoyed at you.

I like this design because it fits so well with BlueEgg’s tone of voice, their culture and affinity for making fun of life. In fact, their laid back attitude makes me think that they would be pretty cool to work with.

#4 Aww-Factor Page Not Found from Zoella

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Converts - 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

I did a quick run through 404 Error Pages of the UK-based YouTubers I used to watch religiously in my youth and sadly registered that most of them left their 404s to their own devices. Not Zoella though! This girl’s brand is thorough and I think ‘thorough’ is the biggest compliment I can ever give to anybody. She obviously does not manage her website on her own but the picture on the 404 page is of her lovely pug, which produces an image of a brand, which takes care of everything. Since Zoella is her brand and vice versa, you immediately make the connection.

I like this design because it’s personal, it’s warm and you can’t get annoyed at it. You also are being redirected to the homepage without having to scroll back up to the main navigation menu. Nice touch.

#5 Red Bull and Their Content Marketing Focus

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Converts - 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

Red Bull is my favourite Austrian brand when it comes to online marketing. They know their stuff and push it heavily whenever an opportunity presents itself. The same goes for their 404 Error Page – clever funny two-liners is followed by an embedded video of their recent content and a button, which toggles the video playlist and gives you another episode of their sports TV.

I like this design because it’s part of their content distribution network. Even if you end up on their Page Not Found, you get to watch their recent videos and see what Red Bull has been up to. It’s a good idea to keep your 404 Error Page updated. I suggest you should treat it as a landing page if you want to get more advanced with how your website visitors consume your content.

#6 ‘Don’t Be Upset, Child’ from Airbnb

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website's Bounce Rate? 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

Just like a child, which just lost their treat to gravity, a user, who arrives at 404 is in a vulnerable state. Sorry, but it’s kinda true. Airbnb makes sure that once the error occurs, they give the visitor enough options to let them return onto the right path. Look at the simple menu categories lined on the left and a plain layout, which does not distract you from your options or have you roaming the page desperately looking for a way out. This minimal design stands next to formerly mentioned Neil Patel’s proposition of a 404 page and they both make sense – if somebody gets lost, you do not throw a library of maps at them, but give them a clear and short directive.

I like this design because it’s 100% user-friendly and solution-centred. Think about listing the most visited pages of your site on your 404 Error Page to facilitate safe return.

#7 Bold Simplicity by the Guardian

News outlets and media websites are my gold standard for no fluff page structures. There is no unnecessary clutter or blabber, just hard facts, clear CTA and bold sales copy following ‘take it or leave it’ rule. This is a good example of this straight-forward approach:

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website's Bounce Rate? 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

I like this design because of the Guardian links to all of their main sections on the website, it’s got a plain layout and a site map structure. Direct and functionality-based. Love it.

#8 Emotional Apologies from Hubspot

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website's Bounce Rate? 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

Add a little bit of emotion to your content and you get a reaction. Hubspot, one of the most active hubs of inbound marketing knowledge, opted for a simple layout with heartfelt copy and an image of a broken heart. They threw in three navigation links in their usual enthusiastic tone of voice and voila! You have a recipe for making visitors forgive your website’s unfortunate malfunction.

I like this design because it’s aligned with Hubspot’s brand identity (orange) and helps customers smoothly get out of this virtual cul-de-sac.

#9 Smart Sales Copy from TripAdvisor

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website's Bounce Rate? 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

I am sorry, did this once ugly tourist reviews portal win the medal for the best 404 Error Page out there? You bet. TripAdvisor used a dreamy image of a traveller’s destination and added a tongue-in-cheek dare, inviting visitors to browse for their next holiday essentials. Recently the brand started pushing their hotel booking option and this change of direction is displayed in prime spots of their most visited pages.

I like this design because it’s 100% TripAdvisor and connected to their conversion goals, enticing users to make the most of TripAdvisor’s attractive offer.

#10 Selling Clothes off 404 Error Page by Modcloth

How to Build a 404 Error Page That Lowers Your Website's Bounce Rate? 10 Great Page Not Found Examples

Curiously, I couldn’t find a good example of an online store that would use their 404 Error Page for selling. I am feeling that some webmaster judge the effort to be too great to bother with designing a custom 404 page but let’s be honest here. If you are an online store your website has a lot of page publishing/un-publishing so it makes sense that you will need to cover the Page Not Found base too. ModCloth is a good example of a website, which went the extra mile. Their interactive 404 Error Page asks you to select styles from their catalogue, matching your preferences as you digest the disappointment of discovering a broken link.

I like this design because it’s the physical representation of a brand not wanting to leave their customers hanging when it failed their virtual expectations. Not to mention the web design which is intricate, interactive and simply stunning.


I hope these 10 404 Error Pages design ideas gave you the inspiration to look at your own Page Not Found and redesign it into something useful and meaningful. Don’t forget that user experience online is not a standalone concept – it’s proven that website visitors dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to pursue a physical visit. Don’t give them a reason to dislike you!

Have you revamped your 404 page? Let me know in comments below with a link to your new 404 Error Page 🙂

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5 Secret Ingredients to a Successful Mother’s Day Social Media Campaign in 2017 https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/mothers-day-social-media-campaign/ Thu, 11 May 2017 08:55:31 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=5583 Mother’s Day is just around the corner so I decided to look at the five secret ingredients to make your Mother’s Day social media campaign not only relevant but also successful in attracting attention. I can’t help but think that some small business owners confuse occasions like Mother’s Day for discount days – it happens that […]

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Aneta-Pawlik-a-freelance-marketing-assistant-specialising-in-online-presence-building-in-vienna

Mother’s Day is just around the corner so I decided to look at the five secret ingredients to make your Mother’s Day social media campaign not only relevant but also successful in attracting attention.

I can’t help but think that some small business owners confuse occasions like Mother’s Day for discount days – it happens that being a mother earns you a 30% discount for a SPA treatment to ‘take a well-deserved break’ but what kind of impression will such promotion leave in the memory of these women? Most likely of treating themselves that one time, however, for brands that seek long-term commitment, time-sensitive offers do more harm than good. How about trying something different this year?

Awesome Mother’s Day campaigns that went viral

The answer in creating a great post lies in being human and acting like you want to join the conversation, not start a monologue titled ‘buy from me’.  You don’t have to invest into expensive research centre to find out what will stick – you have to look to the brands that are exclusively targeting mothers or seamlessly plotted in Mother’s Day into their communication, and gather data from their channels on what gets mums talking. Look at the adverts and social media posts, that went viral in the past because they managed to hit that sweet spot:

Procter & Gamble combined promotion of two events: 2012 Mother’s Day and Olympics, taking the unexpected but powerful turn of highlighting the silent force behind athletes’ successes, which usually goes unnoticed by the world: their mothers. This campaign has driven incredible sales and brand awareness results by putting mums at the centre of the internationally acclaimed sports event, which, on the surface, had little to do with celebrating motherhood. Tip: dare & do things differently. Speaking of which…

5 secret ingredients to successful Mother's Day social media campaign in 2017

Targeting dads on mums’ special day? Yes if it is a) entertaining and b) gets the mum a night off! Here BabyCentre, an online resource for new and expecting parents, emphasised their inclusivity by inviting a male perspective on how to make Mother’s Day truly special. The effort paid off. Another great example using Facebook video format from last year:

This time the entertainment value + relatable aspect of it – the video by Mike Tompkins (special effects & editing aside) is doable on a small budget and can inspire other creative dads-  automatically induced the ‘THIS IS SO ADORABLE’  reaction from any viewer, mother or not. While P&G went for a tearjerker, which will have some of you sobbing violently,  not every mum nurtures an athlete. The clip by MT shows a snippet of something special in the life of your regular parents: surprising mum with a creative DIY gift as a thank you for her strength is 100% plausible.

Okay, now onto the real meaty stuff!

The five secret ingredients to create a killer Mother’s Day social media post

Do you want to make mums respond to your posts and engage? Make them remember you? Do you want to make them feel special? Make sure your campaign ticks off one or more than one of these five requirements:

  1. Relatability
  2. Transparency
  3. Entertainment
  4. Personal
  5. Community

 

#1 Relatability

It’s not a secret that advertising has been experiencing a massive shift. During my first uni year in 2009, we were screamed at that adverts are first and foremost aspirational. Hence the images of perfect mothers with perfect hair feeding children perfect plates of veg and never hearing ‘I won’t eat this!’ in their scripted lives. Nope, now, five years later, we are all about brands being relatable.

Relatability means showing the world in realistic ways, so people, who come across your social media will think ‘This is so me!’ or ‘I can do that’. It’s about connecting with your audience and naming their pain points, concerns, wishes, vulnerabilities and happy moments. For example, let’s say you own a hair salon and normally you post Mother’s Day wishes or a special offer with something along the lines ‘Treat your mum to a day of pampering!’ (sometimes it’s ‘Treat yourself…’ because we all know that depending on family to surprise you with something could go sour). Instead of repeating the same boring text each year (which happens to be plastered on social media by a lot of unimaginative beauty companies) you could go in the direction of:

  • sweet escape – beauty treatment should be a moment of escape from the demanding reality. Emphasise in your post that your mum’s special offer comes with a glass of champagne in a kids-free zone. Throw in a picture of your handsome top hair stylist with ‘I am waiting for you’ smile. This puts a check mark next to mums’ wish to take a break from their hectic family life.
  • exclusivity – mums don’t get to enjoy the whole day off so give them the chance to book at their convenience by letting them know today there are x number of slots available for mums only. Adding a line of ‘We know your time is precious because you are doing precious things so we decided to make it easier for you’. And you just made them feel VIP at little cost.

#2 Transparency

Do you know what’s lame? The fact that vast majority of brands remember about mums once a year. Minus the businesses that are targeting mothers, clients realise that Mother’s Day promotions are sometimes painfully obvious sales tactics. In the post-truth world, we need transparency from brands like we need air. 

If your business is not typically targeting mothers, think about how to manage being transparent about you wanting to join the conversation without appearing irrelevant. According to a research by Mumsnet and Saatchi & Saatchi, mothers value amongst other characteristics brand integrity. Talking the talk but not walking the walk results in the dissonance between what you want to be seen as and what you are being seen as.

While you might not necessarily fit the bill to sell to mums, you can still grab their attention. Like, for example, metal_memes_mx:

#3 Entertainment

Don’t be afraid to get goofy! Entertaining value is one of the strongest aspect connecting the posts, which spread quicker than you can say ‘jam doughnut with extra sprinkles’. The reason? Entertaining videos, which take the hard truths and serve your problems in a more digestible form, are both relatable and reassuring. They make us feel better about not being perfect. We often visit social media to escape the reality – what’s better than a short clip, which sums up the hardship of motherhood by taking it to the absurd extremes?

#4 Personal

Brands, which use emotions, thread a thin line. There is plenty at stake but more often than not, becoming openly vulnerable and tapping into personal experiences will endear people to you. Let’s get back to the hair salon example – if you wanted to show your personal interpretation of Mother’s Day, you could share a warm story of your mum. You could invite your employees to share one lesson their mothers taught them. By showing human side your clients will understand that your message of  ‘Treat your mum to our special package’ comes from gratefulness because this is what you would have done for your mum. Nothing connects stronger than empathy.

#5 Community

With parenting blogs, mumpreneurs, working mum clubs and other mum-centric initiatives, the obvious assumption is that we are witnessing the rise of an amazing community of women, who take care of their children and do amazing things. Brands rarely address mothers collectively – their messages are about personalisation, speaking to one person rather than many at once. Yet, there is a lot of potential in strengthening the bonds with or nurturing your own community of mums. How about connecting with a local community of mums by inviting them to mums only party with VIM (Very Important Mum) vouchers downloadable from your website? How about tapping into an existing group of mumpreneurs and offering them a special discount, a group class at your yoga studio or Mums Night out and Mum’s Happy Hour with a meet and mingle event for local mums? Or going simple – every mum, who recommends a mum-friend, will receive a discount or a special gift. Want to take it further? Let them know the offer will not expire until the next Mother’s Day (because you understand that being a mum should not be celebrated one day a year only) and you will get famous.

Conclusion

These five different content ideas for Mother’s Day can bring your stale and predictable social media campaigns back to life. The bottom line of this post is to never stop experimenting with content, avoid excessive repetition, research what makes your target audience tick and getting creative with video. Don’t forget that social media should be about your customers, never about you.

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Easy Hack for Creating Strong Passwords https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/creating-strong-passwords/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/creating-strong-passwords/#respond Thu, 04 May 2017 07:00:10 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=5504 Only last month the newest Gorillaz music album was ‘leaked’ pre-release because the technician responsible for uploading song videos to Vimeo used a laughably simple password. You probably snickered at the fact somebody thought ‘2017’ was a good password but I will share a piece of intel with you that had me injure my neck after […]

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Only last month the newest Gorillaz music album was ‘leaked’ pre-release because the technician responsible for uploading song videos to Vimeo used a laughably simple password.

You probably snickered at the fact somebody thought ‘2017’ was a good password but I will share a piece of intel with you that had me injure my neck after all the head shaking I did: 90% of people I worked with and gained access to their password lists for work related reasons used the same password for at least three of their social media profiles.Easy hack for creating strong passwords

What’s more, the passwords were ridiculously unimaginative and simple to guess. I am not trying to offend anybody, but serving your password on a silver plate like that is just sloppy. It really takes one dedicated person with plenty of time to spare to research enough data on the business and start trying to match potential queries to crack the code.

Today on the World Password Day I want to share with you a simple hack for creating strong passwords, that will make your life easier and your online channels secure. I learnt about it two years ago from Dr Daniel J. Levitin’s book titled ‘The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload‘. Dr Levitin correctly states that our heads are no places to store elaborate lists of passwords, hence many people decide to reuse their tried and tested codes for more than one account. With his creative method, I stopped worrying about creating new passwords and went on about my online business without worrying.

Why you should NEVER use the same password twice

The most important argument against password recycling is a vulnerability. By using the same password on more than one platform, you are gradually weakening the security of your online presence. Imagine if one of the websites with poor security protocols was breached and your data, including password, stolen. The thief will match your details, search for your other accounts and attempt to break in with the same password.

You probably think that the website would notify you of the danger of having your data floating online in order for you to change the password before the damage is done. Think again. There are many reasons why we only read about big security breaches of companies such as Adobe or Dropbox years after the incident. I am going to sound incredibly paranoid but don’t trust anybody with your data. 

The best method for creating strong passwords

The method by Dr. Levitin is extremely simple.

Step 1: Think of a strong sentence between 8-10 characters long. This will be your master password, the base for all other password combinations.

  • Make it unique. I will never get tired of saying this but ‘unique’ does not mean a combination of your name and surname or a street address you lived at when you were a child. It means something that makes sense only to you. Password entropy, which is a measurement of how unique a password is, remains the key to creating a strong password.
  • Select a base password with minimum length of 13 characters, which is the length experts now recommend to avoid being compromised by brute-force cracking (Source).
  • Oh, and don’t use a dictionary to create a strong password – there are dictionary-based hacking tools in use.

For the purpose of this article, I will use ‘Imothereddragons’

Step 2: Make the sentence more complex with special characters. Create custom code for certain characters, which you can later apply to second part of your passwords. For example, replace all i’s with ‘6’, all o’s with % and all d’s with #. The more random characters, the better! 1 and 2 are the most popular numbers added to passwords. You have eight more digits to play with, use them.

My master password will look like this: 6m%there##rag%ns

Step 3: Every time you create a new password, add a unique piece of characters to your master password associated to the each new platform you sign up to. I like to simply add the name of the platform laced with special characters.

Had I been using my 6m%there##rag%ns master password and just happened to register to Twitter, I would create the following:

6m%there##rag%nsTw6tt*r

The beauty of this method is, while you should never ever save the master password anywhere, the second part of your password can be saved in a spreadsheet – on its own it won’t help anybody decipher your password should they ever peek at your list.

How to protect your passwords further

Creating secure and difficult to guess passwords is about 80% of the effort. To keep the security in check, make sure you follow these tips:

  • Use two-step verification whenever possible. I know it’s annoying but the more obstacles you put in the way of somebody dead set on breaking into your accounts, the better.
  • Suspect you clicked on a weird link? Change your password immediately and report the breach.
  • Sharing a software with other people? Add unique users instead of sharing the same password, preferably with a lower level of authority than yours. You don’t want anybody to tinker with your access either.
  • Don’t give your password to anybody else – especially not in writing, via Facebook Messenger or SMS. You can’t control what the other person does with your personal data and you can’t control who else can access their phone.
  • Don’t save your list of passwords in a Word Doc or Excel on your computer’s desktop. And for God’s sake, don’t name your list ‘Password’ or ‘Access codes’. Choose tools such as Evernote or Google Drive, use the method by Dr Levitin to save only parts of your passwords (never ever write down the master password!), make sure the file is buried and titled with an inconspicuous name.

Protecting your online accounts with your sensitive data (or your customers’ data) should be of the highest importance to anybody using the internet. The repercussions of an identity theft are harsh, not to mention the loss of trust if the victim happens to be a brand. As much as some things can be reversed after a security breach, the trust of your customers is difficult to get back. Get smart about being online or regret it later.

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Help me out and spread the word about my post by sharing it on your social media platforms. It would help me a lot if you did this small favour for me!

 

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Everything You Need to Know About Hashtags on Instagram – A Comprehensive Guide https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/using-hashtags-on-instagram/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/using-hashtags-on-instagram/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:32:02 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=5302 In this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about using Instagram hashtags successfully to increase your followers’ count and be an IG babe. Or an IG surfer. The Gandalf of IG? You get me. In addition, I will let you in on Instagram terminology, what a shadowban is (frustratingly, an increasingly […]

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In this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about using Instagram hashtags successfully to increase your followers’ count and be an IG babe. Or an IG surfer. The Gandalf of IG? You get me.

In addition, I will let you in on Instagram terminology, what a shadowban is (frustratingly, an increasingly common problem, which happened to me too) and how to create an optimal hashtag cloud to increase engagement. You will also get a bonus: a free Instagram Hashtag Strategy Workbook in a Google Docs format. Lessgo.

Why use hashtags?

A hashtag is a metadata tag starting with ‘#’ symbol used on microblogging sites, forums and social media. Since social media is such a broad mass of everything, it was crucial for sites like Instagram, Twitter or Google+ to find a way to categorise posts and connect people to what they are looking for. Hashtags…

  1. make your content discoverable
  2. increase your content visibility in search algorithm on Instagram
  3. connect you to your target audience, community, the local scene

A side note – Facebook do not depend on hashtags since you can find content through simple keyword research. However, I will always advise brands to use their unique campaign/brand hashtag in their social media communication – it won’t hurt your post reach (won’t help it either) but your consistency will help users connect the dots across several social media platforms that you manage. It’s also not a bad idea to encourage your customers/followers to use said hashtag to strengthen their community feeling.

Hashtags on Instagram

In 2011, one year after its launch, Instagram introduced hashtag function to help users navigate through the platform’s content.

In the early days of Instagram, generic hashtags like ‘love’ or ‘photography’ used to bring all the boys to the yard because people were just introducing these to the platform. Smaller share rate = bigger visibility. The success rate of using highly popular hashtags right now increases with the number of your current followers (check one of the top hashtags on IG like ‘love’ or ‘friends’- what posts are in the top section,  how many likes/comments they scored and how many followers the accounts have?).

At the same time, the more followers you have, the more likely it is that your account suffered from a massive decrease in engagement when Instagram did some algorithm tinkering. Right now there are teenagers, who reap more comments than Kim Kardashian (teenagers are annoying pros at Instagram. Are you a teenager? I want to hire you). Also, read this amazing post about hacking the Instagram algorithm using – you guessed it – strategies popularised by teenagers.

Hashtag truths

If you are a small account (under 5,000 followers) you are likely to trend for using targeted hashtags rather than popular ones.

If you are a big account with an active audience, you can get away with posting five hashtags in your caption and still land in the ‘Top Posts’ section.

Hashtags attracting bots…

Some popular hashtags will attract Instagram bots. When this happens, click through the most likely culprits and see if the same type of comments appears on other posts, which used the hashtags. Avoid these in the future or report these accounts.

Instagram also has a list of banned hashtags, which means it censors hashtags linked to images, which violated its policies. Using this type of hashtags, even unintentionally, will result in having your content hidden in the search or block your account for frequent use of banned (also called ‘broken’) hashtags. You will get a notification when logging to your account if you get a red flag from Instagram, but recently there is a more subtle way of punishing accounts, which is not brought to the attention of the banned user. This is called shadowbanning and I am explaining it in the speed Q&A clickable section below.

Instagram Banner Hashtags 2017
Source: Plann That

To find the most recent banned hashtags on Instagram, copy this formula into Google search bar:

site:instagram.com Recent posts from are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines

Why is Instagram crucial to your brand’s success? 

Instagram is demanding. Yes. Yes, it is. But it is also the best platform vs. Twitter or Facebook for brands looking for customer engagement. It’s not as convoluted as Facebook and its reach and not as limiting as Twitter and its 140 characters (despite removing the user tags from the caption, 140 characters is still a challenge).

Instagram drives the most engagement per post compared to any social network: 84 times more than Twitter, 54 times more than Pinterest, and ten times more than Facebook. The game is worth playing.

With Instagram boasting 600 mln users you have to put in a lot of work to be noticed and get yourself out there into the ‘Top Posts’ section. It also means you have the freedom to create and use specific hashtags and gather people, who will genuinely engage with you. In fact, using hashtags is the first step to finding them. Do not kid yourself thinking that creating amazing content will get you noticed – you have to put up beautiful, attractive visuals AND top it up with 11+ hashtags because, as Buffer reports, interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

 

How many hashtags should I use?

Instagram has a limit of 30 hashtags. Make use of all of them!

How should I post my hashtags?

A lot of people post their 30 hashtags in their caption, sometimes followed by line breaks, so the hashtags disappear (Instagram cuts off your caption after three lines in the main feed view). I prefer adding hashtags in the first comment because then I can do that from my desktop computer.

Whichever way of posting you will use, it doesn’t affect hashtag performance. It’s mostly an aesthetic choice.

Is it okay to use popular hashtags, which have nothing to do with the subject of my photos?

It’s a common click-baiting strategy. You won’t get lasting engagement from fooling people into viewing your content.

Suddenly I am getting fewer people commenting and liking my post despite using a good mix of hashtags. Did I get banned?

I had the exact same issue. If you were banned, you would be unable to post to your account and you would be notified by Instagram. Many users reported a problem, which now is being called ‘shadowbanning’. A shadowban (also a stealth bans or ghost ban) is a ban Instagram will put on your account without letting you know. When your hashtags suddenly stop performing well (they stop bringing in the crowds) even though they worked before, you have most likely been shadowbanned. It happens both to business and personal accounts.

Who are ‘ghost followers’?

They are users, who are inactive. They are also referred to as ghosts and ghost accounts or lurkers. Sometimes these are simply people, who do not like commenting but increasingly ghost followers are just spam bots or scammers. I ban them if they suddenly start following my account in large numbers (especially after using a hashtag, which is targeted by bots). How do you recognise the scammers? Their profiles look put together in a hurry – just reposts or weird photos, no captions or very general ones, only popular hashtags in captions, no personal descriptions in bio etc.

 

How to find the best hashtags for your account?

We covered the basics, now let’s go ahead and talk about finding the right hashtags for your account. The steps below are part of the strategy I use when I start with a new account for a client – it’s a combination of top tip marketing skills, common sense and a little bit of creativity.

Step 1 – Download your free Instagram workbook + planner

I prepared a free Instagram Planner in a Google Docs format for you to fill in as you go through the next steps. It also has additional pages for planning your content! >>>> GRAB IT HERE <<<<

Step 2 – Find ten competitors.

‘Competitor’ is a term used here loosely. They could just be similar accounts you find inspiring or ones that make you want to scream ‘I WANT TO BE YOU’.

Go on Instagram and find ten accounts of people, who do what you want to do on Instagram and already gathered a significant audience. Check their:

  • Type of content – what works, what do their followers love?
  • Their captions – what’s their style? What call to actions do they use?
  • Their hashtags – check which ones keep repeating and which ones are popular or less popular.

Fill in the first sheet of your workbook. In this research phase Websta or Keyhole will be quite handy here (scroll to the bottom to read more about these tools).

Everything you need to know about using hashtags on Instagram - special hashtags

Step 3 – Create your content plan

Based on your competitor’s research and your interests decide on five main content categories you will be featuring. The key to making the best use of Instagram hashtags is to avoid hashtag hodgepodge (throwing in top hashtags suggestions without coherence or relevance) and replacing it with a cloud of hashtags matching your content and your content message. In regular human words: stop churning random hashtags together hoping they will make butter. It ain’t working!

So decide what the five Instagram post categories you will use are. Five is not too few, so you still have plenty of room to be creative and not too many, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

What content do you want to share? Personal? Quotes? Food shots? Tourist attractions and tips? Social media marketing insight? What’s the purpose of your content? Fill in the first two columns before you go to Step 4.

Everything you need to know about using hashtags on Instagram - special hashtags

Step 4 – Select your hashtags

Now you know what makes your competitor’s audience dance with joy and what content you want to throw at your own audience. Start searching hashtags that match it.

  • Pick the best hashtags from your competitors – look for hashtags with 5,000-50,000 shares so you still can get through to your dream target audience.
  • Click on the most relevant hashtags and see what content do they bring up – is the hashtag used for the purpose you want it to be used or is used freely by just anybody? Steer clear from the latter.
  • Use Websta to search for related hashtags – this tool is a life saver even on the free user level! Search for a generic keyword for example ‘quote’, and you will get a list of related hashtags together with a list of accounts, which use the hashtag.

Hashtag breakdown

This simple yet effective formula for building strong hashtag cloud will help you navigate through the basics of hashtag strategy until you get better at it and start testing different options. Your 30 hashtags should be made up of:

5 hashtags with 1,000 to 5,000 shares to get you noticed as there is less competition. Don’t use hashtags with less than 1,000 unless they are 1) location specific, 2) new community/brand related or 3) you created them.
15 hashtags with 5,000-50,000 shares so you still can get through to your dream target audience.
5 hashtags with over 50,000 shares – I recommend sifting through these and seeing, which ones will match your content best. Avoid generic hashtags with 1m shares – these seem to be one of the main reasons other users got shadowbanned.
5 hashtags you will always use. This could be your brand hashtag; your city, your motto, your campaign hashtag.

Hashtags you can add to your strategy

  • Branded hashtags – using hashtags specific to the brands you show in the photo. With responsive brands (those, which repost good photos of their product) it’s better to tag the brands in the photo than waste a hashtag.
  • Day of the week hashtags – add to your plan hashtags such as #MondayMotivation or #tbt
  • Community hashtags – search for communities like #bloggersat or #goaldiggermovement to tune in the conversation within your circle of interest

I added a page in my free Instagram Hashtag Strategy Workbook for these specific hashtags.

Everything you need to know about using hashtags on Instagram - special hashtags

That’s it! You have created your first hashtag strategy document. Start experimenting and improve the workbook as you go.

Useful tools:

  • Hootsuite – you can schedule your posts on your computer and create hashtags streams (streams showing all posts featuring your selected hashtag).
  • Later – automatic scheduling app for Instagram. I love it because when you type in hashtags in the caption box, it recommends hashtags the same way the Instagram app does! It also lets you search Instagram hashtags.
  • Websta.me – the best tool for finding related hashtags.
  • Tagsdock – shows you lists of hashtags based on categories. I would always double-check hashtags for relevancy, though!
  • Keyhole – hashtag tracking in real time with related hashtags cloud, segment influencers and geo-location. Pretty impressive!

Conclusion

There is a big chance that, just like Facebook, Instagram will implement algorithms to cut your posts’ reach. There is 0 we can do about it, but, following Instagram’s statement, good quality content valuable to your audience will always be worth its weight in gold. Research your content and relevant hashtags, keep working on good visuals and the results will be there. Nothing will stop people from appreciating your good work.

If you have feedback or questions about this post, go ahead and comment down below! If you liked it, I would appreciate if you shared it on social media coz that would help me out a lot! 🙂

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How to Source Stock Photos Legally? Photo Licenses Explained https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/how-to-source-photos-legally/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/how-to-source-photos-legally/#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:13:24 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=5203 You know the visual side of your blog, website and social media matter. So you either take photography crash course or you start searching for stock photography websites. However, there is plenty of issues regarding online image sourcing and how to do it legally. The misconceptions stop people from accessing the incredible number of 100% […]

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You know the visual side of your blog, website and social media matter. So you either take photography crash course or you start searching for stock photography websites. However, there is plenty of issues regarding online image sourcing and how to do it legally.

The misconceptions stop people from accessing the incredible number of 100% free public domain photos or have them using images found on Google Search (a hint: this gets you into serious trouble). When building a strong online presence, make sure you not only create visually stunning channels but also avoid the holes in the bumpy road of copyright.

The four most common online photo sourcing mistakes:

  • Using images found on social media and crediting image source as said social media. Despite people thinking Pinterest to be a free image repository, the platform does not hold the copyright to any content published on it. You have to dig deeper to find the author.
  • Using images found on Google Search result pages. Similarly to Pinterest, Google does not own the rights to any image indexed – Google simply pulls the images together in response to your keyword search.
  • Not understanding different licenses or copyright. People do not realise they do not hold the copyright to the photos of them commissioned from a photographer or that most Creative Commons licenses require attribution. This causes issues in form of sharing uncredited photos or adjusting images with a photo filter when the author prohibited it.
  • Taking without asking. Many people use content created by others unknowingly taking crediting the author (so called ‘hat tip’ or ‘shout out’) is enough of a payment. More and more content creators require their written permissions to republish their content.

What is copyright?

Copyright is, as explained in Wikipedia, ‘a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution.’ By creating a photo or a song you automatically become the copyright holder (copyright protects the intellectual property) unless other legal circumstances apply. The only licenses which indicate the original copyright holder waived their rights to their creation are Creative Commons Zero (CC0) or Public Domain license.

Understanding different photo licenses

When talking about stock photography licensing and free/paid availability of the photos, we can distinguish three different models of licensing:

  • Paid
  • Free but Attribution Required
  • Free/Public Domain

-> Paid licenses

There are two dominant models of paid image licensing used by the biggest stock photography providers: Rights Managed (RM) and Royalty-Free (RF).

Rights Managed license, or RM, in photography and the stock photo industry, refers to a ‘copyright license which, if purchased by a user, allows the one-time use of the photo as specified by the license. If the user wants to use the photo for other uses an additional license needs to be purchased’ (Source: Wikipedia). It’s an old model of licensing calculating licence charge on the basis of specific use, medium, period of time, print run, placement, size of content, territory selected and so on. Sites such as Getty Images uses this particular type of license.

Royalty Free license, or RF, refers to ‘the right to use copyright material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales’ (Source: Wikipedia). This particular license is used by Shutterstock, which offers all images as Royalty-Free split into different subscription-based models.

Exclusive and non-exclusive licenses

There are also two extensions of RM and RF licenses – exclusive and non-exclusive. The exclusive one ‘means that during the period that exclusive rights are granted, you agree that rights to use that image will not be sold to anyone else‘ (Source). Based on that, license exclusivity is pretty expensive and can only be applied to RM images. RF images can be licensed on non-exclusive basis since the royalty-free license gives the buyer freedom of use by default. Stock photography is primarily non-exclusive (although Getty Images allows exclusivity upon additional fee payment), while commissioned projects tend to be exclusive.

-> Free but Attribution Required

Creative Commons (CC) is a fairly recent development in the copyright licensing world – it was created in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson, and Eric Eldred with the support of Center for the Public Domain based in the US. Some criticise its ‘justice movement’ aspirations and blame CC for the increase in copyright infringement cases.

CC enables content creators to license their images under one of the seven available license types, communication what rights are reserved by the copyright holder and which are waived for the benefit of potential users. Creative Commons licenses mean the photos are used on unpaid basis but six out of seven of them require the content to be attributed, which means providing author credits. Thanks to living in a digitized world it usually comes down to clearly stating the name of the author and adding a link to the original image source (attribution formats are usually provided on the site from which you download the image, for example, Freepik generates HTML attribution you can copy and paste into your blog post).

Licenses are written to conform with international copyright treaties and have been adapted to the local law of over 50 different countries. Thanks to this pretty much anybody can generate a legally binding licence via the official website. For more detailed information, visit their FAQ section.

Each license is ‘built’ by the original creators through choosing from these set conditions (Source: Creative Commons):

  • Attribution (by) – All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.
  • ShareAlike (sa) – You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.
  • NonCommercial (nc) – You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.
  • NoDerivatives (nd) – You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.
List of creative commons licenses and their requirements
Source: Creative Commons license page on Wikipedia

 

-> Free/Public Domain

Public domain work (also referred to as CC0 as it’s the last of the seven Creative Commons licenses) is free for use by anyone for any purpose without restriction under copyright law. ‘Public domain is the purest form of open/free since no one owns or controls the material in any way’ (Source: Creative Commons Wiki). Work can be licensed under public domain by the creator or fall under the public domain license after the original copyright had expired. The latter is often filed under Public Domain Mark, a tool announced in 2010 by Creative Commons used for ‘works that are no longer restricted by copyright to be marked as such in a standard and simple way, making them easily discoverable and available to others’ (Source: Creative Commons).

Personal use vs commercial use for bloggers

Contrary to the popular belief, most bloggers are not non-commercial users. Once their websites start featuring ads, they fall into the commercial category. In general, despite a lot of confusion about non-commercial and commercial uses (Creative Commons even commissioned a research ‘Defining “Non-commercial -A Study of How the Online Population Understands “Noncommercial Use” September 2009’ ), I suggest individual bloggers who want to monetize their blogs steer clear of non-commercially labelled photos.

 

How to check an image for copyright?

If the website you used does not explicitly state who is the copyright owner, you can check the copyright statement and other details by looking at image EXIF (Exchangeable Image Format) metadata. There are two ways to do it.

#1 Check copyright notice in image properties. This is not the best way when the image is not downloaded from its original source as the metadata could have been manipulated and resaved.

Download the image to your computer and right click on it. Select ‘Properties’ and go to ‘Details’ tab. You can see in the screenshot below that the copyright field is filled and attributed.

How to check if an image is covered by copyright?

#2 Check EXIF info in CameraSummary

CameraSummary is a free online tool, which extracts EXIF data of an image. You can upload the image straight fro the desktop. To protect the privacy of its users, CameraSummary deleted the files off its server after 10 minutes.

Check image EXIF data with this free online tool CameraSummary.

 

Five reasons you should help this gal out and share this article:

  1. You loved it and just like with everything else you love, you want to share it.
  2. You now know how to avoid copyright breach and want to thank me.
  3. I am a blogger and there is no better way to be recognised than to have my content shared on social media.

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The Complete List of Unofficial Holidays Celebrated on Social Media https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/unofficial-holidays-to-add-to-your-social-media-plan/ https://www.anetakpawlik.eu/unofficial-holidays-to-add-to-your-social-media-plan/#comments Tue, 07 Mar 2017 08:20:35 +0000 http://www.anetakpawlik.eu/?p=5117 The post The Complete List of Unofficial Holidays Celebrated on Social Media appeared first on Aneta Pawlik.

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Holidays are like honey to the bears of the online marketing world. Aside from the well-known (and impossible to miss) dates like Christmas Day or Valentine’s Day, there is a bunch of cool and begging for creative execution unofficial observances.

Your social media content plan should be inclusive of all the relevant and quirky dates to leverage your engagement. It doesn’t matter that you never owned a pug- if you are a business, who relies on their audience’s engagement and can sway this topic, you better start loving their flat wrinkly faces. Mind you, I am not saying to go loco and celebrate everything starting from the World Book Day to International Meatballs Day, oh no! You aren’t a hormone-ridden teenager to be pouncing on every lol worthy holiday after all. Be relevant, not desperate.

To help you out, I compiled this list of unofficial holidays you might consider adding to your social media content plan asap. Some events are weird, some downright ridiculous, but using them to increase your brand awareness will make your followers love you even more.

Unofficial Holidays Celebrated on Social Media

Pro tip: I did not include the ‘regular’ holidays you should be factoring in. To be up to date with all the local, national holidays, I recommend you subscribe to a range of free calendars on Google Calendar. This amazing tool (which I already talked about in the context of project management in my post titled ‘Using Google Calendar as a Project Management Tool’) has country-specific calendars with all major celebrations. To subscribe to for example holidays in Austria, go to your browser Google Calendar view. Click on the arrow next to ‘Other Calendars’ and select ‘Browse interesting calendars’. Click ‘Subscribe’ to add selected calendars to your view. You can turn them on or off anytime.

Keep Track of the Unofficial Holidays

Subscribe to my free always-up-to-date Google Calendar with all of the unofficial holidays listed above and you will never have to research them again.

Subscribe to the calendar

January

  • 1st JanuaryZ Day, National Hangover Day, Happy Mew Year Day For Cats
  • 2nd JanuaryScience Fiction Day
  • 3rd JanuaryFestival of Sleep Day
  • 4th January – Trivia Day #NationalTriviaDay, Spaghetti Day
  • 5th January – Bird Day
  • 6th January – Cuddle Up Day
  • 7th January – I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day
  • 8th January – Bubble Bath Day, Earth’s Rotation Day
  • 9th January – Static Electricity Day,  Clean Off Your Desk Day, Apricot Day
  • 10th JanuaryPeculiar People Day, Cut Your Energy Costs Day
  • 12th January – Marzipan Day, Poetry At Work Day
  • 13th January – National Rubber Duckie Day
  • 14th January – National Dress Up Your Pet Day, Organize Your Home Day
  • 15th January – Hat Day #NationalHatDay
  • 16th January – National Nothing Day
  • 17th January – National Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
  • 18th January – Winnie the Pooh Day,  Thesaurus Day
  • 19th January – National Popcorn Day
  • 20th January – Cheese Lovers Day #CheeseLoversDay, Penguin Awareness Day
  • 21st JanuaryNational Hugging Day (USA), Squirrel Appreciation Day
  • 23rd January – Pie Day
  • 24th January – Beer Can Appreciation Day
  • 25th January – Opposite Day #OppositeDay
  • 27th January –  Chocolate Cake Day
  • 28th JanuaryData Privacy Day (in Europe: Data Protection Day), Fun at Work Day
  • 30th January – Croissant Day
  • 31st January – Inspire your Heart with Art Day

February

  • First Saturday of FebruaryIce Cream for Breakfast Day
  • 2nd February – Hedgehog Day
  • 3rd February – Carrot Cake Day, Wear Red Day
  • 4th February – World Cancer Day #WorldCancerDay,  Thank Your Mailman Day
  • 5th February – National Weatherman’s Day, World Nutella Day #WorldNutellaDay
  • 6th February – Safer Internet Day #SaferInternetDay
  • 7th February– Send a Card to a Friend Day #SendACardToAFriendDay
  • 8th February – Kite Flying Day
  • 9th February – Pizza Day
  • 10th February – Umbrella Day
  • 11th February – Inventor’s Day #NationalInventorsDay
  • 13th February – Get a Different Name Day
  • 14th February – Ferris Wheel Day, International Book Giving Day
  • 15th February Singles Awareness Day #SinglesAwarenessDay
  • 16th February – Innovation Day, Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day
  • 17th February Random Acts of Kindness Day #RandomActsOfKindnessDay
  • 18th February – National Battery Day
  • 20th February – Love Your Pet Day
  • 21st February – International Mother Language Day
  • 22nd February World Thinking Day, Margarita Day #NationalMargaritaDay, Be Humble Day, Single Tasking Day, World Yoga Day
  • 26th February – (celebrated on 26th in the UK, on first Friday in February in the USA) – National Wear Red Day, Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • 28th February – Floral Design Day

March

  • 2nd March – Old Stuff Day, World Book Day, Dr. Seuss Day
  • 3rd March – Day of Unplugging #NationalDayOfUnplugging, Employee Appreciation Day
  • 4th March – Grammar Day
  • 10th March – Day Of Awesomeness
  • 13th March – Ear Muffs Day, Napping Day
  • 14th March – Potato Chip Day #NationalPotatoChipDay
  • 16th March – Everything You Do is Right Day #EverythingYouDoisRightDay, National Panda Day #NationalPandaDay
  • 17th March – World Sleep Day #WorldSleepDay
  • 18th March – Awkward Moments Day #AwkwardMomentsDay
  • 19th MarchClient’s Day
  • 20th MarchInternational Day of Happiness #InternationalDayofHappiness
  • 23rd March – National Puppy Day #NationalPuppyDay
  • 24th March – National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day, Earth Hour
  • 25th MarchTolkien Reading Day
  • 26th March – Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
  • 30th March – Doctors’ Day #NationalDoctorsDay
  • 31st March – World Backup Day #WorldBackupDay

April

  • On the Wednesday during the last full week of April – Administrative Professionals Day also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day (US)
  • 1st April – Edible Book Festival
  • 2nd April – International Children’s Book Day
  • 5th April – International Calm Day
  • 7th April – No Housework Day, National Beer Day #NationalBeerDay, World Health Day #WorldHealthDay
  • 9th April – Unicorn Day #UnicornDay
  • 10th April – Siblings Day #NationalSiblingsDay
  • 11th April – Pet Day #NationalPetDay
  • 16th AprilFoursquare Day, Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day
  • 20th April – Look-alike Day #NationalLookAlikeDay, Volunteer Recognition Day
  • 21st April – Tea Day
  • 22nd AprilEarth Day, National Jelly Bean Day
  • 23rd April – Talk Like Shakespeare Day, National Picnic Day #NationalPicnicDay
  • 25thApril – National Telephone Day #NationalTelephoneDay
  • 26th AprilHug a Friend Day, Get Organized Day
  • 30th AprilHonesty Day (US) #NationalHonestyDay

May

June

  • 1st June – Say Something Nice Day
  • 2nd June – Leave The Office Earlier Day
  • 4th June – Hug Your Cat Day
  • 5th JuneNational Donut Day #NationalDonutDay, World Environment Day
  • 7th June – National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • 8th June – Best Friends Day #NationalBestFriendsDay, World Oceans Day
  • 17th June – Apple Strudel Day
  • 18th June – International Picnic Day
  • 20th June – World Productivity Day
  • 21st June – Selfie Day #NationalSelfieDay
  • 23rd June – Women in Engineering Day
  • 28th June (Also October 22nd) – CAPS LOCK DAY
  • 30th June – Social Media Day #SMDay

July

  • First Saturday of JulyInternational Free Hugs Day
  • 1st July – Joke Day
  • 2nd July – I Forgot Day
  • 6th July – International Kissing Day
  • 7th July – Chocolate Day
  • 9th July – Wienerschnitzel Day
  • 10th July – Pina Colada Day #NationalPinaColadaDay
  • 12th July – Simplicity Day
  • 13th July – French Fry Day #NationalFrenchFryDay
  • 17th JulyWorld Emoji Day
  • 24th July – Cousins’ Day #NationalCousinsDay
  • 29th July – Lipstick Day #NationalLipstickDay

August

  • First Friday of AugustInternational Beer Day
  • 2nd August – Colouring Book Day #NationalColoringBookDay
  • 6th AugustInternational Friendship Day #FriendshipDay
  • 8th August – International Cat Day
  • 9th August – Book Lovers Day #NationalBookLoversDay
  • 12th August – Middle Child Day
  • 15th August – Relaxation Day #NationalRelaxationDay
  • 19th August – Photography Day
  • 24th August – Internaut Day
  • 26th August – National Dog Day #NationalDogDay
  • 27th AugustJust Because Day #JustBecauseDay

September

  • 3rd September – Beard Day
  • 6th September – Read a Book Day #ReadABookDay
  • 12th September – Video Games Day #NationalVideoGamesDay
  • 13th SeptemberInternational Chocolate Day, Roald Dahl Day
  • 19th SeptemberInternational Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • 21st September – Day of Peace #InternationalDayOfPeace
  • 22nd SeptemberHobbit Day, Business Women’s Day
  • 28th SeptemberAsk a Stupid Question Day
  • 29th September – National Coffee Day #NationalCoffeeDay
  • 30th September – Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay

October

  • 1st-31st OctoberNational Pizza Month
  • 1st October – Coffee Day #InternationalCoffeeDay
  • 4th October – Taco Day #NationalTacoDay, World Animal Day #WorldAnimalDay
  • 7th October – World Smile Day
  • 9th OctoberWorld Post Day
  • 11th October – International Day of the Girl Child  #DayoftheGirl
  • 12th OctoberWorld Burpee Day #WorldBurpeeDay
  • 15th October – Maths Day #WorldMathsDay, National Pug Day #NationalPugDay
  • 16th October – Dictionary Day, World Food Day #WorldFoodDay
  • 20th October – International Sloth Day InternationalSlothDay
  • 21st October International Day of the Nacho
  • 22nd October – Make a Difference Day
  • 29th October – Internet Day #InternetDay, Cat Day
  • 30th October – Checklist Day #ChecklistDay

November

  • 1st November – Author’s Day #NationalAuthorsDay, Stress Awareness Day
  • 4th November – Candy Day #NationalCandyDay
  • 9th November – World Freedom Day
  • 13th November – World Kindness Day #WorldKindnessDay
  • 16th November – Social Enterprise Day
  • 17th NovemberInternational Students’ Day
  • 21st November – Entrepreneur’s Day #NationalEntrepreneursDay
  • 30th November – Computer Security Day

December

  • Thursday before ChristmasNational Regifting Day (USA)
  • 4th December – Cookie Day #NationalCookieDay
  • 5th December – Sachertorte Day
  • 8th December – Brownie Day #NationalBrownieDay
  • 14th DecemberMonkey Day
  • 15th December – Cupcake Day
  • 18th December – Bake Cookies Day
  • 21st December – Crossword Puzzle Day
  • 25th December – Pumpkin Pie Day
  • 30th December – Bacon Day #BaconDay

The Complete List of Unofficial Holidays Celebrated on Social Media

The post The Complete List of Unofficial Holidays Celebrated on Social Media appeared first on Aneta Pawlik.

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