6 Ways to Make Your Commute a Lot Less Stressful [Infographic]

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It's 7:30 a.m. on a Monday. It's raining. And the subway is uncomfortably crowded.

In fact, it's so crowded that I'm desperately trying to grip the pole with one measly finger, while strategically shielding my nose from the morning breath coming from the man to my right. 

Isn't commuting a pain?

Whether you're traveling 20 minutes or well over an hour, making your way to and from work can take a big toll on your mood. Between traffic jams, unexpected delays, car troubles, and inclement weather conditions, people often find themselves having to get out the door even earlier to account for extra travel time. (If you're not a morning person, this can be seriously stressful.)

So what can you do to reduce commuter-induced stress? The folks at Auto Insurance Center put together the following infographic to help you apply a more mindful approach to your commute. 

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Mark Zuckerberg ditches power hoodie to impress Chinese officials

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There are few certain things in this world, but this is — or used to be — one of them: no matter the day, the occasion or the place, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will wear a gray t-shirt, or a gray hoodie, or a gray t-shirt under a gray hoodie. 

For years, this has been an event as regular as the train schedules: Zuckerberg bragged about it on the Today show in 2012. He wore his hoodie on Wall Street — swamped by resentful, besuited bankers — when Facebook was selling stock to the public. And he flaunted it on his first day back from paternity leave this year. 

 

Everyone believed in Zuckerberg as the quintessential startup CEO using the hoodie as the ultimate thumb in the eye of conformist corporate capitalism in favor of Silicon Valley liberty.  Read more...

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Facebook is testing a feature that alerts you if someone is impersonating your account

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Facebook is working on a new tool to help stem one source of harassment on its platform.

The social network is testing a new feature that will automatically alert you if it detects another user is impersonating your account by using your name and profile photo

When Facebook detects that another user may be impersonating you, it will send an alert notifying you about the profile. You'll then be prompted to identify if the profile in question is impersonating you by using your personal information, or if it belongs to someone else who is not impersonating you. Read more...

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Facebook ditches support for BlackBerry

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With 1.44 billion mobile monthly active users as of Dec. 2015, Facebook is the most popular mobile app in the world.

Unfortunately for BlackBerry users, they won't be a part of this statistic come year-end, as Facebook will stop supporting the BlackBerry and BBOS platforms at the end of 2016. 

The news comes less than a month after Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp announced it will stop supporting BlackBerry devices by the end of the year. 

BlackBerry App Ecosystem lead Lou Gazzola announced the change in a blog post last week, saying Facebook would discontinue support of their essential APIs for BlackBerry.  Read more...

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Google Photos gets smarter, automatically creates albums with your best photos

smarter-albums-graphic Google rolled out a small but useful update to its Google Photos service today, which will allow the creation of what Google calls “smarter albums.” These are photo albums automatically created on users’ behalf, following an event or a trip, and will include a curated selection of your best shots, along with details like how far you traveled, or location pins to help you… Read More

Google rebrands its Chromecast app to Google Cast to reflect expansion to more devices, including speakers

google-cast Google announced this morning that it’s renaming its Chromecast application to “Google Cast,” in an effort to better reflect how the technology works across an array of devices, including not only the Chromecast dongles, but also TVs, displays and speakers. The company says the updated app, available for both iOS and Android, will roll out this week for all users. Chromecast,… Read More

50 Free Call-to-Action Templates to Design Clickable CTAs in PowerPoint [Free Download]

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Want to earn money for your business? Want to generate leads for your sales team? Want to accelerate sales for your online store? Want to do anything for your business that actually matters?

Well then you need calls-to-action. Without them, we wouldn't be converting our website visitors or social media fans into actual leads for our sales team. Without them, we wouldn't be calling on our audience to take any action in their lifecycle that actually benefits them or the growth of your business.

Download your 50 free call-to-action templates in PowerPoint here.

But just because they're important doesn't mean we all have a professional designer at our disposal -- whether due to budget limitations, resource restrictions, or just lack of design skills. That's why we created 50 free call-to-action (CTA) templates in PowerPoint for you to customize and use. The template will teach you how to customize your new CTAs effectively, so don't let fear of DIY design stop you. 

This post will give you a sneak peek into a large set of designs available in the template. Download it now and follow along.

1) Basic Calls-to-Action

Sometimes you just need a quick and clean button that helps drive conversions. Building a landing page that needs a customized submit button? Working on a website page that needs to drive visitors to a coupon? Drafting a blog post that needs a "read more" button after the summary? We've got you covered. The first set of 22 CTA designs in our set of templates are basic buttons. Here's a sampling of six:

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2) Social Media Share and Sentiment Calls-to-Action

Data from Dan Zarrella shows that specific diction in your social calls-to-action help drive engagement, but another great way to drive social engagement is through social CTAs on other assets of your website, landing pages, blog posts, and so on. This set of ten templates provides you with two types of designs: social share buttons and social sentiment buttons. Let's take a look at a sample of both.

Social Share CTAs

As you can see in the sample of share buttons below, these buttons are helping drive social actions from your content. Making these buttons clickable is as simple as generating the right code to hyperlink it to. This blog post walks you through how to do so step-by-step.

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Social Sentiment CTAs

Social sentiment CTAs are those that include public testimonials -- often from social media users. As you can see in the example below, we built a CTA in PowerPoint and attached a screenshot of a publicly posted Facebook comment. Be sure to test the use of such social sentiment on your content and explore how their inclusion benefits your conversion rates.

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3) Contextualized Calls-to-Actions

You’ve seen some basic CTA options thus far. The next set of nine options call on you to include more context. These designs are created with the intention of further explaining the value of taking action. Just be sure to keep the overall layout of the button simple so that users can easily see the action you’re calling on them to take. Here are two sample designs available in the template:

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4) Photo and Mobile Device Calls-to-Action

Photos can serve as a great asset when creating your calls-to-action. Not to mention it's super easy because all you have to do is overlay some text! Photos make it easy to humanize and customize your messages for your brand and audience. Similarly, mobile and desktop devices can help make your action "pop." Rather than including a screenshot of your product, try putting that screenshot on a kindle to show it in action! If you have trouble locating copyright-free photos to use, you can download our set of 160 free photos. No attribution required, just download and use! Here are three sample CTA designs from the bunch.

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5) Qualifying Calls-to-Actions

When you’re trying to nurture a lead further down the funnel, you want to ensure you’re presenting CTAs to qualify them for your sales team. For these CTAs, it’s important that they are welcoming and not pushy. Having a great design can help can help you naturally move your leads further down your marketing funnel. Here are two examples from the templates you could customize to help convert a lead to marketing qualified lead:

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Not sure how to exactly save and use these templates? Don't worry, your download of these 50 templates will include step-by-step instructions on how to save and use these templates on your website. 

What templates are you most excited to try? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

download free CTA templates in PPT

  download 50 free CTA templates

The Anatomy of a Perfect Instagram Profile

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With 400 million users, over 80 million posts per day, and a 93% growth month-over-month for businesses using it, it's crucial that marketers include Instagram as a part of their social media marketing strategy.

And it all starts with your Instagram profile.

Download the complete guide to using Instagram for business and marketing here.

The best Instagram profiles have a few things in common, including easily identifiable usernames, a recognizable photo, an informative yet delightful bio, a link to a relevant landing page or campaign, some beautiful photos, and more.

Keep on reading to learn how to customize your Instagram profile so it looks good, tells your potential followers who you are, and gives them a reason to follow and engage with you.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Instagram Profile

1) Public (Not Private) Profile

By default, your Instagram profile will be public -- meaning anyone in the world can view your profile and posts on Instagram.

If you're creating an Instagram profile for business, then that's what you want: You want anyone to be able to view your posts and follow your brand if they want to. (Otherwise, if you keep your profile private, anyone who visits your profile won't be able to view your photos, which could deter them from following you.)

To ensure your profile is public: Open "Options" (the gear button on iOS, or three dots on Android) and make sure "Private Account" is turned off.

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2) Recognizable & Searchable @Username (i.e., Handle)

Start by making sure your username is recognizable and easily searchable, like your business name. If your business name is already taken as a username, try keeping your business name as the first part of your username so that people searching for your business are more likely to come across your account. For example, the Australian activewear line Lorna Jane uses the username @lornajaneactive.

To edit your @username: Go to your profile page and click the "Edit Profile" button to the right of your profile photo.

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Next, click on the text or open space to the right of the person icon and enter your desired username. 

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3) Easily Searchable Business Name

Next, make sure to add your full business name to the “name” section of your profile. This will appear under your profile picture and under your username in search.

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To edit your business name: Go to your profile page and click "Edit Profile." Then, click on the text or open space beside the clipboard icon at the top and enter your desired business name.

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4) On-Brand Profile Photo

Your profile photo is one of the first things people see when they visit your Instagram profile, as it's displayed prominently in the top right-hand corner. It should be something easily recognizable; something that's on-brand with your other social networks. For most companies, this will be your company logo.

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Now, notice that HubSpot's profile photo in the image above is a circle. That wasn't our choice; Instagram actually crops your profile photo into a circle (110 pixels in diameter) when you upload it to the app.

You don't have to create the circle image yourself. However, since you'll have to crop your photo into a circle in the app, then ideally you'll want to upload a square photo with your logo in the center, placed so that the corners of the photo can be cut off without a problem.

In the example below, you'll see the corners are shaded, meaning Instagram will cut them off in the actual profile photo:

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You can move that circle around or pinch-to-zoom until it's cropped just the way you like it.

To add or change a profile photo: Go to your profile page and click "Edit Profile." Then, tap "Edit" in the top right. (This will appear under your current profile photo if you have one.)

From there, you can import a photo from Facebook or Twitter, or choose one from your library. (We don't recommend taking a new one on the spot.)

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5) Delightful, Actionable, Informative Bio

Like your profile photo, your "bio"  (i.e., the description at the top of your profile) is one of the first things visitors to your profile will see.

You have a max of 150 characters: Use them to let people know what you're about and give them a reason to follow you. Include who you are and what you do, and be sure to add a hint of personality.

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Here are a few examples for inspiration:

  • WeWork: "WeWork provides you with the space, community, and services you need to make a life, not just a living."
  • Oreo: "See the world through our OREO Wonderfilled lens."
  • Califia Farms: "Crafting, concocting and cold-brewing up a delicious, plant-based future. Califia Farms Loves You Back"
  • Staples: "We make it easy to #MakeMoreHappen"

You can also use this space to encourage some action, like using a certain hashtag or clicking a link in your bio. Here are two examples:

  • Lorna Jane: "Welcome to the home of #ActiveLiving - be inspired to #MoveNourishBelieve EVERY DAY. Show us how you live active - tag #lornajane to be featured

Facebook turns on Safety Check for Brussels attacks

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Facebook has turned on its Safety Check feature for Brussels, where a series of explosions at the Brussels airport and a metro station left at least 13 dead and many more injured. 

The feature, available here, lets you check on your Facebook friends in or near Brussels, and see whether they're safe, or mark them as safe if you know where they are and how they're doing. 

Originally used for natural disasters, the Safety Check site was turned on during the terrorist attacks in Paris in Nov. 2015, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to use the feature in "more human disasters." Read more...

More about Brussels, Safety Check, Facebook, and Social Media

Facebook turns on Safety Check for Brussels attacks

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Facebook has turned on its Safety Check feature for Brussels, where a series of explosions at the Brussels airport and a metro station left at least 13 dead and many more injured. 

The feature, available here, lets you check on your Facebook friends in or near Brussels, and see whether they're safe, or mark them as safe if you know where they are and how they're doing. 

Originally used for natural disasters, the Safety Check site was turned on during the terrorist attacks in Paris in Nov. 2015, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to use the feature in "more human disasters." Read more...

More about Brussels, Safety Check, Facebook, and Social Media
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