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Embrace Hygge Like Happy Norweigans

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Norway was just named the happiest country in the world. Why are they so darn happy and what exactly is hygge?

My interest in the word was peaked after reading the latest World Happiness Report, a survey of 155 countries, that was released just last week.

Once again, despite frigid arctic temperatures and months of darkness, the happiest people on the planet apparently live in Nordic countries.

As mentioned, Norway jumped up three spots to claim the title of “world’s happiest country” for the first time. Denmark, the previous winner for three years in a row dropped to second. These countries were followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden.

In case you’re wondering, the U.S. came in 14th place, dropping down one spot from last year. Europe didn’t fare so well either. Germany was ranked 16, the United Kingdom 19, France 31 and Italy 48. Not surprisingly, people in the Central African Republic are unhappiest with their lives, according to the survey, followed by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria, and Rwanda.

In the end, as in past years, Norwegian countries took most the top spots. Could the reason they are so darn happy have to do with the Danish term hygge?

If you’re from or have visited a Scandinavian country, maybe you know about this funny word that’s hard to pronounce. To say the word, try puckering your lips and aim for a throaty word somewhere between hoo-gah and hue-guh. Kind of like the beginning of the song, Hooked on a Feeling. The good news is, it’s easier to embrace hygge than to pronounce.

Hygge is also difficult to define, but is translated loosely into the English word coziness and is associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude. However, Norwegians would probably argue there’s much more to the word. Hygge requires being present in a moment – whether it be simple, soothing, or special – that brings you comfort, contentment, or pleasure.

The word refers to the ability to enjoy the simple and good things in life with people you love. Hygge can describe soft candlelight, comfort foods like a pork roast or home-made cinnamon pastries, sitting by the fire on a cold night with fuzzy socks, or simply being kinder to yourself and others. It’s about transforming an afternoon cup of tea into an event with friends. Some people translate the word as coziness of the soul.

So, let’s get back to this year’s happiness report and see what hygge has to do with the results.

The report looks at several happiness indicators, including a nation’s per capita GDP (gross domestic product, often used to measure a country’s economic growth) social programs, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption.

It should be noted that although people in Nordic countries are comparatively well off financially, the report proved that money does not equal happiness. This is shown by the surprising fact that Costa Ricans are apparently happier than much wealthier Americans. Another economic powerhouse, Japan ranked poorly at 51. Mexicans and Guatemalans scored happier than the Japanese, even though they are much poorer.

Some would argue that Norwegians are better able to appreciate the small but comforting things in life – or hygge – because they already have all their basic necessities in place. That includes free university education, social security, universal health care, paid family leave, and at least a month of vacation time a year. With their basic needs met, Nordic countries can focus on their well-being and what truly brings them a better quality of life.

Maybe that’s true, but I think we can learn a few lessons from the Norwegians and the way they live.

The idea of practicing hygge is carried over into their work as well as recreational activities. Working overtime and on weekends? Unheard of in Nordic countries! Most businesses shut down before 5:00 p.m. In addition, Norwegians have proven to be less materialistic than other cultures, appreciating low-cost activities and the more simple things in life. In other words, they focus on experiences instead of stuff.

A strong emphasis is put on quality time and sharing meals together as a family in a cozy atmosphere. Priority is given to maintaining cherished relationships and supporting their communities.

Yes, these countries have harsh weather, but these people are a hearty bunch who show their appreciation for nature and the great outdoors year round. In winter, most Norwegians aren’t sitting in their houses all depressed. They can be found skiing, dog-sledding, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, and enjoying the spectacular northern lights. During summer months, they take advantage of the warmer weather to hike, swim, cycle, and sail.

In the end, I think the report confirms that happiness has less to do with money and success and more to do with spirituality, our relationship with others, gratitude, a giving attitude, and being present and mindful.

And maybe adding a little more hygge to our lives.

So, go ahead. Eat that pastry guilt-free, invite friends over for a glass of wine by the fire, or luxuriate in a candlelit bath. Savor the moment and let the warm, fuzzy feelings flow.

An Incredible Guide to Use Social Media for Business

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Remember how “Paper Boat” created a mass engaging campaign on social media last year? It actually made them become one of the brightest stars of the startups in India. Not only the newbies, but the well-known companies like Make My Trip, AirBnB and Nike plus Social awareness groups like Deepika Padukone’s Live Love Laugh Foundation used the power of Social Media to create ripples on the World Wide Web. If used in a right manner, Social Media can give a massive upsurge to your business.

Let us see how:

Using Digital Media is an inexpensive deal. If your brand is cool, it can get cooler with the hype you can get on Social media. Considering the rise of internet usage in India, we are adopting the digital trends with a really fast pace. So, it has become really essential to have a digital profile.

Make sure to use these Social Media tips in your campaigns:

Post videos: The rate of video engagement is really very high. There are predictions that digital videos can replace the ads on TV. Keeping this in mind, if you invest on videos, you can get true engagements on social media. Live video streaming, creating personal stories as web series, vlogs and making engaging videos related to your business can help you gain more traffic.

Upload personalized content and creative pictures: If your content and images are catchy, unique, personalized and speaks of the brand’s story, you can get more likes. People are bored of the monotonous and old fashioned stock image of brands. Posts including fresh content and creative pictures related to real activities help in gaining more traffic on social media.

Concentrate more on Mobile: As we all know that Smart Phones are slowly replacing internet usage on desktops. So, create the content which is mobile friendly. Also, create posts for the local audience and distribute it according to the right format, time and location. It will help you in targeting maximum people.

Create technology driven posts: No matter how and what we think about Artificial Intelligence, we are curious about it, and we love to read and discuss it. As we all are embracing the machine culture to our everyday life, putting it on Social Media can create interesting engagements. Creating posts related to technology, innovations, facts related to technology and Artificial Intelligence can help you gain more traffic. You can club technology with travel sector, health care, education and even the daily activities like using home appliances and equipment. It not only makes life easier but can help you grab more likes.

Hire a professional: Handling Social Media for business is a little different from posting from your personal account. You should always hire the professionals for the job, if you think you are not handling it correctly. People who are professional understand the trends, they know how to make strategies and how to deal with issues coming on the way. They know how to get more engagements on your content and they can create impressive digital marketing posts. They have the knowledge of the major platforms and they can offer a seamless lift to your current status on the web. You can also outsource your digital media to the agencies working in the field.

Be available: There is no particular time on which a potential customer can visit you and look for business. So, it is always suggested that, be available to your audience, if not 24×7, at least during your work hours. Reply all the questions asked by your visitors, if you cannot do that on the spot, make sure to tell them to wait and once you can, answer the questions. Having conversations with people who pitch you on digital media can help you in getting recognition. Reply to your messages and comments. Be thankful when they share your posts, it will create communication and improve your social media reputation.

Use meaningful Hashtags: Hashtags are popular and you can get a lot of traffic to your digital media profiles with the use of this powerful tool. It helps in categorizing the posts and making your content noticeable to people who are looking for similar stories. It will also help you in discovering the posts from your competitors. With the help of hashtags you can connect with various brands and people of similar interest and create an engagement. Using hashtags, which are related to your business can bring a massive traffic.

Now, when you know the tips for making engaging posts, creative images and impressive content for your social media campaign, let us check where to put these posts.

Here are the popular platforms for social media:

Facebook: As we all know that Facebook is one of the top social networking sites in the world and it tops in India, it can give you great business. Ever since Facebook came, more and more people are joining it. You can create your business account on Facebook or start a fan page. It is one of the best platforms for any business to get global audience.

Facebook Messenger: Also known as Messenger, it offers text, voice and video communication and you can use it for the promotion of your brand and also for telling your customers about the new things happening in your company.

Google Plus: People were not very sure of its success when it was launched in 2011, but today there are more than 500 million users on Google+, which is also known as G+. You can easily add people of similar interests and organize your connections with this platform. It has a global reach and you can post and share your images, texts, videos and web links on G+. Being a product of Google, it helps in indexing the content on Google really fast.

Twitter: It is a micro-blogging site which offers a unique feature of sending your messages in 140 characters. If you can be miser on characters and you know how to build unique and catchy content, you can advertise your business effectively. You can interact, communicate, pass information, talk about the latest news and target your audience with your products by using Twitter. It is a powerful platform where you follow people and they do the same. You can like or re-tweet posts which you find interesting and send personal messages on DM (Direct Message).

LinkedIn: It is a professional community where people can build their business or professional profiles. If you want to connect with professionals working in the similar field LinkedIn is the perfect platform. Here you can check the profiles of professionals because it has their education qualification, past work experiences, business network. Also, if you want to build a network of local professionals, you will find countless registered users.

YouTube: Founded by three former PayPal employees, YouTube is the most popular platform for video sharing. Each month, more than 1 billion visitors hit the website. You can upload your videos and reach maximum potential clients through video advertising on YouTube.

WhatsApp Messenger: For instant texting, WhatsApp is a great platform which you can use for your business. You can share texts, images, videos and voice clips through your Smart phone or Tablet. It is an effective platform for instant communication with your customers. You can also run your company’s ad campaign on WhatsApp.

Instagram: Instagram is a Social Networking platform where you can upload your pictures and videos. It has an amazing feature of filters through which you can edit your pictures and this makes Instagram a unique platform loved by millions of users. Instagram came in 2010, and Facebook bought it in 2012. Since then, the number of people on Instagram has up surged in a very high pace (as Instagram is linked to Facebook profile). Popular for its hashtags, Instagram can help in getting your business content viral instantly.

If you are not a part of these platforms, you must join these and start uploading your stories. It will not take much time to reach your target. So, you know what to upload of Social Media, where to post your content, your work will not end here, you will have to monitor your activities and the results. So that if you are not getting the desired traffic or result, you can change the strategy or work harder.

Managing and monitoring Digital Media:

It is not an easy task to manage all your accounts for Social Media and it is a time consuming task to login and log out from each of the sites. To make your task easier, you should start using Hootsuite and to manage your multiple Twitter accounts Tweetdeck is a perfect option.

· Hootsuite: It is one of the amazing options to monitor your postings on social media. It helps you in checking any activity involving your company or name. It also shows the areas of your interest.

· Tweet deck: If you use Twitter, you must not miss this resource. It will help you in managing multiple Twitter accounts plus it helps in organizing the mention and other engagements. You can jump into any topic of interest by searching it instantly.

Analyzing your social media insights:

To analyze the insights of your social media for business, you can use any of these services:

HubSpot: If you want to see how far your social media efforts have gone, you must use this resource. It will let you know all about your social media posts.

Facebook Page Manager: If you run a Facebook fan page, you must check the insights. It will help you in monitoring the traffic. You can check the most popular posts, from where the traffic comes and you can also connect with your audience by replying to them directly.

Seesmic: For those who want to manage all the Social Media accounts from a single resource, this is a great application. You can use Seesmic on your desktop as well as a Smart Phone.

Klout: Another amazing platform to check your Social Media reach is Klout. It helps in checking the most popular hashtags, posts and your overall progress of the Social Networking Sites.