Google+ Adds Auto Hashtag and Photo Text LOL!

Google+ is nothing if not well balanced, they’ve recently released two new tools that will help you both save and waste time.

First up is the new text option for photos. Drop a photo into your share box, click add text and you have the option of adding lines above, in the middle, and / or below the picture. It’s your basic LOLCats effect and though I’m sure it can be useful to marketers, it’s more than likely to be used as a time waster.

And even though Google+ engineer Colin McMillen introduced the feature as a way to add funny text to photos, there’s no indication that the tool will refuse your work if it’s not funny.

70 Percent of Consumers Won’t Buy from a Company They Don’t Like

70% of consumers said they wouldn’t buy a product from a company they didn’t like.

That may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but let’s run with it for a moment.

The statement comes from a new Weber Shandwick report called “The Company behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust.” The report is focused on big companies with multiple brands, but the information is just as relevant for the small business owner.

The overall concept is that folks are getting pickier about where they spend their money. A great product won’t woo them, if the company behind the product can’t be trusted.

Trust means different things on different levels. For big corporations, it might mean a company that is concerned about the environment, cares about its customers and makes good when a product goes bad.

Wikipedia Goes Dark in Protest of SOPA: Students Forced to Find Other Means of Completing Homework

Wikipedia and several other sites including Reddit and Boing-Boing will go dark on Wednesday as a form of protest. What they’re protesting is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Critics of the act say that it supports wholesale censorship with no recourse for even accidental offenders. At the root is the concept that the government can block any website that carries pirated materials. Obviously, this would be a big problem for eBay, YouTube, Facebook, pretty much any website that allows users to upload content.

Facebook Cuts Ad Prices if You Stay on Site

Want to save up to 45% on your Facebook advertising bill? It’s easy. Simply link your ad to your Facebook Page and not your website.

A new study by TGB Digital shows that Facebook has been incentivizing internal linking for awhile now but they really got serious in Q4 of 2011. Earlier in the year, the company found a 29% savings for those who kept the clicks internal. But now, with a potential to save up to 45%, staying inside the walls is almost a given.

Simon Mansell, CEO of TBG Digital, said in a press release:

Product Videos, Gifts and Other Marketing Ideas You Can Borrow

The January issue of STORES magazine has an article called 20 Ideas Worth Stealing. Since they’re advocating helping yourself, I figured they wouldn’t mind if I borrow a few of their ideas to share here.

The entire article is a great mix of basic marketing manners and innovations that use mobile and other digital options to enhance the in-store experience. But there are also ideas that the strictly online retailer can use as well.

Reward Loyalty

Home decor flash sales site One Kings Lane surprised 6,900 of its best customers with a special gift that shipped the first two weeks of November. Based on purchase history, shoppers received taper candles, a silver pitcher or an inlaid bone box.

So You Think You Know the Connected Consumer [Infographic]

So you think you know the connected consumer, do you? Well Zmags challenges your notions with this sweet infographic that puts it all in perspective.

If you imagine that connected shoppers are young people who can’t survive without their mobile phone, think again. Their survey showed that more than half of connected shoppers surveyed where women with a mean age of 40.

She owns multiple internet-connection devices and not surprisingly, she enjoys Facebook and shopping excites her. Can’t get a better customer than that.

Foursquare Launches Desktop Explore

Whether you’re looking for a new place to have lunch or planning a trip to Paris, Foursquare has you covered with their new desktop app.

Foursquare explore is a supersized version of the explore engine in their smartphone app. It’s designed to help you find places to eat, visit and play that suit your needs and interests.

What’s truly unique about it, is the apps ability to respond to random words, not just specific names or high-level categories. You can search for a “pizza” place in the neighborhood or you can search for “deep dish pizza” and get only those restaurants that make it that way. You can also search words like “romantic,” “fun,” and “weekend,” for more of an eclectic mix.