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Friday Roundup: Grumpy Cat, Twitter at the movies and more

grumpy cat christmasAnother Friday and a whole new month. Halloween is over and it’s full-speed ahead from now until New Year’s. For online sellers, these could be the most lucrative weeks of the year. For other types of online businesses, it’s just the opposite. Between the holidays and the travel and the parties, it can be hard to keep workers and clients on task. Trying to close a deal just days before half the people involved leave for a four-day Thanksgiving weekend is stressful and maddening.

My advice: (even if you didn’t ask for it) cut yourself some slack and enjoy the holidays. Easier said then done, I know, but give it a try.

In keeping with the less stress spirit, here are a couple of fun news stories from the world of online marketing.

Control your own news feed? Facebook makes it, sort of, so

Facebook is giving users control of their News Feeds. Sort of. Don’t get too excited. They haven’t decided to open the flood gates and let each of us control our own flow of information – that would be silly.

What they are doing is giving us new tools that will make it seem like we’re in control of our News Feed.

new Facebook optionsIf you check your News Feed settings (a section I didn’t even know existed) you’ll find some new groupings of information. At the top is “Seen Most Last Week” which is oddly phrased but I get the point. These are the people, Pages and Groups who had the most to say over the last seven days. And that might not be accurate since Facebook controls what we see, these might just be the top posters who showed up on your account.

New Social Commerce study says beware the white background!

shoes pinterestAmazon loves product photos with a white background but on Pinterest, those clean, crisp shots can hurt you! According to the “Social Commerce Index: Second Report” from DataPop and Kenshoo, product images without a white background generated 159% more likes and rePins on Pinterest.

Look at these two shoe images from Pinterest. The shoe on the white background feels like a catalog product shot while the other looks like an image from a magazine. They’re both lovely shoes, but the one on the right makes us feel like we’re actually wearing them. Suddenly our heads are filled with notions of a night on the town, date night with that special man, we feel empowered and sexy because of those legs and that floor.

Ah, the psychology of selling.

Funny, followers and follow back; how social cues affect our perceptions on Twitter

Resident TwitterHow do you decide which Twitter accounts to follow? Which do you trust? Which Tweets do you reTweet? The obvious answer to all of these questions is, “the ones I think are interesting or entertaining.” But without evening knowing it, your choices are based on social proofs that you’ve picked up in a split second – unconscious cues that help you quickly decide what’s worth your time and what isn’t.

Digital agency Isobar partnered with researchers from Cambridge University, to see what types of cues are most likely to influence folks on Twitter.They ran tests using a Twitter account for a fictional clothing brand that was about to launch. Then, they tweaked different elements of the profile and recorded the results.

Friday Round-Up: Halloween Edition

Halloween roundupIt’s not only the end of the week, it’s also the end of the month and Halloween, to boot. So, let’s do a quick rundown of the stories you should read over the weekend and then we can all head out and enjoy the night.

Tell a Photo Story on Facebook

Facebook made a small improvement to photo posts that could be useful for the creative marketer. When you upload multiple photos to a post using the mobile app, you can now choose the order in which the photos appear.

Each photo can have its own caption, so you can actually tell a story from top to bottom. Use it to show step-by-step instructions, take visitors on a tour of your location or tell a fictional story using “props” and “costumes” from your retail store.

Facebook drives more referral traffic, but who is number two?

Halloween might be filled with surprises but this isn’t one of them: Facebook sends more referral traffic to websites than any other social media network. This past June, almost a quarter of all referral traffic came from Facebook and the site sent 4x more traffic than the closest competitor.

That’s where the story gets interesting.

Shareaholic Oct Traffic

The 3rd Quarter 2014 edition of the Shareaholic Social Media Traffic Report compares the referral traffic from 8 major social media networks. The data comes from a wide variety of sites including blogs, commerce sites, different sizes, different categories, etc.

There are two data sets of note. First we have the percentage of traffic. There’s Facebook up on high, then we drop down to Pinterest with 5.52% share. What’s really incredible is that as untouchable as Facebook is, Pinterest is also pretty untouchable for those below.

39 percent of Tweeters called Twitter their new holiday shopping list

Twitter Holiday 1If you’re a Scrooge about Christmas, stay away from Twitter because people who Tweet are the happiest (and spend-thriftiest) of holiday shoppers.

Back in August, DB5 surveyed 2,100 shoppers on behalf of Twitter and more than half were regular Twitter users. Taking into consideration the fact that Twitter published the results. . . .the outcome was quite interesting.

34% of those surveyed said they had already begun thinking about holiday shopping. A huge 81% of the Twitter regulars said they love holiday shopping. (To which the surveyor replied, ‘if you love it so much you should marry it’. ) Only 56% of the non-Twitter regulars said they were looking forward to holiday shopping which brings us to the first point:

Twitter users love shopping for gifts.