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Instagram adds People tab and a way to fix your mistakes

Instagram, like any social network, is more about community than content. We draw people in with a cool photo but they come back for the personality behind the photo. They follow. They share. They develop relationships that layer on the rules of social etiquette. Carmine’s lunch photo isn’t that great, but he shared my cat photo this morning so it’s only fair that I share his lunch pic.

This is why Instagram now has a People tab in addition to the Photo tab on the explore menu.

Instagram Explore

Digital will lead holiday shoppers to 345 billion in retail sales

Deloitte_2014_HolidaySurveyInfographicDeloitte is the latest company to publish their holiday survey for the upcoming season and so far, they get the prize for the best subtitle and Infographic.

The survey is subtitled: “Making a list, clicking it twice” which means shoppers will be turning to their mobile devices more than ever this year.

In 2013, only half the people in the survey had smartphones. This year that number rose to 67%. Smartphone owners are planning to spend 27% more on gifts than those without a smartphone so let’s hope your customers are the mobile savvy kind.

Tablet ownership is also up, 50% vs 38% last year. 65% said they’ll be using their tablets to shop and browse the internet for gifts. 57% said they expect to do their buying via a tablet.

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.