Social reach does not necessarily equate to influence. Thinking holistically about the array of people that can have significant influence will strengthen your social media activity.

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Starbucks delivery hasn’t even launched, but is a great case in storytelling, customer experience and smart brand management.

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It is important to be clear about the distinction between strategy and tactics because misinformation leads to bad decision-making. There is too much at stake for this to not be perfectly clear.

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Real-time marketing is here, and it has been here, to stay. There is huge opportunity for businesses and brands to interact with their audiences in real-time.

Businesses and brands, however, shouldn’t one day per year get a ‘real-time war room’ together and hope for some serendipitous opportunity to present itself, or worse, shoehorn their message into a less than memorable moment.

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Of the 104 articles published on the RGB Social blog in 2013, the following 10 received the most number of views.

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Setting goals and objectives to guide your social media marketing activity is critical to ensure that your efforts are making a meaningful and positive impact on your business.

Without well-defined goals and objectives, there is no way to determine what success looks like, no way to measure success, and no way to optimize. In short, without established goals and objectives, you’re completely flying blind.

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By their nature, best practices tend to be generalizations. Typically, they don’t specifically address your unique situation, opportunities and challenges. And getting too caught up in following best practices can affect your comfort and willingness to take a chance and do something amazing that may be contrary to conventions.

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Conducting consumer research via social media affords many benefits versus traditional methods such as recruiting for in-person focus groups. It can be significantly less expensive, you can question your audience at a moment’s notice, you are more likely to get genuine responses, you’ll avoid having a single overbearing participant sway the opinion of a larger group, and it’s more flexible and adaptable.

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From a social media standpoint, Microsoft has been lambasted for the direction they’ve taken the Xbox One, and many decisions they’ve made regarding the aforementioned policies.

What hurts most is that so many of these blunders could have been easily avoided.

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It can be discouraging to those who are contributing content, and working like crazy to keep a blog afloat to not see unique visitors, page views and subscribers come in droves from the get-go.

Additionally, it can be tough to justify the ROI of your business’ blog to supervisors, management or ownership without having incredible reach.

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There are a few key characteristics of promotions on social media that make the best stand out from the rest.

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A quick Google search for ‘buy Twitter followers’, ‘buy Facebook fans’, ‘buy YouTube views’, or ‘buy Google +1’s’ reveals there are no shortage of ways to quickly grow your fan-base, likes or views.

The question is: Should you pay to artificially inflate these numbers?

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