In this post we discuss why the vast majority of businesses should not be concerned with the latest round of Facebook News Feed changes.

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Frequently, when hashtags are being discussed – in blog posts, books, whitepapers, as part of campaigns, in meetings, or wherever – their importance is held so high that I find it verging on laughable.

A hashtag, plain and simple, is a tool for sociability.

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Facebook’s control over the content that appears in users’ news feeds has rightfully been a hot topic of late, but the impact this has on our social media marketing efforts is really only half of the story.

The other half of the story, of course, is the impact it has on users.

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There are many ways that you can use social media to great effect that have absolutely nothing to do with creating content.

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The problem with ‘engagement’ is that it doesn’t tell us much at all. It’s not really a definitive indicator of anything except that someone clicked a button, or mashed a few keys on their keyboard.

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Thinking small about social media marketing is about dedicating yourself to affecting real business results in small increments, day after day, for great long-term impact.

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Google+ may have just been validated as a bonafide social media heavyweight, right alongside the likes of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn – and yes – even Facebook.

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Properly responding to audience-initiated dialogues on social media is a great opportunity for you add value, increase affinity, build advocacy, and develop relationships with individual members of your community.

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YouTube shouldn’t be viewed solely as a video publication platform.

It should be just as socially driven as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any other social media network.

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“Now, When a Page tags another Page, we may show the post to some of the people who like or follow the tagged Page”. – Facebook

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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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The real reason I’ve historically been so interested in the Super Bowl really has nothing to do with the competition on the field, but more to do with the competition for consumers’ attention and wallets, the advertising. And I know I’m not alone on this front.

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It’s been a while since I’ve published a 3 LINKS post featuring recent articles that I’ve found to be interesting, useful, entertaining or inspiring, but alas, here we go:

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In my experience, job descriptions tend to kind of just… well… be job descriptions.

What I mean by that is that they’re not exactly the first thing that businesses think about when conceiving of ways to push their business forward, promote and lead innovation, build and sustain brand advocacy, and ensure employees and coworkers are driving forces behind organizational social media success.

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As the volume of content being created and published continues to explode, finding every opportunity to place your content in front of as large a proportion of your audience as possible is of utmost importance to maximize results.

You shouldn’t simply follow best practices.

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For a medium that is supposed to be intrinsically social, much time can be spent on social media without having meaningful conversations.

This is particularly so for businesses and brands, where many use social media platforms not necessarily to be social, but to broadcast their message.

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Spurring interaction and greater levels of engagement are effective for growing the loyalty and strength of your audience, as well as attracting new people to your brand.

Following are 4 methods to gain higher levels of interaction with your blog content.

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Whether you’ve spent a couple of hours, or a couple of days working on your latest post, you’ll want to ensure you get as much as you can out of it.

Following is a post-publication action plan that you may want to consider the next time you publish a new blog post.

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Nobody cares that you have an account on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

If you’re solely broadcasting and republishing readily accessible information, nobody will care because there is no added value to ‘liking’ your Page, following your business, or subscribing to your social media channels.

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For some businesses on social media, being proactively social can be fraught with organizational challenges.

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Despite having an amazing opportunity to initiate and sustain meaningful dialogues with their consumers, many brands treat social media primarily as a broadcast platform.

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Social media marketing is perfectly suited to sustain relationships with your consumers, even after they’ve made a purchase.

An effective social media strategy that accomplishes this will result in sustaining and strengthening loyalty, and will ultimately result in higher repeat purchase intent.

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Your blog should be feeding your social media content pipeline, including Pinterest.

I know it seems counterintuitive that a largely text-based medium, your blog, could feed your content pipeline for Pinterest, which is such a visually based platform, but it’s certainly not impossible.

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As I’m sure you have, I’ve been exposed to a number of ‘best practices’ about how many tweets a company should publish each day. The number given has varied widely, but I’ve seen numbers as high as 30 or more being recommended to maximize engagement.

Consider re-thinking best practices for how many tweets to publish each day.

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Consumers’ brand preference and purchase intent is being influenced in the pre-market stage of their purchase path. That is, they are making critical decisions that will influence their purchases even before they are thinking about making a purchase.

Powerful stuff.

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Facebook recently introduced photo commenting functionality on business and brand Pages.

So, how can you use this feature on your Page?

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One of the most exciting things to me about social media marketing is the number of times I get to say, ‘sure, let’s try it’.

Unlike traditional media, ‘trying something’ on social media often doesn’t require a commitment of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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There are some amazing businesses and brands pumping out absolutely killer content every day, though I can’t think of many that do it with such regularity as Red Bull. This article will showcase the awesome episodic video content series ‘Imaginate’ by Red Bull, featuring Danny MacAskill.

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You’re creating an abundance of highly valuable social media content for your business’ blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Pinterest boards, and YouTube channel.

However, your audience just doesn’t seem to be engaging with it. They’re not liking, commenting, sharing, pinning, or re-blogging any of it.

It’s amazing content, so what gives?

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For some time, the inclusion of the word ‘media’ in ‘social media’ has sort of rubbed me the wrong way.

It’s that word ‘media’ that I find causes some people to lose sight of how social media can most effectively be used and how it should be measured, and instead they start trying to compare ‘media’ and ‘social media’ on common ground.

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield has successfully returned from a 5-month mission as commander aboard the ISS and has undoubtedly inspired a generation through his unprecedented use of social media and content creation.

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The challenge for many organizations is that existing processes can stand in the way of engaging and interacting with audiences in a timely manner. Process by its nature takes time, and virtually strips organizations of being able to act in real-time.

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