Social Media For Personal Use vs. Business Use

On our weekly show yesterday, The Social Truth, we talked for a little while on the differences between using social media personally and using it for your business/brand. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, the show was not recorded, so I thought I’d give you a short recap of what we talked about.

I’ve personally encountered a lot of people recently who have been thrust into doing their employer’s social media because 1) they are young and 2) they know a little bit more than the next person. This is all well and good, except that most people’s understanding of social media comes from how they’ve used the various networks personally.

The reality, however, is that using social media for your business or brand has a few key differences that must be taken into account. If you are using the exact same strategies (if you have a strategy at all), you are missing out on the full power of using the social world for your marketing purposes.

The highlights:

  • Content
    • Personal. Here, it’s okay to simply share the old Twitter mantra “What are you doing?”. Your family, friends and coworkers may in fact be interested simply in what you’re up to that night. And they are definitely interested in pictures of your kids, kittens and kite-flying afternoons.
    • Business. This is all about sharing content and giving value. Most of your updates will include links, or little nuggets of wisdom related to your industry. That’s why they are coming to you.
  • Networks
    • Personal. Stick with what you like. Think of it more like a hobby. Love making videos? Dive in to YouTube, and try out Twitter later on. Are you a photographer? Stick to Flickr for now, and try out YouTube later. Don’t feel obligated to be on everything.
    • Business. Have a footprint on all the channels you can reasonably handle. Obviously you don’t want to be overloaded, but you want to reach your intended audience where they are, and they probably aren’t all in one spot. We especially advocate for the Big 5: blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
  • Facebook specifically
    • Personal. You don’t have to reach out much. Here it’s okay to simply be a consumer and digest all the posts coming your way. Put smiley faces and “lols” on everything you like.
    • Business. Get familiar with applications. You can literally do just about anything within a Facebook page that you’re able to do on a standard website. If you didn’t know that, you’re already behind. Do some research and know what they do. Also be intentional about reaching out and adding comments to other pages that add value to the people reading.
  • Consistency
    • Personal. It’s not crucial that you’re posting every single day multiple times. I am one who has a love-hate relationship with social media. Yesterday, for instance, I forgot to tweet altogether, and I get paid to do social media (Yikes! Am I fired?). At the end of the day, though, my friends/family/followers will come back to me because they have a real relationship with me.
    • Business. Consistency is crucial. If you’re not posting every day, your audience is finding a similar company who is. I guarantee it. There are tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that allow you to do this if you have to be out for a few days. Make it a priority to share fresh content at least once or twice every single day.

A couple last points. You want to make sure to clean up your own social media once you become in charge of business or branded accounts. Go ahead and delete some of those old college photos, and clean up the language as well. This doesn’t mean don’t have fun, it just means be a little more aware of what you are posting and the people who might see it.

You also want to make sure you have a strategy for jumping into social media for business use. Read some books and take a look at the companies who are doing it really well. Have defined goals and ways of measuring those goals, just like you would with any other marketing or advertising strategy.

Using social media for yourself may be intuitive, but it’s almost certainly not intuitive when you are doing it for a business or brand. If you have questions or comments, drop ‘em below…or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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3 Social Media Changes You Don’t Want to Miss

As a social media company, it is our job to stay on top of all the fancy new stuff that pops up every 10 seconds or so in our industry. Most of these changes don’t really mean much to you, our readers – they are new startups working out glitches, back-end programs that make our jobs easier, or simply new ideas that haven’t quite reached critical mass yet.

The last couple weeks, however, have brought about 3 major news items that are worth sharing. The first is the release of Google+, a social network that is Google-based and is supposed to be a new rival for Facebook. The second is a trio of information bits from Facebook regarding their chat features. And finally, YouTube is in the works of redesigning their user experience, and the early results look promising.

1) Google+

Currently in Beta Mode with limited availability, Google+ seems to be aiming at being a simpler and more user-friendly social network. Friends are organized into “circles” such as work, friends, family, acquaintances, etc. The rumor is that it will be open to the public as of July 31. They will also be rolling out business profiles sometime in the next few months.

Pros:

  • Seamlessly integrates with other Google Apps, especially chat.
  • Has built-in video chat.
  • Organizes friends better than Facebook, making it easier to find the ones you’re truly interested in following.

Cons:

  • Yet another social network to share content on.
  • Not sure yet of how it competes in the social world with the giants that are already present.
  • Has yet to integrate things like events (Google Cal?) or collaborative work (Google Docs?).


2) Facebook Chat

Facebook held a live event viewed by thousands of people online to announce their latest upgrade. The Facebook Chat feature has long been known to be a little glitchy, and not as easy-to-use as Google Chat or Skype. They seem to be trying rather hard to fix that problem. Their trio of items to note:

  • Group chat: You can now add multiple people to a single chat box, making things like weekend planning a breeze.
  • Chat sidebar: depending on your browser size, you may now have a sidebar with a listing of your friends and the ability to chat with them right there, versus just that little box in the bottom right corner.
  • Video chat: This is the biggie. Facebook has partnered with Skype to bring video calling to any of your Facebook friends.

Pros

  • Group chat seems like an awesome feature and will be easy-to-use. This will make life much more simple for a lot of people and even businesses.
  • The ability to video chat without having to download a program is huge. You now have access to all your friends, versus just those with the Skype program.
  • They capitalized on the best video technology out there (Skype) instead of trying to create their own.
  • You can leave video voicemails when your call isn’t answered.

Cons

  • You still have to download a plugin, and it may not be user-friendly for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Still no group video chatting – that really would have been icing on the cake. It will likely be a paid premium feature in the future.


3) YouTube Redesign – Codename “Cosmic Panda”

This change might be my personal favorite. Virtually since its inception, the site has looked a little clunky, and not very user-friendly. All of that is about to change with this update. The overall design is slick and clean, and makes navigating much more intuitive. To activate the update for your account, visit www.youtube.com/CosmicPanda.

Pros

  • It just looks and feels so much better. That’s a big pro in our book.
  • Playlists are organized neatly on the right side and can be seen at all times.
  • Channel stats such as subscribers and views are now easily visible on the rop right.
  • You can change the video size manually, putting the viewing experience totally in your control.
  • It is easier to scroll through videos of a selected channel.

Cons

  • The “Featured Video” seems to be lost, so the video that people see when they land on your channel is likely just the most recent upload.
  • That’s about it for now! We LOVE this update!



What do YOU think of all these changes? What pros and cons have you found? What are you most excited to start using? Chime in here on the blog, or over on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy Anderberg

Jeremy is a blog-reading, report-writing project manager. In his spare time he enjoys reading a good thriller, drinking a freshly brewed cup of coffee, and spending time with his wife.

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Des Moines Social Media Fair [PHOTOS]

Last night I had the opportunity to attend and speak at a downtown Des Moines social media seminar organized by the Des Moines Social Club. I’d like to take some time to thank everyone who was able to attend, as well as the other professionals who spoke at the event. I’d also like to thank Laura Gaulke and the Des Moines Social Club for organizing the event. Here are some photos from last night:


Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

If you want to learn more about who spoke at the event and what they talked about, click here.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Social Media Strategist, Speaker, and always learning.

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5 Embeddable Resources You Could Be Using To Enhance Your Blog And Keep Visitors Coming Back For More

For a lot of businesses, the idea of blogging can be scary. It’s easy for a CEO to decide that his or her company needs to have a blog. For most blogging platforms, the setup process is fairly simple. In fact it only takes a matter of seconds. The hard part, however, comes when the person who has been put in charge of running the company blog realizes they have no idea what to write about. So what’s the secret to running a successful, interesting, valuable blog that keeps people coming back for more? It all comes down to two things: strategy and creativity. That’s it.

Here’s the deal: Blogging isn’t hard. It just takes a little strategy, and a little creativity. Blogging is a must for all companies. Joe Soto, CEO of One Social Media, said it best at a recent social media luncheon that he spoke at following New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales seminar. When speaking on the topic of blogging, he said: “If you don’t have a blog, you’re not taking your business seriously.”

To help you come up with effective blog strategies, AND to help you boost your creativity, I’d like to share 5 embeddable resources that will help you enhance your blog and keep visitors coming back for more.

1. VYou
Site:
http://vyou.com
What it is:
The concept behind VYou is simple, yet ingenious: Ask a question about a topic—get a video response. Click here to learn more.
Strategy Tip:
Set up a VYou account and start interacting with your clients. It provides a great opportunity for organizations and companies who want to start connecting with customers on an entirely new level. Invite people to interact with you on VYou by embedding your profile in a blog post.
Cost:
Free
Example:

2. ISSUU
Site: http://issuu.com
What it is: ISSUU is the leading digital publishing platform on the web. It’s a site that allows you to upload and share publications.
Strategy Tip: Create a profile on ISSUU for your company and start uploading your brochures, reports, case studies, and any other marketing materials you have. Then embed your publications into a blog post on your company blog.
Cost: Free
Example:

3. Prezi
Site: http://prezi.com
What it is: A new way to present information. Prezi allows you to take your personal or corporate messages, meetings, and speeches to the next level by helping you create visually-stunning presentations.
Strategy Tip: Set up your account on Prezi, then spend some time learning how to use it. In the meantime, share other presentations that you come across by embedding them into your next blog post. Search for a topic that relates to your industry.
Cost: Free
Example:

4. Twitter Search Feed
Site: http://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets
What it is: A Twitter widget that allows you to create a live stream of tweets based on a specific search term.
Strategy Tip: Search for a word(s) that relate to your industry. Help keep your clients and future customers informed by embedding a Twitter search widget into your next blog post.
Cost: Free
Example:

5. LiveShare by Cooliris
Site: http://www.cooliris.com/yoursite/express/builder
What it is: A new way to share YouTube videos, Flickr photostreams, Facebook photos, and more!
Strategy Tip: Use LiveShare by Cooliris to share your company’s YouTube channel with your clients. Embed the LiveShare app into your next blog post.
Example:

Hopefully these ideas will help get you started. At the least, they will help you drastically improve your next five blog posts. Just use one resource per blog post and share them across all your social media sites. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the positive feedback you receive. The key to using your blog as an effective resource for future business is all about value, and in order to provide value on your blog, you need to invest in two things: strategy and creativity.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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How To Improve Your Writing For Social Media (In 140 Characters Or Less)

 
 
 

To see the real-time stream of these tweets on Twitter, click here.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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10 Reasons Why Your Competition Is Beating You On Social Media

Although you might not want to admit it, I bet you’re paying attention to how your competition is doing on social media. Have you noticed lately that their social media profiles are growing a lot faster than your company’s social media profiles? It might be because of one of these ten reasons:

1. Your competition has a presence on multiple social media sites. While you’re spending all your time updating your company’s Facebook page, your competition is busy sending out tweets, uploading YouTube videos, connecting with potential leads on LinkedIn, creating a new album of photos on their Flickr photostream, and updating their blog. Your competition understands the importance and value of building an online brand presence through the use of multiple social media platforms.

Create a presence on all the popular social media sites

2. Your competition is updating their social media profiles consistently. Your competition’s social media profiles continue to grow because they continue to provide consistent, valuable content to their followers. They have maintained a loyal following thanks to the consistent updates they post on their social media profiles, and have even started attracting new followers. 

3. Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers to connect with them on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Are you telling the customers who walk into your door about your social media presence? Is it in your brochures? Your quarterly newsletter? Your email signature? On the back of your restaurant menu? Your competition is going out of their way to invite customers and prospects to connect with them on their favorite social media sites.

4. Your competition is posting a variety of content. Your competition isn’t re-posting promotional text from their website. They are creating Facebook photo albums of their last corporate event. They’re finding interesting links that relate to their industry and sharing them with followers. They are uploading client testimonial videos and behind-the-scenes video tours to their YouTube channel. Your competition is posting content that they know their followers will like. They aren’t worried about leaving out the promotional text from their website, because they are attracting new customers by providing value.

Create a Flickr photo gallery and share it on Facebook

5. Your competition is cross-promoting. Your competition is telling their Twitter followers about their Facebook page. They are ending every YouTube video by inviting viewers to connect with them on their other social media sites. They are embedding their Facebook page feed into their blog. They understand that their LinkedIn connections might not ever realize they have a Flickr account unless they occasionally share links to their Flickr photostream on their LinkedIn profile.

6. Your competition isn’t afraid to answer the hard questions. If you’re afraid to answer the tough questions that people might post on your company’s Facebook page, don’t be. Your competition isn’t afraid. In fact, they encourage their followers to ask tough questions, because they see it as an opportunity to strengthen their online reputation. Instead of ignoring or deleting tough questions that show up on their Facebook page, they’re being proactive. They’re taking the time to come up with a helpful, thoughtful answer that will show people how much they care about their customers.

7. Your competition is customizing their profiles with recognizable brand designs. You might understand the importance of presenting a consistent brand design when promoting your business in the physical world (you have a standard design or logo that appears on your flyers, your company shirts, your store sign, and your press releases), but you’re not (successfully) incorporating your company’s consistent design into your social media profiles. Your competition has taken time to design visually-interesting, customized designs for all their social media profiles.

Customize Your Social Media Sites

8. Your competition is taking time to listen to advice, suggestions, and other helpful comments. Your competition is not only improving their online reputation by listening to advice and comments made by their followers, but they’re also using these comments to improve their business in general. They value the interaction that is happening on their social media profiles, and they are using suggestions made by followers to evolve their business in the physical world.

9. Your competition is utilizing social media tools to become the expert in your industry. Where are your potential customers going to learn more about your industry? If you think it is your website (or your competition’s website), you are wrong. Your potential customers are learning about your industry on places like Facebook and Twitter because it’s easy for them. Your competition understands that. That’s why they are going out of their way to provide valuable content and information to people on their social media profiles. They are becoming the experts in your industry.

10. Your competition has support from employees, clients, and other businesses in the community. Your competition is succeeding on social media because they have support from every employee who works for the company. Every one of their employees is promoting the company’s social media profiles in email signatures, at meetings with potential clients, and everywhere else. Your competition also has support from clients. They even have support from other businesses in the community who are interested in building a relationship online with them.

Interact with other businesses in the community

If you want to start seeing better numbers on your social media sites, implement some of the strategies that your competition is implementing. Use this list to beat your competition on social media. Become the expert in your industry. Invite your customers to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you use. Listen to what your followers have to say. Update your profiles consistently, and provide value. It’s worth your effort and your time.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Your Facebook Page

One common question I often hear from businesses and organizations who are new to social media is, “How do I measure the success of my social media efforts?” It’s a fair question to ask in my opinion. Answering that question, however, isn’t always as easy as asking it. What’s hard for many businesses who are new to Facebook to understand, is that the success of their social media efforts shouldn’t (and can’t) be determined solely by the number of overall ‘likes’ their page has. There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration when trying to measure the success of a Facebook page, or a social media campaign in general. Sometimes it’s important to recognize the quality of interaction that exists on a Facebook page, rather than the quantity of users who ‘like’ a page.

What I mean by that is this: you might not have as many Facebook fans as you would like, but what you do have is a number of loyal Facebook users who continue to consistently interact with you on your Facebook page. If you’re getting caught up in the numbers, you’re probably not paying attention to the great interaction occurring on your page. Measuring the success of your social media efforts sometimes requires you to ignore quantity (the number of ‘likes’ your page has), and instead focus on quality (the interaction from loyal fans).

I understand, however, that ignoring the numbers isn’t always easy for some businesses and organizations to do. For that reason, I’m offering five simple things you can do to improve your Facebook page. Here they are:

1. Add Value: I just got done reading a great new book about social media by author Jeffrey Gitomer, who explains that “the purpose of your online presence (especially on social media) is not to sell, it’s to attract people who want to buy” (Jeffrey Gitomer, Social BOOM!). Wise words coming from someone who is actively creating valuable content on his social media sites. It’s important to understand that people who connect with you on Facebook aren’t necessarily interested in buying from you (at least not right away). What they are looking for is value. They want to connect with you because you have something to offer to them besides your latest product. You have insight. You have advice. You have knowledge. You have expertise. Start offering valuable content on your Facebook page, and you will not only see an increase in the amount of people who ‘like’ your page, but you will also see an overall increase in the interaction that occurs on your page.

2. Add Variety: If you aren’t sharing photos, videos, or links on your Facebook page, you shouldn’t be surprised that your numbers aren’t where you want them to be. Providing consistent updates on your page is great, but it can only do so much. You need to start sharing other forms of content with your Facebook followers. Upload photos from your last event. Upload customer testimonial videos. Share interesting links, or links to your blog with your Facebook community. Once you start adding variety to your Facebook page, your numbers will most likely go up, and the amount of interaction occurring will also increase.

3. Engage When Your Followers Are Listening: Knowing when your followers are listening can be an extremely effective way to increase your Facebook numbers, and improve your Facebook page. If you’re wondering why no one is ‘liking’ or commenting on content that you are sharing on your page, it might be because you aren’t engaging with your followers at the right time. Your followers aren’t always logged into Facebook at the same time you post an update. I recently read a great report from Buddy Media that looked at the best time of day (and best day of the week) to share content on a Facebook page. I was surprised with some of their findings, and I’m guessing you would be too. I encourage you to download the report yourself if you are interested in learning more about how to engage when your followers are listening. There are a lot of great graphs like the one below that will help you understand their findings:



4. Cross-Promote: Your Twitter followers might never know that you have a Facebook page, unless you tell them. The people who visit your company website won’t look for you on Facebook, unless you show them you are there. Your company needs to make sure every separate audience you have online—your website audience, your blog audience, your newsletter audience, etc—knows that you have a social media presence. You need to cross-promote whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Cross-promoting is one of the easiest ways to increase your numbers on Facebook, because you are inviting people who already interact with you others places to join you on Facebook too. Need examples? Click on the photo below to see all the ways we cross promote on our site.

5. Respond: One of the best ways to improve your Facebook page is to respond to questions your followers ask you on your page. Ignoring hard questions is the easiest way to lose Facebook fans and damage your online reputation. If  you have decided that you want your company to have a presence on Facebook, then you need to be ready to address questions or concerns that your followers have. It’s easy to delete a question or comment from an unhappy customer and move on, but it won’t help you in the end. Your Facebook followers will think much more highly of you if you actually take the time to answer their questions, and let them know you care. Responding to questions or comments on your Facebook page will show other non-fans that you have something to offer them that your competition doesn’t. It’s worth it.

I hope you are able to take at least one of these five tips and start incorporating it into your Facebook page. When you do, come back to this blog post and tell me if you saw any changes! I’d love to read your comments. Just remember, measuring the success of your social media efforts isn’t always about the numbers. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to think about the quality of interaction on your page, the loyalty of your followers, and the value you are providing to your Facebook community.

Still have questions? Ask me on Twitter. I’m @robwormley.

Rob Wormley

Rob Wormley

As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.

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Social Media Case Study: KOSAMA

In April of 2010 Kosama partnered with our company, One Social Media, to launch their social media marketing initiatives online in an effort to build market mind-share. Ten short months later, Kosama has become the fitness craze of the Des Moines metro area with multiple franchise locations opening throughout Iowa and other national markets.

As stated in the case study document, the over-arching goal for this project was to increase market mind-share, build company credibility, establish a favorable and recognizable company brand online, and attract new potential members who sign up for the Kosama 10-week program.

While the growth and social media numbers are respectable, the quality of the interaction on the social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter have been the highlights of Kosama’s social media presence. Every day people are conversing on Kosama’s social media platforms and interacting with one another.

Watch the video to hear from the owners of Kosama how social media has impacted their business:










Download the Social Media Case Study

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Social Media Strategist, Speaker, and always learning.

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What Happens When You Don’t Use Facebook?

We talk to a lot of people who don’t think Facebook is necessary for their brand or company.  What they don’t realize is that millions of people have come to rely on Facebook as their primary form of interaction with companies, brands, and people.

What happens when someone can’t find you on Facebook?  They give up and look for someone or something else to replace you. The hardest thing to do as a brand is to get people to trust you.  Facebook makes taking that step a little easier for the customer.  They can start by clicking the “Like” button.  From there they can interact with you and your page all the while developing a better relationship with your brand.

Marketers have spent years trying to find the perfect customer.  A customer who wants to hear what you have to say and who will spread the gospel of their favorite brand.  Facebook offers a way for those customers or fans to find you and we would recommend taking advantage of it.

Having a presence on Facebook doesn’t mean you are getting anything out of it.  You have to be willing to maximize your efforts by creating strategies that get your customers and “fans” involved. By being valuable to those who choose to follow you, learn from you, be entertained by and informed by you.

How are you being valuable to your customer base?

Mike Bal

Mike Bal

Hi, I studied advertising, I have a passion for creativity and I love working in social media. I try to write about the combination of traditional marketing, branding, and advertising strategies that can apply and work affectively with social media. I also enjoy music, batman and life.

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New Social Media Platforms For Innovative Marketers

Have you noticed how big brands like Starbucks, Nike, Adidas and others are making their presence felt on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? Every company today is adopting social media marketing as a prominent tool to reach out to its target customers, but some innovative marketers have gone a step beyond by experimenting with lesser known social media platforms to reach to their target audience. To know more about a couple of out-of-the-box social networking sites read on…

Aardvark

If you are looking for an alternative to the LinkedIn Answers, then Aardvark is probably the name you can count upon.  Being recently acquired by Google Aardvark is a useful question-answer platform.

Gowalla

With 450,000 users it is a new location based application based in Austin, Texas. Gowalla is the latest favorite of innovative marketers, and brands like National Geographic, Red Bull and Levi’s are some of the popular names that are exploring this new platform for social media marketing.

To read the full article click here.

Joe Soto

Joe Soto

Joe Soto is the CEO of One Social Media. A leading expert in social media marketing, Joe has over 16 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing.

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