Using Social Media To Boost Traffic On Your Blog

Social Media to boost blog traffic featured imafe with a cup of coffee with random social network logos on the cup saucer.
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There are so many networks and services out there to help you grow your blog traffic through social media. Whether you decide to use Pinterest, Instagram or another network, there are methods to help you grow your blog traffic and brand.

By utilizing multiple social media services to promote your blog, you have the potential to grow your following exponentially!

Using social media should not, however, be an alternative to focusing on SEO. While social media can get you traffic in the short term, SEO can build organic traffic from search engines in the long term.

While this post is quite lengthy, you can jump to a section below if you are looking for information on a particular network.

Make sure to focus on one social network at a time, master it, then consider joining another!

Jump to a section:



Pinterest social network section header with the red Pinterest logo.

Social Network: Pinterest

Pinterest is the number one referrer for most mom bloggers!

Pinterest is an image and link social media platform. In short, you share images and Pinterest users will (hopefully) click on the image to visit your blog.

In many ways, Pinterest is a simple platform, but there are some things you need to know to succeed as a blogger.

Why should you use Pinterest? In 2018, there were 77.4 million users on Pinterest worldwide (source).

That’s a LOT of people you can potentially reach merely by creating pinnable images on your blog posts that you AND your readers can save on Pinterest.

Yup, that’s right: there’s enough information about Pinterest that there’s a submenu:

Pinterest Lingo

With every social platform comes a set of unique terms or phrases you will come across to describe different things. Below are some common terms you will encounter as you learn about Pinterest:

  • Board: Where a user will save (“pin”) images for later. Think of this like a clipboard of images where a user will have multiple clipboards for each topic they choose.
  • Pin: An individual image with text and link. This word can also be used to say something like “your pin was pinned” (meaning it was saved/repinned to a board).
  • Repin: When a user sees your pin and decides to save it to one of their boards (“pinning the pin” or “save the pin”).
  • Rich Pins: once you have claimed your website, your pins will now show more information to entice the user to click on your pin. See this article to learn more about rich pins from Pinterest.
  • Tried It: if a user has clicked on a pin and tried the recipe, craft or whatever the site instructed, they are allowed to share their experience with the pin to help others. This may include things like images of the finished recipe and/or a written review.

When it comes to analytics, here is what is meant by certain terms:

  • Clicks: Number of times a user has clicked on a pin to visit the site.
  • Impressions: Number of times a pin is viewed in a feed (looked at, not clicked on)
  • Monthly Engaged: Number of users who have clicked on your pins in a month.
  • Monthly Viewers: Number of users who are visually seeing your pins in a month.
  • Saves: The number of times a pin is saved/repinned. Some places may refer to these as repins.

This post by Yoast can help you understand the analytics provided by Pinterest (including more in-depth definitions of the terms used).

Choosing A Pinterest Name

Since you want people to be able to find you, try to choose a name for your Pinterest account that closely matches your blog name.

With so many people on Pinterest, this may mean a little change to the name you would like if you have chosen a blog name that is a common phrase, etc.

Your handle (your username – the name you choose that will start with an @ symbol that will also be used in your profile URL) can be different than what is displayed as your name when users look at your profile.

For example, someone may have a handle of @weirdmomlife (username weirdmomlife) and they change their displayed name to “Kirsta @ This Weird Mom Life | Pregnancy | Birth Doula”. Both are searchable by users on Pinterest!

Before deciding on your handle/username and then editing your name, make sure you discover keywords to use in your name (not necessarily in your handle).

There is nothing wrong with simply using your blog name as your Pinterest account name!

But, adding some simple keywords can help grab attention and show up in search results.

Setting Up Your Account

In order to access analytics (data about your pin performance), you will need to sign up for a business account (free).

It is highly suggested to use a new account rather than an account you use personally. Not only do you want to only pin (a word for saving images) relevant content to your boars (collections of pins, kind of like a filing system), but you also want to associate your Pinterest name with your blog.

If you have a personal account, make sure you log out before going through the steps below:

  1. Go to pinterest.com/business/create/
  2. Fill out your email, password and business name then select a business type (whichever closest matches your blog)
  3. Click Create account

Claim Your Website

With a business account, you get access to analytics to see how your pins are performing. But, in order to view the data, you will need to verify you own your website.

Once you have claimed your blog (website), your profile picture will appear next to any pins that come from your site and a small globe will appear next to your URL in your profile.

Basically, by claiming your website you are making sure Pinterest finds your account trustworthy.

There are a few ways you can claim your site. Check out this article on Pinterest for instructions.

Updating Your Profile

Once you have your account, now you can go to your profile and update your name.

Go in the upper right hand corner and click on the triple dots, then Settings.

  • You can also add your profile image. Although you can use your blog logo, most bloggers prefer to use an image of themselves to help your account feel more personable.
  • Update your “about me” section with a description of what you blog about (meaning what types of pins you save). Make sure to use keywords.
  • It’s your choice if you want to add a location (you can always just list your country for reference).
  • Under the location field, you can click to add or edit featured boards at any time that appear in your profile. If you don’t have any boards yet, come back after you have some to feature. you can feature up to 5 boards.

How do you edit your header area showing pins?

On your profile page, there is also a top area you can customize to show recent pins from your site (by anyone, not just pins you save), most recent pins you have saved (regardless of the site) or choose a board you want to display pins from.

Many choose to display pins your site to show activity from your blog.

Creating Boards

Boards on Pinterest are like files or buckets in which you save your pins. You can have as many boards as you like, but make sure you only have boards you will actively pin (save) to and ones that only cover topics that match your blog content (relevent topics).

Under your profile picture, there is another navigation menu. Click on Boards. Here is where you can create new boards by clicking on the plus symbol.

Add a board name, closest topic from the dropdown and a good description with keywords (try to do this in full sentences rather than a list of keywords or using hashtags, though you can do that as well).

If you get lost on the types of boards to create, look up others in your niche for inspiration. Or, here is an article that can help you brainstorm.

Board Covers

Board covers are a way to create a seamless look to all your boards.

Creating board covers is just like making pins in whatever tool you use (Canva, PicMonkey, Photoshop, etc). To keep your page looking consistent, try to stick to a single template for each board cover.

It’s debatable whether the effort of making one for every board is worth it (the largest group of people who repin your pins will never to your actually profile). However, if you have the time or inclination, board covers provide a very professional look to your account.

The image sizes for your board cover should be 340 x 340 with the optimal size being 736×736 (though make sure any text is right in the center in case of cropping, notably on mobile).

After you have added your first board cover, make sure to look at it on a computer and, more importantly, on mobile.

Here is a step by step guide on creating board covers for Pinterest.

Seasonality

There are definite times of the year when certain types of pins and content will do better on Pinterest.

Here is an image from Pinterest showing holidays or other events and when pinning ACTUALLY starts (usually months in advance!):

Tailwind offers a free printable planner that focuses on the different parts of the year to highlight content!

Keywords on Pinterest

As mom bloggers, Pinterest is a fantastic referral source. To help your readers find you, make sure to include a keyword rich name, bio, board names/descriptions and pin description.

Using relevant keywords will help your audience find you and your content.

How do you find keywords?

Go to Pinterest and search for what your article topic (like “toddler tantrums”). After you hit enter, you will find additional keywords below the search bar you can use in your pin description!

Where do you put your description on your post image? Click here (or read on to the next section).

Image and Pin Descriptions

When you create a post on your site and upload images, it’s good practice to place a description on every image (unless you set the image to not be “pinnable”).

Many users may use a browser extension (like the Chrome Pinterest extension) that lets them pin any image from a site without using the share buttons on your blog.

That means that unless you mark your image to not pin, all images will be available to pin! Many times you may see images you didn’t intend to be pinned on Pinterest because a reader wanted to save an idea, not the fancy pin you created for the entire post.

While this isn’t always possible, you can do what you can to avoid readers pinning images you don’t intend to end up on Pinterest. Some sharing options (like browser extensions – basically plugins for a browser) will pull all images even if you code your image to exclude from pinning.

Pinterest loves lots of pins from a single post but will give higher priority if there are multiple pins with differing descriptions. Apparently, Pinterest knows when a description is recycled. (source)

Where To Place Your Descriptions

There is a lot of debate on where to put your Pinterest pin descriptions on your post images.

In order to do well with SEO AND provide great pin descriptions, don’t use your alt descriptions for your images for your Pinterest pins and site images! (source)

Although it takes a little more time, you need to use the alt descriptions in your images for search engines and the visually impaired only.

There are a couple of ways you can provide a pin description without using the alt description:

Use Code: There is a snippet of code you can add to your image HTML –
data-pin-description=”Your Pinterest description here” . To see a full tutorial on how to do this, click here.

Use a Plugin: While this does cost a little money, you can purchase a plugin like Tasty Pins that will add another text box to use for your image specifically for Pinterest descriptions!

The plugin will also allow you to hide images from being pinned and you can select a specific image to use for most pinning!

Frequency of Pinning

There is no end to the debate on how, when and how much to pin to gain traction on Pinterest.

It is far more important to create quality pins that attract your readers than worry about how aften you pin.

However, the general rule of thumb out there is to do 80/20 (80% other people’s content and 20% your own site content).

When it comes to how many you should create in a day, some people say a minimum of 10 and others will tell you 40 throughout the day.

That’s a LOT of pinning!

First, make sure to check out the social schedulers section to get some help with this ongoing task of sharing on social media (not just Pinterest).

Second, test out different methods and see what gets you the most traffic.

If you wish to follow a strategy by a “Pinterest expert”, there are a couple of courses to try on the Resource page that can clearly define a method to try first.

Hiding Images From Pinning

Do you have images on your post that you DON’T want users to pin?

If you want to try to keep some images (like personal photos of your family you don’t want shared) on your post from showing up in the list of images a reader can pin to Pinterest, there are a couple ways you can do this.

Keep in mind that this may not block every possible way a user can pin an image. For example, if you have a plugin that has a floating button to pin on Pinterest over all your images, a reader may still be able to pin the image.

But, for most people, the following options will block your image from being pinned through most methods:

Through Code

There’s a little snippet of code you can add to your image in the code editor (HTML): data-pin-nopin=”true”

Insert your image into your post. Click on your image and switch to Code view (WP classic) or Code Editor (Gutenberg) to see the highlighted image code (HTML). Then add the code snippet after the image URL quotes:

<img src=”example .com/myimage.jpg “data-pin-nopin=”true”> (without the space before .com)

Through a Plugin

Some plugins like Social Warfare Pro and WP Tasty Pins (see the image below that shows the ability to enter a pin description directly in the image and a box to check if you want to exclude the image from pinning) allow you to merely click a button to exclude your image (adds the code for you).

Both are paid, but the benefits of each are very much worth the expense (ease of adding Pinterest descriptions, hiding pins, etc).

Hiding Pin Images From Displaying

It’s good practice to create multiple pin images for every post. Not only will this allow you to pin without looking spammy but will also provide a couple of different designs to appeal to readers.

Ultimately, this means that you will have an image you create as a pin that is on your page but not displayed (it won’t even show in your Visual Editor).

Here are a couple ways you can do this:

Through Code

There are some bloggers that have issues using this code, but the majority of bloggers can use this code without problems: <div style =”display: none;”>

Insert your image into your post. Switch to Code view (WP classic) or Code Editor (Gutenberg) and locate the image code by the file name (HTML). Then add the code snippet before the brackets and a closing </div> after the last bracket:

<div style =”display: none;”> <img src=”example.com/myimage.jpg“> </div>

Through a Plugin

While there may be other plugins out there, you can use the WP Tasty Pins (paid) plugin to hide pinnable images.

Once the plugin is installed, just insert the image at the very bottom of your post (scroll all the way down).

As a side note, if you decide to use this plugin, you will need to make sure to go to your Media, find the image and update the Pin Description and alt text from there. You can also do this by clicking on the image in the provided section to open your Media and edit there.

Designing Pins

When you are designing pins to place on your post or page to share, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Is the text legible? Can you read every word without trying?
  • Does your description on the image clearly tell the reader what content they will be reading? (if the content differs, your reader may close your site and navigate to another: “bounce”).
  • Is the image the correct size?
  • Would YOU click on the pin you created?
  • If you are including a photograph, does the photo clearly represent the topic of your post? (there are many Pinterest experts that say there should be no faces looking at the reader, though this isn’t always true)
  • Does the pin include your blog URL (even small)? This is essentially your branding AND your watermark that the pin is yours.
  • Is there a clear color scheme (contrasting is fine!)? Does your image stand out, even when displayed at a smaller size (think mobile size!)?

While there are a lot of courses you can take to get a more in-depth understanding of designing and creating Pinterest pin images (free and paid), here are some good webinar videos from Pinterest.

See the images section below for some potential ways to create your images.

Group Boards

When you create a board on Pinterest, you are the only person that can add pins unless you invite others to the board.

While the actual intention of group boards from Pinterest is to share ideas with each other, many bloggers use these boards to help promote their own content and have it shared by other bloggers (to increase their reach).

Group boards are almost always targeted on a specific topic, like motherhood, toddlers, kid crafts or any number of other categories. You will find some boards that allow any kind of content as well.

The size of the board and the rules of that group board differ by the wishes of the individual who created it. That means, when you search for potential boards to join, you should read through the board description to discover the rules first.

There is some debate on the effectiveness of group boards, both from receiving repins from others and how often your pins are shared in Pinterest user feeds.

But, it doesn’t hurt (and may actually help) to join some group boards that may result in your content being shown to more users. Other bloggers may also see your content and decide to follow you (either on Pinterest or on your blog) which furthers your reach even further!

This article from Tailwind has some great pointers on how to find group boards.

While it’s great to join a board that is HUGE and has millions of followers, the shear number of people contributing to the board may limit the number of repins you receive (no matter the rules of the board). So try a mix of big and medium sized boards to see what works best for you.

Pinterest Ads

If you are interested in promoting pins (your content), you can create an ad on Pinterest and target specific users.

Here is an article about the benefits of creating Pinterest ads.

To learn more, you can also click on “Ads” next to “Analytics” in the upper left hand corner of the screen when logged into Pinterest. Note that this will only appear if you have claimed your website for your account.

Facebook Groups

It’s very common for bloggers to join a few Facebook groups to help them promote their content.

In many cases, the groups provide daily or weekly share opportunities. This means you share a link to your content and other bloggers may share that content with their audience.

Almost all groups you find on Facebook will require you to request to join the group and answer a few questions to verify you are a good fit for the group (like your blog URL).

Make sure to read the rules of each group before requesting to join.

You can either navigate to the Group section of Facebook and search for your topic (the easiest) or merely type in a topic in the search bar.

Are you a parenting niche blogger looking to connect with others in the same niche? Check out the Blogging About Momming Facebook group!

Try to find groups that closely match your niche (if possible).

Here is a helpful example of a group dedicated to mom bloggers who use Pinterest by Mariana Chambers: Mom Bloggers On Pinterest. In this group, there are daily share threads and Mariana is a great source of information.

For a more general group not targeted specifically for mom bloggers, Jill Cappaert has a helpful Pinterest group on Facebook that doesn’t target a specific niche: Bloggers Unite On Pinterest.

Not only do Facebook groups dedicated to blogging help you share your content, but it also gives you a forum to ask questions.

Make sure to check out the courses section of the Resource page for free and paid courses you can take to learn more about Pinterest.

Facebook social network section header with the Facebook logo.

Social Network: Facebook

Mom blogs are notoriously great on Facebook through creating a Page. While most mom blogs receive most of their social traffic from Pinterest, Facebook can also be a great source for readers.

Unlike Pinterest where you are merely sharing images with text and a link, Facebook is a place where you can really engage with your audience.

Facebook can allow you to interact with your audience in a more authentic way than social networks like Pinterest.

Pages

When you join Facebook, you will have a personal profile that other individuals can “friend” (connect with).

Once that is completed, you can then create a Facebook Page for your blog. A Page is similar to an individual profile but represents a business or interest.

Many bloggers have a Page specifically for their blog where they can share their thoughts, new content (like links to your most recent, links to other content (like an article that you love)), share videos (of yourself or others – even live videos if you choose), and interact directly with their audience.

While individual profiles receive “friend requests” to connect, individuals will like and/or follow a Facebook Page to receive updates in their feed.

Facebook Pages are always Public, meaning anyone can look at and interact with your content at any time.

Groups

Okay so in addition to individual profiles and Facebook Pages, you can also create a Group.

Groups are similar to Pages but allow you to control the privacy and membership (people who “Join” your Group).

If you want to have a collection of engaged users on a specific topic, Groups is the way to go. Here are the different types of Groups (by Privacy setting):

  • Public: any individual can search for and find the group, see all content and see the list of members.
  • Closed: any individual can search for and find the group, only members can see and interact with the content and only members can see the other members in the group.
  • Secret: nobody can search for and find the group (a link or invite is required), only members can see and interact with the content and only members can see the other members in the group.

The most popular type of Group has their privacy set to Closed. Individuals can find the group but have to request to join the group in order to gain access.

All Groups allow you to ask up to 3 questions to be answered by the person asking to join. This is a great feature to make sure you grant access to those that align with your Group purpose.

Groups can be created for almost any purpose so long as the content follows the Facebook usage rules (which would really exclude inappropriate groups, etc).

Joining Groups yourself can be a great way to connect with other bloggers or gain access to content you are interested in.

Here are a few groups to look at when it comes to blogging (some have share threads where you can send a link and others can share your content – among other types of share threads):

See also the Groups for Pinterest listed here.

Many courses you take will also have a linked Group on Facebook for additional support so look for that as a benefit when signing up for courses.

Here is how to create a Group.

Facebook Ads

In order to further your reach, you can promote your content through your Page by creating a paid Facebook Ad with targeted demographics (like age, location and/or interest).

Claire Pells is a great resource to find out more about Facebook Ads.

Instagram social network section header with the Instagram logo.

Social Network: Instagram

Instagram is an image sharing social network owned by Facebook.

You will need to create an Instagram Business profile if you want an account specifically for your blog (here’s how).

There are many ways you can use Instagram for your blog, though some will have more success than others.

Here is a good article on how to use Instagram (sometimes shortened to IG).

By default, you can only have one URL in your Instagram profile. Many bloggers just use their blog homepage URL. You can also use a service like Linktree to include more URLs, though there is some debate over using a service vs having a landing page on your blog to redirect users to posts.

There are a lot of great articles out there on how to use Instagram for your blog:

Growing your mom blog traffic by using Twitter.

Social Network: Twitter

Twitter is yet another social platform that focuses more on text (with a character limit) and hashtags than on images like Instagram and Pinterest.

Here is how you create a Twitter Business account for your blog.

Keep in mind that when you choose a name (@name) it is permanent and limited to 15 characters. There is a huge audience on Twitter so you may need to play around with your name to get it as close to your blog name as possible.

Here are some helpful articles about using Twitter for your blog:

Other social networks section header with a brown haired woman wearing pink and using a tablet. Drawn icons are coming out of the back of the tablet.

Other Networks

There are a lot of other networks you can use to promote your blog and, hopefully, grow your traffic.

Please note that if you see reference to the following networks, they no longer exist: Google+ and StumbleUpon.

In addition to YouTube, you can also check out the following networks:

  • LinkedIn: a professional, public profile social network.
  • Tumblr: image and multimedia social network.

YouTube

YouTube is massive: over 1 billion mobile video views a month (doesn’t count desktop computers and other devices!) in 91 countries with well over 180 billion videos watched a month (source).

You can use YouTube to create and publish videos on just about anything (product reviews, parenting topics, humorous anecdotes, etc). Plus, you can create your own Channel that individuals can follow for more content from you!

Some bloggers even create vlogs (video blogs) in place of or in addition to their written blog.

It’s also great to search YouTube and insert relevant videos in your blog content, even if the video is not your own!

Here are some helpful articles on using YouTube:

Creating videos and posting them on YouTube could not only open up Sponsorship opportunites, but also allow you to repurpose content by embedding the video on your blog and sharing the video on other social media platforms!

Social images section header image with a close up image of a camera.

This section (as well as more info on blog images) can be found here for quick reference and saving.

Creating Images

With all of these social networks out there, how in the world do you create images for ALL of them (or even for one)?!

If you have design skills, you may want to use something like Photoshop. For the vast majority of us, using other, easier to learn software is the way to go.

Here are some programs to look into that will help re-size your images for specific social network platforms and provide a way to create unique images through built in design features:

Canva

Free and paid versions are available.

Most bloggers prefer to use the free version of this service, though doing the monthly paid version allows you to save your brand logo, fonts and colors for quick access.

Canva is by far one of the most popular ways to create images.

The interface is simple and easy to use without any design experience. There are thousands of templates for almost any image type and size you want to create.

You can even use templates for infographics and content upgrades (to grow your email list) if you want!

Canva also has a mobile application, but there are mixed feelings about how useful it is (definitely not the easiest compared to the desktop version).

TIP: If you see a template that has a price, try removing the stock image (and use your own). A lot of the time, the cost is associated with the image and not the design elements!

Check out the following articles on how to create images using Canva:

PicMonkey

This paid service is a lot like Canva (and some bloggers say they prefer it to Canva).

There are a ton of templates and ways to customize a design for your needs.

Here are some other articles and videos to read and watch about PicMonkey:

Make sure to check out a list of sources for stock photography (free and paid) here.

There are other services available to create your images, but these are the top two recommendations.

There are also courses you can take (free and paid) that will help you learn how to create amazing images using different services.

Social schedulers section header image showing a desk with a blank, white calendar on top.

Social Media Schedulers

It can be a huge challenge to keep up with all the social media platforms you plan to use.

But, there are quite a few services (free or paid) that you can use to schedule your social posts ahead of time.

Each service has different benefits and social networks to which they can connect.

Keep in mind that you are able to schedule posts on your Facebook Page without a separate service!

Tailwind

This is the closest partner between Pinterest and any other scheduler.

While this service is paid, you are able to try it out first.

By using this link, you will receive a free month of Tailwind!

You can, however, try Tailwind out for free for your first 100 pins to make sure it’s a good fit before you sign up. AND, they do not require a credit card to do the free trial (so you don’t have to worry about canceling before you are charged).

Tailwind is also the most popular way to schedule your pins on Pinterest and offers the following benefits:

  • Schedule Pins: this is the obvious one – you can schedule pins (yours and others) to fill your “queue” and develop a schedule for pinning.
  • Analytics: see how well your pins are performing on Pinterest that you have scheduled. The analytics aren’t limited just to your Tailwind account! In fact, Tailwind provides more in depth analytics than Pinterest.
  • Tribes: join groups of your choice to add your pins to and reshare others in your scheduler. The number you can join depends on your plan. Make sure to check out the rules of each Tribe before joining (or requesting to join).
  • Power Ups: Buy power ups to increase the number of Tribes you belong to, add Tailwind loop (SmartLoop) functionality, schedule posts to Instagram and so much more!

Below are some helpful articles and videos about Tailwind:

Buffer

Buffer allows you to upload social updates to a social network of your choosing, including:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

They also say they offer Pinterest scheduling in the paid (Pro and up) versions, but be careful – Pinterest is very finicky about schedulers and you don’t want your Pinterest account shut down for what appears to be spammy posting.

The free version allows up to 10 scheduled posts or updates per social network with a total of 3 networks (social accounts).

While 10 scheduled posts may sound like a lot right now for free, if you plan to post more than once a day on any one network, this means you will need to add items to you queue every week.

However, to even receive 10 is better than manually sharing everything!

See this helpful article on how to use Buffer.

Other Schedulers

Although some people use these schedulers, this mama has no experience with them:

  • Later: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook – free and paid
  • HootSuite: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn – paid with free trial
  • CoSchedule: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumbler – free and paid

If you ever see reference to BoardBooster, this service no longer exists as a Pinterest scheduler.

blog networks section header image with an image of clouds with an overlay map showing that the world is all connected.

Blog Networks

While these networks and services aren’t specifically “social”, joining some of these networks may help grow your following and readership.

  • Bloglovin‘: Allows you to create a profile for your blog that others can follow. You can also find other great blogs to follow as well. This service is online and accessible through an app on your smartphone. It’s basically a reading app for blogs, but it can translate to new followers.

If you want to see other networks you can join to help monetize your blog, click here.

Was this helpful? Pin it to reference later!

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2 Comments on “Using Social Media To Boost Traffic On Your Blog”

    1. You are very welcome! I’m so glad it was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll add it to the post 🙂

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