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The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Social Media Rock Star [INFOGRAPHIC]

Michael Brenner

Social media began as little more than a place to find and connect with old friends from high school, but it has grown to become a massive marketing opportunity that stretches across numerous platforms and offers a way to reach, quite literally, billions of potential customers through the World Wide Web.

Today’s major platforms offer huge potential for new customers to find and connect with your brand, and for you to promote your content and generate sales leads and new business for your company. Social media also allows you to instantly engage, interact with, and reach existing and potential customers who need immediate assistance, helping your brand to deliver a positive customer experience they will love.

So if you are just getting started with social media today, here are the tips and tricks you need to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts and to help you take your brand to the next level.

1. Facebook

Launched in 2004, Facebook has nearly 1.4 billion registered users around the world and continues to be the platform with the most engaged users. According to Pew Research Center, 70% of Facebook users log on to the site daily, and 43% do so several times a day.

Here are a few mind-blowing stats about Facebook: 1.3 million pieces of content are shared every minute. More than 49 million of posts are created every 15 minutes. Facebook adds 8 new users every second. An average Facebook user spends 21 minutes on the platform every day.

If you have just created a Facebook page for your brand, here are a few useful tips to help you get started with building your page and community:

Image sizingFor your Facebook page’s profile photo, the image should be at least 180 by 180 pixels. The final image will be displayed at 160 by 160 pixels, and the thumbnail will appear on Facebook at 32 by 32 pixels. For your cover photo, the image should be at least 399 by 160 pixels. The optimal image size should be under 100KB. If your images contain text, for best results you’ll want to use the file type PNG.

When sharing photos on your wall, the optimal size is 1200 by 900 pixels. Similarly, the image should be under 100KB and PNG file format would be the best for images with text.

Posting Days And Times

According to On Blast, the best days to post on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays. 1 p.m. appears to bet the time with the most shares, and 3 p.m. with the most likes. The highest level of activity on Facebook is between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Sharing Tips and tricks

Share a variety of content, including videos and images, which is relevant to your audience to keep things interesting. To engage your Facebook fans, you’ll also want to share exclusive content that is not shared on other networks.

Want your audience to share your content? Just ask! While you don’t want to do this for every single post, it is okay to ask them to share your content directly from time to time, particularly any new content you have created, for example.

2. Twitter

More than 300 billion tweets have been sent since Twitter started in 2006. There are more than 241 million monthly active users on Twitter, with 184 million using mobile. 38% of Twitter users surveyed by Pew Research Center say they use Twitter on a daily basis, with 21% using the site on a weekly basis.

To get your brand started on Twitter, here are a few helpful tips:

Image sizing
For the profile photo, the recommended size is 400 by 400 pixels. If your image size is different, keep in mind that it will be cropped square and will be displayed at 200 by 200 pixels.
The optimal size for your header photo will be 1500 by 500 pixels. The maximum file size is 10MB, and the best image files are PNG, followed by JPG or GIF.In-stream preview, which lets Twitter users share and view photos in their feed without clicking or expanding the preview, is a great way to get your audience’s attention.
The optimal size for in-stream photos is 506 by 506 pixels. If you don’t resize your images, Twitter will automatically display them as 440 by 220 pixels in people’s stream. This won’t be ideal, especially if you have text in your images, or if the dominant element in your photos is cut off or not in the middle.
Posting days and times
According to On Blast, the best days to post on Twitter are Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 1 p.m. receives the most retweets, and 12 noon and 6 p.m. gets the highest click-through rate. For B2B, the highest level of activity appears to be during weekdays, and weekends and Wednesdays are best for B2C activity.

Sharing tips and tricksIf you mentioned any brands or individuals such as influencers in your content, you’ll want to @mention them when you send your tweets. They may help amplify your content via their Twitter accounts, which can help boost your reach and following.

Building relationships with your followers is key to being successful on Twitter. While sharing valuable content regularly is important, you’ll also want to take the time to engage with your followers through conversations, including thanking those who have shared your content.

3. Pinerest

While women continue to dominate this image-centric platform, its usage demographics are slowly changing. One-third of all new Pinterest users are now men. And according to Pew Research Center, 55% of all Pinterest users use the site on a daily or weekly basis, and user engagement continues to grow.

Here are some tips to get you started on Pinterest:

Image sizing

Your Pinterest profile photo is displayed at 165 by 165 pixels on the homepage. Everywhere else it is displayed at 32 by 32 pixels. As with other platforms, the maximum file size is 10MB.

Board creation is one of the most important elements of Pinterest. For every board you create, you should use attention-grabbing photos relevant to a particular board that will attract your target audience.

With board display, the optimal size for large thumbnails is 222 by 150 pixels. For smaller thumbnails, the optimal size is 55 by 55 pixels. With pin sizes, any pins displayed at 236 pixels wide the height will be scaled proportionately. For expanded pins, the minimum width is 600 pixels.

Posting days and times

According to On Blast, the best days to post are Saturdays, and the best time of the day is between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The peak time on Pinterest is 9 p.m.

Sharing tips and tricks

To build your Pinterest community and increase your reach, add Pinterest buttons to all of your images to encourage people to save and visit your Pinterest page. You’ll also want to share your images on group boards, and share more original pins than re-pins.

4. YouTube

YouTube has more than one billion users, which is almost one-third of all people on the Internet! Growth in watch time has gone up by at least 50% year over year for the past three years. For those who watch videos on YouTube, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, which is up more than 50% year over year.

To get your branded YouTube channel going, here are a few useful tips:

Image sizing

For your channel’s cover image, the optimal size is 2560 by 1440 pixels. For best cross-platform compatibility, your cover image should be optimized to display at the following resolutions:

  • Desktop: 2560 by 423 pixels
  • Mobile: 1564 by 423 pixels
  • Tablet: 1855 by 423 pixels
  • TV: 2560 by 1440 pixels

The optimal resolution for video uploads is 1280 by 720 pixels, and they must maintain 16:9 aspect ratio. 1280 by 720 pixels is also the minimum resolution for videos to be qualified as HD resolution. For highest-quality video uploads, they should be at 1920 by 1080 pixels.

Posting days and times

According to On Blast, the best days to post videos on YouTube are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The best time of day to post is between 12 noon and 3 p.m, and the time to avoid posting is between 5 p.m and 6 p.m. The highest engagement activity on YouTube starts on Thursdays and continues through Sundays. On weekdays, engagement rises after work at around 6 p.m.

Sharing tips and tricks

To encourage viewers to watch more videos from your YouTube channel, create “end cards” at the end of each video to point them to other video content you have uploaded. As your audience may not all be following your YouTube channel, you will want to share your videos on other social networks to make sure your audience sees them.

5. Instagram

Instagram has come a long way from its start as an iOS-only app. Now it is a massive social network with both mobile and web presence, and it is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. There are 400 million monthly active users on Instagram, with 59% of users on the platform daily and 35% using the platform several times a day.

So how do you get started on Instagram? If you have just created your brand channel, here are a few useful tips:

Image sizing

For your Instagram profile photo, the image will be displayed at 110 by 110 pixels, so this is the optimal image size for your profile photo. Since your profile photo will be cropped to square, make sure your photo maintains a 1:1 aspect ratio.

Thumbnails of photos you upload will appear on your profile page at 292 by 292 pixels. While thumbnails will display as square images, Instagram photos are no longer restricted to square only, so any aspect ratio may be uploaded.

For best-quality photos, you will want to go with images that are 1080 pixels wide. Images in your feed will be displayed at 600 pixels wide, and the height will be scaled proportionately.

Posting days and times

On Blast states that the best days to post on Instagram are Mondays. On average the highest post activity is between 3 p.m and 4 p.m. Instagram does show consistent engagement throughout the week, though there is a slight dip on Sundays.

Sharing tips and tricks

To help grow your following and engagement, collaborate and tag influencers in your posts when relevant. Encourage engagement, including asking your followers to answer questions, tag their friends and share reactions, will be the best way to grow your audience organically, along with sharing relevant and interesting content.

What other social media tips and tricks did On Blast miss? Please share yours below!

Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help. Or follow me on LinkedInTwitter, or Facebook, and if you like what you see, subscribe here for regular updates.

Photo Source: flickr

Check out the full infographic from On Blast below.

Social Media Image Sizing Cheat Sheet

The post The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Social Media Rock Star [Infographic] appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of  The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider GroupHe has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and   a top  CMO influencer by Forbes.

Amazon And Whole Foods: The New Terrain Ahead

Jenn Vande Zande

We all felt the ground shake recently with the news that Amazon plans to acquire Whole Foods.

Similar to an earthquake, while living through the experience is shocking, there were ways to predict that it might have been coming, and ways to prepare for it. While the after-tremors of this surprise announcement are being felt far and wide (and will be for a long time), right now is the time to take a deep breath and realize that the landscape is changing, and that you can navigate through it.

Next week we’ll offer in-depth assessments of what this means for the long and short term, but for today, it’s time for reflection and a renewing of your strength and dedication to the market and the customer.

Here are the facts as we see them:

This is a game-changer

How many times has the term “game-changer” been used with Amazon? Countless. However, Amazon has been ramping up their entry into the grocery retail market. “Amazon has been steadily breaking into grocery, the largest segment of retail, with AmazonPantry, AmazonFresh, AmazonGo, and most recently their AmazonFresh Pickup pilot. Just yesterday they released a Dash Wand that can not only be used to scan products into a shopping list or cart, but also includes Alexa for find recipes, get product recommendations, and place orders,” said Stephanie Waters, retail industry principal with SAP Hybris, “And now, today, this.”

Stephanie noted, “Some grocers haven’t been overly concerned about Amazon, saying they don’t know how to do fresh and they don’t have stores. That all changed today when they acquired one of the world’s experts in fresh and 465 stores across North America and the UK. The grocery industry will never be the same. We are on the cusp of a quickly moving environment and I think we will see the acceleration of supermarket chains innovating their business models and modernizing their organizations.”

Price wars are coming

Experts in the industry have been aware that a battle was brewing when it comes to pricing and grocery retail, but today’s announcement brings grocery retailers to the front line.

Cutting prices isn’t the answer. You need to deliver an outstanding customer experience and maximize operational efficiencies.

Data: the not-so-secret weapon

Many grocery retailers partnered with Instacart to provide fulfillment services, thereby turning over their customer data to a third-party vendor rather than retaining and using that data. Today should mark a shift in how grocers proceed with this process.

It remains to be seen what impact the Amazon acquisition will have on the Instacart and Whole Food partnership, but taking back control of both the customer experience and data derived from it will be a key element in getting through this disruption in the industry.

Fewer customers walking into stores and ordering online from the retailer equates to lower slotting fees, which means a significant crack in one of the foundations of grocery retailer bottom lines.

Online is the new frontier

It’s hard to believe that there are grocery retailers who haven’t made the leap to online, but they exist. “The news of this acquisition today only accelerates the online grocery forecast which is estimated to grab 20% of grocery by 2025,” said Waters, “retailers who are not online risk losing market share. Period. Full stop.”

Prepare to fight for your customer

Today is a day to recognize that a long battle lies ahead. You have to be prepared to fight for your customer, and you need the tools and strength to do it. It’s time to take a deep breath and assess where you are and where you need to be.

It’s been noted before, but bears repeating over and over: If you evolve your business model to include online retail but you ignore the customer experience, you have gained nothing, and could even lose customers.

What’s next?

Watch this space next week, when we’ll do some deep-dives into what all of this means. In the meantime, know that you can still thrive, and that SAP Hybris can help.

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How Mobile Apps Power Up On-Demand Startups

Granner Smith

On-demand is set to transform the mobile commerce entrepreneurial space. Whether you’re looking for taxi bookings, food orders, healthcare services, home maintenance, business info, or more, the app store has a solution for practically every service you can think of, and smartphone owners are more than willing to use these mobile apps. While innovative startups are already trying to take the market by storm, there are still countless opportunities available for people looking to make their mark. This means there’s a phenomenal growth outlook for e-commerce startups that provide unique services on-demand. On the other hand, there are equally big challenges to overcome, as the competition is daunting.

Understanding the basics of on-demand business

Many opportunities and challenges of on-demand service startups are similar to the those of conventional e-commerce businesses. The difference is how services are delivered – as the name suggests, on-demand businesses deliver services to the buyer when, how, and where they need them.

The unique selling proposition of on-demand (compared to traditional e-commerce) lies in its convenience and spontaneity. To be successful, on-demand startups are tasked with creating a unique business idea that has sustainability, scalability, and profitability over a period of time.

Before you venture into this space, it’s important to understand the on-demand service business model, which is based on the following components:

  1. Identify a pain point (demand): Identifying and solving a pain point is the basis of any business model. The more unique your idea, the better its chances of survival and success.
  1. Determine whether your service is instant or scheduled: Once you have a business idea, you have to work on how you’ll provide the service you are promising. One consideration is whether the service is instantly delivered or scheduled. For instance, food delivery is an instant service with the customer expecting a short wait time. Scheduled service could be an airline booking for a future point of time. Startups providing instant services must have adequate capacity and supply to meet excess demand as needed.
  1. Find a reliable staff supply: Meeting that latter point requires a steady and reliable source of staff and supplies. On the staffing side, startups may choose between contracted workers and freelancers. While contracted staff provide reliability, freelancers may be more cost-effective. Startups should try to strike an equilibrium. Begin with more stable contractual supply on a small scale and gradually add freelance support to scale to your growth.
  1. Strengthen the core: Once the operational side of the business is taken care of, you need to strengthen your core with the right technology, meaning the mobile app that links you with potential customers.
  1. Planning and patience: Finally, when you have all the processes in place, it’s time to streamline them. The integration between offline (operations) and online (app technology) is a complex task, an art that’s mastered with patience and precision. Be prepared to invest a good deal of effort and money to make your business a success. At the same time, be realistic in your expectations, as overnight success is unlikely.

On-demand startups must be prepared for slow-paced growth, but the results can be phenomenal if they can sustain themselves through the testing phase. Creating a sound business strategy and adhering to it is the best way to proceed.

Mobile app: the lifeline of on-demand business

The entire concept of on-demand business is woven around mobility. Its services must be available anywhere and anytime, making the mobile app an essential ingredient of the business. An app is the platform by which the business accesses the market, provides services to users, and retains loyal customers. Here are the mobile app features needed to give users a great experience and bring business to the startup:

  • Convenience: On-demand service is synonymous with convenience. Convenience is not confined to delivering the service, but encompasses the entire performance of the app. The app should load quickly and have an excellent user interface. The entire checkout process should be quick and smooth, completed with a minimum number of clicks, and have few forms. Simplicity can be a deciding factor in engaging users, converting them, and bringing them back.
  • Live tracking: Real-time tracking that sends location-based offers to customers and enables them to track their order or service ensures customer satisfaction and helps build long-term loyalty.
  • Seamless payment: Customers prefer mobile apps that enable cashless transactions through the most popular, secure, and seamless payment options.
  • Reviews and ratings: Customer ratings are a key element in an on-demand business’ growth, as potential customers are more likely to have confidence in reviews and ratings provided by actual users. Real-time customer feedback is also an effective way for a business to continuously evaluate its performance.

A mobile app is a lifeline for an on-demand startup. It matches supply with demand to enable the business to deliver the service at the right place and the right time. For startups providing services on demand, the main driving force in growth is not money or inventory, but technology in the form of mobile apps.

For more on digital selling, see Primed: Prompting Customers to Buy.

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About Granner Smith

Granner Smith is a Professional writer. His skill set is vast, his greatest expertise revolve in the worlds of interactive design, development, UX, social media, brand identity design, content creation. He works with reputed company, Orange Mantra that provide web and mobility solution. Follow us on Twitter @Orangemantraggn Facebook @OrangeMantraindia

Taking Learning Back to School

Dan Wellers

 

Denmark spends most GDP on labor market programs at 3.3%.
The U.S. spends only 0.1% of it’s GDP on adult education and workforce retraining.
The number of post-secondary vocational and training institutions in China more than doubled from 2000 to 2014.
47% of U.S. jobs are at risk for automation.

Our overarching approach to education is top down, inflexible, and front loaded in life, and does not encourage collaboration.

Smartphone apps that gamify learning or deliver lessons in small bits of free time can be effective tools for teaching. However, they don’t address the more pressing issue that the future is digital and those whose skills are outmoded will be left behind.

Many companies have a history of effective partnerships with local schools to expand their talent pool, but these efforts are not designed to change overall systems of learning.


The Question We Must Answer

What will we do when digitization, automation, and artificial intelligence eject vast numbers of people from their current jobs, and they lack the skills needed to find new ones?

Solutions could include:

  • National and multinational adult education programs
  • Greater investment in technical and vocational schools
  • Increased emphasis on apprenticeships
  • Tax incentives for initiatives proven to close skills gaps

We need a broad, systemic approach that breaks businesses, schools, governments, and other organizations that target adult learners out of their silos so they can work together. Chief learning officers (CLOs) can spearhead this approach by working together to create goals, benchmarks, and strategy.

Advancing the field of learning will help every business compete in an increasingly global economy with a tight market for skills. More than this, it will mitigate the workplace risks and challenges inherent in the digital economy, thus positively influencing the future of business itself.


Download the executive brief Taking Learning Back to School.


Read the full article The Future of Learning – Keeping up With The Digital Economy

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About Dan Wellers

Dan Wellers is founder and leader of Digital Futures at SAP, a strategic insights and thought leadership discipline that explores how digital technologies drive exponential change in business and society.

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Why Millennials Quit: Understanding A New Workforce

Shelly Kramer

Millennials are like mobile devices: they’re everywhere. You can’t visit a coffee shop without encountering both in large numbers. But after all, who doesn’t like a little caffeine with their connectivity? The point is that you should be paying attention to millennials now more than ever because they have surpassed Boomers and Gen-Xers as the largest generation.

Unfortunately for the workforce, they’re also the generation most likely to quit. Let’s examine a new report that sheds some light on exactly why that is—and what you can do to keep millennial employees working for you longer.

New workforce, new values

Deloitte found that two out of three millennials are expected to leave their current jobs by 2020. The survey also found that a staggering one in four would probably move on in the next year alone.

If you’re a business owner, consider putting four of your millennial employees in a room. Take a look around—one of them will be gone next year. Besides their skills and contributions, you’ve also lost time and resources spent by onboarding and training those employees—a very costly process. According to a new report from XYZ University, turnover costs U.S. companies a whopping $30.5 billion annually.

Let’s take a step back and look at this new workforce with new priorities and values.

Everything about millennials is different, from how to market to them as consumers to how you treat them as employees. The catalyst for this shift is the difference in what they value most. Millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips and are the most highly educated generation to date. Many have delayed marriage and/or parenthood in favor of pursuing their careers, which aren’t always about having a great paycheck (although that helps). Instead, it may be more that the core values of your business (like sustainability, for example) or its mission are the reasons that millennials stick around at the same job or look for opportunities elsewhere. Consider this: How invested are they in their work? Are they bored? What does their work/life balance look like? Do they have advancement opportunities?

Ping-pong tables and bringing your dog to work might be trendy, but they aren’t the solution to retaining a millennial workforce. So why exactly are they quitting? Let’s take a look at the data.

Millennials’ common reasons for quitting

In order to gain more insight into the problem of millennial turnover, XYZ University surveyed more than 500 respondents between the ages of 21 and 34 years old. There was a good mix of men and women, college grads versus high school grads, and entry-level employees versus managers. We’re all dying to know: Why did they quit? Here are the most popular reasons, some in their own words:

  • Millennials are risk-takers. XYZ University attributes this affection for risk taking with the fact that millennials essentially came of age during the recession. Surveyed millennials reported this experience made them wary of spending decades working at one company only to be potentially laid off.
  • They are focused on education. More than one-third of millennials hold college degrees. Those seeking advanced degrees can find themselves struggling to finish school while holding down a job, necessitating odd hours or more than one part-time gig. As a whole, this generation is entering the job market later, with higher degrees and higher debt.
  • They don’t want just any job—they want one that fits. In an age where both startups and seasoned companies are enjoying success, there is no shortage of job opportunities. As such, they’re often looking for one that suits their identity and their goals, not just the one that comes up first in an online search. Interestingly, job fit is often prioritized over job pay for millennials. Don’t forget, if they have to start their own company, they will—the average age for millennial entrepreneurs is 27.
  • They want skills that make them competitive. Many millennials enjoy the challenge that accompanies competition, so wearing many hats at a position is actually a good thing. One millennial journalist who used to work at Forbes reported that millennials want to learn by “being in the trenches, and doing it alongside the people who do it best.”
  • They want to do something that matters. Millennials have grown up with change, both good and bad, so they’re unafraid of making changes in their own lives to pursue careers that align with their desire to make a difference.
  • They prefer flexibility. Technology today means it’s possible to work from essentially anywhere that has an Internet connection, so many millennials expect at least some level of flexibility when it comes to their employer. Working remotely all of the time isn’t feasible for every situation, of course, but millennials expect companies to be flexible enough to allow them to occasionally dictate their own schedules. If they have no say in their workday, that’s a red flag.
  • They’ve got skills—and they want to use them. In the words of a 24-year-old designer, millennials “don’t need to print copies all day.” Many have paid (or are in the midst of paying) for their own education, and they’re ready and willing to put it to work. Most would prefer you leave the smaller tasks to the interns.
  • They got a better offer. Thirty-five percent of respondents to XYZ’s survey said they quit a previous job because they received a better opportunity. That makes sense, especially as recruiting is made simpler by technology. (Hello, LinkedIn.)
  • They seek mentors. Millennials are used to being supervised, as many were raised by what have been dubbed as “helicopter parents.” Receiving support from those in charge is the norm, not the anomaly, for this generation, and they expect that in the workplace, too.

Note that it’s not just XYZ University making this final point about the importance of mentoring. Consider Figures 1 and 2 from Deloitte, proving that millennials with worthwhile mentors report high satisfaction rates in other areas, such as personal development. As you can see, this can trickle down into employee satisfaction and ultimately result in higher retention numbers.

Millennials and Mentors
Figure 1. Source: Deloitte


Figure 2. Source: Deloitte

Failure to . . .

No, not communicate—I would say “engage.” On second thought, communication plays a role in that, too. (Who would have thought “Cool Hand Luke” would be applicable to this conversation?)

Data from a recent Gallup poll reiterates that millennials are “job-hoppers,” also pointing out that most of them—71 percent, to be exact—are either not engaged in or are actively disengaged from the workplace. That’s a striking number, but businesses aren’t without hope. That same Gallup poll found that millennials who reported they are engaged at work were 26 percent less likely than their disengaged counterparts to consider switching jobs, even with a raise of up to 20 percent. That’s huge. Furthermore, if the market improves in the next year, those engaged millennial employees are 64 percent less likely to job-hop than those who report feeling actively disengaged.

What’s next?

I’ve covered a lot in this discussion, but here’s what I hope you will take away: Millennials comprise a majority of the workforce, but they’re changing how you should look at hiring, recruiting, and retention as a whole. What matters to millennials matters to your other generations of employees, too. Mentoring, compensation, flexibility, and engagement have always been important, but thanks to the vocal millennial generation, we’re just now learning exactly how much.

What has been your experience with millennials and turnover? Are you a millennial who has recently left a job or are currently looking for a new position? If so, what are you missing from your current employer, and what are you looking for in a prospective one? Alternatively, if you’re reading this from a company perspective, how do you think your organization stacks up in the hearts and minds of your millennial employees? Do you have plans to do anything differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For more insight on millennials and the workforce, see Multigenerational Workforce? Collaboration Tech Is The Key To Success.

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