Ian Cleary (aka The Social Media Tools Guy) is the founder of RazorSocial, an award-winning blog on social media and technology. Today, Ian talks about social media marketing tools and his 2014 social network predictions.
What tools are you using to measure social signals and their impact?
I don't measure social signals in relation to SEO. I have set up goals in Google Analytics and I measure traffic that comes in from social channels and the resulting conversion. Based on this, I assess which social channels are working.
I am continuously networking and building up my presence on social media channels. That, together with the delivery of really good content, means there is plenty of sharing of content on social channels. This results in good traffic.
Our content is ranking really well within Google, but that is mainly related to the valuable links we are getting. One area to consider is that through social media more people are hearing and writing about our content, so some of those links are related to our social media activity.
Do you place much importance on authority ranking tools? Like Klout, for example?
No, I don’t. But I’ve found that Moz Domain and Page Authority are very useful to assess and monitor the authority of our domain and our competitors. This is useful when trying to figure out if we can rank for content. Tell us more about your social networks experience as a user. Which ones do you use and for what? Do you have separate accounts, one for business and one for chatting with friends?
Because of my role I am very active on most social networks, and they are all used for business purposes. However, if I’m interacting with friends I usually use Facebook. I’ve gotten to know many people through social media and over time they have become friends. I really enjoy sharing and reading personal stories and events on Facebook.
Would you say you are a typical user?
I’m certainly not a typical user because I spend so many hours on social media channels!
Speaking of Facebook, what are your thoughts on this article on Mashable from a 13-year-old girl who wrote about the younger generation leaving Facebook behind? Do you agree?
Yes, I do believe fewer teens will use Facebook going forward. We will see many other mobile applications competing for teens. I have some nieces who are in their teens and they use Snapchat and WhatsApp more than Facebook. WhatsApp is interesting because they use it like a social network. They set up groups and in the groups they communicate with each other.
What are your predictions for social network trends in 2014?
Instagram will be the big winner in 2014, and I expect this social network to double in size. I think there will be niche social networks emerging that will see significant growth also.
Google + will become increasingly important as Google continues to deploy this as the underlying foundation for all of their applications.
Can you share a recent example of popular content you’ve produced?
We released an infographic called “A Day in the Life of a Social Media Marketer.” This contained a list of over 29 tools and, through a lot of promotion, has been published on over 60 different sites already. A lot of those sites have a very high domain authority.
We are still promoting this infographic, but we believe we will rank in the first 10 for “marketing tools” when all our promotion is finished.
In addition to infographics, what type of content is good for different social networks?
Visual content is now important for all platforms. Even Twitter introduced Twitter cards this year so you could show images alongside tweets. Video will also play an increasing role as micro video goes through massive growth. Twitter introduced Vine, and Instagram released functionality for 15 second videos. This micro video format will also expand to other platforms.
Thank you, Ian!