Ian Cleary, CEO and founder of the award winning blog Razor Social, dropped in all the way from Ireland to share a few of his most valuable tips and secrets about social media tools, platforms, and blogging.
Razor Social is the world’s leading source of independent advice for social media tools and social media technology and was named a Top 10 Social Media Blog in 2013 and 2014! With more than 100,000 followers reading Ian’s blog monthly, and more 17.5k followers on his Twitter, Ian’s expertise in publishing magnetic social media content is phenomenal so I had to pick his brain to share with my UF students.
All Roads Lead Back To Your Blog = Owned Media
“Facebook could turn around and close up at any moment, but my website is always going to be there.” – Ian Cleary
Many social media experts state the importance of having your own blog and your own website that you own and can maintain control over. While building a strong following on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is important, it is more important to drive those followers back to your own website.
The benefit of this is control. Imagine if one day Facebook shut down (we know it’s impossible to imagine a world without Facebook, but just try for our benefit!) And if Facebook was your business’ only platform, how would your followers find you? How would you reach them?
Ian states that he writes “a blog with good content that is relevant to my target audience.” The audience may find the blog through social media channels, but it is the blog, the media you own and control, that hold the power to convince and convert followers into customers.
Blogging Secrets For Success
We know you are thinking, “OK I get that blogging is important, but what can I do to make MY blog important?” Don’t worry, Ian comes to the rescue with tools and tips for that too!
- SEM Rush: This sneaky software allows you to find out what keywords your competitor gets the most traffic from. Social PR Secret: Ian recommends not copying your competitors posts or content, but utilizing some of those same keywords and approach the topic from a different angle to drive some of your competitors traffic to your own content. After all, sharing is caring!
- BuzzSumo: Want to know what are the most popular posts on your competitors site? This buzz is for you! BuzzSumo allows you to find the most viewed and popular content and posts on your competitor’s site.
Social PR Secret: As Ian says, “if content is popular on a competitor’s site, it will most likely be popular on your own blog or website!”
- Detailed Content: Ian recommends the more detailed the content, the more likely people are to take an interest in it and share it. How long is long? It all depends on the post but Ian shares that your posts should be around 1000 words at least!
- Group Posts: When starting a new blog it is important to involve many influential people in that content. One post referencing many influencers can gain more traffic than tons of posts referencing no one! Involving experts in their field who already have a large fan base will drive more traffic to your blog. Chances are if those experts see your post and share it, some of their own followers will follow you as well! After all, the quote goes “if you want to be successful, the best thing to do is surround yourself with people who already are.”
Tools of the Trade
A mechanic is nothing without his tools, right? Ian shares some awesome social media tools that are sure to help you gain visibility and position yourself as the expert in the most efficient way possible.
- Hootsuite: Use this site to check out what the media is sharing and manage your social media accounts, schedule posts, connect with followers and check analytics.
- Buffer App: Schedule all your social media posts from this one place and share directly to social media with the Buffer App extension! (Learn more about why I love Buffer here.)
- Feedly: This app puts all of your news and articles and sites in one place, making reading, discovering and sharing that much easier!
- Focus App Boaster: Need to focus more on blog writing? Always looking for big blocks of time that never seem to happen? This up-and-coming app forces you to utilize your time by allowing you to set timers and deadlines to get work done efficiently!
How To Get More Followers On Social Media
We already bragged about Ian’s gigantic fan base on Twitter (if you forgot, he has 17.5k) but how did he get them? We’re about to tell you his secret!
- Connect with relevant people: If you are trying to gain a fan base, make sure you are following people that are interested in what you are practicing. Ian claims he takes extra care to connect with people that he has things in common with or that he can see himself eventually working with.
- Share others’ content: Share, share and share some more. Sharing is a great way to get your name out in the social media universe. If people see you are sharing great content, they will be more tempted to read your own content when you Tweet it.
- Participate in Twitter Chat: Twitter chats are one of the absolute best ways to gain followers and meet influential people. Contribute some interesting ideas to the conversation and watch how your followers grow in as little as an hour! Find a Twitter chat that you are interested in and make sure to attend and participate!
- Don’t post cat photos: OK, this is more of a joke because Ian said isn’t into the cat photos (some people find cat memes highly amusing though), but the point here is to always post content that you are well-informed about and that relates to your brand or business. If people follow you, they follow you because they like or support what you are selling or saying.
Social PR Secret: Stick to your niche and always stay relevant.
There you have it folks! All the tips, secrets, and tricks straight from Ian Cleary himself to help you start, manage and gain followers for your blog or website! If you would like to watch our interview with the puuuuuuurfect Ian Cleary (Sorry Ian, I couldn’t resist), you can do so right
Be on the lookout for more great interviews as part of the UF #PUR4932 Speaker Series.
Article Contributions Made By Sydney Thompson
Image Credit: ninamalyna / 123RF Stock Photo
Enjoyed this post from our UF Social Media Management Course series? Check out these posts for more great info!