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Published May 13th 2013

Three Wise Men: An Interview with SM Technology Specialist Ian Cleary

There are lots of influential people in the world of social and it’s always good to learn from others. We’ve interviewed three people we see making waves in social media, so that they can share their wisdom with you.

We’ve already posted an interview with Head of Social Strategy at Adobe EMEA Jeremy Waite.

This week, we’ve been talking to Ian Cleary, founder of RazorSocial.com and writer for Social Media Examiner.


Ian is a social media tools and social media technology specialist, and is a recognised social media speaker. His blog was recently named as one of the top 10 social media blogs in the annual Social Media Examiner blog awards.

He took some time out to share his inspirations and thoughts for us here.

How/why did you first get into social media as a career?

I was working in several software startup companies and in my last one we were acquired by a very large company. I love working in a fast-paced startup environment, so a large corporate didn’t work for me!

I left and started consultancy, and was asked to give a presentation on social media. I became very interested in social media and spent morning, noon and night reading up about it; I was hooked.

I then developed a good business out of consultancy, training and social media app development.

What inspires you to write about social media tools?

I have 20 years experience in technology and 5 years in social media. I have a strong passion for both and my strength and interest is more on the technology side of social media rather than the strategic side.

I love learning about and writing about social media tools and social media technology.

What do you love about social media?

I learn every day! I get bored quite easily and with social media it’s very difficult to get bored, because it rapidly changes.

What do you dislike about it?

Most businesses fail to realize the potential of social media and just use it as another sales channel.

What’s your favourite social platform and why?

I love Twitter because I meet and engage with so many great people.


What’s your favourite social media tool?

Hootsuite is my favourite tool. It has some great functionality and I use it regularly every day.

Who are the people in social who inspire you most?

Mike Stelzner and Mark Schaefer are two of the most inspirational people for me.

I met Mike at Blogworld in June last year and I had already read his excellent book. I think it’s amazing what he has achieved with Social Media Examiner in such a short time.

I also really admire Mark Schaefer. I got hooked on his fantastic content but I also got to know him personally and I think he is an amazing guy. If I owned a large corporate and needed a social media strategy, he is the guy I would talk to.

There are so many others in the social media world that also inspire me.

Marcus Sheridan is an amazing guy that is so passionate about what he does. He would turn any workforce into a super enthusiastic one.

I also admire Joe Pulizzi, who took a concept of content marketing and created a fantastic business out of it. I was at his conference in Ohio last year and loved it.

Which brands do you think do social particularly well?

As an organisation selling to consumers I think Coca-Cola are doing an amazing job keeping up with the innovations of social media.

cocacolafbFrom a B2B perspective, I really admire what Hubspot do on a daily basis. Their model for lead generation through social channels will be copied by millions of organizations in years to come.

What 3 changes do you think we’ll see in the world of social media tools in the next year?

1. I think there will be some consolidation of tools, as there are too many tools with similar features. Some of the tool providers will not be able to raise any more money so they will have to consolidate or close up.

2. There will be more acquisitions. Large corporates find it difficult to be innovative and move fast. The best way of them getting into the social media tools market is acquiring companies.

3. I think someone is going to come up with a framework for tools that many vendors will adopt. This software framework will allow social media tool providers to integrate with it so that many tools can interoperate together using this framework. This will save customers a lot of headaches and time!

Want to feature on Brandwatch? We’re always looking for people who know their stuff to contribute articles and interviews – get in touch!


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