GroSocial and Reid Johns created this infographic. Fantastic timeline of data to use for research. Follow SEJ on Twitter @sejournal

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Happy New Year to all WebmasterWorld Members around the World!

Mashable Comics are illustrated by Kiersten Essenpreis, a Chicago-based artist who draws and blogs at

More Mashable Comics:

1. The Earliest Social Network Ever Discovered

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Mobile Inquirer released this infographic, Top 5 Mobile Phone Statistics of 2011. It shows the top 10 countries in regards to mobile phone use and the U.S. is not #1 or #2. The top global smartphone operating system for  quarter 3 of 2011 is not iOs or Andriod. Check out the mobile local search stat […]

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With over 153 million unique users per month, Nielsen research has named Google the top Internet destination. Facebook, which is the most visited social networking site and second largest Internet destination, received an average number of 137.6 million unique monthly visitors. The combination of the battle to be the top Internet destination, the inevitable Facebook […]

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Here is a small collection of articles giving suggestions on SEO, content marketing, social media and Internet marketing for 2012. I know we are all hoping for a successful 2012; perhaps some of the information in these articles can help you plan for the upcoming year. SEO Search & Mobile Marketing Trends: SEO Apocalypse 2012 […]

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Here is a collection of New Year’s apps you may need. We are going to start with apps to help you get a cab and avoid drinking and driving over New Year’s weekend. If you have any other apps you would like to suggest please comment below. Cabs Cab4me – iPhone and Android Call a […]

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By way of comparison-checking, I stopped by bing and searched for the single word “swagrat”. First 10 results:Jimmy Swaggart (accompanied by list of related searces, all involving “swaggart”)swagat restaurantswagratswagratsuhagraat… and so on. Bottom of page says “Some results have been removed”. Those were probably the correctly spelled ones.

Posted by Kenny Martin

In this week's special end of the year Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us how to attract customers and accelerate our marketing efforts by using social media monitoring. Learning how to effectively build up relationships without spamming will be the key to your success in the social realm. We hope you had a wonderful 2011 and don't forget to leave your comments below.

Video Transcription

Howdy, SEOmoz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This is our special end of year edition. I hope all of you had a great holiday season and are about to have a great New Year's. It's been fantastic spending 2011 with you, and I cannot wait for 2012. It's going to be incredible.

Today I want to talk a little bit about using social media monitoring specifically as an inbound marketing channel, as a way to attract customers and to accelerate your marketing efforts in all sorts of ways. Let me talk briefly about some background on this so you understand where I'm coming from.

Let's imagine that you're They make great holiday cards – Geraldine, my wife, and I use them to do our holiday cards recently – and they do some branded stuff. So they have searches, keywords that come to them that are branded – things like minted, and minted cards, and minted notebooks, and custom photo cards from Minted. We think about those as being keywords in their brand wheelhouse, that are about their brand.

But then they also have lots of unbranded terms, things that they want to try and capture, definitely from an SEO perspective, but other perspectives as well. So these are things like people who want holiday photo cards, who want Christmas cards, Xmas cards, Hanukah cards, custom notebook. They sell notebooks and all sorts of other things. So all those product types of searches, those things that would get you into their funnel, maybe not their brand specifically, but all those sorts of keywords, we often think about them, at least in the world of SEO, as being exclusively from a search engine type in perspective. But there's a social perspective on this too, and that's what I want to cover in this Whiteboard Friday.

So you can image there are channels, right? So there are things like SEO and PPC. People search for these words, and we want to try to come up in the organic results and in the paid search results. But then there are also channels like Q&A and forums, and blog posted content where they're talking about these items. There are questions on a Q&A board. There are questions on a forum. There's a discussion happening. There's a blog post with content that's saying, "Here's the best custom notebooks and why I like each of these vendors," those types of things. Those are conversations they might want to be part of.

Then there are the very specific social mentions. When you think about this, think about doing a search on Twitter, probably the most common way that social mentions are thought about, doing a search on Twitter for either your brand name, for people who are talking about or mentioning the word "minted," and then people who are talking about or mentioning the words "Xmas cards", "Hanukah cards", "Christmas cards", "custom notebooks", "photo cards", "holiday cards." When people do those mentions on social networks, you can see them as a social media manager, as an inbound marketer, as an SEO. You can see where those people are mentioning them, who those people are, and then you have the potential to reach out to them, and that can present some powerful things.

So these social media monitoring tactics are what I want to cover specifically. I've got four here, but there's tons more that you can certainly imagine. It's a powerful and largely untapped channel, but it can be a little bit dangerous. I'll talk about that as well.

So first off, if you're monitoring these types of unbranded terms, this is a great way to identify and connect with influencers. What I mean by identify is also understand them. What I feel like a lot of people do when they get into marketing in a new channel or around a new topic, a new keyword, or a new product is that they don't even understand what the world looks like, what the Web looks like, from that perspective. People who are in this world who are talking about these on blogs and forums, who are tweeting about this stuff, who are experts in this field, who are journalists, who are consumers, you're not in their world yet, but this is a great way to learn who the influencers are and start to build up those relationships.

So a great way to do this, of course, is monitoring these types of things and looking for those actual retweets in the search box inside Twitter or Google+. You can do this with Google+ public mentions as well. But there are tools to do it too. FollowerWonk is one of my favorites. You could also use FindPeople on Plus, which has a database where you can literally search for bios and say, "Hey, who's writing about gifts or Xmas? Who's a blogger? Who's writing about photo cards? Who's writing about customized paper products? Who's writing about holiday gifts? Who is an expert on, for example, kids' stuff or kids' toys?" Or those things that are ancillarilly related. Ancillarilly is not a word, but I'm going to use it anyway.

So there are things around these worlds that might be connections. So this could be, "Oh, I want to find who the writers are for magazines. I want to find who is the media person at the 'Today Show. I want to find who it is that blogs regularly about gifts and lifestyle types of blogs." All those things are things that you can use, services like FollowerWonk or FindPeople on Plus to discover those influencers and learn more about the segment while you're at it. Now this is a very research intensive process, but it means that you will be so much more effective with the content that you produce, with how you market that content and how you target it, and with who you reach out to. If you've built connections, natural connections, I'm talking about Tweeting back and forth, sort of getting them to follow you or earning their trust, sharing good things with them over time, then you can sort of share more promotional stuff, like, "Hey, so and so @Ranfish, I wrote this blog post. I'm emailing you to see if you would maybe want to share it on Twitter. It seems like the kind of thing you usually like to tweet about." And I'll be like, "Oh sure, of course, I actually really like that piece. That was a great piece. I'm going to tweet it." I did that two times this morning from emails. Please don't all email me with things that you need me to tweet. That would get a little overwhelming. But if you have something hyper-relevant, sure.

You can also do things like reaching out directly, but be really careful here. I'm sure you've all seen this on Twitter. So the idea is that you see someone mention the word Xmas cards, and then you reach out to them via Twitter and send them an at reply even though you're not following them and you may not have a pre-existing relationship. Let me show you two ways to do this and why this can be super dangerous.

So here is my sample Twitter friend Mobit, and Mobit has tweeted, "Crap! Forget to get Xmas cards, need to do that tonight." "Hmm, excellent, I'm thinking of my evil ways in which I will market to him." If this is your attitude, you might be going and following this black line and tweeting back to him, at everyone, including Mobit, anyone who says the words "Xmas cards", "Here is a bland spammy marketing message." I see this all the time where I tweet a specific word, and then I'll get a reply and I'll look at it and go, "Oh, they're just trying to sell me something because I mentioned that word." My favorite example of this that's not super spammy, it used to be the case that if you tweeted "honey badger," the honey badger @honeybadger would reply with, "Don't care." Now that was cute and funny. It could get old because you could see thousands of tweets coming from this clearly bot account that was just tweeting, "Don't care."

But those types of messages, that's not going to work very well. Twitter is going to catch you out on it. Remember there is a little flag thing over here that people will click, and they'll flag your message for spam. They'll flag your account for spam. Twitter reviews those pretty quickly. They don't want their service filled up with this, which means that you need to do something that is creative, insightful, personalized, and authentic.

So for example, at Mobit, "If you need help, give me a shout. Also, here's a 20% off coupon." This is going to be an extremely different tweet than what I send to maybe somebody else who does that. If we're talking about Xmas cards and there are 50 mentions an hour of these and I'm sending tweets to all 50 of them, that's still going to look spammy and manipulative. But if there are two or three of them that are very specific and say, "I specifically forgot about Christmas cards. I need my Xmas cards. I need my Hanukah cards," whatever it is, then great. That is something where a customized, personalized message, and especially if you do something like follow them or check out their other tweets and say something relevant to them, recognize what part of the country they're in, "Oh, you're in Alaska. By the way, we still do free shipping to Alaska." "Wow, cool! You know who I am. You care about me. Your message is authentic. It's personalized. It's insightful. I'll receive it graciously and happily." But you have to be careful about this type of outreach. It can be a great way to attract customers, particularly in certain segments. It can be a great way even to share content or share links if you trying to get sort of mentioned or retweeted by someone, or if you're trying to get additional awareness or attention, not even necessarily someone directly, but it can be dangerous.

Number three, this one's a little less dangerous, but you still have to maintain all of those same attributes in mind for the messaging you do, which is reaching out privately. So I'll do this actually on occasion where I'll see a Twitter user or I'll see someone at Google+ and they'll mention something specific and I'll say, "You know what? I look at their bio and I see that they work at . . ." I saw this recently for someone who worked at a social media marketing agency here in Seattle, and I thought, "You know what? I would love to have someone from that agency look at some of the new products that we're building, and therefore maybe I can get them into the office and do a product review with the team. So I'm going to tweet back at them." Then I saw them out at an event, actually, and I got their business card and I emailed them.

So those types of relationship building are a great way to go, particularly if you're doing more of a one-to-one type of business development. This private thing, using DM, going out and digging up their email address from their website, from their LinkedIn profile, connecting on there, getting an introduction to someone, those are all perfectly legitimate ways, and they're a little less exposing you to the sort of dangers of being flagged as a spammer. But you can do this authentically, and you have to do this one authentically as well.

The fourth and final one that I'm going to talk about, which I like a tremendous amount, is finding content that's being referenced, right? So people are tweeting. Let me give you another example. Here's our friend Mobit again, and he says, "Oh, you know there were some great Xmas cards suggestions on LifeHacker today." "Hmm, LifeHacker, you say." I know what to do. I'm going to go over and I'm going to check out the site where these folks are mentioning, and I'm going to see what is that content? Does it mention me? If not, does it mention my competitors? Is it talking about the right stuff? Does it seem like it's in a field where I might potentially be able to contribute guest content, make a direct suggestion, "Hey, by the way, editors at LifeHacker, did you know Minted also offers this? We loved to be mentioned next time you guys do a roundup of customizable photo holiday cards." Cool, right? Maybe they'll pick it up, maybe they won't. If you do a few of those and you build those connections the right way, you can link in to those editors and journalists, those writers.

You can connect via comment marketing. By comment marketing I mean, again, leaving good comments on a consistent basis, finding the blogs you want to follow, doing it in an authentic way. Otherwise you can get into serious trouble. But getting familiar with those channels is a great way to discover opportunities for your content to reach additional audiences. It's also a fantastic way to see which content performs well, which is a question that a lot of people who do any kind of inbound marketing, SEO, social, blogging, whatever you're doing, you're trying to figure out what content's going to perform well. This is a great way to figure that out through social media monitoring. Of course, then you can go back and earn the links, the mentions, the press that you're seeking.

All right, everyone, I hope you've enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I hope you had a fantastic 2011 and that your 2012 is just as good or better. I hope we'll see you again next week. Take care.

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I have seen many complaints about the new version of Google Analytics. I have to say that I don’t like it myself and have a hard time finding what I need. I was wondering how you feel about it and if you have any tips, suggestions or recommendations for other analytics programs to supplement GA? […]

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