Using Sysomos Map Social Media Monitoring for SEO Keyword Research

In the process of using several Social Media Monitoring tools for the work I do in Social Media, Online Search and Public Relations (i.e.: Radian6, Alterian/Techrigy, Sysomos, BrandWatch, Biz360, Crimson Hexagon, Viralheat and Scout Labs to name a few) I discovered a richness in textual based keyword research within one of the tools I use often, Sysomos Map; I’m betting people who perform SEO or SEM probably aren’t aware of how quickly Social Monitoring tools are evolving and how they can help both Search and Web Analytics (I’ll get into the Web Analytics aspect of Social Media Monitoring in a following post).

One thing I noticed while doing traditional keyword research is that it’s tough and tedious to do, and often you end up with very boring keyword phases helpful in driving traffic to your sites; this might be even more true for a job recruitment site like

By using Sysomos Map I was able to go far beyond search keyword tools such as WordTracker, Google AdWords keyword tool, WordStream or Keyword Discovery in order to discover the phases I Workforce’s audience are using in blogs, message boards, twitter, facebook and mainstream online media. Using Social Media tools you can actually cut down the time it takes to do keyword reaserch for a customer or for yourself.

Sysomos has text mining tools allowing for insights that is intriguing from and SEO standpoint, take this “Buzzgraph” produced from a query (i.e.: IQworkforce OR “IQ Workforce” OR

Buzzgraph - IQ Workforce

Source: Sysomos Map

Sysomos Buzzmap shows interrelationships between words and concepts in common with IQworkforce; Sysomos highlights the most frequently occurring terms in context to each other with darker interconnecting lines.

In addition, Sysomos will allow you to create a “segmentation” keyword search (using “sub-keywords”) similar to a web analytics segmentation of traffic by referral source. I can bookmark and compare various keyword segmentation and treat them just like web analytics segments in Google Analytics, Omniture and Coremetrics, for example.

Once I applied the sub-keywords of “analytics OR contractor OR contractors OR web” I got the following Buzzmap, allowing me to drill down deeper into the keywords surrounding IQworkforce.

BuzzGraph - IQ Workforce

Sysomos also collects all the blog posts, tweets, forum and message boards, Facebook and online news media that mentions IQworkforce and extracts the most significant phases being used by the authors of those pages. Most SEO/SEM keyword tools were created to just extract phases most often searched for in Google. On the other hand, Sysomos extracts the phases most often used by the online conversations about your brand – and that’s quite different.

I noticed a while back the results of Google’s keyword tools aren’t the most relevant keywords to use for your site – rather, Google gives you the most relevant keywords to advertise against (big difference). As a result, a Social Media keyword extracted list, such as the one I’m producing below, is superior in quality to what average run of the mill keyword research tool actually provides.

Notice how Sysomos identifies phases such as “analytics specialist”, “analytics contract”, “analytics consultant”, “analytics practitioners” and “Karma Analytics” (you can click on the phase and drill down to the actual post/listing if you want).

Popular Phrases

Sysomos looks at Twitter and Forums and extracts significant phrases out of those sources of online buzz. Often, the information extracted from Twitter or Online Forum conversation threads is somewhat different than what shows up for blogs:

Twitter or Online Forum conversations

Tweets mentioning IQworkforce also talked about “strategist role”, “quantitative analyst”, “web analytics blogs” and “talent management universe” – these are phases SEO tools normally would fail to pick out, and if you don’t believe me, go ahead and try it using WordTracker, SEOBook, Google AdWords keyword tool, etc.

Most Search tools do not attempt to deal with sentiment analytics while most Social Media Monitoring tools provide sentiment analysis and sometimes, geo-location.


Quite predictably, Sysomos shows that almost all the online chatter in the last 6 months comes from New York State; this is probably OK for a local firm but might be a problem for a national firm. The sentiment about IQworkforce is favorable and if you want to hone in on specific positive/negative mentions, Sysomos allows you to do that.

Often, in SEO keyword research we will look at other competing sites focusing on the same business we do, to find out if we are missing anything in our own keyword metatags. There is an equivalent construct in Social Media monitoring – looking at the related or “blog influence network” to a particular blogs influential in related subjects. First, we identify the influential blogs/bloggers around IQworkforce using Sysomos Influencer Search:

Influencer Search

Next, we view the blog influence network of the most influential blog that Sysomos shows us:


We can then go and test out the blogs in the “blog influence network” to find more keyword phrases if we need to.

Armed with the information we extract using a Social Media Monitoring solution like Sysomos you would add those phrases to your content or create new content if your community is uses concepts and words that are absent entirely from your own site (as a result of the way people mention your brand our service online) and increase your rankings on those phases.

To end this article, the main difference between Search Engine Optimization /Marketing and Social Media Monitoring is in the way we search. In organic search engine optimization, we often seek to discover what drives our audiences and what they are searching for in order to “intersect” those searches with content rich with the keyword phases being searched on. In Social Media Monitoring, we are more interested in finding out what other people are “talking about” in related communities we want to be part of, and making sure we are present and part of the conversation – which will also drive traffic to our site.

That’s why Social Media has a different focus than Search and requires different tools – the focus is conversation between virtual friends who are influential in topics related to your business or area of focus. If you want to know more about how to use Search and Social media together – subscribe to my blog – see you there.


3 thoughts on “Using Sysomos Map Social Media Monitoring for SEO Keyword Research

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing this and your process. In Sysomos, I’ve found that even setting up the keywords to be very helpful – it give you a quick word cloud at a glance as you build your search parameter to discover keywords you may of not thought of.

  2. This is actually really interesting. As someone just getting familiar with SEO I found this really interesting and I think others will too.
    Also, I’m really glad it was done using MAP. Thanks for giving a great showcase of our product to a group that may not have even considered it before Marshall!


    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

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