As we head into 2011, it's best to take a look back at the top 25 social media marketing blog posts of 2010 and see what we can glean to help us in the new year. Social media is fascinating in that the way we utilize these sites, and the functionality of these sites, is always changing. Therefore, as social media marketers, we always need to be staying ahead of the curve of not only the latest changes in the world of social media, but also what the thought leaders are saying about social media marketing.
The algorithm I used in calculating these top 25 posts is the same I used in my previous top blog posts of 2010 for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and I have also added a few of my posts from 2010 where relevant.
55 Interesting Social Media Infographics by Yanuar Prisantoso [1,867]
Why is it that we can never get enough infographics? Here's an enormous serving of various social media infographics that will surely whet your intellectual appetite. From finding out the social media movers in China to how much we all really are addicted to social networking, you can find it here.
The State of B2B Social Media Marketing by Alexander Hotz [1,610]
Social media is one of the best business tools out there. While many companies are using them to connect with customers, the question is how effective is it when used in business-to-business relations. Here's a great Mashable graphic that illustrates what you need to know on this important subject that deserves its place as one of the top 25 blog posts of 2010.
CHEAT SHEETS & CHECKLISTS
The Social Media Cheat Sheet by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten 
There's a lot of tools out there to spread your message but some sites do better in specific social areas. Check out this breakdown which tells you how well a site does against customer communication, brand exposure, site traffic and SEO. Hat tip to Drew McLellan for the original graphic
Social Media Marketing Checklist by Lee Odden 
As with any business endeavor, embarking in social media needs a roadmap of sorts to get the best results. Some key points are developing a listening program, understanding your audience and what tools you need to use. Let this checklist be your guide.
22 Social Media Marketing Management Tools by Lee Odden [1,616]
Running around and managing social media using the default interface takes a toll on anyone. Save yourself the trouble and check out these tools that will make your job a lot easier and might even expand your social media skill set.
ROI & ANALYTICS
3 New Ways to Measure the Social Web by Tim Trefren [1,503]
Analytics is very important in measuring your efforts. You have three options as presented by this article: funnel analysis, engagement tracking and visitor retention.
ROI: How to Measure Return on Investment in Social Media by Brian Solis [1,264]
Companies have been struggling how to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Brian Solis reveals some statistics and insights on this how to handle this dilemma.
The ROI Of Social Media Marketing: More Than Dollars And Cents by Augie Ray [1,108]
There are four perspectives to consider when creating a balanced scorecard for social media marketing: Financial, Brand, Risk Management and Digital. Learn more about these through this Forrester article.
How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance by Ryan Deutsch 
If you've been pulling your hair out trying to get started on measuring your social media marketing performance, this post should clear up what you need to do. One interesting thing to note is how you need to add incentives to make sharing programs go viral, instead of just relying on basic word of mouth.
How Much Will You Spend on Social-Media Marketing Next Year? by Debra Aho Williamson 
While social media network usage is free, creating content to go with it isn't. There's never any firm consensus on how much you need to allocate to your online marketing budgets but what you can do is concentrate more on creating real results from these efforts.
HOW TO: Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Strategy by Josh Peters [3,145]
Familiar with Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action? You should be, it's one of the foundations of marketing after all. Know more on how to integrate this marketing funnel, plus a couple more principles, into your programs through this excellent guide from Mashable.
How to Get the M.O.S.T. From Your Social Media Marketing by Clement Yeung 
Remember this acronym when tackling your online social marketing: MOST or Market Intelligence, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics. Also, as the article points out, get a blog!
A New Age for Social Media Marketing by Brian Solis 
Here is an analysis of MarketingSherpa's 2010 Social Media Benchmark Report which talks about the ten stages of social media marketing, among other interesting topics. Lots of nice metrics in this report.
4 Steps to Social Media SEO Success by Lee Odden 
Still confused on how to proceed with your social strategy? This TopRank post break it down to four actions: listening, content creation, socializing and measuring.
Make sure you also check out my 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn't Really a Social Media Strategy  and Strategizing Your Social Media Trifecta  posts.
ADVICE FROM CASE STUDIES, INTERVIEWS & EXAMPLES
Social Media Marketing: 5 Lessons From Business Leaders Who Get It by Erica Swallow [2,050]
We all have people we look up to. Here are five of them that will inspire you in your quest for social marketing dominance.
25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips by Lee Odden [1,833]
TopRank gathers 25 influential talents in the social media sphere and compiles the best tips they have to offer.
Study Shows Time Pays With Social Media Marketing by Amy Porterfield [1,060]
Yes, it is true; you need to invest time (and a lot of it) if you want to reap the rewards of social media. Read other interesting stats in this thought-provoking article.
How Big Brands Employ Social Media Marketing by Michael Stelzner 
An interview with Andy Sernovitz, founder of the Social Media Business Council, reveals some of the marketing strategies that multinationals and big companies use when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Does Social Media Marketing Make Sense for the Smallest Businesses? from eMarketer 
This has definitely been a question many small business owners have been struggling with. Search engines are still the top resource used to find local businesses but increasingly, more and more are moving towards getting their information from Twitter, Facebook and other similar sites.
Also, check out my post on the Farmers Insurance Social Media Marketing Case Study: Utilizing FarmVille for Facebook Brand Awareness 
MISTAKES TO AVOID
Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes by Mike Proulx [1,499]
Many companies still don't see the value of social media. Learn from their mistakes and prevent yourself from epic failing.
11 Myths of Social Media Marketing by Tom Pick 
Social media marketing has matured a bit and as such, it has spawned quite a few myths that might not be the best rules of thumb to follow. Take heed of these 11 pitfalls you might want to avoid in your campaigns.
7 Common Social Media Marketing Problems and Their Solutions by Lee Odden 
Trouble in Facebook-land? Here are some solutions on how to rectify your social media blunders.
I wrote up a case study of the Japanese company UCC Coffee illustrating mistakes to avoid in this post: Social Media Etiquette: 6 Important Lessons Learned from One Japanese Company's Major Twitter Mistake .
7 Ways to Use Psychological Influence With Social Media Content by Dr. Rachna Jain [1,311]
Social networking is a recent phenomenon but the underlying principles are not that entirely new. Use psychology, group dynamics and neuroscience techniques to create compelling content that delivers positive results.
21 Rules for Social Media Engagement by Brian Solis [3,100]
If you think that you just need to put up a blog, Twitter feed and Facebook Page and then fill it with stuff to say, you're dead wrong. Engagement these days spins the usual marketing doctrines on its head so it's best you heed these points from social marketing maven Brian Solis.
One of my earlier posts in 2010 looked at engagement through the angle of How Businesses Can "Share" and Become "Social" in Social Media .
How to Integrate Video Into Your Social Media Marketing by Michael Stelzner [1,136]
Video is an often overlooked but should be an essential part of almost any social media marketing strategy, and thus I felt the strong need to have it represented on this top 25 list. Posing for videos might not be your thing but this post might just change your mind. Read on to find out the best tools and methods to produce, edit and share your videos online.
If I missed any other useful SMM posts from 2010 above and beyond these top 25 blogs, please place a link together with your comment and share the top posts and your opinion with us. Thanks!