Posted by: Laura Phillips Garner | February 9, 2010

Building Social Network Embassies To Better Search Engine Results

Companies should create digital embassies within social networks to optimize search engine results.

Once upon a time, the center of the Internet marketing universe was the company Web site. The marketing communicator’s goal was to get consumers and other stakeholders to that Web site, so they got information about the company straight from the company.

Companies might pay search engines for the privilege of a sponsored link that would appear somewhere prominently on the page. Or, they would integrate a strategy of predetermined keywords into the site so that search engine algorithms would find the site and give it optimum presence in the search results.

Like so much these days, Web search is changing as Internet users become more social and more sophisticated in their searching. Although paid search and optimized search are still prevalent, people are starting to search for information within Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and blogs. They are asking their friends for recommendations via social networking just like they used to call up and ask friends for recommendations, ask a neighbor at the block party or catch up with a colleague for advice at the local Kiwanis Club meeting.

Edelman Digital has written a white paper on search engine visibility with recommendations for marketing communicators. If the corporate Web sites are companies’ countries, Edelman Digital recommends that companies set up embassies within relevant social networks, so they are ahead of the curve when search and social networking converge. Search engines, namely Google, are more likely to discover companies with social network embassies. Other tips from Edelman Digital on social search:

• Build social network embassies that focus on mutual benefits, collaboration, and social responsibility to create a network of relationships and earn the ever-important links search engine spiders seek to determine credibility.

• Staff these embassies with ambassadors—real human beings who check the social networking sites, respond to posts and build real relationships with stakeholders.

• Do the necessary homework to make sure that the content and engagement opportunities presented by these embassies become popular within the social network, so search engines find the outpost.

As with any marketing communication function, research and strategy beforehand make it all look so easy. Check out the Edelman Digital’s “Search Engine Visibility: An Edelman Digital Position Paper” here.

–Laura Phillips Garner



  1. What an interesting concept. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way before. I would like to read that article and some of the others I saw posted at the All Insights page.

    BTW, how do people (like you) use words as links? I see that all the time, but never learned how to do it.

    Thanks for the insight (no pun intended)…

    Regards, Mark

    • Yes, there’s a lot of great stuff on the Edelman Insights page. Enjoy!

      Links are easy. When you are posting, look at your toolbar within WordPress. There’s a button called “link”. Copy you link, hit the button, and then paste it in. Give me a shout through e-campus if you need more, Mark, or try help within WordPress. There’s lots of good stuff there.


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