By Seth Weintraub
May 10, 2010

Google hopes to step up its social media efforts as it takes on competitors like Facebook and Twitter.

To date, Google’s success in social media (outside of Brazil) with its Orkut and Buzz products has been minimal. Social media, however, is rapidly becoming a market force, and Facebook and Twitter are leading the charge.

Google has tried to play ball.  They penned a deal with Twitter to embed a feed of related Tweets in its search results, among other moves.

Google, however, needs to become stronger in social media if it plans on being a player in this field.  Google Buzz isn’t cutting it so far, and if they don’t want another Orkut-type flop, they’ll need to retool themselves.  And soon.

Facebook passed Google in pageviews in March, according to analytics company Hitwise.

Perhaps that is why they are looking for a visionary executive to handle the social aspect of its business.

Liz Gannes from GigaOm talked to the executive search firm involved in the hiring and got the folowing synopsis:

This is a new and very strategic position, as Google knows it is late on this front and is appropriately humble about it. In Google’s view, conceptually, there are two ways to tackle social, each impacting who may be successful in this senior post: 1) building an innovative offering specifically in this area; or 2) developing the capability and integrating social into Google’s existing portfolio.

Internal candidates mentioned in the post include engineering director David Glazer and VP of product management for apps, Bradley Horowitz

The other alternative that Gannes mentions is the possibility that Google would buy a social site with a visionary leader to become Google’s ‘Head of Social’.

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