Salesforce Plans on Acquiring Buddy Media: Rumor

Buddy Media's social marketing tools could be a Salesforce target.

Salesforce is on the verge of acquiring Buddy Media for $800 million, according to a new report from AllThingsD. Buddy Media’s products allow companies to create and manage customized content on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter; it also offers analytics for monitoring user engagement across social networks.

When asked about the possible acquisition, a Salesforce spokesperson emailed that the company “does not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Enterprise firms seem to be taking an interest in companies that deal in cloud-based social marketing. Earlier in May, Oracle entered into an agreement to acquire Vitrue, which offers tools for managing organizations’ Facebook, Google+ and Twitter activities, for a rumored $300 million (officially, the terms went undisclosed). Vitrue products also include the Vitrue shop, billed as a “social commerce solution,” and an analytics tool for tracking engagement and fan growth.

Oracle will presumably graft Vitrue’s capabilities into its own sales and analytics offerings. As speculated by AllThingsD, Salesforce could do something similar with Buddy Media, incorporating the latter’s offerings into its CRM platform.

If Salesforce indeed makes the buy, Buddy Media would become its second big Facebook-related purchase in little over a year. In March 2011, the company acquired Radian6, which built tools for monitoring activity on Facebook and other social networks, for $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock. At the time, Salesforce was quite open about its intentions to bake Radian6 assets into its Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and platform.

Facebook: Fad or Useful Tool?

Facebook, by virtue of holding data related to the lives of roughly 900 million people, has transformed into something of a fatted calf for companies looking to gather, slice, and dissect massive amounts of demographic and marketing information.

Companies such as Buddy Media, Vitrue and Radian6 aim to filter that social data and apply it to marketing purposes; the Oracles and Salesforces of the world buy those companies up, thinking their own products will become that much more powerful with a hefty dose of social-marketing muscle; but it remains to be seen whether these acquisitions, and the resulting integration of various software platforms, will result in robust CRM tools.


Image: Buddy Media