Enterprise cloud computing company Salesforce announced today that it will acquire social media marketing platform Buddy Media for $745 million in cash and stock.
With its page management, app development, analytics and Facebook advertising tools, Buddy Media is a strong addition to Salesforce’s “Marketing Cloud,” which already includes social listening platform Radian6. The acquisition is the largest one Salesforce has ever made and significantly larger than past deals involving social marketing software. Last month, Oracle reportedly bought Vitrue for $300 million, and in January, Adobe bought Efficient Frontier for $400 million.
Today’s announcement puts further pressure on SAP, IBM and other CRM businesses to add more social media capabilities to their enterprise platforms. As AllThingsD reports, Salesforce estimates the acquisition will increase its revenues for the second half of its 2013 fiscal year by $20 million to $25 million. Social marketing platforms like Involver, Syncapse and Wildfire could be potential targets for another company.
Although a press release listed the deal at $698 million, a regulatory filing indicates that it is actually valued at $745 million. The price for Buddy Media was likely driven up by its own recent acquisition of Brighter Option, which gives them a foothold in the growing Facebook Ads API business. Facebook told us last month that it would begin to sell premium homepage ad inventory through third-party vendors and tools. It is also becoming clear that the cost of reaching fans through Facebook pages is going to increase quickly over the next few years. Buddy Media is in a strong position to help companies run Sponsored Stories or Promoted Posts, and take a percentage of their spend.
Buddy Media was founded by Mike and Kass Lazerow not long after Facebook opened its platform in 2007. The company has about 1,000 customers, including some of the world’s largest brands and agencies: Ford, Mattel, IPG, Omnicom and others. In addition to being part of the Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer program, Buddy Media is a Google Engagement Solutions partner and LinkedIn Certified Developer.