Posted by Henriette Stisen Aug 1st, 2012
Wildfire was founded just four years ago. Since then, it has become one of the leading social media management platforms counting clients in the league of Spotify and Virgin. Yesterday, Google announced that the Wildfire team would become part of the Google team, making Google able to offer a platform that helps companies manage their presence as well as ads across various social networks. This is all very good, but it doesn’t tell the whole story about the appeal of Wildfire. One very important fact in this new acquisition is that Wildfire holds a vast amount of user behaviour and demographics.
Big Data – Big Deal
Wildfire has won Facebook’s fbFound for start-up companies twice and in the beginning of this year, it became the first social media marketing company to have a software platform that integrates directly with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. This means having oodles of user data stored within their system. Big Data that can only be assumed to help fire up Google’s other products and campaign tools in the fight for the ad marketing gold. The Wildfire acquisition will help Google entice more clients to their pool, as they will now be able to run ads on all of the social networks directly through Google. Including Facebook ads. It makes you wonder why Facebook didn’t snatch this one to their impressive catalogue of recently acquired companies?
Facebook out of the loop?
Teaming up with their biggest competitor almost seems as an act of treason towards Facebook, taking the close relationship between Facebook and Wildfire into account. Yesterday on Wildfire’s own blog, Facebook even had a special place in the acknowledgement:
“Finally, a huge thanks to our friends and partners at Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and most especially Facebook. Were it not for the social media revolution that you have all helped to create, Wildfire would not even exist.”
Murmuring rumours have been saying for some time now that Facebook in fact was interested in buying Wildfire, which must add to the presumed disappointment in Menlo Park these days.
The future of social media management platforms
For Google to attract a company like Wildfire to join their family is not a huge shocker, as they’ve already tried to (unsuccessfully) acquire BuddyMedia a few months back. Generally, platforms are topping the hit list within networks’ shopping lists these days. BuddyMedia was sold to SalesForce, Virtue went to Oracle and now Wildfire is landed by Google. This basically leaves the LA based PromoJam as one of the only big, independent platforms out there on the global market. Quoted in an article by VentureBeat , Brian Zanghi, CEO of Awarness, Inc., another big social media marketing player, assessed:
“The Wildfire acquisition by Google is a prime example of the herd mentality of the market. Everybody is focused on Facebook, leaving a huge portion of social market out of the equation and neglecting the mid-size businesses.”
Platform acquisitions from a European point of view
From a European perspective, we see fast growing Facebook platforms such as Komfo Platform and Falcon. Both companies are based in Denmark and focused on Facebook. Furthermore, both companies have from the very beginning had an international vision and been able to compete with big competitors on a European market. Talking to Rasmus Moller-Nielsen, CEO of Komfo, these strategic alliances will be the future for social media management platforms:
“We are convinced that social media management platforms won’t even be an independent category in just 2-3 years time. The management platforms build up astounding masses of data about the users. This data is only fully activated and applied if you can combine it with the data a company collects from all the other online channels the users engage in”, ” he says while adding “All of these new partnerships between networks, CMS/CRM-providers and social media management platforms are a reality we’re moving towards. Right now, social media management platforms are trying to build up as much data, and thereby value, as possible to ensure a strong position in these future alliances.”
According to Komfo’s annual report, Komfo has entered an alliance with the web content management company Sitecore. Though no official statement has been made yet, Moller-Nielsen confirms the alliance.
What can we expect?
So what exactly can we expect from the new alliance between Wildfire and Google? Everyone in the business ponders how Facebook will react and respond to this new teamwork. Will Facebook take the part as a helpful and eager Wildfire partner, or will they do their best to make life difficult for the new partnership with Google? One thing is for sure: Google has realised that they need to be able to reach out to other social media networks in order to lure new clients in. Google+ doesn’t seem to be doing the trick on its own. Google has found a break into the world of social media marketing and the luminous ad marketing budgets and they’re ready to fight for it.
Is the new Wildfire acquisition making your company consider turning to Google for social network and ad management?