With more than 640 million people on Facebook, 95 million tweets posted on Twitter each day and more than 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, social media has evolved in recent years to become an integral part of consumers’ lives. As a result, companies, such as Dell, Gatorade and Delta, have begun to invest in social media strategies in order to monitor, analyze and engage in conversations with their customers.
Given the growing influence of social media on consumer behavior, I was not surprised to hear that Salesforce, a purveyor of cloud-based solutions for customer relationship management (CRM), had acquired Radian6, a social media monitoring platform, for $326 million ($276 million in cash and $50 million in stock). With this acquisition, Salesforce now has the “social-media-analysis beginnings of what could become a marketing suite,” says InformationWeek’s Doug Henschen. Specifically, trained service and support professionals can now respond to public comment and questions directly—providing ‘‘real-time insights” within popular social networks.
Whether you support the acquisition or not, this deal demonstrates, the growing influence of social media. As expert blogger Brian Solis points out:
“The Salesforce acquisition of Radian6 demonstrate[s] the importance of social activity to create a new framework for a new generation of business. It’s more than technology, it’s not equally about philosophy and social science. With each day that passes, social media plays a greater role in the shaping of customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle.”
Check out Doug Henschen’s article, “Salesforce.com Acquisition Points To Marketing Ambitions,” and Brian Solis’ post, “Salesforce Listens to Market Trend, Acquires Radian6 for $326 Million,” for yourself and see what you think of this acquisition and how it will impact the marketing community.