Search engine behemoth Google acquired Wildfire this week, a start-up company that specializes in social media marketing. While the amount of the sale was not disclosed to the public, reports estimate that the social media marketing company was snagged for between $250 and $450 million.
Wildfire was founded in 2008 by Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard. At the time, the pair owned a New Zealand adventure company, but they were having trouble marketing their business through various social media outlets. So the idea for Wildfire was born: a company that offers a software platform that integrates with the major social media players – including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube – and allows companies to manage their brands, promotions, and marketing campaigns from a central location.
Currently, Wildfire helps 16,000 companies around the world organize their social marketing, including dozens of the most well-known global brands like Spotify and Virgin, according to the Redwood City company’s website.
Google stated that their acquisition would lead to “more meaningful interactions” and “better and fresher content” when it comes to businesses and consumers. Other believe that buying the company may be one way that Google can better promote its own social media site Google+, which has struggled to compete with Facebook. Working with Wildfire, companies may now have an easier time running marketing campaigns on Google+ and using one software platform to coordinate all of their online marketing strategies.
Online marketing experts say that the move is a smart one for Google, as it can promote Google+ while also benefiting from companies that are using the competition to spread marketing messages.