Salesforce.com March 30 agreed to purchase Radian6 for $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock, giving the enterprise application provider a credible social media management tool.
Radian6 analysis widgets and reporting tools help businesses monitor and filter social media conversations generated on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and other social media Websites.
The idea is that marketers and sales teams can get a handle on what consumers are saying about not only their brands, products and services, but those of their market competitors.
Such information is important to influence how marketers shape their brands in an age where the real-time status update has become a chief medium used by consumers to describe their experiences with companies.
Salesforce.com believes Radian, which is already building an add-on application for Salesforce.com's Service Cloud 3, can help its customers boost their sales and marketing efforts.
"With Radian6, Salesforce.com is gaining the technology and market leader in social media monitoring," said Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. "We see this as a huge opportunity. Not only will this acquisition accelerate our growth, it will extend the value of all of our offerings."
Salesforce.com will use Radian6 software to provide social media clarity across Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, as well as the aforementioned integration with the Force.com application platform.
But the product will perhaps best be used to build a bridge between the conversations happening on Facebook and Twitter and Salesforce.com's Chatter social network for businesses.
"Chatter feeds will no longer just contain the activity happening within the walls of a company, but will be filled with real time insights from fans on Facebook pages, followers on Twitter, comments on blog posts and more," Salesforce.com said.
Salesforce.com expects to seal the deal in its fiscal second quarter ending July 31, 2011.
More than over 2,400 customers, including companies such as AAA, Dell, GE, Kodak, Pepsico, and UPS, use Radian6. Even Salesforce.com rival Jive Software used Radian6 technology for its own social media monitoring efforts.
Gartner Research said the social business software segment, which also includes IBM, Socialtext, Mindtouch and others, could hit $769 million in 2011. The market is growing 15 percent a year and should top $1 billion through 2012.
Salesforce.com has proven acquisitive in the early part of 2001. The company acquired Web conferencing player Dimdim in January, collaboration software provider Manymoon in February and has now landed on Radian6.