May 31st, 2012 by Judith Aquino

It has yet to be confirmed, but the rumor that will be buying Buddy Media is already rampant. According to All Things D, which reported the news first, cloud-computing pioneer and Buddy Media, a company that helps brands manage their Facebook presence, are hashing out an acquisition deal that could value Buddy Media at more than $800 million.

Buddy Media’s client roster includes large brands such as Carnival, HP, L’Oreal, and Mattel. The five-year-old company’s offerings include ProfileBuddy, a publishing platform that lets clients create and deploy customized interactive content on social networks like Facebook; ConversationBuddy, a platform and dashboard for managing discussions on social networks; ReachBuddy, which enables customers to integrate social content with their Web sites; and Conversion Buddy, a set of sharing buttons designed for e-commerce.

Both and Buddy Media have declined to comment on the rumor but this acquisition could be the latest in a string of social media buys. Just last week Oracle bought social marketing platform Vitrue for a reported $300 million and Bazaarvoice absorbed its rival PowerReviews for nearly $152 million.

If the rumored $800 million price tag is true, that would make a very impressive deal for a company that has raised $90 million in venture backing to date. According to TechCrunch, as of last year, Buddy Media was projecting a revenue run rate of $100 million for 2012 and $180 million for 2013.

“It’s a buying frenzy,” notes Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research Group. “No one wants to be left out and everyone understands the importance of modern technology in business as many changes will take place over the next ten years.”

The popular consensus among experts is that it makes sense for to combine Buddy Media’s social media marketing capabilities with Radian6, the social media monitoring platform that it purchased last year for $326 million.

“Salesforce is the predominant player in CRM, Radian6 is the biggest player in reputation management, and Buddy Media is a major player in social proliferation,” says Lon Safko, author of The Social Media Bible. “I see this as the final piece the puzzle.”

Natalie Petouhoff, program director of social media executive education at UCLA, agrees that acquiring Buddy Media would round out’s enterprise offerings. Petouhoff also notes that technology advancements could make the integration smoother than past CRM acquisitions.

“When vendors did this with CRM, years ago, i.e., buying software companies and mushing them together, they didn’t do a good job of it… Often it was too complicated to connect the dots, and they became more of a customer acquisition and paper merger,” Petouhoff observes. “With the SAS-based nature of these new social media companies and their open APIs, it may be possible that the integration that is doing may be more valuable then the traditional duct taping of their predecessors.”

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