This Google Unit Just Recommended Clients Buy Ads On Facebook

victoria ransomWildfire CEO Victoria Ransom.

Photo: Flickr / leweb3

Wildfire, the social media marketing management agency acquired by Google in August for $350 million, just recommended its clients buy ads on Facebook (and other social media) rather than rely on the social network’s free offerings for brands such as pages and posts.

Google and Facebook are increasingly competitors, as people spend more time on Facebook and the latter beefs up its search (and search ad) offerings. Google’s entry into non-Google social media, via Wildfire, shows how complicated the world of the two companies has become.

The recommendation came in a white paper on social media marketing that Wildfire is promoting for fall 2012, targeting chief marketing officers and ad agency executives. (Wildfire has also been rebranded “Wildfire by Google” in the report.) The paper, authored by consultant Patrick Di Chiro of Thunder Factory, begins by describing the “seismic shift” that social media has caused in marketing, especially now that 4 million businesses are active on Facebook. It then states that clients should bypass “freemium” offerings on Facebook and other social media:”Freemium” – There are some SMM services that are available free, but the functions and capabilities offered free are very limited at best. The whole idea behind “freemium” services is to give the customer a small taste, with the hope they will trade up to a paid subscription service. The reality is that for most companies, the “freemium” model will have little to zero utility. These free services just won’t do much to help you create, implement and manage business-building marketing and communications programs across social media channels.

Di Chiro also throws some between-the-lines elbows at Wildfire rivals Buddy Media and Vitrue. He writes:

Readers of this guide should evaluate these [social media management] providers on a case by case basis, and ask 
a few key questions: Does the parent company (acquirer) have a reputation for leading edge innovation, or is it an “old guard” vendor with a legacy technology architecture?

Both Buddy and Vitrue were recently acquired by “‘old guard’ vendors with legacy technology architecture: and Oracle, respectively.


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