Google wants to slap golden handcuffs on the staff of social marketer Wildfire, following its reported $350 million acquisition of the company. Google is said to be offering retention bonuses and earn-outs worth up to a total of $100 million. That offer apparently indicates Google not only wants Wildfire’s technology, but also its employees too. Wildfire allows brands to run marketing and ad campaigns on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. The newly acquired company is considered by some to be a key part of Google's evolving social marketing strategy. This strategy could also involve other Google units, such as, search and advertising, as well as Google+. Wildfire's 400 employees reportedly will share in the retention bonuses, along with founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard. Says TechCrunch:
The retention plan isn’t just stock that will vest over years, but bonuses earned for hustle.
Google is banking on Wildfire to put some heat on its competitors. The Internet giant recently lost out in a bidding war for Buddy Media to Salesforce, and startups Virtue and Involver were recently snapped up by Oracle, leaving Wildfire as the last top-tier social marketing startup, TechCrunch observes. Even though Google is its new home, Wildfire will still offer brands the ability to run contests, sweepstakes and branded games on sites that are Google’s competitor like Facebook.

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