A few weeks ago I wrote about the blistering pace of M&A in social marketing technology space. To make sense of it all, I’ve put together a simple Social Marketing Topography. Based on the deal flow we’ve tracked, most social marketing transactions can be characterized as belonging to one of three categories:

1: At the core are the social networks where marketers are attempting to engage would-be customers: including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as special interest sites such as Trip Advisor.

2. On one side of that we have the Social Marketing Automation companies such as Buddy Media and Vitrue that help marketers engage customers on social networks (an extension of which also includes social customer experience management with vendors coming from the Call Center world of customer service).

3. Finally, on the other side are social monitoring and analytics providers such as Radian6 and collective intellect. These companies help marketers understand what’s happening on social networks and demonstrate effectiveness.

At the top and bottom, we’ve placed Oracle and SalesForce as examples of companies that have been piecing together all encompassing marketing solutions that include analytics and automation in a single platform through M&A.

In the coming weeks, I’ll dissect valuations in all three of these segments and compare them to the performance of the Corum Index. Additionally, I’ll discuss a few marquee deals in each sector every week, so be sure to follow the Corum M&A Blog.