If you are a social practitioner and a marketer like me, chances are you know that social media has significant impact on your business – but how do you show it? In fact, two out of every three businesses agree that social media is integral to their business strategy, while admitting that measuring the business impact of social media is very difficult. I read that in a new eConsultancy study this week on social measurement trends which I recommend you check out.

The problem for most marketers is that they have a hard time seeing what influence the relationships they have nurtured on social networks have on customer behavior.  Where exactly does it make an impact? The “soft metrics” of social marketing—Likes, comments and retweets—don’t directly point to how social impacts purchase decisions along the customer journey. So instead of strategizing based on business data and results, marketers are relying on their intuition that social media impacts their business.

That is, until now.

Adobe Social is here!
Today I am excited to announce the general availability of Adobe Social, a new social marketing product, available for the first time to customers today.

Adobe Social is a single product to manage social marketing activities end to end – from buying advertising, to publishing to fans and followers, driving engagement and measuring business outcomes. It represents not only a single solution for a business’s core social marketing activities, but a product that has the advantage of integration with the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite to bring multi-channel measurement and optimization to the mix. Marketers can now create and demonstrate tangible business impact from social media, all within one powerful solution. Just imagine, all those social marketing tools in one workflow, all that precious data at your fingertips, all with one login. Your team will thank you.

Screenshot of Adobe Social Overview Dashboard
Demonstrate business impact from social media efforts.

As a marketer, let me share with you three Adobe Social capabilities I am most excited about:

  1. Connect Social Media to Business Results, Automatically
    Gone are the days of generating thousand-cell spreadsheets chockfull of indecipherable tracking codes like “?cid=f8d-k-733-c0e-y27cio4n”, which you have to match to campaign classifications in another spreadsheet, and then manually append the precise campaign tracking code to the right social media link, each time. Sound familiar? Phew. That’s just not scalable. With Adobe Social, you can automatically track the performance of all social media posts for a campaign and then connect that data to key performance indicators (KPIs) for the business, such as revenue, for reports that will show exactly how much revenue each post drove. And that helps you measure a tangible return on your social investments.
  2. Capitalize on Actual Influence
    The ability to identify key influencers who can sway customer perception and purchase decisions is a hot topic in social marketing. There are several tools in the market that help businesses identify people who are evangelists that have influence over large, active audiences to spread your messages, which has some value. But at Adobe, we are more interested in measuring actual influence as it relates to your bottom line over potential evangelism. With Adobe Social, you can demonstrate which Twitter follower drove $5,000 of revenue alone because she retweeted your offer—even though she only has 100 followers, a paltry measure of clout by many current standards, pah!  You can then leverage that insight to execute social media campaigns that activate more of your true business influencers.
  3. Measure Behavior Across the Customer Journey
    We also think it is important to understand not only what your customers say they want on social channels and in your database profiles, but how your customers actually behave in the real world. Just because I say I like Lady Gaga on my Facebook page doesn’t mean I’m visiting her websites and listening to her music and buying tickets to her concert every day. (I like Britney Spears, too.) When you combine social profile data with behavioral data from your social network, web, mobile and advertising channels, you get a much more complete picture of your customer from the point of a social click to checkout. Adobe Social’s insight into what your customers are doing on your social channels feeds the Digital Marketing Suite’s multi-channel analytics.  This offers a unique view of how social media efforts impact purchase decisions and brand value across marketing channels and at each customer touch point.
Screenshot of Campaign Measurement Graph
Connect social media activity to business KPIs.

Breaking Down the Social Silo
Everyone talks about collaboration between the social marketing team and other departments. The arrival of Adobe Social makes that a reality for customers leveraging additional products in the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite.

  • Collaborate with the website strategist using Adobe Test&Target to build a more consistent and personalized brand experience across channels with targeted content based on social profile data.
  • Supply insights from social app engagement data to the ad manager using Adobe AdLens to optimize target segments and profiles for paid Facebook advertising.
  • Inject social data into the multi-channel campaign reports that the business analyst is running on Adobe SiteCatalyst.
  • Then use Adobe Discover to ‘discover’ (clever product name, yes?) previously unknown, but highly valuable customer segments. For example, perhaps Facebook users who visit the site on a tablet contribute significantly more revenue when they spend more than 5 minutes in the site.
  • The CMO can now understand how social media activity impacts in-store foot traffic with Adobe Insight, which combines online and offline data for greater ‘insight’ into what impacts the customer journey.

Social media is no longer an experiment and it is time for social to grow up. Adobe Social’s ability to create and demonstrate business impact from social media will enable the social marketer to secure a seat at the planning table. Adobe Social helps give the entire business a holistic view of the customer journey and how the social media channel impacts customer behavior and purchase decisions.

It’s an exciting time for social marketing! Join our journey in digital marketing and learn more about what customer Experian and SVP, Adobe Digital Marketing Brad Rencher are saying about Adobe Social. Check us out at www.adobe.com/products/social.html and tweet us up anytime on @AdobeSocial.

Join the Twitter Chat
I’ll also be joining a live Twitter chat for social media practitioners to talk metrics this Thursday, September 6th from 10-11am PDT (6pm BST / 7pm CET). Follow @AdobeSocial on Twitter and participate using the hashtag #socialvalue! See you there!