We’ve all been there, that awkward adolescent phase. Fortunately, most of us, but not all of us (you know who you are) grow out of it. Social marketing is no different. After an awkward adolescent phase, social is becoming a grown-up contributing member of business. Just like those yearbook photos that we hope will never surface – with the mullets, braces, and unfortunate “why-did-I-ever-wear-that” wardrobe combinations – so has it been with social. Like my two high-school friends who didn’t want to leave it all behind and cried on graduation night, social doesn’t have a choice; it has to grow up. Social must mature from fuzzy metrics to real business impact and revenue, because that is the influence metric that matters most to businesses.

Our customers represent the top brands in every vertical market, and they’ve lived it. They have been investing in the future of social since they saw its potential to create more meaningful experiences for and authentically connect to consumers. Our customer’s drive to deal with this new reality is the reason we built Adobe Social. Our fundamental belief behind our strategy is that social marketing has to evolve in the following ways.

First, social media has to mature from being run by intuition, intangible metrics, or immeasurable campaigns. Just because social feels intuitive doesn’t mean you can run it intuitively. Imagine reporting on your search campaigns by telling your CMO that customers really “like” your keywords, or that sentiment around your keywords is positive. There’s value in being liked for sure, but it’s clear that we must parlay that popularity into business results. It is time to understand both the direct and indirect effects social has on all aspects of the business. These fundamental insights make all the difference.

Second, social media is often limited to what happens on any one given social platform. Your social strategy should not end with the start of a conversation. That’s just where the opportunities to learn from your customers begin. The next step is to put social in context with search, display, email, mobile, websites and other marketing channels. With all of this information, data and programs have to connect, make sense together and be part of a broader initiative and platform. Otherwise, social will remain in a silo and will fail to be all it can and should be.

Today, we announce the immediate availability of Adobe Social. Built from a strong foundation in analytics and stacked with social listening, social management and publishing capabilities, I can’t help but get excited for our customers to use it every time I see the live product at work. The solution gives marketers the best and most complete set of actionable data available to capture a complete snapshot of business, and how social plays a role in brand uplift, conversion, revenue, etc. This is another solution we are proud to offer our customers.

With Adobe Social as the newest member of the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, our customers have the ability to do deep analysis, rich customer segmentation and act on social intelligence across the customer journey, and across channels and devices. With it, we empower social to drive real business impact and revenue as social breaks out of its silo and becomes a key piece of a brand’s digital marketing mix. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the product. Let us know what you think.

Read more about Adobe Social and why we are so excited about the possibilities for our customers here.