A Closer Look at Adobe Social Media 2013 Numbers

As the year comes to a close, the Adobe social media team does what all good corporate citizens do and gathers up our successes and program metrics to see what worked and what didn’t. Below are some notable numbers and activities from the Adobe social business landscape. You can read even more, including awards and designations, on our Conversations blog.

  • More than 65k social mentions of Adobe and its products each day
  • We grew our total social following by 60% in one year (!)
  • Among top brands, Adobe was #3 in Share of Voice around Digital Marketing topics – notable for us since most people know Adobe only as the ‘creative’ company
  • On Creative Cloud ratings and reviews, we grew more than 100% this year averaging over 4 stars out of 5

Adobe social media 2013

  • Cool Photoshop Live video from our Nordics team has more than 19 million views, all organic. Didn’t see it yet? Now you can.

Facebook Promotion Rules Get A Facelift

All change, all change!

Huge news out of Facebook’s policy department last week — You no longer need a 3rd Party Application to run a promotion.

There will be some of you thinking “Huh? We used to need to do what?” Some of you jumping for joy, shouting “Finally!!” at the top of your lungs and also some who have their heads in their hands at the news that news feeds are potentially going to be clogged up with Like contest after Like contest…

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What are the new rules?

First, lets clarify. You can still run a competition in an app so there is no need to delete your existing apps or throw away any plans to ever run an app promotion ever again – there are still very good reasons to run your promotion via an app.

The new rules are…

  • You can now use Likes or comments as an entry mechanism and/or a voting mechanism.
  • Private messages are also a valid method of entry.


  • You cannot ask a Fan to Share to enter a competition
  • You cannot ask Fans to tag themselves in your content as a method of entry.

The no Shares rules still stands as it would be tough to run a fair contest using this entry method since some profiles are private and you cannot track Shares accurately.

So, what are the pros and the cons to the new rules?


  • Easier engagement
  • More frequent promotions
  • Timely and relevant content promotions – ability to capitalize on current events


  • Harder to track and may be a manual process to gather the entrants
  • Competition overload… Fans may reach social fatigue quicker with all the new contests in the stream
  • Unable to brand promotions like you would within an app
  • Rules still exist for Page promotions and you must still make those clear (manage submissions, choose winner fairly, agreement of terms, acknowledgement that Facebook in no way endorses your competition etc…  More here — https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php
  • Cannot capture email addresses

In short, if you’re looking to run a big campaign promotion then an app might still be best, it looks credible and it allows you to be more creative with your contest. If you’re looking to do short daily giveaways then these new rules have just made that a whole lot easier.

For the words straight from Facebook’s mouth, check out their blog post — https://www.facebook.com/facebookforbusiness/news/page-promotions-terms


The Social Employee

At Adobe, we always talk about empowering employee participation in social given the power of the collective voice for a brand. Until this point, there hasn’t been a collection of “how to’s” pulled together about tapping into this important resource. Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess of Blue Focus Marketing attempt to do just that in a new book, The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, where they’ve interviewed brands – Adobe included – on their social enablement programs and best practices.

In our contribution to the book, we shared how we got organized and set up our Center of Excellence. Adobe’s approach to overseeing the entire company’s social media program is about providing guardrails vs. hard-fast rules when it comes to engagement –nuanced, yes, but in line with our company’s values. We also discuss how our social strategists strive to innovate constantly and how measuring social ROI though rigorous metrics – a hot topic these days – is imperative.

Re-reading the chapter and looking back at what we’ve done as a brand, it’s great to see the progress we’ve made as a socially innovative company.  We now have more than 2000 employees actively engaging on behalf of the brand; we’re delivering great campaigns and delivering bottom line results.  Our path to organizing and resourcing sure wasn’t easy, but Adobe’s culture and executive support of our social programs made the road a whole lot easier – something that isn’t status quo across many organizations. I think our story, along with ones from AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines and others, will be helpful to both new and seasoned social practitioners.

For an animated look at what’s in the book, check out this trailer:

The Social Employee is available now on iBooks and will be on bookshelves on August 23.

LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates” – a new way to reach your target audience

A few months ago, LinkedIn approached us to be a beta partner for their new marketing offering, Sponsored Updates.

Our answer was immediately “Yes.” As all of us social marketers now know, a paid content strategy is ever more critical to complement great organic content and engagement. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s large audience of engaged, professional digital marketers made it the right channel for us to reach a key target audience for Adobe, marketing decision makers. Many people know Adobe for our Adobe Creative Cloud, which provides tools and services for creative professionals to create amazing content, but most people don’t know that we also offer an array of digital marketing solutions through the Adobe Marketing Cloud, which allows our customers to then deploy, measure, and optimize their creative work.

When LinkedIn told us that we could target our content to audiences ranging from marketing practitioners to C-level marketing executives, we knew we had to try it. Over the course of 8 weeks, we continued to manage our Adobe LinkedIn company page as we always do – with a content calendar that provides a good balance of content from across our business; the only difference was that we would make conscious decisions on which posts to promote to our target audiences. Once a post was live, it was a simple process to promote it: select the ‘Sponsor Update’ button, target audience, and voila, our post was promoted. We could see real-time basic engagement statistics on how the post was performing, which helped us decide how to optimize our campaign.


To help understand impact, LinkedIn surveyed a group of marketing decision makers during and after the pilot, which proved positive results. After being exposed to our sponsored updates, marketing decision makers were:

  • 50% more likely to agree or strongly agree that “Adobe is shaping the future of digital marketing”
  • 79% more likely to agree or strongly agree that “Adobe can help me optimize my media spend”
  • 2.5x more likely to agree or strongly agree that Adobe’s Sponsored Updates “captured their attention”

Mission accomplished.

Instagram’s all grown up, with the introduction of Photos of You and video

The changes are coming thick and fast for Instagram. Hot on the heels of their recently added Photos of You feature, which was a very welcome update for brands, they have now added video.

So what are the updates?

redbull_ig_tagPhotos Of You

Brands on Instagram were previously missing out on an abundance of engagement and Reach opportunities that are now being fulfilled by Photos Of You. This new feature finally enables users to tag brands, people or products in their Instagram photos, so users can tag the establishment they’ve taken the photo in or tag the product they are photographing.

Instagram Video

Instagram video has sprung onto the scene as a competitor to Twitter’s Vine. Like Vine, it allows short videos to be filmed and uploaded but Instagram’s version allows fifteen seconds of film rather than Vine’s six and it does not include the famous Vine looping action.

How does it work?

Photos Of You

Photos of You works in the same way that Facebook allow you to tag your friends in your photographs. For example, when a user takes a photo of their Starbucks coffee they’re enjoying with their best friend, they can tag both their best friend and Starbucks in that photo. The photo will then appear in their best friends’ and the brands’ ‘Photos of You’ section.

Instagram Video

When a user taps the camera icon, they will now be given the option of video. They will have to hold their finger on the screen to record continuously and there’s the option of tapping the screen to auto-focus on a specific spot. It also of course, includes the option to use Instagram’s handy filters to make the videos look extra special.

What does this mean for brands?

Ultimately both updates are a positive change for brands.starbucks_ig_vid

Video will allow brands to create great new content using Instagram’s filters and with fifteen seconds allowed, it gives brands more of a chance to get a complete message across. For those brands that would prefer to keep their platform management to a minimum, it means they can at least upload both photo and video to the same platform now.

Photos Of You allows them to tap into the rich user generated content which is probably already on the platform but not yet attributed to their brand, venue or products.

It’s a way to curate content and ensure that your brand name or products are being seen and given credit, thereby increasing your opportunities for engagement and your reach.

However, the update will mean that extra moderation time is required, as it can (and most likely will) result in your brand being tagged in inappropriate photos.

Extra moderation! What’s a brand to do?!ig_tag

First, change your settings so the only photos that appear in your Photos of You tab have been manually approved. This will allow you to keep control of the content related to your brand.

  • Go to your profile page,
  • Select the new Photos Of You button
  • Click settings in the top right and check ‘Add Manually’

Alternatively you can keep the setting as ‘automatic’ (the default) and use ‘untag’ to remove your brand name from inappropriate content.ig_tag_2

  • Go to your profile page,
  • Select the new Photos of you button
  • Click on the photo you wish to view
  • Select the ‘more’ option at the bottom of the photo (the ‘…’)
  • Select Photo Options
  • You can then choose to ‘Hide From My Profile’ OR..
  • To delete the tag completely, choose ‘More Options’
  • Select ‘Remove Me From Photo’
  • You also have the option to ‘Report Inappropriate’

What else?

The photos you approve will now appear in Photo of You, so it has become a useful tool to curate great user generated content. This is particularly useful for brands who already receive a lot of UGC (e.g. Benefit cosmetics) and for those who want to start encouraging it.

It doesn’t appear that this tagging function is available yet for video content so we’ll watch that space to see if this updated.

Want to get creative?

Photo contests and CTA’s are already part of the Instagram landscape but until this point they’ve relied on hashtags. Photos Of You now offers the option of Fans also tagging your brand in the post. Not only does this mean that brands benefit from an influx of great UGC but it also ensures other users can find your genuine account and may choose to follow you too.

Ways to encourage UGC can now be part of your marketing plan. It also enables brands who run several accounts, to tag each other in their posts.

Your marketing plans should now include ways to encourage Instagram tagging Photos of You. Check out some examples of how other brands are already using this feature: