Building your personal brand on social media: recap of Adobe MAX presentation


I had the opportunity to present at Adobe MAX this week on the topic of getting started in social media to build your personal brand. I’ve learned a lot about building my own personal brand on social over the past 3 years and my hope for this session was to share those insights with the MAX audience. My co-presenter, Chris Converse, a designer and developer, was able to bring a creative’s perspective to the discussion, delivering tips on how he’s using social media to promote his creative work along with speaking opportunities.


The core of the presentation included a methodology for getting started:

  • Find the conversation – imagine you’re looking for a party – how do you find it? We suggested using search options in the platform tools or simply Google the subject/topic you’re interested in.
  • Listen to the conversation – ok. I found the party, but I’m going to just stand against the wall and listen to what others are saying. We suggested creating Twitter lists, Google alerts, and reviewing LinkedIn Pulse to start listening.
  • Join the conversation – share your opinion or insights on a conversation already happening. This could be as simple as adding a “like” to a Facebook post or LinkedIn update or a “favorite” to a tweet. Additionally, you could comment on a blog post or share something you’ve read.
  • Lead the conversation – this is where you are telling your story. Showcasing materials you’ve created or sharing your POV on a topic.

We prepared a roadmap (PDF) for the attendees as a takeaway and to help them get started. The front is a checklist of suggested actions and the back outlines image specs for the social networks. Note: these values were current at the time of printing, however, be aware, social platforms frequently adjust their layouts.

Let us know if you have additional suggestions which can be added to the 2.0 version of the presentation.

Lori & Chris

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 —
  • 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 —


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.