On Thursday 6th September Adobe held their annual Digital Marketing Symposium showcasing their social and search engine marketing suite. With a host of keynote speakers including Matt Langie, Director of Product Marketing and Aseem Chandra VP of Product Marketing alongside speakers from Life Technologies and Caesars Entertainment.

The theme of the symposium was moving forward in digital marketing most specifically using big data for marketing. This means not just gauging metrics through followers and likes because as was said and emphasized during the symposium “Followers are not a metric”. It’s not enough to tell CEO’s of companies that you have reached x amount of followers even if it’s in the millions, what’s important now is to continue to gather data such as followers and likes but to find out what it’s doing for your business.

As Time Warner executives bounced around in excitement as Bruno Marks approached 4 Million likes on Facebook a top level executive asked “So, what? What does this mean for business?”. The likes will be beneficial for increasing the sales of the business. There can be buying of the instant instagram views and likes over the post of the business.

The focus for your business now should be monitoring statistics such as followers and likes but the next step is to use that information to gain insights into how customers relate to your business. How are they using social and how can you leverage it to increase your company’s revenue?

There are a wide variety of enterprise analytics programs out there but Adobe has managed to integrate social and search engine marketing analytics together in a way that integrates all the analysis and data for you in a centralized professional way. Using Adobe Site Catalyst, AdLens and Adobe Social you can manage your campaigns from the same dashboard and even post from the dashboard whether it be blogs, Facebook posts or interactive pages. The biggest benefit of managing information for your websites and social media outlets from a centralized platform is instant analytics integration for your posts, blogs and pages. As you post through the Adobe interface it automatically tracks your post to measure statistics such as increased likes and more importantly conversions.

As more organizations enter the social sphere upper management and accounting will start asking more questions about the ROI of social media marketing and as the marketing and communications departments you will need to provide answers. You need to not only be able to measure statistics but incorporate that into data insights that are valuable for your organization. Virgin Airways were able to increase online bookings 15% after adding a “Like” button to their pages. That’s a metric accounting and CEO’s can relate to. Social media needs to be monetarily tangible to them or it’s merely seen as a cost for the company.

Social media and search engine marketing are more important than ever in business because whether high levels of your organization respect or agree with the use of it as being valuable for the business, customers expect it! If you’re interested in a company, brand or product it’s normal to assume that they have a social media presence and if they don’t you might be tempted to look elsewhere. There’s no single measurement of your ROI when it comes to social media it’s far too complicated for that and will continue to be so. By using software suites such as Adobe Site Catalyst and AdLens you can strengthen your chances of understanding the metrics and gaining insights for your business and strengthening the relationships between departments within your business.

The Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium was an incredibly informative event and opened the mind to what the future holds for digital marketers and social media for businesses.