Adobe Social Adds Instagram, LinkedIn + Foursquare Integrations
Adobe Social now allows for annotations that can be shared instantly.

Adobe is expanding its roster of social network integrations with the additions of Instagram, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Flickr to its Adobe Social tool, part of a broader move at completely integrating its Marketing Cloud.

A Social Cloud Brings the Rain

Could Adobe be the first to break through the social layer and help companies really drive business results across Facebook, Google+ and the slew of other popular networks? It did just spend US$ 600 million on buying up marketing automation company Neolane to help round out its marketing cloud offerings, but now it has to put all the pieces together.

Because so many technology firms see dollar signs across social media, Adobe isn't the only one racing to get to the top of the social marketing cloud scape. Other recent marketing automation buys show definitively how critical a component it is in any multi channel marketing effort. Of course, we're referring to Oracle's buy of Eloqua in 2012, and the more recent Salesforce buy of ExactTarget.

Adobe has yet to close on the Neolane deal, but when it does, it plans to add it to its Marketing Cloud along with broadcast distribution system Primetime, Bill Ingram, vice president of product management, digital marketing, said in an interview.

Even though the campaign management tools have to wait for the deal to close, Adobe already has its Analytics data connected to Neolane due to an existing relationship. Adobe has agreements in place with many third party marketing systems, and Neolane was one of them, so things look good on the data side of things, Ingram said.

Other systems will only be able to dream about doing what we're capable of,"Ingram said of the nearly complete product.

Post to LinkedIn, Listen Only for Instagram + Foursqure

Starting today, Adobe Social customers will be able to post content right to LinkedIn Company Pages and owned LinkedIn Groups, and analytics from those sections will also be visible. For Instagram, Foursquare and Flickr, Adobe Social customers will be able to listen to the data coming in from those channels, but the ability to post content to them.

Adobe already has many other social networks configured in this listen only mode, but customers can post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and now LinkedIn all from within Adobe Social's new interface. That's actually quite a list of social networks. Social.com, debuted by Salesforce much more recently, only has integrations with Facebook and Twitter, and that's only for creating the ads and posting them to social networks.

Salesforce is planning on integrating some of its Radian 6 technology into Social.com, but it's not here yet. Social.com is quite a bit less expensive, however, with a US$ 500 minimum monthly investment. Adobe Social generally sees deals in the US$ 35,000 to US$ 50,000 per year range, Ingram said, though they can sometimes go into the millions.

Pricing is based on traffic amounts, and there is one tier for small and medium sized businesses and one for the enterprise level. 

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Single Sign On, Creative Cloud Integration

Before Adobe fully integrates its entire Marketing Cloud, it is initiating a single sign on across all five segments. Adobe Target, Analytics, Experience Manager, Media Optimizer and Social all can now be signed into from the Marketing Cloud, and Social is the first to enjoy other updates that will eventually roll out to the other sections.

Specifically, content can be added to the Marketing Cloud dashboard, and once there it lives in what Adobe calls Boards. The Boards can then be sent to whichever segment needs to have access to it. Social is the first to be able to use this feature, and Target will be the next to roll out, Ingram said. By the end of the year, Analytics should be in there as well.

The ultimate goal here is for Adobe to be able to plug its creative tools right into the marketing tools, and that way anything created in Illustrator, for example, can be sent right into Social. The real benefit there will be in being able to pass along any metadata associated with that creative content right into the marketing tools, Ingram said.

One other feature is included in this update, and that is a predictive publishing tool that can automatically generate suggestions on what is the best time of day to publish content. In the past, social publishing data could be tracked, and the best time of day to post figured out, but now Social will actually suggest that information.

Adobe has over 150 Social customers, and they tend to be concentrated in areas like finance, retail, technology and even automotive, Ingram said. Adobe sure seems like it is the company to beat in the digital marketing space from what we've been hearing in 2013, and social media certainly has a place within that. By the time the rest of Adobe's Marketing Cloud tools are completely integrated, perhaps we'll know a bit more about how the Neolane integration is going.