Lauren Friedman is Head of Social Business Enablement at Adobe. She runs Adobe’s enablement infrastructure programs to establish integrated social media strategies that empower business functions, ultimately elevating Adobe as a social business. In this role, Lauren infuses social media into every aspect of the way Adobe does business.

Adobe is a technology leader. Most people know about Photoshop and the Adobe Marketing Cloud, but they may not be aware of the full breadth of their solutions. The company provides everything needed to design exceptional digital experiences.

Lauren has developed Adobe’s global social media training program including several courses to help employees use social media to achieve their business objectives. This includes courses such as Social Selling, Social for Product Management, Social for Talent Acquisition, etc. Her team also leads the Employee Advocacy program at Adobe where they work to enable all employees to use social media personally and professionally.


Image source: Adobe

Adobe Integrates Social Across the Business

Lauren is tasked with integrating social media across the business, not just in marketing. Adobe’s goal is to be the most social company in the world! They’re working towards this goal from the inside out by focusing on their employees. The importance of integrating social through the business is to focus on concrete business results.

The global social media training for Adobe’s employees started in 2014. Before that time they had a small Center of Excellence that consisted of three people working with social media. Their social media training began as a brief in-person, two-hour session. It revealed the basics of using social as an Adobe employee, and how to protect themselves, the brand, and their customers. After training over 2,500 employees, Adobe realized that many others wanted to get more involved with social. This realization led to an evolution in the focus of their training.

Adobe’s Social Media Model

Adobe uses a hub and spoke model. The Social Media Center of Excellence is at the center and supports social media practitioners across the organization in Sales, HR, IT, etc. Lauren’s team guides these departments on governance, innovation, and enablement.

Governance for Adobe is all about compliance and using the right tools. To support the organization in innovation, the Center of Excellence assists with pilot programs and showing how to measure results. The Enablement spoke of Adobe’s social media model helps with industry insights across the social universe. Their employees are provided social media training, some of which is customized. As an extension of the training, Adobe has their employee advocacy program.

Employee Advocacy at Adobe

Two and a half years ago their employee advocacy program was developed and tested as a small pilot. Once employees complete the Social Shift Training program, Adobe’s basic social media training, they are given access to the employee advocacy program on an opt-in basis. Adobe uses Everyone Social to share different streams of content. About 20% is Adobe’s content, and 80% is third party content. Sharing this material helps Adobe’s employees to build their personal brands.


Image source: Adobe

Executive Support and Proving ROI

Initially, Adobe executives were somewhat nervous about integrating social media across the business, but they recognized the potential. Marketing, sales and key stakeholders are all proponents of social media today. Lauren recommends starting with a leader who has bought into social media and creating a small pilot to prove value. This will allow you to collect testimonials, metrics, and proof of the impact social media usage can have on that area of the business.

When measuring ROI Adobe looks to the number of employees that attend training and how many associate with Adobe online. They review what content is being shared to gauge interest for the future and track leads that come from social selling. Other metrics also exist that are relative to various business programs.

In their employee advocacy program, Lauren’s team tracks the amount of content being shared and which content generates site visits. They also track overall impressions which reveal that their employees’ reach is larger than the branded channels. Adobe’s brand receives over 63,000 mentions on social media each day. Their employees are empowered to respond to any questions they feel qualified to answer to create a better customer experience and help to scale customer service.

Our social enabling program evolved because our employees wanted to get more involved.

“Our #social enabling program evolved because our employees wanted to get more involved.” @Lauren_Hannah #sbeshow
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Challenges to Integrating Social Enterprise-Wide

The hands on one-on-one coaching is a common challenge that Adobe faces in integrating social across the enterprise. They’re looking to make their training more virtual while staying focused on the employee’s’ experiences. Another challenge Lauren points out is the need for employees to make social media a habit so that it’s a natural part of their daily lives.

Tune into the podcast to hear how one of Adobe’s employees used social selling to find a common thread, an interest in Game of Thrones, to connect with a prospect. You’ll also hear Lauren’s take on what’s next in Adobe’s social business journey.

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