Written with Widen’s Jake Athey.
ADOTAS – Between the Twitter redesign, the expansion of functionality on Google+, YouTube’s XBox app launch, LinkedIn’s IPO and (perhaps most notably) Facebook’s IPO, tech and marketing news has been going absolutely nuts with updates, speculation and product announcements. There’s a reason for our fascination with just about anything social: These platforms have become so important to the way we communicate with one another in our personal relationships, we’re conscious of the fact that just about any change affects our daily lives.
Of course, for some of us, this informs another fascination with social. We know how important those platforms have become to our personal relationships, so it’s easy for us to see their value in the professional and marketing spheres.
Social media: Its Role in Social and Its Productivity Drawbacks
By now, the conventional wisdom is that social network marketing is too important to ignore. What isn’t quite common knowledge is how it should be done. With so many networks that offer so many different means of publishing, sharing, data mining and other tools, it can be hard to get a handle on how social media can be made a part of meeting your organization’s unique needs.
As in anything else, though, you want to make sure that you execute your social media strategy in as efficient a way as possible. This can be tricky because of the disparities in file upload parameters, metadata entry and content length restrictions that exist across even just the four networks mentioned at the beginning of this article. Those differences make the process of updating your message in multiple spaces a slow and cumbersome one — especially if you’re concerned with maintaining brand consistency.
Perhaps the clunkiest, most time-consuming part of social media marketing is managing digital assets (images, videos, documents, etc.) and adapting them to meet your needs in each of your social marketing channels. This is especially true for organizations that share access to a central repository of digital assets. In many cases, the steps taken to publish a simple photo on Facebook (for example) look like this:
1. Download your photo or request it from a gatekeeper in design or marketing.
2. Open the photo and save a new version for editing.
3. Adjust the image size, resolution and crop to account for Facebook’s interface, and save this new version of the asset.
4. Upload to Facebook.
5. Add a description, location data, tags and other metadata.
This process can get even lengthier if you’re sharing video, audio, slide shows and other media. Think about how active your brand is (or would like to be) on Facebook. Consider the number of posts you see your brand making on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and think about how quickly minutes consumed in the process I just described can turn into hours. Days, even.
There’s a better way, and it’s called digital asset management software.
How DAM Software Can Streamline Your Social Marketing
Increasingly, providers of DAM software (whether it’s open-source, Software-as-a-Service, installed or any other form) understand that the line between the management and publishing of digital assets is getting blurrier each day.
One Digital Asset Library to Feed All Multi-Channel Publishing Needs
Your DAM system should make it easier to publish and share assets on multiple platforms from a central location. For example, the latest release of the Widen Media Collective digital asset management system includes enhancements to its embed link technology and the release of all new social publishing features. Now, your web-based DAM software becomes a digital media publishing solution too.
Any DAM system worth considering will also enable you to do on-the-fly file conversions, which is a critical function for any organization concerned with maintaining message consistency and version control. You only need to maintain and keep track of one file and anyone can get the right format for the job, on-demand. The tremendous time savings and efficiencies created called for much love by the marketing and graphic design teams. No more time spent searching for assets and fulfilling manual requests. You simply empower your teams to help themselves (with peace of mind, that control is built in).
Worthwhile DAM software allows for even greater marketing efficiency and consistency with embed links for images, videos, audio and PDF files. Digital asset embed links mean you only need to keep and maintain one master version (in your DAM system), and your file can be embedded in your website, blog and other online spaces. Your embedded files live in the cloud, which removes the concern over bandwidth and storage limitations imposed by those platforms. Even better, any time you update the file, it’s automatically pulling from the latest and greatest version. Recently released security features foster greater control over embedded assets after they expire. This single source of brand and identity media gets the web team on board with DAM since they don’t have to maintain separate libraries.
Why Central Asset Management and Publishing Means More Focused Marketing
Perhaps the biggest benefit of bringing digital asset management into your social media workflow is that it frees you and your team up to capitalize on the real value of social: meaningful engagement with your audience. The real potential of social lies not in its
publishing functions, but in comments, “likes” and other means of getting feedback from your followers and fans.
Not having to worry as much about file conversions and version control for your publishing means that you can devote more time to innovating with your messaging and making your organization more responsive to the concerns, questions and interests of the people you’re trying to reach.