There might be no better way to illustrate how important social media is to marketing than the attention that’s been paid to Facebook Pages’ transition to the Timeline format. For better or worse, it’s hard to hear this talked about by professional communicators without getting the sense that the world is being turned upside-down.

The same thing happens any time there’s something sufficiently “new” in social. People freaked when Twitter revamped its layout. They scrambled when YouTube rolled out its new UI. 

For those of us in digital asset management (a core tool for many marketers), all the buzz around these products necessarily begs the question, "Where does social fit in DAM?"

Social Publishing for DAM

For some time now, we’ve been conscious of the fact that the deep penetration of social media into our lives -- how we communicate, how we remember things, how we do business, how we inform ourselves, etc. -- means that virtually everyone is a publisher.

If your brand is on social media, there isn’t any reason why you should exercise less control over the way you’re represented in these channels than you do in, say, television or print advertising. 

So if we agree that DAM systems are built to help you ensure brand consistency, the goal should be to put as few steps as possible between having an asset in the DAM software and its being published in a social network. That eliminates redundancies and helps make your DAM software an even more powerful tool for managing your brand across multiple channels.

A number of DAM vendors have begun to build social publishing into their offerings.

Navigating Social Networks

Regardless of whether your organization is working with digital asset management software that enables you to push assets out to multiple social networks, there are things that you should be taking into consideration when it comes to social.

For example:

  1. Even if you’re a star, you should make time to be a spectator. Often, brands put all of their social marketing time into publishing. While generating and sharing content is important because it gives people a reason to connect with your brand, you can get just as much out of monitoring social media for discussions where you can contribute or glean insights.
  2. Every network calls for different design standards. There are certain aspects of each platform’s UI that make it worthwhile to put a little time into optimizing your images and other media. For instance, Facebook’s “Cover Photo” space is 850 pixels wide by 315 pixels high. That’s great real estate, but those dimensions aren’t likely to work for much outside of Facebook. The right DAM system can help you keep track of these sorts of things and make sure your branding is always capitalizing on what social tools have to offer.
  3. You don’t need to be on every platform, but you do need to understand them all. Being in every social space doesn’t make any more (or less) sense than marketing on every TV network, reaching out to every demographic or placing ads in every magazine. You should take time to keep up with developments on all platforms -- their UI updates, the kinds of discussion that they foster and the flexibility they give your messaging.
  4. This will not be the last wave of change. The rest of your systems should be able to keep up. The social networking space is a cutting-edge one, where innovation trumps convention and advancement always beats out familiarity. Just look at all the groups, polls and pages that spring up in protest of every major Facebook update. It’s important that the systems you use in your social workflows do not hold you back in your efforts to adapt to all that social networking change.

Perhaps the best way to get a sense for where you can make changes is to examine the process of producing and sharing your most typical social media content.

Do your people spend much time on downloads and uploads for assets they share? How much time is spent making adjustments to images (like file format conversion, for instance)?

Once you have a handle on that sort of thing, you’ll be in a much better position to understand how DAM can and should fit into your social media workflows. 

Editor's Note -- you may also be interested in: