Social media mistakes happen – but they don't have to. Setting up an efficient social media approval workflow reduces the risk of publication errors. The risk of sending non-branded or low quality content also decreases.
Maybe it happened to you. You notice a spelling error after sending a tweet. Or you may be called on Facebook for an embarrassing grammatical typo. Oops.
With an approval process for social media content, all content is reviewed, edited and approved by selected team members before publication.
This article describes:
- The benefits of creating a social media approval workflow.
- How to create a workflow that is efficient for your team.
- Some examples of social media approval tools and social media approval apps.
Bonus: get one free, customizable template for a social media style guide to easily ensure a unified appearance, voice and tone across all of your social channels.
4 advantages of creating a social media approval process
You spend a lot of time making a Social media marketing strategy That works for your brand. When created efficiently, a social media approval workflow helps maintain the quality of content that your brand publishes on their social channels.
With a social media approval process, you can:
Make sure social media content is polished and consistent
A social media approval process assigns certain team members to specific tasks. One of these tasks in the workflow process is to edit content before it is published.
The employee who is responsible for editing and approving content ensures that everything is correct, in-brand and brand-compliant Social media guidelines before it goes live.
There are basically additional pairs of eyes that check the content to ensure that mistakes or off-brand posts don't slip through the cracks.
Monitor the work of new hires
It takes time for new employees to become familiar with your brand Social media policy. As new employees learn, a social media approval workflow can restrict who publishes content to go live.
For example, using social media approval software can limit an intern's or new employee's access to social media platforms and limit accidental posting or scheduling. New hires can continue to work on social media content. However, this process reduces the risk of posting anything that violates company policies, is incorrect, or simply does not fit the style of the brand.
Limit password sharing
For large teams, password sharing can become a security issue. For third-party companies that work on social media, customer approval is required before publication.
Once an approval workflow is in place, you can restrict password sharing to team members who approve content in the final phase of the process.
Promote collaboration in an efficient way
Constant loops in your entire team – plus several stakeholders – affect efficiency, slow down the workflow and can affect your team Calendar for social media content. An approval workflow streamlines the process and increases productivity.
This is because in an approval process for social media content, the roles of employees are clearly outlined. When certain requirements arise, employees know who is responsible for each step of the process. This means that employees can work together directly and efficiently. Not everyone has to see everything at every step.
An approval workflow also helps employees keep to the schedule. It prevents content from being built up, forgotten or not published. That said, it is more difficult to forget to post when someone other than you expects it. Hooray deadline accountability!
How to create a social media approval process
Follow these steps to create an approval process that works for your entire social media team.
Step 1: Know how an approval process is linked to your social media strategy
While your social media strategy is likely to grow as your brand grows, you should know your short-term social media goals and how you will achieve them.
- Learn what a standard social media week looks like for your brand. Which social platforms do you use and how many posts do you create?
- Know what your brand wants to achieve through social media. And do all employees who work on social media understand these goals?
- Know what happens when an error falls through the cracks. Who is responsible for tracking problems?
Step 2: Clarify who is involved and what role everyone plays
In order to make the workflow for social media content as efficient as possible, only the core team has to work actively on the social media presence of your brand. Then trust these team members to do what they do best!
Which employees are involved – and how many employees are involved – depends on the size of your company. First, learn how to organize your teams and the social networks your brand uses.
For example, you should know:
- Who creates and plans social media content?
- Who edits content to maintain quality
- Who approves and publishes content
In a medium-sized company, the approval process can include the following employees:
The work of these employees comes first in a social media approval process.
Social media content creator
These are the employees who research ideas for new content, write content, fill the content calendar and identify gaps. You may also be responsible for scheduling content based on ideal days and times Social media analytics.
Social media designer
The social media designers will work with the authors on accompanying images or graphics.
Social media video editors
When videos are needed on social media, these people are brought in to work with content creators and designers.
After the content is created, the approval process is moved up the corporate hierarchy. These employees are responsible for ensuring that content is published in good time, that the backlog of content is prevented and that content is edited for quality.
Social media editor
This employee's role could be to edit posts and ensure that all content is error-free and brand-related. You can also communicate change requests with the creators.
Manager for social media managers
This representative may approve content and ensure that everything goes live at the right time.
The social media editor and social media manager may also have better access through the social media approval tool you use or the social media approval app you use.
In Hootsuite, for example, authorization settings can be controlled and restricted. You can restrict content creator access so that only editors and managers can publish content. This prevents content from accidentally going live before it's approved.
It also streamlines the workflow process. With Hootsuite, users can edit an approval workflow so employees can easily keep track of when their input is needed and when their task is complete.
Step 3: outline your brand's content expectations
What type of content does your brand publish? What language does your brand use? Is your brand's tone playful and fun? Or informative and serious? How do you feel about hashtags and emojis? All of this must be considered to ensure that your brand's social media content is consistent, high quality and always brand-related.
Make sure your company has one created a style guide for his employees. This is a detailed document that describes how your social media is presented. It can include everything from sound and writing style to brand colors, photo usage and font.
Step 4: Set a timeline from creation to release
Take enough time to write, edit and plan this high quality content!
Determine how long it takes the creators to write much of the content. Next, determine how long it will take to edit this content, schedule it, and have it approved. Then set up a workflow timeline that seems fair based on that knowledge.
The schedule you set depends on the amount of social media content created by your brand, the size of your team, and the workload of each employee.
Step 5: Set deadlines for everyone involved in the workflow
By setting deadlines for each employee involved in the social media approval process, last minute posting and editing is avoided. This helps prevent content from being received for approval. And it helps avoid content bottlenecks.
Choose regular deadlines for everyone to adhere to in the approval process and a schedule where everyone is accountable for timely delivery.
For example, a template for the social media approval process might include:
- Creators who deliver content designed by the 15th of each month.
- The editors deliver the final content by the 20th of each month.
- Managers plan edited, high-quality content for the following month before the end of the current month.
Step 6: outline a notification process for feedback
How does the approver get a notification when the content is ready? How do the creators know if changes are required?
You may be using email, Slack notifications, or another social media approval app.
However, we should probably mention that using Hootsuite as a social media approval tool, you can set up alerts so you don't miss a message or assigned task. See below:
With Hootsuite, approvers can also give feedback on the same platform:
Step 7: integrate tools that identify problems
Integrating digital tools into your approval workflow further eliminates the possibility of human error resulting in the approval process.
Encourage your team to use tools and apps such as the following:
- grammar to help with spelling, grammar and clarity when writing.
- Canva for design support.
- BeFunky to support photo editing.
Step 8: keep track of how everything is going
Finally, take the time to think about how the process went for everyone involved in the process. Discuss where there is room for improvement.
You may first use a social media approval process template and then customize it to meet the unique needs and goals of your brand and team.
3 social media approval tools your team can use
Just as there is no template for the social media approval process that works better than another, there is no approval tool or app to choose from. Depending on the size of your team and your social media strategy, different tools may fit your needs better.
There are only four options to consider here.
With Hootsuite Enterprise, users can not only schedule social media posts for numerous social platforms, but also invite employees to teams, group employees by task, and assign tasks to specific team members. Even users can Define authorization and access settings.
Hootsuite also allows users to do this Bulk schedule up to 350 social media posts. This is ideal for brands that create a lot of content across multiple social channels.
Using Hootsuite means that every part of the workflow process can take place on the same platform. Content can all be designed, edited and approved in the Hootsuite dashboard.
This allows your team's leaders to use Hootsuite Approve contributions composed by its social media creators:
2. Google Sheets
For teams already familiar with Microsoft platforms, Google Sheets for creating, editing, and collaborating on content can be effective. Since this tool is not directly connected to your brand's social platforms, it is ideal for teams that want to restrict password sharing and access to social channels.
This tool helps organize teams in terms of collaboration. Organize tasks and color-code them in Trello's cards and boards. Assign tasks to a team member and mark your task as done when your task is done. With the "Mention" function, you know that your team member will be notified during the process.
This tool increases communication. The drag-and-drop function makes it user-friendly, visualizes the workflow process and the entire team can be informed during the approval process.
Use Hootsuite's social media approval features to ensure that none of your posts fall through the cracks again. Assign work to your teammates, get notifications when content needs to be edited, and give each other feedback – all from the same dashboard. Try it for free today.