Social media management is not a one-person game. But even if you’re five, 10, or 20 in a team, it’s challenging to get everyone on the same page. Worse, more members don’t automatically mean everything will work out perfectly. Unwanted errors, missed deadlines, or wrongly-timed posts might still happen. Fortunately, that’s where the power of an approval workflow process comes in.
“What is that, and how does it work?” you’re probably asking.
Let’s run through a quick example to explain this a little more. Let’s say that you have an assistant who creates your posts. Your team can set up your account with your social media management tool so that once that person is done, they move the work to you (or whoever) for approval. And once you’ve approved, you can move it to your manager for final approval.
Essentially, this ensures that all posts are properly checked and reviewed, edited, scheduled, and published just as planned. This also helps everyone work more efficiently, stay on the same page, and do their part.
Why an Approval Workflow Process is a Good Thing
“Too many cooks in the kitchen,” you might be saying. Doesn’t it make more sense to have one person take ownership of the whole process? Maybe… but maybe not.
Here’s why it’s in your best interest to have an approval workflow process, and how it can help your agency or SMB better manage your social media content.
It minimizes errors and keeps things secure.
With an approval workflow process, your team can double-check the content as it goes through their stage.
And if you have new members, you can limit their access to the platforms. This helps avoid accidental posting or scheduling of unapproved content, especially if they’re not yet familiar with your guidelines.
You can also set the password sharing for each approval stage, so only relevant members who need to see that particular content can access it.
Essentially, an approval workflow process limits potential mistakes like broken links, mistimed posts, or off-brand tweets because you can catch and correct them as they come.
It promotes accountability and collaboration.
Having a workflow approval process outlines each member’s tasks, so you’ll know who’s responsible for every step. This means that you’ll know who to approach right away, saving you more time and effort. It also allows you to see how each member contributes to your social media efforts.
Likewise, it keeps everyone on-track knowing that someone else is expecting to see and check their work. It’s a simple way to keep everyone accountable and also track down who is making mistakes, should the problem arise. You no longer need to sift through emails or waste valuable time on in-person meetings trying to figure out who did what.
It boosts overall efficiency and productivity.
In addition to knowing who to approach for specific issues and staying on schedule, an approval workflow process saves you so much time because you can do the checks, approval, and posting all from one platform. This means that you won’t have to manually loop in and out your members in emails or go back and forth via different networks – which negatively affects your workflow efficiency.
Having all the important tasks in one place streamlines the work, increases productivity, and gives you more time. Plus, the work that you produce will be of a higher quality. It’s a win-win.
How to Create a Workflow Approval Process
Now that you know the benefits of a workflow approval process, here’s how you can create one that you fits your business’s (or clients’) needs.
Set your goals and expectations.
Similar to your social media strategy, start by setting smart goals.
What are you trying to do on social? What platforms can help you achieve these goals? Where and when should you post? And how many posts should you create? Who does what and who’s responsible in case issues come up?
It’s also essential to share expectations with your members. This should include discussions on what kind of language, theme, or tone to use; what emojis and hashtags are appropriate; or what color scheme, filters, or fonts to apply.
Make sure that all goals and expectations are clear among your team so that you create high-quality, on-brand content at all times.
Determine each member’s roles/tasks.
To have an effective approval process, it’s important to identify key members and their specific job in the workflow.
It differs depending on the size of your company, but most often it should involve the individuals who will:
- Create and schedule the content.
- Edit and proofread.
- Schedule and publish.
- Make revisions, if needed.
Others may include any freelancers/consultants working with the brand, c-level executives, or members from other departments.
Basically, not everyone needs to know what the others are doing, so decide as a team who needs to see, review, and approve the content prior to publishing.
Establish clear timelines and deadlines.
It’s vital to have a specific schedule that all members stick to. Plus, to produce high-quality content, you need to give yourself and your team sufficient time to work on it. Thus, early on, you must set the timelines and deadlines for each task.
For example, how long will the content creators take to make a certain number of posts? How many days is editing, revising, approving, and scheduling? Remember, when setting timelines, consider people’s current workloads, the volume of content expected to be produced, and the kind of posts to be created. For example, if you’re going to need graphics for posts, that extra time needed should be taken into consideration.
Similarly, set regular deadlines that everyone becomes accountable to deliver their output on time. As a best practice, aim to have posts for a certain month finalized a full month before they’re set to go live. For instance, for August, creators must submit on the 10th of July, editors on the 15th, and approvers on the 20th, so everything is scheduled by the 25th.
Having timelines and deadlines in place will leave more room for adjustments (just in case!) and less room for errors. Flying by the seat of your pants and doing everything last-minute will inevitably lead to errors. Become a planner. Your digital marketing will benefit as a result of it.
Prepare your style guide and social media calendar.
The more members involved, the more moving parts there are. This means there’s a higher chance of something getting “lost in translation” down the line.
This is where the magic of style guides and social media calendars come in. A style guide outlines your brand’s voice, tone, and values – essentially what you’re all about – that members can refer to at any time.
On the other hand, a calendar enables you to plan your content in advance so you can avoid duplicate posts, work efficiently, and collaborate easily. Here you can also input the deadlines you’ve established with your members.
Having these ready will help you manage your social media easier and streamline the approval processes.
Monitor and share feedback.
Social media is not a “set it and forget about it” kind of marketing. And with a workflow approval process in place, you’ll get a close view of where everyone is on their respective tasks.
For you to effectively manage things, make sure to monitor your team’s efforts, review analytics (of previous posts), and make the necessary changes. It’s also important to engage with your members so you’ll know how the process was from their end. You can additionally share insights among yourselves on where improvements can be made to ensure that your approval process always works best for everyone.
Just like how it’s vital to keep track of your metrics, it’s also important to stay on top of your team’s progress. And keep in mind that processes can change over time, so be open and ready to do so. (Thankfully, with a tool like e-clincher, you can easily update your workflow approval process as you need to swap in and out certain team members.
The Bottom Line
With a well-planned social media workflow approval process, you can minimize errors, improve your members’ accountability and collaboration, unify your branding, and boost productivity – all geared toward producing high-quality, relevant, and valuable content for your audience.
However, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What may work really well for others may not be the same for you. Or what may bring excellent results to one campaign might not do the same for others. That’s why it’s important that you constantly keep an eye on your social media efforts.
Using a Post Approval Workflow With e-clincher
Luckily, with e-clincher, you can create a workflow approval process that helps ensure your posts are up to par at all times. After setting goals and expectations with your team, you can begin to assign the tasks, schedule deadlines, integrate with your social media calendar, and monitor accordingly – all under one roof!
Plus, because you can create and then automate the process, you don’t have to worry about managing the workflow manually. It’s just one more opportunity to customize and personalize your social media management so that it makes the most sense for your company.
Not all social media management tools incorporate their own workflow approval processes. But we know how important it is to be able to create a collaborative approach for your team. That’s why e-clincher is proud to offer this feature. Our post approval workflow allows you to edit, comment, reject, and approve social media posts. You can even add external users (read: clients) to the flow with a dedicated external URL. Talk about a collaboration!
Ready to take your business to new heights? We are your one-stop-shop for all things social media marketing. Our goal with e-clincher is to make your social media marketing tasks simpler and easier than ever. We integrate with other platforms like Canva, Google Analytics, and Google My Business. Plus, we don’t just try to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advances. We’re always one step ahead of the game, our finger always on the pulse, anticipating changes before they happen.
The time to take action is now. Try it out for yourself and see what everyone’s talking about. Sign up for e-clincher’s free trial today.