Written by Anna Sonnenberg

November 7, 2019 at 7:00 am

Why You Should Create a Social Media Approval Process for Your Team

 

Are you on a social media team? Put together an approval process, and start streamlining workflows, avoiding errors, and optimizing campaigns.

Social media management takes a team—even if you only manage a handful of agency clients or collaborate with colleagues throughout your company.

If your social media team doesn’t have an approval process in place, though, you’re probably wasting valuable time, making simple mistakes, and losing out on optimizing campaigns.

Need a hand getting your team members on board with an approval workflow? Here’s how your team can benefit from creating and sticking to a social media approval process.

Skip the Endless Emails and Slack Messages

Without an established approval process, your team never really knows whether content is ready to publish on social media.

So, you’ll get looped into countless back-and-forth emails and Slack messages as you determine whether Legal still needs to OK the copy or if Design needs to rework the graphics.

When you’re ready to focus on the next campaign, you can look forward to repeating thar same clunky process again and again. And again.

And again.

However, when you have a social media approval process in place, you know where each piece of content stands at any time. No need to email or Slack your team members to find out.

To create an easy approval workflow, use a shared Google Sheets document or Airtable database with information like:

  • Publication dates
  • Website links
  • Copy
  • Graphics
  • Status
  • Who’s responsible.

Then use Agorapulse to schedule content and request approvals from the right team members.

How to use a tool for your social media approval process

Define Stakeholders and Key Roles

Not sure which of your client connections or marketing colleagues is responsible for signing off on social media posts? Then you’ll easily waste time checking in with everyone on your contact list.

That’s why an approval workflow defines the primary stakeholders and pinpoints who’s in charge of each step of the process, from creating content to giving the final OK.

As you map out an approval process for your client or organization, make it a priority to identify the following roles, and add more as necessary:

  • Content creator
  • Copy editor
  • Graphics editor
  • Marketing manager
  • Social media manager
  • Social media scheduler
  • Video editor

Streamline Team Member Feedback

When you work with a social media team, you’re likely to receive feedback regularly, from comments about the copy to questions about campaign timing.

But without an approval playbook to follow, your team members are liable to provide haphazard feedback that isn’t always helpful.

As you establish an approval process, you can streamline the feedback loop at the same time.

For example, you can assign your copy editor to respond to style and writing issues, and you can depend on your marketing manager to confirm that the social media campaign aligns with larger departmental goals.

Your team can trust that each person will handle their responsibilities, and they won’t have to waste time providing nonessential input.

Stop Creating Content at the Last Minute

If your social media team operates on the casual side of tightly scheduled, you most likely create content in the moment.

Publishing timely content right away is essential sometimes, but using this strategy as a regular mode of operation can get stressful (especially if you need to involve multiple team members in the production process).

Instead, working ahead of schedule can limit stress, offer more time for planning, and give you better perspective on campaigns.

As you create a social media approval process, you’re likely to find that your team needs to work several days or weeks in advance of your publishing schedule.

To create an approval schedule, remember to allow ample time for:

  • Video creation
  • Graphics development
  • Post writing
  • Copyediting
  • Post scheduling
  • Getting approval from your social media manager and marketing manager

Avoid Publishing Errors and Mistaken Messages

Without an approval process, you’re likely to make mistakes when you publish social media content.

Some errors might be minor, such as typos or publication times that aren’t quite right. But others might be major, causing problems for your legal team or compromising a multifaceted marketing campaign.

If it’s the latter, you might have to spend the evening editing or deleting posts or performing more in-depth crisis management.

When you stick to your approval process, you won’t have to worry quite so much about minor mistakes or major screw-ups. Because all key players on your social media team will sign off on your posts, you can rest assured that your content meets essential requirements while it contributes to bigger marketing goals.

Now, you can focus more on creating great content and less on fixing problems.

Adopt a Consistent Look and Voice

The absence of a formal approval workflow might not lead to making major mistakes every time you post. But it can cause your content to appear disjointed and confusing.

If your content doesn’t feature a consistent appearance and brand voice, your posts may not resonate with your audience, causing their impact to fall short of the mark.

An essential part of a strong social media approval process includes ensuring that copy, graphics, and tone of voice are consistent across the board.

To ensure that your social media team is on the same page, share an approved corporate or client style guide with your team members. Put it to work when content and graphics creators develop material, when copyeditors review content, and when marketing and social media managers approve posts.

Use the Right Hashtags and Mentions

When you want to improve brand awareness, increase reach, and build an online community, using hashtags and brand mentions is essential. But if you’re creating and posting content at the last minute, you may miss out on important opportunities to connect with companies and influencers or help new fans find your brand and participate in your campaigns.

Effective social media approval processes cover researching hashtags and confirming mention protocols. Try assigning the research component to your content creator and confirmation to your social media manager. That way you can ensure that every campaign you publish includes branded hashtags and key mentions for maximum impact.

View Content Before It Goes Live

If your approval workflow consists of emailing potential content ideas a day or two before publication, your clients or colleagues could be in for a big surprise when the content goes live. After all, it’s almost impossible to visualize how copy, graphics, or URLs will look on social media—especially when the only thing you have to go on is a Gmail message with a few attachments.

Preview content during your social media approval process

When your team adopts a more effective approval process, you can say goodbye to those unpleasant surprises.

Social media management tools like Agorapulse provide mockups of your content as you create it, so you can see how it will look on every platform. You’ll have ample opportunity to adjust the copy, add a new thumbnail to the video, or resize the graphic before you publish.

Confirm That Campaigns and Content Queues Are Complete

If most of your campaign ideas and social media approvals are buried in your inbox or your Slack workspace, you may struggle to confirm that your campaigns are complete.

When you combine a social media approval process with a high-powered scheduling tool, you can see each post take its place on the publishing calendar before approving campaigns.

How to view your social media campaign calendar

To take advantage of this functionality, use Agorapulse’s scheduling tool and approval feature. Once your content creator, graphics team, and copyeditor have done their jobs, upload your social media content in bulk and add it to a campaign queue. Then send each post for approval so your marketing manager or client contact can sign off. Once your campaigns are scheduled and approved, your social media team can view the entire campaign can view every post in the publishing calendar interface.

Ready to set up your team’s social media approval process? Get started by trying out Agorapulse’s collaboration features and content approval workflow.

manage my social media with a free tool Agorapulse

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Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts. 

 

Anna Sonnenberg

Anna Sonnenberg is a digital marketer who specializes in paid social strategy, social media management, content strategy, and email marketing. For over five years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the natural food and beverage industry, health and sustainability market, and travel space.

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