Social Media Approval Workflow for Agencies: A Step-by-Step Guide
Have you been emailing clients back and forth to get the social media designs approved?
Does your client use texts and emails to give feedback on your social media content?
If you can relate to this, then your mind is about to be blown away.
Let’s admit that when your client doesn’t feel ecstatic about social media designs you spend hours on, it does hurt a little, but what’s even more painful is the time span it takes to get it approved.
If that seems familiar to you, then you have to keep reading this article. No wonder you clicked-through this article and want to get something out of it.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m neither saying you hate your job nor you’re bad at this. All I’m saying is that your process of doing the job is perhaps worrisome, which is good news.
Gone are the days when:
- It took almost 24 hours for the client to respond to your emails
- The desktop was filled with various versions of the same social media post
- The client didn’t like a word in the copy of the social media post, and it disturbed everything
- You and the client spoke on Skype for hours just to ensure that you get what the client wants
Now software-as-a-service (SAAS) technology has enabled so much. What it means is that now web-based software is getting popularity, as well as desktop versions of the software, are going online with their web-based interfaces.
If you want to up your social media approval game, you must come up with a fast, efficient system that makes multiple processes seamless.
Let me breakdown the whole concept of the social media approval process in four points:
Define the Roles
First things first, you have to make your process understandable for everyone. Therefore, begin with defining the roles for everyone –– it may include your graphics designer, social media manager, and the client.
What defining the roles would do is that it would allow everyone involved in the content creation to get in the loop, which would make the process seamless.
The process, however, is the same for digital marketing sole proprietors and digital marketing agencies. It doesn’t matter what business model are you in because it could turn things around for you, anyway.
Here’s how you can define the roles for social media approval workflow:
Content Creator – Writer or Graphics designer or Podcaster
Manager – Social media manager
Approver – Client or Employer
So, apparently, there are three essential roles that most social media approval workflows require. Feel free to make changes however you want.
Content Creators: Responsible for designing, writing, or producing content
The social media marketing workflow begins with content creation. Therefore, the content creator initiates the process. Although, the content creator may also require the input of others such as social media manager or the client.
Managers: Responsible for communicating, scheduling, and setting social campaigns
Most social media managers are the ones who collaborate with content creators on board, get the social media content designed or written, and get it approved by the client. Their role is essential in creating effective communication between the agency and the client.
Approvers: Responsible for going through the content, and then approve or reject it
Approvers could be anyone in charge of the campaign — they could be the CEO of the agency or the client itself. The approvers are the ones who have the final say on the pieces of content that are being created and put forth.
The idea behind “defining the roles” is that before getting started with social media approval workflow, it’s essential for an agency to sort things out. Meaning, there shouldn’t be chaos about who would do what part of the job. Once the roles are defined, it’ll be easier to move ahead.
Invite Team on Board
The second most important thing to consider while creating a social media approval workflow is the team members to collaborate. Once you have the right people on board with you, things get easier.
Inviting team members on board isn’t as simple as it may look like. There are certain things you must contemplate before bringing someone on board, for example:
- Does your team aware of the company’s goal? When everyone on board isn’t sure what a company is trying to accomplish, it gets difficult to achieve collective goals.
- Have you chosen the best people to be a part of the approval workflow? Choose the best people among your team who understand not your company’s culture, but also good at social media activities.
- Has your team ever used any social media management tool? If they haven’t had a chance to look at any SAAS tool inside out, then give them a few days to get familiar with the tool.
- How does your team collaborate before today? Are they familiar with any task management tool like Asana, Trello, or TaskQue?
Once everything seems crystal clear on the selection of prospective team members that would come on board, you’re good to go. It’s essential to have the right person for the job available at your disposal. What good are they going to do if they aren’t on board when you need them the most?
Furthermore, make your social media approval process come to life by developing an approval workflow system in place.
In other words, you have to build this approval workflow on a robust, easy-to-understand online platform that it’s accessible online by remote users around the world.
ContentStudio comes in handy in this situation. It’s a social media management tool that helps individuals and brands schedule, post, and approve content through seamless cooperation between the multiple parties. You’ll read about the procedure of developing an approval workflow later in this article.
Isn’t it great that you can develop your social media approval workflow right in a social media management tool? It means there would be no rushing back and forth to showcase your content and get approved by the clients. Instead, your client could be a part of the social media content development system and approve or reject the content right from the tool.
Educate Members on the Workflow
When you’re an agency, not only do you focus on educating your employees but sometimes, you also need to present some reports or guidelines to your clients too. The social media approval workflow is one of those things that you might want to educate your team members on board as well as your clients to get familiar with the system.
It gets more interesting because just inviting team members or the clients on board in your social media approval workflow isn’t enough — some of them might not be tech-savvy. So what you need to figure out is how you can educate them so that they could keep up.
As we discussed that we must lookout for an efficient yet fast social media approval process, it’s also necessary to educate the team members so that everyone is actually on board.
Social Media Workflows often can be enhanced using automated workflows between your Project Management App, Chat Collaboration App, and social channels. Automate.io lets you connect Facebook Leads to Gmail, Google Sheets and 100+ other apps so you can create automated workflows and spend time on strategy rather than manual work.
Here are a few ways you can educate your team members on the workflow:
- Write in-depth tutorials on the workflow process and forward them to your team members
- Make various short video guides of every process and upload to YouTube
- Use a screen recording tool and record the approval process in the video form
- Host a webinar or a Zoom call with your team members or the clients to elaborate on the process
This shouldn’t be difficult because the ContentStudio has made this social media approval workflow flawless and easy-to-setup. You’ll read a step-by-step guide after point#4.
Analyze and Improve
Performance analysis is compulsory for great results. You don’t have to do something fancy to analyze how effective this social media approval workflow has been. All you need is to go a few things to analyze what you have been doing good and what needs to be improved in the future.
- Go through the social media statistics from the time you started off social medial approval process and see if there is a spike in the engagement, attention, and mentions on social media. Normally, social media agencies have access to their customers’ social media accounts for publishing content as well as running ads.
- Analyze the lead generation and conversion rate through social media channels and notice if there is a difference once the approval system came in place. If the graph is upward, then you’re all set, but in case, if it’s going down, then you need to figure out what needs to be changed. Maybe, you need to make changes in the areas such as content strategy, time of posting on social media, or frequency of posts on social.
- Create a survey for approval workflow members to see whether they’re happy with the way things are going. Sometimes, clients or team members don’t put forth what’s inside their mind and spit it out when you ask them. So it’s essential to survey the team members to find out what they think of the approval workflow; it’ll be good for the synergy of the process.
Once you pay close attention to these four points, you’ll be off to a good start with your social media approval workflow.
Before you take a look at the step-by-step guide on the social media approval process, you should know that this approval workflow feature (in ContentStudio) works on social media posting only. It doesn’t support blog posting yet.
Step #1: Getting Started with Social Media Approval Workflow
You don’t have to do anything fancy to get started with the approval workflow.
Before going into the setup of the approval process, invite your team members whether they’re subordinates or clients — anyone who would be involved in the content approval process.
To do so, go to your profile in the ContentStudio dashboard, and click on the “Team Members” option.
Now add the team member who you wish to make the part of the social media approval workflow.
You’d be required to enter the name and email address of the person.
An email invitation would be sent to the invitee.
The person must accept the invitation to be a part of the workflow.
That’s how you bring someone on board for social media approval workflow in ContentStudio.
Step #2: Social Media Content Submission for the Approval
Now, you have a team on board with you for the approval workflow.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your client or a social media internee who would approve the content.
ContentStudio’s approval system is intelligently designed in terms of accessibility. There is a pre-defined role for the “Approver” available in the system. Therefore, don’t worry about your social media accounts accessibility through the ContentStudio dashboard.
Now, let’s move forward to the social media post submission part.
Once you logged in to your ContentStudio account, go to the Publish section, and then click on the Composer option. It’s like a regular social media post you either publish or schedule for the future.
However, you need to do a couple of things for the approval workflow.
Make sure that you schedule the social media post, otherwise, it would be published right away.
The next thing you might want to do is check the “Needs Approval” option on the same page.
Once you click on the Send to Approval button, it’d take you to the next page.
That’s where you have to choose who you want to approve your social media post. Remember that it could be your client or social media manager.
Once you select the approver, the submission process is over.
The approver would be notified to take action.
In the next step, you’ll see how the admin or client could respond to the request.
Step #3: Approve, Reject, or Comment
At step 3, we’ll look at this from the approver standpoint.
The approver would be required to log in to ContentStudio and respond to the request.
It’s up to the approver’s discretion to either approve or reject the post.
However, the approver can add a comment to the post to let the request sender know what needs to be done before this post goes live.
Once the post is ready to publish after changes are made, the approver could go through the post again and approve the post.
The upside of this approval workflow is that this communication happens right in the social media management tool, which makes it faster than the regular process.
Why Social Media Approval Workflow Matters
You might be wondering whether or not this social media approval workflow matters — here’s why we think it matters:
- It creates coherence between the team members. When a social media manager or graphics designer is in contact with the client, and the client has a say in what goes out on social media, then it does make a difference. Eventually, connectivity makes the whole process smoother.
- It reduces the friction between the agency and the client, meaning, Skype call or WhatsApp messages might not cut it. It’s hard sometimes to get connected with others due to timezone differences or work-life balance. Therefore, a system that brings team members on board without having to do a lot is a big plus.
- It increases the productivity of the social media team when they could reach out to the client almost immediately or the feedback could be instant from the client’s side. Well, it’s safe to say that it’s way better than emailing back and forth for the right image or caption for the social media post.
- The synergy improves team efficiency without a doubt. When multiple people that have a say in an operation are on board and the communication is quicker, then it would certainly improve the efficiency. When you don’t have an approval workflow in place, it means that you’re communicating via social media messages or emails or Skype calls, which sometimes, become chaotic and overwhelming, especially if you have an influx of other messages popping up.
- The built-in facility makes all the difference, meaning, the approval workflow system in the social media management tool is a big deal. What this means is that you don’t have to rely on another project management tool to communicate with team members for the sake of social media content publishing. Plus, we all know that it delays the whole process if one person doesn’t respond to the message timely. Therefore, a built-in approval workflow in the social media management tool turns things around.
Social media management tools are taking the social media world by storm.
Influencers can’t work out on social media without a reliable social media management tool.
This is why a handful of social media experts and influencers use ContentStudio.
As far as social media agencies and digital marketing experts are concerned, they need a systemic approach that:
- Saves time for both the parties
- Speeds up the social media posting process
- Improves communication with the clients
- Increases the engagement on social media as a result
- Gets more done within the same time as compared to the past
Ultimately, a full-fledged social media management tool is the answer to everything social media agencies and social media professionals look out for.
I shared how ContentStudio could be a one-stop-shop for you to not just manage your social media scheduling, but also for developing an approval workflow for your social media marketing business.
Have you ever thought about developing such a system?
Is it your first time hearing about the approval workflow?
Did this tutorial on developing an approval workflow with ContentStudio help you?
I’m very much interested in listening to all of these answers in the comments section.
Let’s start a conversation in the comments below.