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 will still happen. Fortunately, that’s where the power of workflow process management comes in. Business workflow management can apply to every part of your business, including directing your company’s social media marketing.
But what is social media workflow process and how does it work? The name is pretty much speaks for itself. Let’s run through a quick example to explain this concept a bit better. Imagine that you have an assistant who creates your posts for you. Your team, on the other hand, helps you with setting up your account using an effective social media management tool. Once the manager and the team are done, they move the work to you (or whoever in charge) for an approval. And once the approval is issued, it can then either move to a manager for final approval or be ready for an execution.
Essentially, this process ensures that all posts are properly checked, reviewed, edited, scheduled, and published just as planned. This also helps everyone work more efficiently, stay on the same page, and do their part. Now that you have a general idea about how workflow process management works, let’s look into few details to consider.
Why an Approval Workflow Process is a Good Thing
“Too many cooks in the kitchen,” someone might be thinking. 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 content on various social media platforms.
It Minimizes Errors and Keeps Things Secure
For the starters, it’s hard to always keep everything in check when only one person has to manage multiple social media accounts. It’s hard to manage one, let alone more than that. And having only one active social media account as a business, is out of the question. You need as many as possible. You need them to be active, engaging, adjusted to the requirements of the specific social media niche and the list goes on.
With an approval workflow process, your team can double-check the content as it goes through their stage. In case the company hires new members of a social media management team, the manager can limit their access to the platforms. Until they learn the process inside out. They can still take care of easy little mundane tasks. 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 have an access to it. Essentially, an approval workflow process limits potential mistakes like broken links, mistimed posts, or off-brand tweets. This way, it’s so easy to catch and correct them as they come.
It Promotes Accountability and Collaboration
Having a workflow approval process outlines each member’s tasks. It’s easier for the manager, as well as team members, to know who’s responsible for what at every step of the process. This also means that you know who to approach for help right away. Saving you the time and effort that you can put in perfecting the part you’re responsible for. It also allows you to see how each member contributes to your social media efforts. If something goes wrong, the whole team won’t be to blame. You can point out the mistake fast and help the team member fix it.
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 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 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 situation. All these is especially convenient when you have to meet deadlines. Which is basically all the time when it comes to this field of work. Professionals handling small parts of the process will definitely speed up the completion rate, it’s simple math.
One Way to Manage the Time Invested in Social Media Marketing
A social media workflow approval process is one of the best ways to manage your time when it comes to social media marketing. And not only that. As we’ve just illustrated, it can help make sure that you get marketing messaging right, and your branding unified. Further ensuring everything is consistent and meets your specific business standards and requirements. Overall, social media workflow process management helps you achieve your vision and mission fast and with minimum errors.
How to Create a Workflow Approval Process
Now that you know the benefits of a workflow approval process, let’s look into the ways you can create one that fits your business (or client) needs.
Set Your Goals and Expectations
Similar to your social media strategy, start by setting reasonable goals. What are you trying to do on social media? What platforms can help you achieve these means? Where and when should you post? And how many posts should you create? Who does what and who’s responsible in case any issue come up? What is the overall deadline for a specific thing to be ready for an execution? Who’s in charge?
Even if you are not the head manager, it’s essential to voice out and share your expectations with team members. This should include discussions on what kind of language, theme, or tone to use. Even things like what emojis and hashtags are appropriate on specific platforms. Or what color scheme, filters, or fonts to apply to certain posts and announcements. Brainstorming promotion or giveaway ideas is much easier when you have a team of professionals beside you.
The manager must ensure that all goals and expectations are clearly distributed among the team so that you create high-quality, on-brand content at all times.
Determining Each The Role of Each Member and Distributing Tasks
To have an effective approval process, it’s important to identify key members and their specific job in the workflow. This process 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;
- Oversee how well it meets your needs and intentions to either keep it as it is, or fix accordingly. This one will also help you in the analysis for planning future posts.
Others may include freelancers or consultants working with the brand, c-level executives, or members from other departments. Not everyone needs to know what the others are doing. So the head manager should decide with the team who needs to see, review, and approve the content prior to publishing. Having trust in each other’s competence is important. For that to happen though, the team should be selected with experts.
Establish Clear Timelines To Meet The 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. This is the only way the team can meet the overall deadline on time.
For example, how long will the content creators take to make a certain number of posts? How many days does editing, revising, approving, and scheduling take? 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 the plan is to create graphics for posts, the extra time needed to do this should be taken into consideration.
Similarly, set regular deadlines for everyone to hold them accountable to deliver their output on time. For the best practice, aim to have posts for a certain month finalized an entire month before they’re set to go live. For instance, for August, creators must submit their work on July 10th, editors on the 15th, and approvers on the 20th, so everything can be scheduled by July 25th.
Having timelines and deadlines in place will leave more room for adjustments (just in case) and less room for errors. Overlooking this part of the workflow management process and doing everything last-minute will inevitably lead to errors. Become a planner. Your digital marketing will definitely benefit as a result.
Prepare A Style Guide and Social Media Calendar
The more members involved, the more moving parts are going to happen. Meaning, 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 comes 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. If something goes astray, especially at the beginning, the entire process is basically doomed. So it’s important to stick to the vision at all times, and the style guide will literally guide you and your team through it.
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 regularly engage with your members so you are aware of how the process is going from their end. Additionally, you can 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, especially if you are a head manager that directs the entire process. Stay open to incoming novelties and be ready to adjust to sudden changes.
The Bottom Line
With a well-planned social media workflow approval process, you can minimize errors, improve your the accountability and collaboration of your team, unify your branding, and boost overall productivity. Everything appropriately geared towards producing high-quality, relevant, and valuable content for your target audiences on various social media platforms.
However, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What may work really well for others might not work the same for you. Or what may bring excellent results to one campaign might not do the same for the other. That’s why it’s important that you constantly keep an eye on your social media efforts and adjust or fix according to the analytics.
Overall, using an approval workflow process in your social media management will ease every step of the way, so make sure to implement this tactic into your company culture (unless it already exists, which we hope, it does).