Managing social media for your department, organization or for individual clients can be stressful. This is especially true if there is a team involved in the process. Each stakeholder may have different expectations for social media posts, and it’s imperative that everyone is on the same page in order to avoid problems such as misunderstandings or even damage to reputation. Fortunately, there are some processes you can put in place and tools you can use to help streamline communication. Keep reading below to discover some tips for developing a social media approval process for your organization.
Create a Strategy
Before you can establish an approval process for social media posts, you’ll first need to implement some other procedures so that everyone involved knows their role. First, clarify who is responsible for creating posts and for which client. If there are multiple people working on a particular campaign, determine a command chain of who does what and who is ultimately responsible for final approval. Laying all of this out ahead of time eliminates confusion and ensure each individual understands their responsibilities.
It can help to have your entire social media team, from graphic designers to social media specialist, meet with clients so that everyone has a personal understanding of the brand. Having guidelines readily available for such things as logo placement, hashtag use and prohibited language is also important to ready approval of social media posts. Deadlines should be established, as well. When do key organization and client team members need to receive content for approval? Setting expected deadlines will allow your team to work efficiently and stay on track.
Finally, you should have a social media crisis management procedure in place. Identifying a crisis and having standard practices in place for dealing with such issues will also ease the approval process and help to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Everyone on both the organization and client side should have access to this information.
Choose Your Tools
The next part of developing a social media approval process for your organization is to choose the tools you’ll need to help you in this endeavor. Exchanging endless emails and memos simply isn’t an efficient way of communication, especially when there are multiple team members to consult and deadlines to meet. Fortunately, there are a number of resources that can help to automate this process and keep everyone in the loop with regard to communication. Some are paid, while others are free. Finding a solution that works for your team will be a personal endeavor, but there are some things that can help you choose wisely.
Handling your social media workflow requires you to keep track of necessary information like policies and procedures, maintain efficient and timely communication and share assets. Sometimes, you will need more than one app or tool to do the job. Many programs will work together seamlessly and can be integrated to perform various tasks.
A tool like Airtable can help you create a place where you and your team can keep general information. Other popular resources include CoSchedule, SmarterQueue and Sprout Social. Examples of things you might keep track of in these programs include keywords research, frequently used links, documents, assets, images and team member information. These types of tools create spreads and forms that make submitting and sharing information among the team easy. They can be readily customized to meet your team’s exact needs. Having a place where everyone can view content and preparation materials eases the social media approval process tremendously.
Some social media management tools such as Agorapulse allow for real-team collaboration and possess other helpful features that make obtaining social media approval much more efficient. You can schedule content for approval ahead of time and then forget it, in many cases. These types of programs let you send posts for approval to the required team member and set things up so that they can even move through multiple individuals.
Finally, the tool you choose should be able to handle a comprehensive workflow. Aspects to consider include information storage, team involvement, content creation, approval procedures and reporting. You may need to use more than one app or program to achieve your desired results. The more streamlined you can make the process, the better. Paid tools or upgrades are often necessary to achieve the results you desire.
The last part of the process streamlining social media approval for your team is to be sure everyone is onboard and understands the process, as well as gaining knowledge of the tools everyone will use in order to perform their duties effectively. This means you’ll need to implement comprehensive training for everyone involved, both within your organization and with outside stakeholders.
Team members should be aware of the client’s backstory and brand. This helps everyone to use a consistent voice when creating posts. They must also understand branding style such as colors, fonts, graphics and logos. Any other client-specific guidelines should be communicated at these meetings, such as wording to avoid. Teaching everyone what is to be expected will save time and frustration later, making the approval process much more seamless.
Next, you’ll need to bring everyone on board with regard to the use of the tools you’ve chosen for team collaboration. Some individuals may be more resistant to learning new methods than others. Emphasize the importance of working together with a tool that keeps everyone in the loop will make each person’s job easier. It will also increase the odds of achieving better results for the client when strategies are put in place to improve the communication processes.
Take time to make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the tools and how they are to be used. This may mean scheduling several social media training sessions or breaking things up by department. You’ll also want to share practical examples of how individuals will use the tools in order to make the experience more relevant and easier to understand. Your team members will be more likely to embrace new tools if they feel a personal relevance and connection to them.
Developing a social media approval process for your organization does require a great deal of research and time investment, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. In the end, you’ll discover your job is much easier and the results you achieve will be far superior than before.