How to Best Streamline Your Social Media Content Approval Workflow

How to Best Streamline Your Social Media Content Approval Workflow

Updated January 8, 2021
Reading Time: 5 minutes

As your social media management business grows, so should your list of clients and the demand for more content. Content will need to be created and possibly approved by each client. Do you have a content approval workflow?

If you are looking for a (better) way to streamline your content approval workflow, this article is for you as we will be diving into the content approval process.

In this article, you will learn the pros and cons of client content approval, because not every client needs or wants it, and we will look at tools to streamline your content workflow.

Content Idea Approval Comes First!

Before creating any content for a client, you need to have an understanding of what type of content this client wants for their brand. Monthly meetings and frequent communication between the social media manager and his/her clients is a must.

When meeting with a client, find answers to the following questions.

What are their content expectations? What does their marketing budget look like? How involved in content creation are they willing (and able) to get? What does their brand say about them? As the social media manager, you need to dive in and understand their brand to come up with content ideas that will set off sparks, conversations, and online engagement.

For example:

You might have a goal of creating a video series, but if your client isn't willing to pay for it or participate, how will these videos be a successful marketing tactic?

Hiring a clown, a juggler or another type of circus artist might sound like a brilliant idea for a marketing campaign, but if the client is opposed, that's a no-go.

Marketing campaigns, new concepts, content ideas, inventive ads, giveaways, charity involvement; all of these content-rich ideas need to be approved before any actual content is created and approved.

Post, Schedule, Draft and Approve Content

Once the content ideas and concepts are approved, you move into the content creation phase. Once that content has been created you do one of three things:

  1. schedule/post
  2. schedule/seek approval
  3. seek approval

You either go ahead and schedule out content and post as you go, schedule out content and get your client to approve your scheduled content, or you don't schedule a thing but give them a content calendar to approve before anything is scheduled.

Next, we are going to look at all these options.

The Pros and Cons of Content Approval

There are pros as well as cons to getting content approved by clients.

Depending on your relationship with the client, your comfort level with this brand and their products/services, any prior industry knowledge and your current team size, the content approval process could be an expensive and time-intensive task.

Let's start by looking at your team size.

become a social media manager -

If you are a freelance social media manager, and a team of just one, getting client approval for all content will definitely add more time constraints to your already busy schedule. If this is the case, you will need to plan and price accordingly. Therefore it is important to lay out your content creation process, include the client in the planning phase and share a proposed content calendar. If you do all of these things, you might not need to have client content approval of every single piece of content!

However, if you are an agency and work with a team, and several people are pulling content together for the client, it is imperative you get content approval from your client prior to posting. The exception to that rule comes when you employ a skilled project manager who has worked with the brand long-term and is comfortable with the brand voice and understands what can and should not be posted.

Often, it is the client who will indicate whether they are comfortable letting you and your team take the lead on content.

Keep in mind that in certain industries the absolute need to have prior content approved of all social media posts is due to industry regulations about advertising and privacy laws. Protect yourself and your business and get content approval for all pieces of content if that is the case!

Industries that need a content approval process, due to these regulations, include

  • Cannabis and Alcohol
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Gambling
  • Real Estate
  • Law
  • MLM
  • Medical and Health
  • Finance

Last but not least, create some sort of posting policy for trending topics, industry news and current affairs for each client you work with. If you have to ask for approval for these types of posts, your window of opportunity to ‘break the news' to your industry, your online community and influencers might have been lost. This could be as easy as having a pre-approved list of reliable sources to share content from. (for example; medical journals or associations your client is part of)

Getting content approval from your client does not need to be a chore, but does take time and planning. The right tools can help make this task an easier one.

Client Content Approval Tips and Tools

Here are some ideas, tips and tools social media managers use to communicate with their clients to get content approved, as reported in our Facebook group.

1. Secret Facebook Group

We love this idea of using a secret Facebook group for client content approval.

Not only can you share this secret Facebook group with your client and his/her team, but you can also post the actual posts for them to see what they'd look like, formatted. Such a group could also serve as your overall content strategy ideas dumping ground.

2. Trello Boards

Another frequently used tool for content approval is Trello.

Trello allows you to create boards (or ‘buckets') of content. You could label the board by type of content, social media platform, and add links for content ideas. Whichever way you use these boards, the content lives there and is easy to access for everyone involved.

3. GoogleDrive

Google's range of free products are great for content sharing and the content approval process.

Whether you create spreadsheets, documents or calendars and share them with your team and client – this is most likely the easiest way to get content approval from technologically challenged clients.

4. Tools Designed for this Purpose

Task management and productivity tools that social media managers report using for content approval include

  • Rivuu App
  • GainApp
  • TaskQue
  • Airtable
  • Asana

5. Scheduling Tools

Most, but not all scheduling tools will allow you to add team members to your existing accounts. You could give the client team access to access their scheduled content while still in the draft mode. This would eliminate one step of the content approval process; the client can approve posts that are already scheduled!

Caution: Most tools charge additional fees for adding team members. Therefore, this might not be the best option for getting content approval for a freelance social media manager who is just starting out.

If you are an agency, we believe this to be your best choice!

Scheduling tools that allow team access and are used by social media managers for content approval include

  • AgoraPulse
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • eClincher
  • SproutSocial
  • PromoRepublic
  • Kontentino
  • ContentCall
  • HeyOrca
  • Loomly
  • CoSchedule
  • SocialReport
  • Cloudcampaign

Content Calendars and Content Approval; What Is Your Gameplan?

It honestly doesn't matter how you plan your content, what tool you use and whether your client approves none, some or all your content as long as you have a workflow and process in place that works for you.

The most important pieces to content marketing success are

  1. strategic planning for overall social media strategy
  2. keyword research
  3. creation of the customer avatar
  4. content brainstorming
  5. approval of content ideas, concepts, and campaigns
  6. content planning
  7. content creation and calendar creation
  8. and then… content approval

If you do the first seven right and hit the mark, number eight should be an easy task to complete!

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