Social media connects brands and consumers like no other channel. However, to be constantly visible to followers, marketing teams must create and update valuable content for every channel on a regular basis.
Creating and updating content can take a lot of valuable time. That’s where social media approval tools can help as they streamline the review and approval workflow and reduce the amount of time spent on keeping content mistake-free and brand consistent.
In this article, we show you how to ensure the quality of your social media content while creating an efficient review process that uses the latest social media approval tools.
Table of Contents
What Is a Social Media Approval Tool?
A social media approval tool is a cloud-based approval software that offers a single platform where your team can review and gather feedback for all your social media content.
Through their streamlined workflows, approval tools lead to a higher quality output, increased consistency and less time wasted.
Every marketer knows this scenario of the content marketing process: A new product or service is being launched, and the information needs to be distributed quickly across multiple social media outlets.
This sounds easier than it actually is – the social media process consists of close cross-functional collaboration between the marketing, design and social media teams.
Needless to say, lengthy email chains or several messenger groups can become very inefficient and time-consuming as the only ways to organize each social media project.
How to Find the Best Social Media Approval Tool for Your Needs?
The choice of the right social media approval tool mainly depends on your company’s needs and capabilities.
Here are three things to consider when looking for a social media approval tool:
Which social media channels do you use most often?
Depending on your favorite social media channels, the choice of the right approval tool might differ. For instance, if YouTube is an important social media platform to your company, you should focus on streamlining your video workflow. If your main choice is Instagram, you need to find a social media approval tool that helps you process high-quality images.
Which task needs the most improvement?
Secondly, you need to locate the most critical bottleneck(s) in your current workflow. By tackling the most urgent pain points, you can establish a new, more efficient social media process.
Social media tools can support you in the following steps of your workflow:
Planning content: The planning process usually requires close collaboration between product specialists and the social media team. If you think that scheduling content needs improvement, you might consider a social media content calendar, such as ContentCal, that can help you structure your project from the get-go.
Creating and reviewing content: Creating social media assets is the responsibility of the design function and requires a thorough briefing at the beginning and easy review and approval check before the publishing step.
Review and collaboration tools such as Filestage streamline and improve the review steps of your content creation, therefore contributing to a faster social media content approval process.
Publishing content: The more social media accounts you have, the more difficult it becomes to publish across multiple channels. Some social media tools, such as MeetEdgar, offer scheduling and publishing features across different channels, which simplifies organization and saves you a lot of time.
Analyzing content: You need to know how well your posts and marketing campaigns have performed. While some approval tools also feature analytical tools, you might consider utilizing specialized tools such as Talkwalker to analyze the success of individual posts of your campaigns.
How many people from your team will use the tool?
This question may sound trivial however, you need to know in advance how many team members will use your tool because some providers offer a completely free version (mostly with some limitations) for a single user. Often you have to pay per additional user; therefore, you should know how many users you really need.
The 20+ Best Social Media Approval Tools to Support Your Social Media Content Workflow
Once you have determined your needs and requirements, take a look at the 21 most commonly used social media approval tools to consider for your content workflow.
Social Media Creative Approval Tools
Filestage is a great review and approval tool for all kinds of social media content. Whether you need to approve images, animations or videos, Filestage offers a single platform to create structured and easy collaboration between marketing, design and social media teams.
Filestage can also integrate perfectly with other tools and is easily scalable as your team grows. Plus, team members don’t need to create an account in order to leave feedback on a file or approve content. Therefore, collaboration with external partners or agencies is possible without any limitations on the number of involved reviewers.
DesignDrop uses a simpler approach for reviewing content, well-suited to he needs of freelancers.
You can upload a design draft and receive a link to share the file with all stakeholders involved in approving the project. The link enables all recipients to make visual annotations and to leave comments.
Even though DesignDrop is not made for larger corporations, it can serve as an initial step towards organizing your social media approval workflow.
ProofHub is an approval tool that enables remote teams to work together seamlessly. Planning tools such as Kanban boards, custom workflows and Gantt charts help you kick off your project, while organizational tools such as calendars and project templates give your workflow a clear structure.
Collaboration tools such as proofing, chat and announcement functions foster efficient communication. During and after each project, analytics tools such as workload, progress, project and resource reports help you assess your campaign’s success.
ProofHub brings structure to your remote team, with multiple social media collaboration tools working together on a single platform.
Social Media Calendar for Approving Topic Ideas
Every social media process starts with a plan. The following tools help you create a robust social media calendar for all your channels.
Loomly markets itself as an all-in-one brand success platform – and the reasons are obvious. The platform is integrated with the most commonly used social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn and many more.
Loomly offers a wide range of features for your team. You can post and discuss ideas on one platform, manage all assets inside one library and preview posts through auto-generated design mockups for all supported social media outlets.
Loomly excels in the scheduling, planning and preview process and ensures quality and consistency before publishing a social media asset.
CoSchedule is a social media tool that focuses on the planning stage. The blog calendar helps marketers and related stakeholders organize blogs and social media posts.
Automated social schedules and bulked schedule posts streamline your workflow and free up valuable time for your team members. Furthermore, the real-time blog and social calendar give you a good overview of all planned social media assets at one glance.
CoSchedule enables you to plan your social media output efficiently and to engage and capture your audience across all social outlets.
ContentCal provides a beautiful and intuitive visual calendar that helps you plan and publish your social media content.
The software features useful social media collaboration tools that easily connect remote teams. ContentCal further enables you to set up flexible approval flows according to each project’s requirements.
You can even integrate the platform with your favorite productivity tools such as Google Drive. The platform allows you to push content directly to all important social media channels.
Now we’re getting to the more specialized social media tools. While the previous examples basically work well for a multitude of social media platforms, Later focuses on planning and organizing content to be posted on Instagram. It also offers valuable features for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Depending on your needs, you can choose a free plan for individual entrepreneurs and influencers or an advanced plan for a larger marketing team. Costs vary according to the number of social media profiles and user accounts.
Social Media Content Collaboration Tools
Compared to the creative approval tools, the following social media collaboration tools offer different and even more features to manage all your social media channels in the planning, creating and scheduling step until the evaluation of your social media content.
Planable offers a clearly structured workflow for larger teams. The platform helps showcase and preview posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram before they are even published.
Feedback can be gathered in one common workspace – not only within your company, but also including your clients. This shared space will save time as opposed to the traditional approach of email chains and powerpoint presentations.
With the help of Planable, marketing agencies know that their clients have approved the content before posting it to social media platforms, contributing to a better customer relationship.
Hootsuite offers a social media and project management platform where you can create thorough workflows according to specific needs. For instance, it’s possible to assign team members to specific tasks and assign permissions.
Hootsuite enables team members to plan all social media content in one intuitive calendar, to create engaging and beautiful posts for every social network and to automatically schedule posts so that your social media channels are active 24/7. Furthermore, you can easily communicate with your audience through private or public messages.
Hootsuite offers multiple tools on a single platform that helps you streamline your marketing processes across different functions.
SproutSocial facilitates the publishing and evaluation processes of social media campaigns.
The platform provides valuable audience insights that can be used as the basis for an informed marketing and brand strategy. Additionally, SproutSocial allows you to easily plan, schedule and publish content across various social outlets.
SproutSocial also uses advanced listening tools to generate valuable ideas for your upcoming publishing schedule. The listening function can give you insights as to how your brand works and is perceived by customers. Moreover, the integrated social analytics tool helps improve your ROI.
Rivuu empowers creative teams to create and post images, GIFs, videos and links throughout Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Rivuu puts an emphasis on an intuitive interface: With an “Approve” and “Reject” button as the first two options, every team member can get involved without a lengthy training process.
The platform is also available for Android and iOS, enabling creative teams to work on the go.
SocialBakers gathers the entire social media process on a single platform.
The tool offers a wide range of functions. For instance, AI helps you create your customer persona during the research and planning stage, while specialized tools support you during the execution stage.
With SocialBakers, you can monitor how people talk about your brand on social networks as well as access all your social media accounts in one space. Additionally, a streamlined workflow makes it easier to engage with customers throughout all channels.
SocialBakers can even help you manage your influencer marketing strategy in-house, without the need to fund external agencies or consultants. The platform also features analytical tools to measure the success of your campaign.
While most of the other tools in this list are specialized for social media purposes, Sharelov is a broader marketing collaboration platform that can be used for social media purposes as well as traditional marketing assets.
With Sharelov, it’s possible to set up different content teams to collaborate on specific tasks. From copywriting to visual content marketing and the approval process, Sharelov streamlines all processes and allows you to manage your marketing campaigns, teams and assets more efficiently.
The portal is also useful for agencies as it facilitates collaboration with clients and teams remotely.
Facelift Cloud offers an all-in-one social media tool suitable for a variety of purposes. You can use Facelift Cloud to publish, advertise and monitor your content – all within a single platform.
A smart publisher function lets you distribute content to multiple social media platforms with just one click. A central inbox allows you to react to customer requests across multiple social media channels, and an intuitive dashboard helps you gain a bird’s eye view of all processes.
However, what makes the platform most unique is its special messenger marketing function, which enables you to turn smartphone messengers into valuable marketing channels.
Buffer allows clients to plan and publish content on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn to drive engagement and brand growth.
In addition to scheduling, comment and reminder functions, Buffer also allows Instagram users to redirect traffic from their Instagram bio to the online shop to drive sales.
In order to create a compelling story, Buffer integrates advanced collaboration functions that allow cross-functional team members to create draft social media posts, receive comments and initiate a fast social media content approval process. Access to each social media account can also easily be assigned and managed.
Zoho Social is part of the larger Soho network, which offers scalable toolkits including CRM or sales platforms. Zoho Social helps marketing teams schedule an unlimited number of social media posts. The platform includes a listening function as well as customized reports analyzing the performance of each campaign.
Zoho Social’s publishing functions make use of advanced tools that predict when the majority of your target audience is most likely to watch your content. You can schedule posts to repeat as well as select different time zones and locations to target.
AgoraPulse offers advanced scheduling and reporting functions. The shareable calendar can easily be sent to clients, making cumbersome spreadsheets superfluous. The shared calendar consolidates important tasks on a single page, including content that is scheduled, published, to be approved, and to be rejected.
AgoraPulse also facilitates communication with your audience from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn via an automated inbox assistant. Share access to this combined inbox with team members, and no comment will go unanswered. Other features include publishing, listening and analytical tools which comprise a well-rounded social media package.
Sendible helps users amplify their brand stories. The platform allows you to create tailored content with built-in editing tools like Canva. All content can further be reviewed and approved by stakeholders in order to eliminate mistakes.
Sendible produces reports that are easily accessible and give you an overview of your company’s views, engagements, posts sent and mentions. Additionally, the program suggests interesting content that is relevant to your audience so that you can capitalize on your social media publications.
With over 15,000 agencies, marketers and brand managers on board, Sendible is one of the most commonly used social marketing tools for SMEs.
HubSpot offers a wide range of scalable marketing tools that help you find exactly the right programs for your teams and projects. The core of HubSpot is a fully featured CRM system that is completely free of charge.
The all-in-one marketing hub enables you to facilitate multiple aspects of your marketing workflow. For instance, it contains social media, blog and content creation tools that can be customized to specific needs. Furthermore, the marketing hub includes valuable lead generation, marketing automation and analytics tools to maximize your campaign.
Crowdfire is a social media tool designed for businesses, agencies and even individuals.The platform has already gained a huge fan base with more than 19 million users worldwide.
Crowdfire intelligently detects and suggests to you the type of content that interests your audience and allows you to easily share content across social media outlets. This keeps customers engaged while filling any empty gaps in your publishing calendar.
Furthermore, content from your own websites and blogs can also be shared easily across various social media platforms. As an added bonus, smart scheduling allows pinpoints the best posting times to attract a larger audience.
Sprinklr describes itself as a customer experience management platform and offers somewhat different features than the other entries in this list.
Sprinklr facilitates customer engagement and communication through social media channels. Additionally, the platform enables users to increase Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) through integrations, AI and automation.
With Sprinklr, you can automate your workflow and engage more efficiently with your audience, all while keeping social media advertising costs to a minimum.
How to Build a Social Media Content Approval Process
As most professionals have experienced, the social media content approval process can be painstaking and time-consuming. In the worst cases, approvals take as much time as the content creation process.
Accordingly,, we suggest how to streamline your approval workflow:
1. Define roles and responsibilities
Creating social media content is a team effort led by the social media and design teams. While content managers usually decide on topics and conduct briefings, it’s up to the design team or agency to create the texts and images needed for the actual posts. The social media team then reviews and approves the content before it’s published.
2. Share content with reviewers
Once the first content draft is finished, the review and approval process starts. Instead of sending drafts to each of the reviewers via email, you can easily upload your content (or directly create it) in one of the social media content collaboration tools mentioned above and notify the reviewers.
3. Collect feedback
Traditionally, long email chains or dozens of different messenger groups are created to provide feedback for each single post. In order to streamline the social media content approval process, the tools described above minimize efforts by collecting feedback from all reviewers in a single centralized platform.
4. Edit the content
After collecting all feedback, the content creator adapts the content accordingly. This step can be repeated many times, until all relevant reviewers have participated.
5. Share the final draft
After the content is approved as mistake-free, and the feedback of all reviewers has been taken into account, the final draft can be shared with the content manager in a final review.
6. Provide the approved content to the publisher
Once the final approval is received, the content needs to be passed on to the social media team to be published on all relevant channels.
If the social media team uses an efficient publishing calendar, every stakeholder involved will be aware of the posting schedule. This is not only helpful in tracking results, it also provides a shared and clear deadline. After the asset is published, the social media team will follow up with ROI reports.
3 Best Practices to Improve Your Social Media Approval Process
Now that you are familiar with all of the details involved in structuring social media approval workflows, we conclude by suggesting three best practices to improve your social media approval process.
Set clear due dates for reviewers
At first sight, the review process does not seem to involve too much of your scarce time. But the more decision-makers become involved, the more likely it’s that the review phase will imperil the project’s timeline.
With Filestage, you can structure each review process into smaller steps. The platform allows you to set a due date for each individual file – as shown below – which helps your team stick to deadlines.
Define a checklist for social media posts
According to your company’s guidelines, there might be specific keywords, visuals or logos that may easily be overlooked in a fast-paced working environment.
Therefore, it’s helpful to create a thorough checklist that is available to all decision-makers and content creators.
You might include the following points in your checklist:
- Standard size of the logo within an image or video
- Consistent tone of voice
- Relevant hashtags added
- Emojis added
- Personalized links with UTM parameters added
Obviously, your list might differ for various social media platforms.
You can find examples of additional detailed social media checklists on CoSchedule.
Evaluate your process
Even with a detailed plan and one or more of the social media approval tools mentioned above, you will likely encounter some unforeseen obstacles.
These should encourage you to analyze your current processes to identify bottlenecks as well as to hold regular meetings with all of your team members to reflect on possible improvements.
Doing so will help you to constantly improve your workflow by adapting it to your team’s needs.
As you can see from the examples above, the review and approval process can be tremendously improved by adding the right social media approval tools to your software stack.
After you have determined the roles and responsibilities of your team members, and established a clear workflow, you can select one or more social media approval tools to accelerate your processes and create your social media content much faster.
You will find that your team will produce consistently higher-quality output across all social media channels, leading to an engaged and growing audience.
Choose the right social media approval tool now, and start creating compelling and meaningful new content!