When it comes to making content for your company’s social media, time is often of the essence.
Social media trends come and go at a ridiculously fast rate, meaning your content workflow needs to be working at optimum efficiency at all times.
Your calendar’s full to the brim with dates, events, blog posts, and product launches, not to mention content that needs to go live ASAP to compete with fleeting trends. There is simply no time for setbacks.
So, it’s important that you establish a streamlined social media workflow. With a solid social media approval process, you can say goodbye to pestering people for feedback, snail-pace replies, and endless amendments.
This is where a visual feedback tool like Filestage comes in handy.
In this guide, we’ll be enlightening you with 10 tips and best practices to help you achieve the most efficient social media workflow. But first, let’s talk about what it is, how it works, and its benefits.
What is a social media workflow?
To dive a little deeper into the ‘what’ of it all, a social media workflow is a system that manages the input, creation, project management, and output of a brand’s social media content.
Often managed by the brand’s social media manager, a social media workflow includes all members of the social media team. It offers a digital space where they can work together to ideate, create, compare, edit, and publish content.
A social media workflow should assist marketing teams in scheduling content to post at specific times. This will cover things like the approval process before it goes live and measuring performance by providing teams with in-depth analysis on engagement.
The benefits of a social media workflow
Having a social media workflow is beneficial to your business in many different ways, including:
- A streamlined content creation and production process, saving valuable time
- Feedback features, ensuring all your content is at its highest quality
- A place to communicate with other team members
- In-depth analysis on engagement and traffic driven from social
How to build a social media workflow
Before taking a fine tooth comb and exploring the best practices for a social media workflow, it’s good to know how to build the workflow itself.
Here are a few general rules to follow when building your own:
- Keep it simple. Your workflow system must be easy to use. No one wants to work with anything too complicated. Another training course? No, thank you!
- Make it adaptable. I cannot stress enough how quickly social media moves. So your workflow needs to be as malleable as possible so you can create content that’s in keeping with trends.
- Automate, automate, automate. Rid yourself of the burden of admin and automate posting and scheduling to save valuable time.
- Communicate. Make sure you have an optimized system so communication is fast, clear, and transparent.
- Use templates. Create and use templates to save time on social media content creation. Create a folder of blank templates for blog posts, infographics, tweets, and captions to streamline your workflow.
- Track your progress. Keep yourself and your teammates up to date by tracking your progress. This’ll help you fine-tune your strategy and workflow.
- Encourage feedback. Feedback is essential. With a proofing tool like Filestage, you can guarantee your content will be published at the highest quality.
Approve all your social content in one place
Get quick and clear feedback right on top of your content with Filestage.
10 best practices for a streamlined social media workflow
1. Establish your team
The first and, arguably, most important step in creating a social media workflow is establishing tasks and responsibilities among your team.
When everyone knows their role, you can save yourself and your team from confusion and crossed wires. This way, emails dissipate and the workflow is seamless!
Within your team, you will need dedicated:
- Social media managers
- Content creator/creators
- Admin assistants
You may not need all of these roles for your specific team, so you’ll have to tailor it accordingly to fit your strategy’s needs.
And voila! You can now begin to build your social media workflow.
2. Plan ahead
Now you’ve established your team, it’s time to start planning.
The first thing you’ll need is ideas. This can be done through team meetings, workshopping, and research.
Dreaming up content ideas and knowing when (and on what platform) to post them is important to your workflow and helps teams stay organized.
Once you’ve got your ideas, these tasks must be delegated to create the content. Timeframes and deadlines must be established and mapped out on a team calendar.
Content calendars are a bit different to your run of the mill team calendar, full of back-to-back meetings. They can be created on platforms such as Microsoft Excel or Google Docs.
A few tips on building a content calendar:
- Get together and come up with content ideas. This can include blog posts, Instagram posts, video content, and infographics.
- Start planning when and where you want to post your content. Things like current affairs, current trends, and holidays should be considered when developing roadmaps,
- Once your time frames have been established, it’s time to assign tasks. This will include giving the blog post to the copywriter, the infographics to the graphic designer and researcher, and a video project to the videographer.
- Give your teams plenty of time and create a backlog of content. You want to be able to fire off your content at prime time on National Best Friend Day rather than missing out due to missed emails and misunderstandings.
- Bonus tip: If you’re trying to increase your social media presence and use a range of platforms, try splitting your calendar up by social media channels and appoint a manager for each one.
4. Create your social media strategy
It’s most important to create a strategy that caters to your brand and its aims.
Aspects such as content creation, strategy, logistics, and distribution must be considered while building your social media strategy to ensure that it’s tailored exactly to your team and avoids detrimental oversights.
Consider this: You’ve got a huge visual project on the horizon that’ll need both imagery and video to publish on the same day. However, you realize on the day that you don’t have enough bandwidth to support the upload or you haven’t got enough videographers or editors.
Big oversight. Big uh-oh!
When building your social media strategy, the following things should be investigated:
- What is your aim? What do you want to achieve?
- Who is the target audience?
- Who are you competing for attention with?
- What platforms will you be using? And which campaigns will you be using them for?
- What kind of content are you creating ? What will it be for?
- When will your content be published?
- How will you monitor your content?
- How will you obtain user feedback and what will you do with it?
4. Become a social media wizard
With what feels like endless social media platforms – or maybe it’s just the name changes (here’s looking at you, Mr. Bird App) – it’s best that you and your teams know them inside out.
They’re all so different. With varying features and audiences, teams must establish which is the right platform for your social media strategy.
For example, if it’s the huge visual project I mentioned earlier (sans oversights), your video and imagery will gain more traction on platforms that support these features. Instagram and TikTok are the leading platforms for short form video and images, so it makes sense for it to go live there.
A few bits to think about when deciding on a platform for your strategy:
- Goals – What do you want to achieve? Is it branding, conversions, a huge campaign, a blog series? There’s a platform for everything.
- Audiences – This is useful in a couple of different ways. Firstly, it’s important to consider where your audiences hang out. Are they the LinkedIn type or Facebook type? Wherever they are, that’s where you should be posting. Another option is to discover where your content will fare better. Short form video? TikTok. Infographics or meme formats? Instagram. Long form video? Facebook or LinkedIn.
Mapping all this out provisionally will help your team massively in the long run. Keep your roadmaps concise and well thought out, and your content will be flying.
5. Build a solid approval process
If you’re working with a team, a strong approval process is a must. Not because they’re untrustworthy or bad at their jobs! But because, when there’s many projects going on at once, it’s easy to get tired eyes and overlook things in the editing process.
Who should be involved in the approval process?
Obviously, this is completely dependent on who you actually have in your team. But, generally speaking, it goes as follows:
- Content creator (videographer, designer, copywriter) – Seems obvious. We need the content before we do anything else.
- Copy editor – This may bleed into the copywriter role as they’re usually top self editors, but always good to have some fresh eyes on the content.
- Subject expert – They’re here to fact-check and make sure all the content is accurate. Imagine putting out a campaign full of fake news, crazy…huh?
- The approver – The overseer, the decision maker, the last stop before publication. This person ensures that the content is legitimate before publication.
Once you’ve got your super approval team, you can move onto looking for an approval platform to help you sail through with ease.
With an approval platform like Filestage, you can build yourself a streamlined approval process.
How Filestage can supercharge your social media approval process
Filestage is a powerful social media approval tool. It allows team members to collaborate, view, edit, and approve social media posts before publication.
You can set up your workflow to suit each project, making sure every file and version gets approved by the right stakeholders before it goes live.
Here’s a quick rundown of Filestage’s top features for social media approval:
- It provides a structured and streamlined approval workflow for social media content. With this, you can create custom approval stages, set deadlines, and send automated reminders to keep everything on track.
- Filestage has a feature where feedback can be provided directly on the social media content. The draw-on tool means you can highlight, circle, and leave comments on the content for a more accurate and precise editing process.
- It has a tool that saves your version history, so you can go back through previous iterations, compare files, and see what changes have been made.
- With Filestage, you can share social media files securely within the platform. It provides teams with a centralized hub to store, edit, and approve all social media content.
- It integrates with popular project management and communication tools like Slack and Trello, enabling seamless collaboration and communication among team members during the social media approval process.
Filestage offers four pricing plans depending on your needs:
- Free plan with two projects and unlimited files, versions, and reviewers
- Basic plan – starts at $49/month with 10 projects and extra storage
- Professional plan – starts at $249/month with 25 projects and smart features like version comparison and automation
- Enterprise plan – custom pricing with advanced security settings tailored to your organization
Now, let’s get back to those tips!
Approve all your social content in one place
Get quick and clear feedback right on top of your content with Filestage.
6. Stay secure
When developing a social media workflow, security should be somewhere at the top of the list. Your content must be safeguarded, granting access to a reliable and trustworthy team.
You can password-protect your files, create shareable links among team members, or implement two-factor authentication on your preferred marketing software.
Ideally, you want to keep your content under wraps until publication, this stops ideas trickling through to competitors, and keeps information safe from hackers. That’s quite extreme, to be honest, but not impossible!
You can also keep your content secure by sending it through a chain of command before it goes live. This’ll ensure that your social media content is in keeping with your branding, staying on brief with the TOV in copy, graphics, and video content.
With marketing approval software like Filestage, you can set up passwords for files, custom permissions, approval workflows, and two-factor authentication upon login.
But it doesn’t end there. Even though your content has flown the nest and is now in the ether, it’s still subject to corruption.
Suddenly your Instagram is posting from an unauthorized user, the account starts following accounts with nonsensical usernames … ah, the account’s been compromised! Great. If only you’d assigned someone to monitor all your social activity post-publication.
This is totally avoidable. To ensure this doesn’t happen, regular social media auditing is essential to keep your accounts and activity safe from becoming corrupt.
7. Use social media monitoring and analytics tools
Besides checking whether your content and social channels have been compromised, it’s also important to monitor your social media engagement.
With this, you can see where you could be going wrong, what’s working, what isn’t, and where to optimize your strategy and content. It’s a constant job that requires a great deal of focus and mapping.
Here are few tips on how you should be practicing your content monitoring strategies:
- Check in on seasonal changes –Pay close attention in the days following holidays like Thanksgiving, Labour Day, and Easter to gauge how your targeted content performed.
- Special events – If your brand is hosting things like competitions, giveaways, special promotions (the #gifted type), analytics are a great way of informing social media teams on their success so they can decide to keep it up or discontinue the strategy.
- Time-stamped reports – Check in weekly to see how your social media content is doing and keep your finger on the pulse with fleeting trends. Gather a more in-depth report by the month and the quarter so you can review your activity and adjust your social media strategy as you go through the year.
8. Clear posting guidelines
Continuing with the content side of things, it’s important that your posting guidelines are clear as day.
With any social media post, whether it’s a simple infographic, or even a little meme, it’s important that you establish clear and particular guidelines to chisel down the editing process. This is pretty handy when working with a team.
That being said, these are all important things to think about when building your social media content guidelines:
- What tone of voice should be used? Do you want it to be friendly, approachable, serious, or somewhere in between? This can require a lot of workshopping so it’s best if it’s made absolutely clear what you’re looking for.
- What type of content are you looking to make? Is there a particular platform that suits your brand the most? Do you want to be more visual or focus on writing? Should it be informative, funny, or factual?
- What topics should be covered? This is essentially dependent on your brand, but external factors could implicate this. For example, if you’re a home and lifestyle brand, maybe you could focus on public holidays.
- How often should you be posting content? The content world is very much more is more. But that doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality. A decent vault of carefully crafted content means you can post high quality content consistently.
9. Reports, reports, reports!
You’ve got your goals lined up, you know what you want to get from your social media strategy. So let’s get those reports going!
Pulling metrics from areas that accommodate your social media goals is a great way of seeing how your content is getting on.
You can generate a report whenever you want, but it’s best to do them at the same time monthly, weekly, or yearly so you and your team can draw intricate comparisons and adjust your strategy and social media workflow accordingly.
With metric reports, you can pull insights such as:
- Average engagement per post (likes, comments, dislikes, shares)
- Average engagement over any given time period
- Feedback if you’re using online feedback tools
These metrics provide insight into where your contents ebbs and flows. You can spot where it dips in engagement and feedback and divert your strategy towards something that inspires more engagement and higher feedback.
10. Keep in touch with your team
We must ensure at all times that the social media content workflow is, well, flowing.
The key to social media management (and everything, really), is communication. Communication tools are essential when it comes to working in a team, even more so when there are so many divisions of a social media collective.
For instance, I, as a content writer, have zero idea what goes into graphic design. So a communication platform where I can speak directly to the designers will allow team members to develop an understanding on how the other divisions operate. Even a tiny bit of understanding goes a long way.
It decreases unnecessary emails, questions that can definitely wait, and chasing that causes needless pressure on other parts of the social media team.
Most review and feedback tools have live comment features which allows for a little bit of comms between social media teams. But with platforms like Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom, they can communicate whenever and however they want (within working hours, of course).
It’s a more flexible, casual, and fun way of working, especially as a lot of us are WFH these days.
I’m sure they wouldn’t be opposed to a team day out either.
Are you ready to build your social media workflow?
There you have it, the basic checklist on how to build a well functioning social media management workflow.
Social media is fast-paced and it’s always changing. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse, you need a solid process and the right social media workflow tools.
By following these steps, rest assured you’ll have the knowledge to curate an amazing social media team (if you don’t already have one) and super efficient workflow.
With features like analytics, communications, and feedback tools at your fingertips, your social media channels will be running at full optimization, with a finger-on-the-pulse turnaround time so you’ll always be bang on trend.
With a social media workflow that adhered to these tips, the functionality of your social media team and the content they produce is guaranteed to be created and published at its highest quality. Talk about streamlined!
If you’d like to see for yourself how Filestage can help you with your social media workflow, you can start a free trial right here.