How to Streamline your Agency’s Social Media Content Approval Process

August 14, 2023
David Olsen

Tired of feeling like you're herding cats? Sked Social's Client Collaboration features can help.

Managing client approvals for your social media campaigns can sometimes feel like herding cats. The endless back-and-forth emails, juggling multiple tools, and the dreaded final sign-off can drain your energy and hold you back from progressing with your campaign goals.

As a social media marketing manager, you’re probably very familiar with the “press and hold” step in the social media approval process. You know, the one where you press send, then hold your breath for what feels like a million years before a reply lands in your inbox?

If your client wants rounds of edits, an easy-to-implement content approval process is paramount.

A lot of time goes into sourcing images, crafting the perfect captions, and adjusting your content to suit each social media platform. There’s so much that goes into delivering on a social media campaign, but no matter how much time, effort and research you put into a your content creation, sometimes changes are inevitable.

By utilizing the right social media management tools and creating an accessible, efficient team collaboration space, you can greatly improve the process for your marketing team and your clients.

Here we’ll run you through exactly how to make your content approval process a seamless procedure for everyone involved.

1. Define your approvals process:

Your approval process ensures that each piece of content resonates with your audience, aligns with your objectives, and maintains the integrity of your brand's identity. Having this process of checks and balances is what guarantees that your social media presence stays on point, resonates with your target audience, and drives your brand's message home, platform by platform. To streamline the process where there are multiple players within the approval process, you’ll want to really define each step so you’ve got a clear roadmap to pushing your content out.

Consider creating a document or visual representation of the approval process. This document should detail each step:

  • Identify clear roles and responsibilities. Determine exactly who needs to be involved in the approval process. This could include team members, clients, department heads, compliance teams, a senior copywriter, or any other relevant stakeholders.
  • Outline approval workflow: Map out the sequence of steps that content goes through from creation to publication. Consider who needs to review the content at each stage and what changes can be made at each step. Define the criteria that content must meet to receive approval. This could include branding guidelines, messaging consistency, compliance with legal requirements, and alignment with your overall marketing strategy.
  • Choose your communication channels: This could include email, messaging apps like Slack, Google Docs and Sheets or an all-in-one platform like Sked Social. Keep everyone in the one place, responsive and engaged with the process.
  • Set clear timeframes: Missing a timely piece of content because you’re slowed down by the back-and-forth means there’s time wasted and opportunities missed. Establish a clear timeline for each stage of the approval process. Specify when content should be submitted for review, when feedback should be provided, and when final approval needs to be granted.

2. Share a great onboarding Welcome Kit:

Set the tone straight up for a seamless collaboration by sharing a comprehensive Welcome Kit with your client. You’ll be able to communicate exactly what’s expected of them, and what’s expected of you from the get-go.

Keep the language user-friendly, and cover all the bases so everyone is on the same page. A great welcome kit might take on a structure like this:

  • Introduce the Dream Team: Let your clients put faces to the marketing team and the names they'll be working with. Include brief bios and photos of key team members, along with their roles. It's all about humanizing the process and building that client-agency connection.
  • Project Overview and Timeline: Give your clients a sneak peek into the adventure you're about to embark on. Provide a clear project overview, highlighting the goals, objectives, and scope. Lay out the timeline for a clear posting schedule, so everyone's on the same page about what's happening and when.
  • Collaboration Playground: Invite your clients into your collaboration space. Provide login details and a step-by-step guide on how to navigate the platform. This is where the magic happens, so make sure they feel comfortable from the start. A great and user-friendly collaboration workspace like Sked Social’s Collaborate is essential, centralizing the social media planning, discussions, and giving everyone access to every piece of content so your feedback and approvals can flow with ease.
  • Style and Brand Guidelines: Ensure your clients are in sync with your creative direction across your social media channels. Share your agency's style and brand voice, including graphic design, color palettes, fonts, and any other visual essentials. This ensures that everyone's singing from the same creative hymn sheet, and are better equipped to fit the brief with minimal friction.
  • Success Metrics and Reporting: Set the stage for success by outlining the metrics you'll be tracking and the reporting cadence. Sked Social’s metrics across all your social media accounts are accessible all in one platform, so the team can see how you’re tracking and make adjustments accordingly. Having transparent access to your social media analytics in real time shows your commitment to delivering results, as well as keeping expectations aligned.
  • FAQs and Troubleshooting: Anticipate any questions or concerns your clients might have and address them upfront. Create a handy FAQs section that covers common queries and provides troubleshooting tips. This proactive approach saves everyone time and frustration.

Have your client sign this and return the welcome kit to you, so you’re not caught out down the track.

3. Manage due dates with a Content Calendar:

Setting clear due dates forces you to become a master of prioritization in your social media workflow and content creation. Every task becomes a puzzle piece, fitting into the bigger picture of your overarching campaign timeline. By having a visual representation (like a social media content calendar) of when each task must be completed, you can allocate your resources and energy wisely.

With due dates and a campaign schedule etched onto your content calendar, you can steer clear of the land of last-minute rushes and have your scheduled content ready to go in advance. It’s easy to visually distribute your tasks evenly across your different social networks, allowing you to tackle each one thoughtfully and efficiently.

Before you dive in, outline your goals for each social media platform. Are you showcasing products on Instagram, sharing video content on Tik Tok, and connecting with similar businesses on LinkedIn? The content calendar serves as your roadmap, ensuring you're clear on what content goes where, and allowing you to focus on the nuances of your brand voice and differing strategy across different social media platforms.

With a Content Calendar managed in Sked, it’s easy to collate your captions, visuals, and gather any necessary links or media all within the one interface. You can plan your content visually, create it with AI and work with user-generated content all in one tool. Having a single view across socials is a great way to optimize your marketing strategy and streamline your approvals, with all of your content in the one place.

4. Limit your revisions:

If you've ever found yourself in the whirlwind of endless revisions, you know that this dance can sometimes feel like a marathon. Back and forth emails, time wasted, and your content calendar losing momentum. A great social media strategy needs a great content approval process, and minimising the time spent with revisions is a key part of that.

Limiting your revision rounds might seem counterintuitive, but it's a strategy that can save you time, energy, and your precious creative spark. By setting a reasonable cap on the number of rounds (industry standard usually hovers around 1-2 rounds), you create a win-win scenario.

When clients know they have a limited number of revision rounds, they're more likely to compile all their feedback in one go. It's a straight path to clearer communication and a smoother creative journey, with consolidated feedback that you can tackle in one go.

And surprisingly, setting revision limits can strengthen your client relationships. With clearer guidelines in place, clients feel more empowered to provide concise and thoughtful feedback. They'll value your time and expertise, leading to a more collaborative and respectful partnership.

5. Train your team to pick up potential issues:

Empowering your team members to identify red flags, inconsistencies, or deviations from your criteria can significantly enhance the quality of your social media content and streamline the approval process. By imparting a keen understanding of your brand's guidelines, your messaging strategy, and potential pitfalls, you're equipping your teams with the tools to preemptively address issues, resulting in smoother workflows, faster approvals, and content that aligns with your brand identity across all social media platforms. It's an investment that pays dividends in terms of minimizing last-minute adjustments and ensuring a cohesive and impactful online presence.

Make sure everyone involved in the content creation process have a good handle on:

  • Brand consistency: We know how important it is to ensure your content aligns with your brand's voice, tone, and visual identity. Keeping the whole team on the ball when it comes to brand guidelines makes it less likely you’ll require last-minute updates, edits and overhaul.
  • Legal compliance: Identifying content that might violate copyright, intellectual property, or other legal regulations. This includes things like using copyrighted images without permission or sharing sensitive information, or other things that might violate a particular social media platform’s rules.
  • Poor optimization for specific channels: Teams should be vigilant about content that isn't optimized for specific social media platforms. This involves recognizing when visuals or captions don't adhere to platform-specific requirements, such as image dimensions, character limits, or hashtag usage. Content that isn't tailored to each platform's unique characteristics can result in lower engagement, reduced reach, and a missed opportunity to effectively connect with your audience.
  • Engagement Potential: Identifying content early that may not resonate well with the audience or lacks engagement potential can save a lot of time. When your team is well-versed in what constitutes great engagement potential, you can better focus your efforts on crafting content that really resonates with your target audience

Training your team to spot these potential issues as they arise and save time, prevent costly mistakes, and ensure that the approvals process is flowing without any last-minute roadblocks.

6. Automate where you can

Automating repetitive processes such as content scheduling, posting, and even engagement responses can significantly free up your team's time and energy. This means you can allocate your resources more strategically, diving into creative brainstorming, crafting engaging content, and engaging directly with your audience in meaningful ways.

A social media management tool like Sked can automate your notifications, auto-publish on a schedule and set you up with a great template for every platform.

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How to use Sked Social’s Collaboration features to streamline client approvals

Social Media Content Approvals Made Easy.

A dedicated social media management platform provides specific features like content scheduling, analytics, engagement tracking, and audience segmentation that are tailor-made for streamlining your approvals and taking your strategy to the next level. With Sked's Collaborate, all of your social media planning, discussions, feedback, and approvals come in one powerful and easy-to-use platform.

Sked breaks down collaboration barriers by inviting unlimited collaborators at no extra cost. Internal or external, your social media team can join forces in real-time, sharing insights, ideas, and feedback without worrying about seat limitations. Whether it's your in-house marketing team, clients, or external stakeholders, Sked ensures that everyone's voice is heard, all without breaking the bank.

Sked empowers you to design a custom approvals workflow that suits your team's needs. From internal reviews to client feedback, you can create as many approval steps as required, ensuring that content reaches its final form with precision. Triggered actions keep things moving smoothly, ensuring no task falls through the cracks.

Visualize your social media journey with Sked's intuitive Content Calendar, ensuring everyone knows what’s happening, when and who’s responsible for it. Drag and drop your scheduled content to figure out what works, and spot posts in need of attention and approval.

You can avoid any surprises with Sked’s Content Preview feature, giving stakeholders a sneak peek into how content will appear before it goes live. From captions and tags to the overall aesthetic, everyone can align their expectations and ensure a cohesive, polished social media presence.

Track your social media analytics and metrics across all your accounts in the one place, so your team has a quick way to see how everything is tracking.

You’ll have comment threads attached to each individual piece of content, automatic notifications for team members (making sure everyone’s chiming in at the right time), and a simplified approvals process for your social media post.

Having a centralized social media approval tool like this is the best way to streamline your approvals process, and makes the entire process a more positive one for your clients, stakeholders and content marketing team.

Stop herding cats, get started by signing up to Sked’s 7-day trial today to find out how your agency can streamline client collaboration.


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