It’s no secret that people are spending more and more time on social media, and businesses are doubling down on their social media marketing efforts. 

Nowadays, brands are investing more time and resources into the creative assets they share on social media and increasing their posting frequency to stay top of mind, reach new audiences, and stay ahead of the competition. 

However, pulling off a consistent, effective social media marketing strategy is exhausting work, and the planning stage is crucial.

Before creating any social media content, it’s essential to define a workflow that fits your team, client needs, and goals. 

The importance of a social media workflow

The more people you have working on social media posts, the greater the chance something will go wrong if roles aren’t defined and communication isn’t clear. 

The reality is that collaborating on social media content can get messy fast.

For example, let’s say you have a big team and many outside contributors all working on content for a single client. It can be difficult to maintain a consistent brand voice and tone if the posts aren’t being reviewed by someone whose job it is to check for messaging consistency. 

When you’re managing content for multiple clients, it’s also easy to lose track of who’s in charge of publishing posts for each client. As a result, there’s a good chance that duplicate content can go live, or posts don’t get published at all. 

Defining a social media workflow is one of the best ways to launch and scale your social media marketing efforts. It will help your team keep clear of the common mistakes that marketing teams make.

Throughout this post, we will show you how to set up and automate a social media workflow using Gain. But of course, you can apply these steps to any manual processes or tools that your team uses. 

The first step is to assign appropriate roles for everyone on your team and any stakeholders. 

Assign appropriate roles

Before planning any content, think about who really needs to be involved in the social media process and what that person’s role will be at each stage. 

We believe that the best social media workflows are those that only involve the right people at the right time. Clear workflows make it so much easier to stick with a plan and maintain team productivity.

If you’re using Gain, you can assign each person a role (or level of “access”) for each workspace, channel, or file folder. 

Some example roles for your workflow might be:

Publisher – A person that can create, edit, and export content. They can also send content for other team members or stakeholders to approve and schedule/publish social posts.

Contributor – An internal or external stakeholder or content creator – such as an intern, freelancer, or client. They can create and send content for approval, assign tasks, and see all activity on individual posts.

Approver – Any client or stakeholder whose only task is to approve posts. They have a queue of content to review, plus they can access the calendar to see any scheduled or live content.

Step 1: Organizing your social media post ideas & strategy

Collaborating with multiple people on social media posts can be overwhelming, especially when you have multiple clients and multiple social channels to manage for each one. 

Setting up a content calendar is one of the best ways to organize your content strategy and keep everyone in the loop on what’s coming up. 

If you’re using Gain, you can see a calendar for every workspace you create, and then add labels to your calendar to remember important dates, holidays, campaigns, or topics. 

You can use calendar labels that span multiple days or weeks to keep everyone on your team (including approvers) up-to-date with content planning efforts. 

Another way to organize your social posts is with tags. In Gain, you can add tags to any specific piece of content, and then easily filter posts by tag from a calendar, list, or gallery view.

Any content you add or create in Gain will be visible to your team on the calendar, but it will stay hidden from clients and stakeholders until it’s been approved. This way, your team can collaborate on posts internally and then share them with clients without moving them into another doc, sheet, email, chat or collaboration tool.

Step 2: Creating your social media posts

After outlining your content ideas and strategy on the calendar, it’s time to create your posts. 

With Gain you can upload any type of image, GIF, video, or files from other apps you use, such as Canva, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. 

As you create your posts, you can bring in other team members to collaborate. Quickly get their feedback or ask questions by @mentioning them. You can also assign them tasks to make sure they know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

When you mention someone or assign a task, the person will receive a notification and see a list of their pending tasks to complete. All of the back-and-forth communication stays right inside Gain, instead of spread across multiple email chains, Slack messages, etc.

Step 3: Gathering feedback and approvals

After creating your posts, it’s time to get final feedback and approval from any managers, stakeholders, and clients.

To keep your content pipeline moving along, you should set up an approval process for your content. For this process you should take into account things like: who needs to provide feedback and approve within your team or company, how many revision rounds you estimate will be needed, and how many clients or external stakeholders need to approve and in what order. This is what’s known as an approval workflow.

Approval workflows are like templates that allow you to:

  • Decide who approves what and in what order
  • Send content through multiple approval rounds (multiple people) if necessary
  • Save and reuse your approval workflows 
  • Automatically move content to the next person for review until everyone approves it

If you’re using Gain, you can set up automated approval workflows. This means that Gain will keep your content moving along each person in the workflow, from one round to the next, and notify the content creators every time there’s feedback, change requests or approvals.

Not having to spend time emailing, calling, and following up on clients for feedback will not only give you back your time, it will definitely help preserve your sanity. Plus, having automated approval workflows in a tool like Gain also ensures that everyone in your team knows exactly whose turn it is to collaborate, give feedback, or approve. 

Another great thing about automating your approval workflows is that the entire history of each individual post will be recorded. You can quickly see every edit, every comment, and every client request with a timestamp. This is especially important for teams who require approval from legal teams and have to meet compliance measures. 

Step 4: Scheduling your posts

Once you have your posts approved, you’re ready to schedule them!

There are tons of tools out there that automate scheduling and posting for social media. But ideally, you shouldn’t have to use a tool different from the one you use for client feedback and approval. 

If you’re using Gain, the automation of the approval process naturally extends to the scheduling and publishing of your content. Once a client approves a social post in Gain, it’s automatically scheduled and published, as well as noted in each post’s activity tracker. (Again, compliance teams LOVE this!) 

Benefits of a social media approval workflow

To summarize, creating a social media approval workflow will help you: 

✔️ Know exactly who is doing what for each marketing campaign or client 

✔️ Improve collaboration on social media content and keep a better record of all edits and feedback

✔️ Streamline the collection of both internal & client feedback and approvals

✔️ Have content collaboration, client feedback & approvals, plus scheduling and publishing consolidated in one same tool

✔️ Spend more time on strategy and creating quality content

If you’re ready to create and automate a social media workflow for your team, start a free trial of Gain and save precious time working on all your marketing content!