Optimise Your Social Media Workflows

Optimise Your Social Media Workflows

The ultimate social media productivity hacks for agencies and brands.

Productivity hackers are often bandied around by entitled celebrities offering motivational speeches on what gets them out of bed in the morning. The truth is that all that waking up at 5am to prepare your colon cleansing green smoothie, before a couple of hours of pointless power posing, just sounds a lot like extra items on the to-do list.

Social media managers have enough to do, so once you’ve rolled out of bed and shot some coffee into your veins, take a read of this article, because it will keep your clients or boss happy, and make content creation a breeze… Now we’re talking.

We’re going to juice up your social media workflow and approval process, so you can forget those endless spreadsheets, and free up a bit of time for whatever leisure or pleasure you see fit.

 

Which workflow is right for me?

Teams come in all shapes and sizes, but roles and requirements are often the same. When we created Rivuu, we called on a decade of real life social media agency workflow experience, and boiled it all down to come up with three workflow templates to suit just about any application.

In-house no graphic designer:

This is our simplest workflow, and consists of just 4 steps in total. At the content creation step, posts are created usually by a community manager or team.  Once a post has been drafted, it can be sent for review, at which point a content approver can approve and schedule the post, or reject and provide feedback.  Rejected posts are collected in the “Rejected Content” step after which you can read and implement suggested changes before submitting again for approval.

 

In-house with graphic designer:

Typically used by brands running their own social media accounts, this workflow also includes post creation, and a single round of content approval, but also a specific step designed for graphic designers.  Once posts are written, they are sent to the designer with a creative brief, before being sent for approval.  If approved, content is scheduled, and if rejected it is collected in the “Rejected Content” step to be amended and resubmitted.

Agency Workflow:

Digital marketing, PR or social media agencies typically work with many clients, managing multiple platforms for each brand.  In this workflow we have included two rounds of content approval, so that content can be reviewed internally before being sent to the client for approval.  In this workflow we have also included the graphic design step, but agencies in which a community manager is creating both the text and image need not include it.

Chances are that your business already closely resembles one of these three models. That’s because structurally your workflow already exists. However, what causes bottlenecks, and gives your clients, boss or team the grumps is most likely how inefficiently you are collectively able to transition between each step, and communicate concisely throughout.

So what are the common pitfalls that can bring even the best social media workflow grinding to a halt?

 

Common Workflow Pitfalls & Problems

Over-reliance on spreadsheets

While spreadsheets are great for numbers, they’re not the best way to handle rich media.  After just a few weeks worth of data your marketing plan can get pretty complicated, and keeping track of feedback and content for the final cut can be confusing.

If you have ever been waiting too long for approvals or have duplicates of the same document with different feedback, you can appreciate that sometimes the process of maintaining these somewhat useful documents can feel like more trouble than it’s worth.

To smash spreadsheets out of the ball park, we designed Rivuu to take social media planning to the next level, offering features to display post previews, give feedback on content, and schedule and publish directly to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

As a social media agency, this immediately cut our workload in half, giving us more time to focus on the creative stuff, coming up with great content ideas, and getting personal with fans.

Drip-feeding posts = constant annoyance

Like an irritating skin rash, or a wasp buzzing around your ice-cream sundae, you are an annoyance. There’s no way to avoid it… people hate reviewing content. However necessary it may be, and however dutifully your approvers take on the task (or not), you can be sure that after the novelty of the first few posts, the fun has well and truly worn off.

While you might be making daily performance checks on your posts, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be batch creating, and scheduling content. Many agencies and brands like to schedule social media content for the entire month at one time, then send it over to their approvers in a single batch. This is a great way to get the work over and done with in a single step, and take the pain out of the approvals process.

Instead of bugging your approvers with every post, Rivuu has a simple email notification system that allows you to send scheduled notifications with a summary of all content in a single batch. This means that users get a single email highlighting the content left to work on in each step, rather than getting pummeled with bings and bongs.

Complicated approval process

We get it. Your brand is precious. However, the reality is that as CEO your time for social media content can be limited.  One of the main issues that we find slows down a potentially great social media workflow is too many approval rounds.

If your content needs to go through more than two layers of hierarchy before being published, chances are that some delegation needs to happen. If you can’t bear to let go, then maybe you should question what kind of people you have hired if their ability to collectively knock out a few Facebook posts is in question.

Of course some approvals are essential, not only because no one wants an Anthony Wiener scandal on their books (politicians sign up for Rivuu here), but also because establishing voice and consistent imagery is important. However, we encourage a flatter approach, which is why we developed the “Groups” feature for shared permissions.

By grouping users in Rivuu into a “Content Approvers” group in Rivuu, you can share approval permissions between as many people as you like. So if a post has been drafted you can have a team of designated approvers, for example the CEO, marketing manager, and client, who are all authorized to make the final call and allow a post to be published.

They can install the app on their phone and simply approve, reject and provide feedback on content so that it can be approved by any person as and when they are available.

Sharing permissions in this way means that you can simplify your workflow with fewer steps, without having to rely on feedback from the entire hierarchy, giving clear accountability through a visible history of feedback and comments.

The best part is that there’s no need for the return loop of confirmation, as once approved, posts can be automatically scheduled and published, cutting an entire step out of your approval process!

Know your roles

Workflows are often inhibited by a poor understanding of roles and responsibilities. If you don’t know who is writing posts, creating images, approving content, making amendments and reporting on performance, it is probably time to take another look at your process.

This is not to say that there must be one person per role. Quite the opposite. At Rivuu we believe in a fluid team structure, which is why we allow you to add individual users to multiple steps of the social media workflow, and even to multiple groups.

So for example, if your art director is both creating content and approving it, they can have both group permissions as a standard designer, and be added as an individual to an approval step, giving them extra powers in your approval process.

A well functioning workflow is all about transparency, accountability and keeping things short. Spending a few minutes to codify roles will help your whole team to understand their place in the process.

Menial matters

Having the big ideas is great, but sometimes it’s the nitty gritty that slows things down. Most managers are fantastic strategists when it comes to the broader company objectives, but in order to get there you’re going to have to develop a workflow for the small steps in-between.

Social media requires a consistent effort, so that means creating simple processes that make managing the repetitive aspects of the work. Simple enough, except that it is usually also a team effort, so getting everyone to stick to the same process can be a challenge.

Rivuu has been designed as an all encompassing social media workflow team tool designed with a flexible structure, but with carefully designed microprocesses within each step. With separate pages for content creation, graphic designers, content approvers, plus shared calendar and dashboards for the whole team, you can structure each team member’s experience of the tool individually.

This customisation makes it easy to on-board your staff and clients, and once signed into Rivuu, sticking to the process is effortless!

 

The Solution

We’re not going to pretend that Rivuu makes content approval fun. We built the tool because the whole process can feel like being jabbed in the eye with a long pointed stick… Or at least an elbow in the ribs.

However, Rivuu does make approvals simple and painless, and streamlines the whole social media production process into simple and manageable chunks that can easily be shared with the whole team.

Getting in control of your workflows is a tough task, especially if your team are spread across a variety of platforms and tools.  Rivuu brings your team together in a tool designed by social media experts, which is flexible enough to fit a huge array of team structures, making it the best social media tool to try in 2017.

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