Truth be told, social media marketing is not a cakewalk. You have to plan, create, publish, and analyze content, juggle between platforms, and handle multiple people and deadlines, all at once.
And without a proper workflow, all of this can get overwhelming and messy.
A social media workflow is a system that helps you create and publish content consistently and in a timely manner. It makes team collaboration easier, helps you spot and fix errors quickly, and saves time and energy.
Overall, it helps you structure your work and put out quality content in a planned manner while still maintaining the agility to accommodate spontaneity.
Without further ado, let’s explore how you can create a workflow to put your social media plan into motion.
7 steps to create an effective social media workflow.
Today, brands have to produce large volumes of content while maintaining an omnichannel presence which is no easy feat. This makes an effective social media workflow a need more than a choice.
Here’s how you can do this.
1. Define roles and responsibilities.
Social media marketing involves different people like content creators, managers, and graphic designers. A workflow clearly defines each of their roles—it’s only when people know their scope of work and deadlines that you can focus on active work more than supervision.
For this, you need to assemble your team and collaborate with them on the workflow. Take their opinions into consideration while creating it—understand their bandwidth, the responsibilities they are willing to take, and the timelines that will work for them.
This way, they will all be involved in creating the workflow, and it won’t seem forced upon them. To solidify this, you can create a briefing document or an assigning sheet that makes this clearer.
2. Prepare a social media strategy.
The next step in your workflow is to create a solid social media strategy. It’s what will determine the what, where, why, and how of your content.
Here’s what you need to consider while preparing your strategy:
- What are your social media goals?
- Who is your target audience?
- Which platform do they use, and how?
- Who are your competitors? What content do they create, and how often?
- How much content do you need to create, and in which formats?
Your goals could be anything—from increasing brand awareness or building a community to generating leads. But be clear about them from the start and plan content accordingly.
Get specific with numbers and deadlines for these goals, and make concrete plans to achieve them. Include measurable goals in your strategy, like “Increase Instagram following by 20% within the next 2 months.”
3. Create a content calendar.
Now, translate your social media strategy into a content calendar for execution and task management.
A content calendar helps you distribute content across days and months and organize it based on the date, time, and posting channel.
This way, you can keep track of all your posts and ensure they go out on time. It also helps you handle different social media platforms more efficiently.
It’s best to plan your calendar at least a month in advance. And remember, while it’s essential to stick to your calendar, be open to ad-hoc content. Sometimes, hopping on a trend or moment marketing can bring you excellent traction—so make your calendar flexible that way.
4. Batch-create content.
It’s natural not to feel motivated to create content every day. But this can turn into a stressful situation if your deadline is approaching and you have no ideas in mind. That’s why creating content in batches helps.
Set aside time in your calendar for content creation when you can solely focus on creating a good amount of posts in a consistent flow.
This will help you out on days when you’re not feeling as creative. Moreover, creating multiple posts together will help you stay consistent with the branding and messaging too.
Content batching becomes especially important for content that requires a lot of preparation, like videos. For instance, shooting several videos together can save you all the time to prepare the setup for videos.
5. Schedule posts.
After you’ve created your posts, it’s time to schedule them, so they get posted on auto-pilot throughout the week or month.
Publishing every post manually can be time-consuming and distracting, which is why scheduling helps.
By scheduling posts, you wouldn’t have to take out time from your workday to make them go live.
Tools like Falcon allow you to manage all your social media platforms from one dashboard for posting and tracking your content and provide useful information like best time to post on the platform, and how well your posts are performing.
6. Streamline the content approval process.
In a Workfront survey, 92% of marketers said approval delays lead to missed deadlines. That’s a huge number and shows why you need an effective content approval process.
Approval is an integral part of marketing as it ensures the content you publish is on-brand and error-free. But you need to streamline the process, or else it’ll do more harm than good.
So, make sure everyone is clear about their roles and deadlines and adheres to them. Communicate with your team regularly so they know what’s happening and how they should approach the process.
You can even prepare an approval outline mentioning how feedback should be sent, guidelines to create engaging content, the timeline to make and review edits, etc. This will help make the approval process smoother and reduce the chances of unnecessary delays.
6. Monitor your performance.
Indeed, the most crucial part of marketing begins after your posts go live. You need to monitor your content performance and study metrics to see if your marketing strategy is working, and the ROI you’re getting from your efforts.
It’s also essential to record your observations and takeaways in a report that you can share and study with your team to optimize your strategy for better results.
You can prepare reports weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your goals and bandwidth. But make the reports actionable—share ideas and tactical strategies on where you need to improve and how.
Such reports will help you track your social media growth, understand what your audience wants, and help you plan future strategies.
There you have it—a social media workflow that will help you stay on top of your work, increase efficiency, and save time.
You can always modify the above structure based on individual needs. But these are some of the most important aspects of a workflow that will help you ease the process and handle the various facets of the “social media game”
Remember, the key is to work smart, not hard. And a social media workflow helps you do just that.
About the author:
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.