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Social Media Workflow: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers

If you’ve been in social media marketing for any amount of time, you’ll probably agree:

Creating content consistently is EXHAUSTING. 

In a world where people consume over two hours of social media content a day, it can be pretty difficult to create fresh ideas day in and day out. 

And then on top of it all, you have to coordinate a team, get approvals, monitor performance, and put out fires when things (inevitably) go wrong. 

So how come others manage to grow their social media presence and pump out perfect posts like clockwork?

I’ll let you in on a little secret:

The best social media managers aren’t smarter or more creative. They just have a solid system in place. 

With a well-oiled social media workflow, you can: 

  • Continuously produce amazing content 
  • Publish posts on time and more frequently 
  • Eliminate errors and inconsistencies
  • Think more strategically to hit your social media KPIs

Turning your process from this:

Into this: 

In this guide, we’ll show you what a social media workflow is, 5 questions you need to ask, and what a successful workflow looks like. 

What is a social media workflow?

A social media workflow is a repeatable, methodical process that allows you to consistently deliver great content for a brand. It captures all the people and steps involved in creating, reviewing, and publishing social media content to avoid delays and miscommunications. 

Every social media workflow differs depending on a bunch of factors, including: 

  • Whether you’re working in-house or managing social media for a client
  • The size of your team 
  • How much content you’re posting, and on which platforms

But regardless of what your workflow looks like, you’ve got to document it. Your process should be well recorded – enough that any new team member could run with it – and accessible to everyone involved. 

⏱️Time saver tip: Can’t be bothered to write out all the steps of your social media workflow? Kontentino guides team members through each stage of your process, from initial drafting to posting. 

Is my current social media workflow good enough? 

Here’s a quick litmus test…

  1. Does involving new employees in the process slow down content production? 
  2. Are there moments where anyone is unsure what they should be doing? 
  3. Do you find yourself constantly running out of time, or scrounging up pieces of content to fill in the gaps? 
  4. Do you struggle to hit your KPIs each month and dread reporting to your client?

If you answered ‘yes’, it may be time to look at your process and see where you can make some improvements. 

How do I create a bulletproof social media workflow?

Need to audit your social media workflow process, or create a new one? These are the 5 questions you should ask.

What’s your strategy?

Having a smart social media strategy makes it so much simpler to create content that aligns with your brand – and for others in your team to do the same. 

Best of all, you’ll never have to start from scratch. By knowing exactly who you are as a brand and what each piece of content needs to do, it’s a lot easier to come up with winning ideas. 

To devise your strategy, there are a few key questions you’ll need to ask:

  1. Who’s my target audience on social media?
  2. What do we need to achieve? 
    • Are we aiming for brand awareness, audience engagement, audience growth, traffic, or conversions? 
    • What do we need to achieve for each platform in particular? 
  3. What content do we need to create to achieve our goals? 
    • How do we speak to our audience? 
    • What topics should we focus on? What topics should we avoid?
    • How often should we post? What times are best for our audience? 
    • What type of assets will we use?
  4. How will we know when we’ve achieved our goals? What metrics will we need?

Who’s involved? 

When thinking about the social media content workflow, it’s easy to focus on the main team in the trenches. 

Depending on the size of a company, this may include the Head of SEO, strategists, content creators, designers, community managers, etc. 

Or it can just be you, a super-awesome social media manager armed with a laptop and crippling coffee addiction. 

But outside of those actually making content, there are a lot more people involved. Here are just some of the stakeholders you’ll need to consider when designing your social media workflow. 

Clients or Upper Management: These are the people who have the final say – and the ones you ultimately need to impress to land your next promotion. 

Sales & Marketing: In some companies, there may be separate sales and marketing teams who also need to have oversight over the final content. In others, you may be the only one overseeing social media and collaborate with the rest of the team for consistency. 

Product: At the end of the day, social media should be part of a company’s sales machine. By involving product teams, you can guarantee the accuracy of your messaging – and even identify new marketing and content opportunities.

To ensure you’re using everyone’s time effectively – and prevent overlap or gaps – you’ll need to:

  • Establish two groups of people: essential and nice to have 
  • Outline a list of deadlines and deliverables (more on that next) 

Need help building your social media team? Check out our step-by-step guide. 

What are your deadlines and deliverables?

Each person involved in your social media workflow should know:

  • What they need to deliver 
  • When they need to deliver it by

It’s worth consulting with your team at this point to develop a realistic timeline that works for everyone. 

What channels are you using?

If you’ve outlined your strategy, you’ll have an idea of where your audience hangs out online. But do you know how to take advantage of each platform?

Here’s a quick look at some types of content that perform best on different channels. 

Facebook: User-generated content, humor, updates

Instagram: Lifestyle, product showcases, behind-the-scenes, inspirational quotes

Twitter: Opinions, questions/conversations with your audience, product updates

LinkedIn: Professional updates, industry-specific content, how-tos, list posts

Pinterest: Lifestyle, infographics, inspirational quotes

You can also check out our guide that will help you choose the right social media platform for your business

Where’s your workspace? 

This is all about the actual logistics of your workflow. Where can everyone find what they need to do their jobs? And how do they know when it is their turn to do their part?

You’ll want to consider creating a centralised asset library your team can access and limit the number of spreadsheets and apps you use. That way, everything’s in one place and easy to find.  

You’ll also want to ensure you’ve got an effective notification system in place so that content can seamlessly flow through each stage of the process and there are no hold-ups. 

The 10 steps of a successful social media workflow

While every workflow is different, here’s an example of what an optimised social media workflow may look like.

Note: this is for an evergreen monthly content cycle. You may want to set up another social media content workflow for responding to trends and time-sensitive posts.

1. Ideation

🗣️ Who: Social media team 

🗓️ Deadline: 4-8 weeks before posting

🎯 Deliverable: Initial ideas for approval 

The brainstorming phase of your social media workflow can take many forms. You may review top-performing posts, read through your comments, see what your competitors are doing, or whatever else works for your team. 

Stuck? Here are some ideas for your social media calendar, just in case. 

⏱️Time saver tip: With Kontentino’s content plans, you can easily see the number and type of posts, and create custom topic labels to ensure you have a good variety of content ideas.

2. Asset creation 

🗣️ Who: Social media manager, Content creator, Designer, Photographer, Video editor

🗓️Deadline: 4-6 weeks before posting

🎯Deliverable: Videos/images/graphics 

This stage of the social media workflow depends on the type of content you’re creating; as you can imagine, videos take a bit more time and prep than whipping up graphics. You may also want to go through existing assets and see what you can repurpose. 

⏱️Time saver tip: With unlimited storage, Kontentino’s Media Library allows your team and your clients to upload videos/images and use them later. 

3. Copywriting

🗣️ Who: Social media manager, Content creator, Copywriter 

🗓️Deadline: 2-5 weeks before posting

🎯Deliverable: Captions 

While images and videos are gaining popularity, captions are still a driving force for growth. It’s best to batch your copywriting all in one go – both to save time and ensure each post meets brand guidelines. 

⏱️Time saver tip: Save your most commonly used hashtags with Kontentino and insert them into copy with a click. 

4. Content editing

🗣️ Who: Social media manager, Content editors

🗓️Deadline: 2-4 weeks before posting

🎯Deliverable: ‘Final’ version of social media posts, ready for review

This is the part of the process where everything gets pulled together to create your awesome final product (well, pending approval). This can include everything from proofreading to choosing the right song and emojis! 

⏱️Time saver tip: Tired of working in spreadsheets? See exactly how your posts will look live with Kontentino’s Dynamic Post Preview. This process also allows you to skip the visual mock-up stage. 

5. Approval 

🗣️ Who: Social media manager, Head of SEO, Client/Upper management, and anyone else who needs a say

🗓️Deadline: 1-4 weeks before posting 

🎯Deliverable: Approved posts and/or list of changes to be made

Approval comes in two stages. The first is where you or whoever leads the social media team reviews your work to make sure it’s on brand and that every last typo has been taken care of. 

And of course, there’s that lengthy second line of approval, which can include the CEO, upper management, PR, legal, or really anyone who needs to see content before the world does. 

We’ve done a deep dive into streamlining your client approval process, so feel free to check it out for more tips to make your social media workflow easier. 

6. Scheduling

🗣️ Who: Social media manager

🗓️Deadline: 1-4 weeks before posting

🎯Deliverable: Scheduled social media posts 

You’ve got a lot going on, meaning scheduling in advance is a must. But no one likes signing in and out of different accounts or having a gazillion tabs open. 

With a social media management tool like Kontentino, you can schedule all pending content for every platform in a single click. 

You can also duplicate posts across channels by dragging them from the calendar. They’ll be published automatically with the original post, so there’s no need to waste time rescheduling. 

7. Promoting

🗣️ Who: Social media manager

🗓️Deadline: At least 1 day after posting

🎯Deliverable: Promoted posts

Promoting posts can be a great way to boost performance, reach a wider audience, and get more out of each piece of content. Just keep an eye on your budget and schedule – you don’t want to accidentally spend too much on just one post! 

⏱️Time saver tip: Kontentino has a built-in budget tracker to oversee your spending and ensure that each post receives just the right amount. 

8. Community building

🗣️ Who: Social media manager, Social media community manager

🗓️Deadline: Ongoing

🎯Deliverable: Comments, replies, likes, shares, and other social engagement 

Social media isn’t just about creating content – it’s about creating a community, where your audience knows you’re there for them. Responding to comments, DMs, and customer service questions is key. 

Not to mention, the algorithm loves engagement, making it an easy way to give your accounts a nice little boost. That’s why it’s important to include this step in your social media workflow.

9. Analyzing

🗣️ Who: Social media manager, Social media analyst

🗓️Deadline: 1-14 days after posting 

🎯Deliverable: Report

The only way to actually grow your socials? Pay attention to what’s performing AND what’s not. How else can you create content that resonates with your audience? 

Kontentino allows you to select any metric and order your posts from best to least performing. Plus, with a benchmark created from the last 6 months of posting, you can see whether new posts hit their mark. 

10. Strategizing 

🗣️ Who: Social media team, Client/Upper management

🗓️Deadline: 1-30 days after posting

🎯Deliverable: Goals and brief for the next round of content

Based on what you’ve learned, what insights can you share with your team? What insights can you share with your clients or upper management? And what can you do better in your social media content strategy

Cut your social media workload in half with Kontentino 

We’ve shown you how to create an efficient social media workflow for consistent content creation. But the best way by far to optimize your workflow is to use a specially designed social media tool like Kontentino. 

As social media managers ourselves, here are some of our favorite features. 

See your whole workflow

Sometimes when you use spreadsheets, it’s easy to lose sight of how everything works together and what the end result will look like. With Workflow View, you can get an instant snapshot of your entire process – and your team’s progress. 

Keep your content organized with Calendar view

See all the content you have planned and scheduled for the month on every channel. 

And if you need to move posts around, or duplicate them? Just drag and drop. 

Working on a bunch of different stuff? With Profile Groups, you can cluster all of a client’s platforms or similar campaigns you’re overseeing – perfect for agencies. 

All your collaboration and communication – in one space

As we’ve said, your workspace can make or break your social media workflow. With Kontentino, everything is in one place – your posts, assets, comments, and everything your team needs to create great content. 

You can easily assign multiple tasks at once to members of your team.

Track every change made to a post.

And comment next to the post you’re working on, making it easier for team members to have a say, collaborate, and keep track of what needs to be done.

Now go put that workflow in place!

We hope you can put our tips for improving your social media team workflow to good use. Our 10-step guide is a great starting point for refining your process, so take it and make it your own! 

And hey, if you want to make things even more efficient, there’s always Kontentino. See how simple your social media workflow can be with a free 14-day trial. 

Tags:

Collaborate, approve & schedule
social media content with Kontentino

Michelle Teo

Michelle Teo is a nomadic marketing strategist that lives inbetween Paris and New York. She loves working with fast-growing B2B SaaS companies. She also has a thing for peanut butter ice-cream. You can find her online at michelleteo.com.
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