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How to use social media management platforms for approval workflow?

Let’s start with the brief introduction of the four social media management platforms: SMhack: SMhack is one of the best social media management tool. Using this tool you can easily schedule your post for different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Beside this, you can also get useful reports based on the activities of audience on your social page so as to gain deep insight that will help you to increase your social strategies. Buffer: It is among the longest-running tools of social media that aimed mainly at scheduling the posts. This service renders support for Facebook, and Twitter, LinkedIn, plus Instagram. Also, Pro users can schedule Pinterest updates as well. And free users can connect to three different social accounts, which includes Facebook pages as well as the groups. Hootsuite: This is one of the most beneficial social management tools of all. The Hootsuite app is compatible along with 35 plus social networks, which include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Further network connections have been made available with the Directory of the Hootsuite App, which is the user-maintained database concerning extensions. Sprout Social: It is one complete tool of SMM for platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, LinkedIn, plus Pinterest. This includes the complete gamut for scheduling tools, plus includes the capability to post on multiple networks that, too, at the same time. Users can stick to their schedule plus can also have the Sprout Queue to automatically schedule their posts at the time that suits them the best. Before discussing Social media approval workflow, let’s focus on Why Workflow tools are Important for Your Business? A systematic workflow can dramatically improve your business with smart management. 
  • Increase Accountability
  • Involvement of employees will be predefined
  • Reduced manual labor
  • Helps process structure with Streamlined Processes
  • Agile workflow breaks the barriers
  • Easy to measure performance
  • Helps the new improvement implementation for betterments
  • Track customer experiences & helps to improve it

What if any organizations don’t have these workflow tools?

Without workflow management, business and organizations may face some issues:
  • To manage the process or complete some tasks, more manual efforts will be needed.
  • The involvement of members will be increased, which may affect productivity and take more time to finish such tasks.
  • No track records of any task
  • Quite difficult to find user experience record
  • Loophole can’t manage instant or not even predefined

What are the characteristics or traits of the best social media approval workflow?

Mentioned below are the traits or characteristics that the best social media approval workflow should have:
  1. Efficient time management
  2. Timely creation of the written content
  3. Timely creation of the Video or graphical content for various social media campaigns
  4. Apt time length of the videos for social media platforms
  5. The social media campaigns should match the tone and voice of the brand
  6. Visuals used should match the brand’s guidelines; this includes the logo’s placement and colors
  7. Content should be optimized according to the channel
  8. No grammatical or spelling errors should be present anywhere at all
Now, let’s discuss the Workflow of the four: SMhack, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social.

SMhack

Approval Workflow process is very simple in SMhack. You need not to remember hard and long steps as you did in other Social Media Management Tools. Follow these steps to get Approval Workflow done:

Sending Post to the Approver:

  • From the dashboard of SMhack, select COMPOSE.
  • Now, select the social media Profiles, for which you want to send post for approval.
  • Now, curate the post that you want to get published.
  • Select the Delivery Options as per your requirement.
  • For sending the post for the Approval, click on Send for Approval.
  • Just select the Approver, to whom you want to get your post approved.
  • You can also mention Comments that can only be visible to the Approver.
  • Now, click on Send for Approval. That’s all.

Here are the steps for the Approver to approve the post that are assigned to him/her.

Approving Post Assigned to You:

  • From the dashboard of SMhack, select Publish.
  • Click on Assigned to me, to see the post that are being assigned to you for your approval.
  • You will easily find all the posts that are waiting for your approval. Just Click on Approve or Reject and you are all done!

That’s all for Approval Workflow in SMhack. Isn’t it easy?

Buffer

With Buffer, you can invite new members to the team that shares content on social media platforms. Follow the steps given below to do this:
  1. Go to the admin’s section followed by Team members.
  1. Click on the button- “Invite a new team member”.
  1. Enter the name as well as the email address of all the members you want to invite.
  1. Assign them one social account
  1. Set the access level for them
  1. Set the admin access
  2. Finally, complete the process by clicking the button “invite team member”
  3. The required team member will receive the invitation email.
Similarly, you can invite clients as well as manage the permission levels along with account access. Now, let’s follow these steps to manage post-approval by invited members. Manage posts Approval: In Buffer, any post created by users which requires approval will be added to the draft area automatically. Once you request for approval to team members, all the users who is having full posting access can review it and provide approval on it.
  1. Users can see your created post in the Awaiting Approval section, so the chosen users or a company can directly click to approve and the post will be moved in the scheduling slot (in the Queue).
  1. If you want to edit your post after scheduling for approval then also you can directly make changes in it by clicking Edit, then click the Save and proceed for approval.
  1. Yet, your company or a member requires modifications then they can move the post into a draft by clicking Move To Draft. And the user who created this post will be notified via email to modify the post.
  1. If you are wondering to remove your post permanently then you can click Delete and then Confirm.
Scheduling content: Scheduling the content in the Buffer is quite simple. You will only need to add updates in the Buffer queue then the content will be posted at the scheduled time, as per the different schedules set for each and every post. Follow the below-mentioned steps to schedule your posts:
  1. Create the post by clicking on the “what do you want to share?”
  1. Then choose the profiles to which you want to share the post.
  2. Add the post to the queue in the Buffer by clicking on the “add to queue” button at the right bottom of the composer
  1. You will also come across options such as “share next”, “share now”, and “schedule posts” (this option appears when there is a team member whose posts require approval).
Customizing the post schedules To customize the post scheduling follow the given steps:
  1. Select the social media profile then click on the “Schedule” tab.
  2. Customize the times and days on which the posts should publish.
  1. You can also use the “Optimal Timing Tool”.
Pros:
  1. Simple and easy workflow
  2. Buffer allows you to create a custom schedule.
  3. Posting, scheduling has a handy basic structure.
  4. Social media approval workflow with Advanced Scheduling seems the best option.
Cons:
  1. According to plans, there is a limit for users to schedule posts
  2.  To use advanced analytics, you must have upgraded plans.

Hootsuite

There is not much variation among the capabilities of publishing for Buffer and Hootsuite. Both these platforms enable the users to choose the network of social media on which they would want to publish, plus both of them provide the link shorteners as well. The major differences are aesthetic. Basically, Hootsuite offers 2 types of approval processes for organization admins.
  1. Customizing Approvals: 
To get approval from a team member or organization you must edit the Custom Approval Rule. Edit Customizing Approvals:
  • Click your profile picture available on the top-right corner of the dashboard
  • Select “Manage:” featured option under the organization name.
  • Click Social Networks and select the required social media from it.
  • Click the Profile Settings tab.
  • Click Settings, and then click Edit Custom Approval.
  • Click on the first approval field by searching a team, or team member, or role to act as the prior approver for the social network.
    • You can choose multiple team members for post-approval.
  • Click Save and set.
  • Review the new approval workflow, and then click Done.
After setting a Custom approval rules, you can proceed with the schedule post for approval:
  1. Approval Workflow
To notify the users or team for approving a post, you can enable notifications from Hootsuite Dashboard (notification center) and also enable the Email option:
  • Select Publisher from the launch menu of the dashboard.
  • Click the Content tab from the top of the calendar.
  • Click Require My Approval – Post which requires approval will appear “Under Publisher” section.
  • Click a post to view it in full.
  • Click Approve 
Pros:
  1. Multi-columned streams can help to analyze Scheduled posts’ analytics
  2. Assign user roles and tasks
  3. Easy to analyze Publishing workflow
  4. Allows team collaboration during the approval workflow.
  5. One can easily schedule or post the content via a mobile application which also supports the approval process.
  6. Easy to track team audit during a workflow.
Cons:
  1. Sometimes approved posts may face image issues after publishing the post.
  2. One can only use short links.

Sprout Social

Social media approval workflow of Sprout Social: Follow the steps to create a new approval workflow:
  • Select the setting option from the top right corner of the screen
  • Go to Global Features, Select Workflow Approvals, and CREATE NEW WORKFLOW
  • Name the workflow and assign members
  • Repeat the steps for many assigners
  • Complete the workflow
  • Now create a post or message and assign it to the member for approval.
Pros:
  1. Social publishing is quick with time savvy workflow
  2. Easy integration & drafting features for workflow
  3. One can create a blueprint of social media strategy during the workflow
Cons:
  1. Quite expensive for organizations to use multiple users for approval.
  2. One can not schedule a post in more than 5 social media
  3. During posting no multiple images supported by Sprout Social
  4. Difficult to find previously done comments and mentions during the workflow

Let’s look into the comparison of Social media approval workflow of Buffer, Hootsuite, SMhack and Social Sprout.

#BufferHootsuiteSMHACKSprout Social
WorkflowSimple but time-consumingSimpleSimple and QuickQuick
Social media approval workflowAdvance scheduling optionEasy custom Approval RuleEasy Approval Workflow RulesNeed to create a new workflow for approval
Structure of WorkflowHandyMulti-columned streamsEasy in drafting and approving postsEasy drafting of posts
User experience during the workflowSeamless on desktop and through appEasy to manage the workflow from appCan be managed through Desktop onlyDesktop only
Posting efficiencyOptimalHandyHandyRobust 
Price$15.00/month$19.99/monthStandard – $9/month
Premium – $39/month
$99/month
Best ForPublishers, mid-stage startup teams, non-profits, higher education, sports teams, e-commerce, solopreneurs, businesses, and enterprises.SMB and Enterprisemid-stage startup teams, non-profits, businesses, and enterprises.Agencies and businesses – both large and small

Conclusion

It’s a brainstorming task to choose the best social media management tool but it’s necessary to have the right one. If you’re looking for the tool which allows simple and straightforward functions to schedule and share the content on your various social networks then choose Buffer. Or if you want something more advanced with the approval workflow which shows the analytics reports on your scheduled posts then Sprout Social will be considered as an obvious choice. And finally, if you want to customize or integrate your preferred social media then Hootsuite is the best choice for mid-to-large business. Also, Hootsuite offers easy & time savvy social media approval workflow.  Rest is up to your requirements and choices to schedule and manage your social media strategy.