by Lee Dussinger
Social media has quickly become one of the cornerstones of how a brand interacts with their audience.
For many companies, their brand experience begins on social media. Since social media content allows you to directly communicate with current and potential customers, getting this right is essential. The right content deepens the relationship your brand has with your audience – while the wrong content can go viral for all the wrong reasons…
As the number of relevant social channels expand and the appetite for content grows, better tools are needed to keep up. Social media approval software is one of the most important tools that teams use to gain efficiency and prevent mistakes. Adopting the right solution drives efficiency and enables better brand message discipline.
A social media post approval tool empowers your brand to achieve that by centralizing social content and feedback in a single platform. Simply put: working in a purpose-built platform is better than trusting Google Docs or asking approvers to log into the native platforms. For large and small teams alike, this is rapidly becoming a necessity.
There are more social tools to choose from than ever before. However, not all software offers the same capabilities and the built-for-marketers benefits. Explore our product guide to see must-have features for social media content review!
7 Traits of a Standout Social Media Content Approval Tool
Finding a social media content approval tool that is a match for your use case and your organization takes research, vetting, and even experiencing the different platforms in action. When narrowing your search, you want to identify the functions that you absolutely need to have to work better.
This product guide highlights the key traits to you look for in any software – as well as why they are so important to Opal customers:
1.True-to-Life Content Previews
Seeing your content through a customer’s eyes is a game-changer.
Think about the experience of struggling to envision how disconnected text and images in a Google Doc will appear in-market. That’s the old way. Social media approval platforms like Opal enable marketers to see the copy in context with the asset – in a pixel-perfect representation of the native platform.
Marketing leaders have told us that bringing their social content review process into Opal makes them better marketers. You’ll do better work and catch more mistakes when you see the content exactly as it will appear in the wild – before you ever publish. This means your software solution needs to support a wide range of popular social platforms.
Opal offers true-to-life previews for:
- Many More
Seeing pixel-perfect social approvals for a single channel at a time is effective. That alone will improve your social media content reviews, however, that’s just the beginning…
The best platforms enable you to compare content side by side across different channels. Not only is it convenient, but you can analyze how the content differs across platforms.
2. Expanded Carousel Views
In 2023, social media carousels are one of the most-popular formats for both organic and paid posting. However, previewing and reviewing carousel content can be notoriously difficult.
Traditional carousel previews (even in the native platforms) often only just show the cover image with text. That means you’re missing the majority of the story when looking at this format. Honestly, we social marketers have kind of accepted this about the carousel content type.
There’s a better way…
Opal carousel previews display each segment of the carousel individually, showing each slide and messaging as they will appear when live. This empowers marketers to evaluate carousel content holistically, bringing the same clarity you would expect from any other content type.
This is a feature that Opal purpose-built for social media marketers. As of 2023, we are the only social media content approval software that offers this difference-maker.
3. In-Content Feedback
When you’re looking to establish a social media approval process for your team, this is a must.
Sub-optimal approvals often involve the approver looking at the content and having to draft an email or message with the changes. Firstly, this is more time consuming for both the approver and the content creator. On top of that, the feedback is far less precise, which can lead to mistakes.
When you upgrade to a dedicated social media content approval tool, you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to comment directly on any piece of the asset or copy. Now your edits will never be lost in translation.
Opal enables users to drop a comment pin on any part of an asset to give feedback exactly where it’s relevant. Our platform pairs this with version control so that different iterations of an asset can be seen throughout the feedback process.
4. Time-Saving Automatic Workflows
The main reasons that teams adopt an intentional social media content review process is to save time and cut busywork. The right platform enables this with efficient workflow functions.
If your team follows a standard process to bring social media content from planning to publishing, then you’re a good candidate to automate that workflow. Rather than having to send an email or a message to move a piece of content to the next stage of production, the user only needs to check a box to automatically update the next person.
In addition to giving you time back, built-in workflow features also ensure that human error never causes a crucial step to be overlooked. The best platforms also pair that automatic workflow with the in-line feedback. This means that your content edits automatically ping the relevant parties. These workflows are for more than just saving precious minutes of the workday. Dedicated workflows provide full visibility of who is responsible for what element of a project.
5. Publish Your Way
Chances are good that if you’re a social media manager in 2023, then you or your team aren’t publishing content manually. You very likely employ a software platform to schedule and publish your social content to multiple platforms at once.
Whatever your preferred publishing platform is, your approval software should connect to it. With that integration in place, as soon as content is approved, it can go directly to the publishing platform to be scheduled. No need for the busywork of copying and pasting text and images.
If you set a publishing date as part of the planning or calendering process, your approval software can enable full publication as well. This is a significant time-saving upgrade over working between multiple platforms.
Essentially, you’re looking for a platform that offers both approval and publishing capabilities – and pairs with your current publishing tool. These are the leading publishing platforms with which Opal integrates:
- Facebook Ads Manager
See Opal’s full list of software integrations here.
6. Auto-Built Presentations
The essential functions of social media approval software are that you have a platform to review, collaborate on, and approve social media marketing content. However, when vetting your options, you want to find the value-adds that make a difference to your teams and organization as a whole.
Auto-built presentations prove to be a massive time-saver – and a way to provide visibility across the organization. This feature replaces the need to manually screenshot social content and cobble together decks for presentation. You can make shareable, professional-looking decks out of individual content pieces in mere seconds.
In Opal, this feature is most commonly used to provide visibility to executive leadership that may not work in the platform. However, the presentations can also function as a social post approval tool. Content approved in a presentation works just like any other approval and automatically updates the status in the platform – or activates the next stage of the workflow.
7. Connected to Marketing Planning
While Opal has all of the functions of a robust social media post approval tool – it is so much more, too. Opal is a complete marketing planning platform. This means that Opal is the space where marketing begins as well as where work and feedback happens. When it’s time to calendar and publish your social content, you can see what other creators and teams are publishing.
How does this level of functionality make a difference to social media marketing teams?
- You have a dedicated, central place to brainstorm social post ideas with the team
- The marketing campaign briefs guiding the work can be easily referenced throughout creation and reviews
- By seeing all soon-to-be-published content on a single calendar, you ensure that you don’t overlap on messages or leave gaps in content
- Since all work from planning to creation, reviews and publication, lives in one platform, the workflow is continuous. This means you save time and never lose visibility of work at any step of the process.
Use Case: Top 10 Fast Food Brand
What does this social media content review look like in practice? Great question.
Opal is a solution for fairly small social media teams as well as globe-spanning enterprise marketing organizations.
Here’s how an international brand plans and reviews their social content at-scale in Opal. We can’t reveal our customer’s identity, but we can say that you certainly have seen their restaurants – and likely have seen their notoriously witty social media presence…
Step 1: Internal social media strategists plan content ideas and create content briefs in Opal
Step 2: The customer then shares the campaign briefs with their 2 marketing agencies, using Opal
Step 3: The marketing agencies build the content in Opal and present it for review to the client strategists
Step 4: Back and forth social media review process occurs as normal until content is approved. The in-platform visual review is necessary for working across teams on a large volume of content.
Step 5: The client strategists schedule the content on the calendar
This process enables our customer to produce hundreds of Tweets, posts, and stories every week. This use case represents the top-end of how you can utilize Opal for social media planning and review.
See how Microsoft plans and executes content approvals through Opal!
However, the foundation is the same for every brand trusting their social media content review to Opal. Even if you have a far smaller team, a slower publishing cadence, and don’t employ external agencies – you will still experience convenience, time-saving, and total visibility from working in Opal!
Want to See Opal in Action?
Opal is a full-scale content operations platform that brands like Target, Starbucks, and Microsoft use to plan their brand experiences – including their social presence. Social media content approval is a cornerstone of how we empower the biggest brands in the world to always show up consistently.
The best way to understand how the Opal platform can upgrade your social media content review process is to see it in action. There are two ways to make this happen.
Firstly, you can always request a demo from one of our product experts right here. They will walk you through everything the platform offers, giving you a guided look into exactly how you can plan, create and calendar your content in Opal.
Of course, if you like to learn hands-on, a free 14-day trial may be the ideal option for you. You’ll get access to everything the Opal platform has to offer. This will give you the chance to experience the features that make Opal elite-tier marketing planning and social social media approval software. Start your free trial right here – and you’ll automatically be entered into your very own Opal!