If you’re in a highly reg­u­lated sec­tor, like finan­cial ser­vices or phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, you’ve likely dealt with the headache of ensur­ing all your out­bound social con­tent com­plies with inter­nal guide­lines and exter­nal reg­u­la­tions. And if you’re a large com­pany with glob­ally dis­trib­uted teams, you’ve prob­a­bly dealt with the never-ending email chains social cam­paigns require to get con­tent edited, approved, and out the door. If either of these sce­nar­ios sounds famil­iar, you’ll be pretty excited about a new fea­ture Adobe Social is unveiling.

Social Multi-level Approval WorkflowAs of our lat­est release this month, we now sup­port multi-level con­tent approval work­flows that will help you ensure review and sig­noff from man­agers and stake­hold­ers dur­ing the con­tent plan­ning process, before social posts go live. By bring­ing mul­ti­ple col­lab­o­ra­tors together to review, edit, and approve con­tent directly in the tool, your orga­ni­za­tion can save time and bypass redun­dant sys­tems like that mas­sive email chain.

Use cases
This level of con­trol is espe­cially impor­tant for insti­tu­tions sub­ject to exter­nal reg­u­la­tions like FINRA who need legal review and com­pli­ance on every out­bound com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It can also prove help­ful for com­pa­nies that have strict inter­nal processes for sen­si­tive events like movie pre­miers and video game releases, enter­prises who have multi-national teams try­ing to main­tain brand con­sis­tency in global prod­uct launches, and large busi­nesses with well-defined con­tent cre­ation processes involv­ing inter­nal teams and exter­nal agencies.

The flex­i­ble sys­tem is designed to sup­port a wide vari­ety of use cases and includes three approval work­flow mod­els that can be applied at the social prop­erty level (where A, B, and C can be a user or a team):

  • Hor­i­zon­tal model
    A and B and C must approve the post, in any order
  • Ver­ti­cal model
    A then B then C must approve the post, in that spe­cific order
  • Hybrid model
    Any com­bi­na­tion of the above

You’ll also ben­e­fit from new, related fea­tures like email noti­fi­ca­tions for con­tent await­ing your approval and con­tent you drafted that was rejected by an approver, Con­tent Cal­en­dar fil­ters for approval sta­tus, and audit trails for approval actions and com­ments for each post.

We’ve doc­u­mented how to set up a new approval work­flow in Online Help within Adobe Social, but before you even think about doing that, review the four steps below to help get you think­ing about how to approach imple­ment­ing this new capability:

1. Review your social media pol­icy
Do you even need the extra lay­ers of review? This should be your first ques­tion before going crazy imple­ment­ing com­plex approval hier­ar­chies that might inun­date your small social team with unnec­es­sary work and obsta­cles and drive them crazy.

If you do find an appro­pri­ate use case, or you’re in a highly reg­u­lated sec­tor with pre-approval require­ments, review your company’s social media pol­icy and ensure you’ve iden­ti­fied all the stake­hold­ers and depart­ments who should be review­ing and pre-approving out­bound content.

2. Set up approval work­flows
Only admin users have per­mis­sion to define and assign approval work­flows within Adobe Social. Take some time to prop­erly map out hor­i­zon­tal, ver­ti­cal, or hybrid work­flows for each of your social prop­er­ties on paper; it’ll make it eas­ier to visu­al­ize and set them up within the plat­form. Don’t for­get to select a user or team who can bypass the sys­tem in case of urgent situations.

3. Test dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios
Brain­storm a hand­ful of out­bound con­tent sce­nar­ios and put the sys­tem to use. You may find that you for­got a stake­holder some­where in the process or that you just need one person’s approval from a team rather than the entire team’s response. You want to find that bal­ance of com­ply­ing with the rules and fill­ing in the gaps while min­i­miz­ing extra cycles and reduc­ing time to pub­lish. One reject will reset the entire approval work­flow so keep that in mind.

4. Train all users
Sched­ule train­ing for all stake­hold­ers in the approval process to get them on board with how the sys­tem works, why its in place, and why they’re part of it. Start with a recap of your social media pol­icy, share what you’re try­ing to achieve in terms of col­lab­o­ra­tion, qual­ity con­trol, brand con­sis­tency, and/or risk mit­i­ga­tion, and then move into how the plat­form has been set up to mir­ror the defined processes and save every­one time and effort in the process.

Need extra help?
Estab­lish­ing social org hier­ar­chies can be com­plex. If you need help with setup and imple­men­ta­tion, ask your Social Account Man­ager about our User Per­mis­sions and Work­flow Enable­ment ser­vice pack­age. We’ve got a lot of expe­ri­ence doing this for brands with com­plex org struc­tures. You’re not alone.