Juggling multiple social media profiles across various locations is no small feat — it’s a make-or-break task for your brand’s online presence. And the wrong post at the wrong time can torpedo your brand’s reputation faster than you can say “delete!” 

That’s why having a structured social media approval process is so critical. Social media approval workflows are like your brand’s lifejacket — they help you stay afloat even when navigating choppy waters.

In this blog, you’ll learn what social media approvals are, why having the proper social media post approval process in place is critical, and how to set yourself up for success while managing social profiles for multiple locations.

Let’s dive in. 

Why social media approval workflows are critical 

What you post on social media matters — every post reflects your brand’s values, culture, and identity. Your presence on social media is a digital handshake with potential and current customers that shapes their perception and experience with your business.

Posting without guardrails in place is risky business.

While an edgy post might be on-brand for Instagram or Twitter, it may require adjustment for platforms like LinkedIn, where people expect a more professional demeanor. Or, while certain types of content might perform well for one location, they might be irrelevant for another location. And sometimes, even the best-intentioned employee might accidentally share something unprofessional, inappropriate, or just plain harmful to your brand image. 

Having a clearly defined approval workflow reduces these risks substantially. 

Subjecting posts to multi-layered review by relevant stakeholders helps you catch any issues or inconsistencies before mishaps occur. Approval processes also play a crucial role in maintaining brand consistency across different platforms. They ensure that content aligns with your overarching brand standards and messaging strategy and fits each social media channel’s specific tone. 

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Common use cases for social media approval workflows

From multi-location businesses to digital agencies and cross-departmental collaborations, you can adapt your approval workflow to meet the needs of your unique situation. Let’s explore how content approval workflows come in handy in real-world scenarios. 

1. Multi-location approval

For businesses with multiple locations, approval helps maintain consistent brand identity. Corporate marketing teams can create localized content tailored to specific regions or cities, requiring local managers to review and sign off before publishing.

On the flip side, regional locations teams can develop posts based on local store events or community happenings that need approval from corporate marketing before going live to ensure proper brand voice and guidelines are followed.

2. Agency approval management

Digital agencies often juggle social content creation and publishing across different client accounts. Building customized approval workflows to seamlessly route draft posts to the right internal department systematically leads, account managers, creative directors, and even external stakeholders. 

By making it easy for internal and external stakeholders to approve or reject posts, agencies can get more done in less time, mitigate the risk of misaligned messaging, and boost client satisfaction. 

3. Cross-department approval

Beyond just marketing, other departments often need to approve social posts relevant to their domain. For example, posts highlighting patient stories or testimonials might require checks from legal and compliance teams to ensure adherence to HIPAA and patient confidentiality laws. A financial literacy marketing campaign might need to be vetted by subject matter experts. 

Approval workflows facilitate gathering final approval from any relevant departments — so no more running around the office trying to hunt down the right person. 

How to implement social media approval workflows

How you facilitate social media approvals greatly impacts efficiency, transparency, compliance, and other critical factors. Understanding the core options helps you pick the right approach for your brand.

1. Manual email or spreadsheet reviews

The traditional do-it-yourself approach relies on social media managers emailing draft posts in a shared spreadsheet and requesting feedback or approval.

Example of a spreadsheet social media approval workflow.


  • Spreadsheets are simple to set up and use — little technical know-how is needed.
  • Since you can use software you likely already have access to, there are no added software subscription costs. 


  • This method can be unreliable as emails are easily missed or skipped. 
  • Manually managing and following up on approvals can be time-consuming. 
  • Receiving parties might be confused about where and how to give final approval or note feedback. 

2. Project management tools

Structured project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Jira are also commonly used to create an approval workflow process. 

jira trello asana social media workflow visual example


  • These tools typically have automated capabilities and provide status visibility, which can save time and improve organization.


  • These tools are not designed specifically for social media, so some desired features may be missing. 
  • Cross-referencing across separate platforms is a tedious process — upload a screenshot of a post, add feedback in the comment section, go back to the social tool or platform to update, etc. — it’s a lot to keep track of. 

3. Social media management platforms

Dedicated social media management tools are ideal for streamlined social media approval workflows. With these tools:  

  • Everything stays natively within the platform, so you don’t have to rely on external tools. 
  • You can quickly build approval rules, submit posts, track real-time status, and publish from one place.  
  • Reviewers can easily share feedback and have posts re-submitted for approval after revisions. 
  • At-a-glance post calendars give you visibility into all pending approvals.
woman using birdeye's social media tool

This integrated approach eliminates the hassles of redundant data entry or cross-referencing across different systems. Simply put, social-first platforms empower you to get everything done from one streamlined workspace so everything runs smoothly. 

5 best practices for optimizing social media approval workflows

So, you’re ready to implement a social media approval process but need help figuring out where to start. We’ve got you covered. 

Thinking about your process as a whole is a good place to start. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • What does your ideal content creation process look like?
    • Who initiates the process? 
    • Who are the approvers? 
  • Where will pending content be stored? 
  • Will content be published on more than one channel and/or by more than one location? 
  • What are the criteria for content approval? 

Then, to maximize the impact of your social media content approval process, keep these proven best practices in mind:

  1. Content approval software: Select a social media approval tool with features like integrated communication, automated requests and reminders, and tracking capabilities.
  2. Sequential approval steps: Organize the approval process. Try starting with subject matter experts, followed by legal/compliance checks, and ending with a graphic design review. 
  3. Automated requests and reminders: Implement automated approval requests that are triggered as soon as a post is submitted. Additionally, set up reminders to ensure the process stays on track.
  4. Feedback from external contributors: Allow external contributors, such as partners or out-of-office team members, to provide feedback via email. This approach eliminates the need for them to log into your social platform and reduces friction in the feedback process. 
  5. Status monitoring with view filters: Use view filters in your content calendar to monitor the status of posts at various stages: pending, rejected, approved, or expired. This allows for easy and efficient tracking of posts that require attention.

Social media approval workflows FAQs

What is the social media approval process? 

The social media approval process or content publishing workflow is a system of review and authorization that businesses implement to manage and control the content published on their social media platforms. This process typically involves multiple stakeholders who review, edit, and approve content to ensure it aligns with the brand’s messaging, adheres to compliance standards, and resonates with the target audience. It is crucial for maintaining brand consistency, especially for multi-location businesses.

What are the three key components of an approval process?

There’s no one-size-fits-all process of approval, but the critical components of an effective social media approval workflow typically include:
1. Content review: This initial step involves subject matter experts evaluating the content for accuracy and relevance to the target audience.
2. Compliance and legal checks: Next, review the content for legal compliance, ensuring it adheres to relevant laws and regulations, and aligns with company policies.
3. Final design and brand consistency review: In this final stage, the design team ensures the content is visually aligned with the brand’s aesthetic and messaging standards.

What is (social media) approval workflow software?

Social media approval workflow software is a digital tool designed to streamline the process of reviewing, editing, and approving social media content before it’s published. This type of software typically offers features like collaborative editing, approval hierarchies, automated alerts, and tracking of the content’s approval status. It is particularly beneficial for multi-location businesses, helping them to maintain a consistent and compliant social media presence across various channels and locations.

Nail down your social media content approval process with Birdeye

Setting up an effective social media approval workflow will help you smoothly navigate any waters without capsizing your brand. The key to successfully doing this is choosing tools made specifically for businesses like yours. 

Enter Birdeye. With Birdeye’s social media content approval software, you can:

  • Customize workflows for your unique needs.
  • Implement a sequential review system, enhancing thoroughness and quality control.
  • Include various team members or external partners at each approval stage with options for ‘any’ or ‘all’ to approve.
  • Trigger email alerts and reminders for approvals to streamline the process.
  • Enable external partners to provide feedback via email, bypassing the need for app login.
  • Sort posts by status in a user-friendly social calendar for efficient tracking.
  • Access notes from reviewers for clarity and context on each decision.
  • Facilitate direct communication with internal team members from one convenient platform. 

With Birdeye, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing posts undergo consistent oversight before going live. Ready to give our workflow approval tool a try? Watch a demo today to get started.

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