HeyOrca works with many creative agencies, and naturally, they’re all curious about each other. How long do their social media planning and approval processes take? How big are their social media teams? What is their secret sauce?

We’ve compiled data from over 250 small-to-medium sized agencies to answer these questions! Find out how long the social media approval process takes for our agency users, and how many external stakeholders from their accounts they typically collaborate with.

By understanding how other agencies operate, it will be easier to streamline your own social media approval process. By cutting down your social media approval time, you will have more hours to increase client satisfaction and free up billable hours!

How long is the social media approval process at agencies?

In this age where a single unfortunate tweet can cause anywhere from a headache to a full-blown PR nightmare, having an approval process and audit trail in place is crucial. This can involve a lot of team members and stakeholders, and miscommunication can spell disaster. It’s notable that our findings show that the majority of agencies feel confident keeping the social media approval process under two weeks with HeyOrca:

Social media approvals how far in advance do agencies schedule their content?

Key takeaways:

  • 37% of agencies have content approved content the same week
  • 70% of agencies have content approved no more than two weeks in advance
  • Less than 5% have their content approved more than four weeks in advance

Clearly some agencies like to fly by the seat of their pants, as evidenced by the 37% whose time to publication is a week or less. Social Media Managers and their teams need to keep up with the pace of the internet, as the posts with the most impact are often based on short-lived trending topics. Since HeyOrca brings social media planning, approvals, and publication together in one platform, timely posts can (and should) be part of the approval process.

Of course, sometimes the approval process takes longer, particularly if a post is planned well in advance for a campaign or event. Those posts that take 15 or more days to audit either are going through many revisions or are simply lower priority in the social food chain. The variances of the approval process also have to do with the number of eyes that need to see a post before it is sent. We’ve collected data on the size of social media teams and external collaborators registered to HeyOrca for additional context.

How many people are involved in the scheduling and approval process?

The numbers of team members and clients involved in the social media planning and approval process vary from agency to agency. Factors affecting these numbers include the size of the agency and the size of their clients. First, let’s look at the sizes of social media teams. While some agencies only have one or two team members registered, it is far more normal to have three or more:

Social media approvals size of agency social media teams

Key Takeaways:

  • 25% of agencies only have one to two team members
  • 40% of agencies have three to four team members
  • 35% of agencies have five or more team members

As each social media post must be carefully scrutinized for its key message, wording, hashtags, applicable links, and visual assets, it makes sense for there to be a lot of eyes on it. Having a tool like HeyOrca that allows you to draft, edit, approve and then publish the posts saves valuable time.

Now lets look at the number of external stakeholders involved. For our purposes, external stakeholders can range from actual clients to higher ups within the agency itself. Most agencies only require one or two stakeholders for their social media approval process, but three or four is also normal:

Social media approvals number of external stakeholders involved in approvals

Key Takeaways:

  • 60% of agencies require one or two stakeholders
  • 29% of agencies require three or four stakeholders
  • 11% of agencies require five or more stakeholders

Agency clients come in all shapes and sizes and will want to have different levels of involvement with the agencies they work with. While most clients are comfortable having one to four of their people involved in social media approvals, it can also vary from campaign to campaign. Posts related to a product launch or major announcement may need to be approved by the C-suite, but you can bet that it’s unlikely five or more people from a company are going to need to approve every social media post!

Different agencies – same needs

No agency is alike – if they were, the world would be a boring place!

Agencies may have different personalities and different challenges, but no matter the size of the social media team, clear communication both internally and externally is key. If one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing, or the approval process relies on email and spreadsheets, valuable time will be wasted.

HeyOrca brings social media planning, approvals and publishing into one easy-to-use platform. Our handy drag-and-drop calendar and audit trail will take your collaborative skills to the next level. Click below to watch our short demo video, and if you like what you see, contact us to request a demo.

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