The set of tasks we do every day without thinking frees our brains to focus on what matters most. For example, what do we need to achieve, where do we need to prioritize our time and how to get the most out of it. The same goes for repetitive tasks that you do at work.
If you follow the process every time you schedule posts, you will:
- Complete the task faster
- Always give the right details
- Comply with legal standards without having to check
Plus, you’ll have more space and time to focus on the more important parts of your work. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of processes and share key tips and tricks on how to create processes that can be followed.
Why do you need social media processes
Let’s define what the process is – so that everything is clear.
What is a process? A process is a set of steps that must be followed to complete a task. For example, you can follow a series of steps to complete your blogger work. Or you can follow a specific process when creating and calendaring social media posts.
Why are processes needed? Processes ensure that repetitive tasks are done accurately, efficiently, and to high standards – every time you complete them. Think about it. When you first started your job, how long did it take you to complete the smallest tasks?
Think back to the first time you had to request an image for one of your posts. Did you know who to send an image request to, when to send it, and how to do it? If you didn’t have clear instructions, then you were looking for the image yourself. This of course took a long time, led to a couple of errors and, perhaps, you found low-quality images. Now, since you have performed the process hundreds of times, it takes you minutes, not hours, you rarely make mistakes, and the images are always up-to-date. Right?
If you are managing a team, creating processes that they have to adhere to leads to less work for both them and you. If your social media team has instructions with a specific set of steps to follow in completing their day to day tasks, they will know exactly what to do and when to do it. They will do it right every time, and they will do it much faster. As a result, you will have fewer questions, less hassle, and more time to focus on bigger challenges.
Now we know what processes are and why we need them. Let’s take a look at what makes a process effective and how to build a process that works.
What makes processes effective and how to build working processes
For the process to be effective and “make the lives of all stakeholders better,” it must be:
- Affordable. Team members need to have access to the right processes at the right time and on the right device.
- Effective. The whole point of creating a process is to improve the efficiency of a specific task. Therefore, when you create a process, make sure that it is not ineffective on its own.
- Appropriate to the task… Processes should be related to the task at hand as well as to the brand’s goals. If the process does not nudge the brand in the right direction, it is ineffective.
- Applicable for reusable use. There is no use in creating a process for a one-off task. Processes standardize the performance of specific tasks. This is how they increase efficiency.
How to make the process available
Processes are not efficient if they are not documented and stored in an easily accessible place. Let’s say a team member responsible for posting every day is suddenly sick and unable to be contacted. The process of his work is not recorded anywhere and, as a result, publications were disrupted, because no one knows how to do it.
To avoid this panic scenario, document each step associated with completing an activity, and keep the documented process in a location that can be easily accessed when needed. Take time to develop a working process.
How to make the process effective
The more you do something, the faster you do it. This is why you need to create processes. But if you create a process that contains unnecessary steps, overly complex tasks, annoying bottlenecks, multiple approvals, it will lead to inefficiency, not efficiency.
All you have to do is:
- Analyze your process
- Identify ineffective parts
- Find ways to get around them.
- Remove unnecessary steps, eliminate bottlenecks, and simplify tasks where possible.
For example, let’s say you need CEO approval before you start a new social media campaign. You like to present your campaign face-to-face so that you can deal with any objection and take feedback into account. But planning time with him is difficult, almost impossible.
This part of the process is a huge bottleneck and is therefore incredibly ineffective.
Rather than letting this bottleneck slow down your progress, create an approval process that your team must follow.
How to make processes relevant
Are the processes you create always associated with the task you want to complete?
For your processes to be effective, they also need to be aligned with the goals of your organization.
Let’s say you are creating a new social media process to increase your reach. But if the company’s main goal is to increase sales, this process, while rewarding, will not push the company in the direction it wants to move. It will be ineffective.
To ensure that your company’s goals are at the core of all the processes you create and follow, ask yourself questions such as:
- How does this process align with the broader goals and overall direction of the company?
- How does this process help the company grow and develop?
How to make processes reusable
Effective processes standardize our work. They should include steps that determine the best way to accomplish tasks. The only way to achieve this is to make sure your processes are reusable. Anyone in your company should be able to pick up your process and follow it over and over again.
For example, if you’ve created a process for creating and uploading Facebook posts, you can relax knowing that your team’s approach, tone of voice, and messaging are consistent and aligned with brand goals.
On the contrary, creating a corporate account setup process would be pointless. Would you run this process often? Will you need to run it more than once? Will others on your team need to run this process? Not.
Advice: Before we start creating processes for internal and external use, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will use this process?
- When will it be used?
- How often will it run?
- What will this process be used for?
- How will everyone benefit from this process?
How to convince people to follow your processes
To improve the accuracy, efficiency, and quality of your team’s work, have you taken the time to create processes that are accessible, effective, relevant and reusable, but no one is monitoring them?
Problem # 1 with processes: they don’t describe the best way to work
48% of employees do not follow the processes because they do not describe the best way to complete the task.
A common mistake people make when creating processes is assuming that they, and they alone, know how to best accomplish a task. Maybe they’ve done it before. They may have figured out how to accomplish this task. Or maybe they’ve seen others do it well. Regardless of why they think so, it will be difficult for them to get support until they figure out how it actually works. So, get your team together and discuss each step in this process. Discuss ideas, ask their thoughts, opinions and ideas. Find out what works, determine what doesn’t, and figure out how best to get the job done together.
Including the entire team in the process of creating a process will allow you to weed out unnecessary steps, add productive ones, and observe how your team interacts with and monitors your processes.
Problem # 2 processes: they are not updated
45% of employees do not follow the processes because they are outdated. To keep your computer running at its best, it needs to be updated. For old content to work as efficiently as possible, it needs to be updated. It’s the same with processes.
To keep your processes running at their best and for your team to find them useful, they need regular updates. While there are no hard and fast rules as to how often you should check and update your processes, take note of these few key warning signs.
You may need to revise and update your process if:
- You are constantly experiencing poor performance or latency
- Your team is not following the process as expected
- Changes occur in the organization (for example, if an employee leaves or starts working, IT infrastructure is updated, or departments are reorganized).
Problem with processes # 3: too hard to follow
48% of employees do not follow the processes because it is too difficult to find the information they need. If your process isn’t easy to follow, people won’t follow it.
Make sure your instructions are clear, your steps are convincing. If you divide this step into smaller, more manageable pieces, they will be easier to complete. One way to make sure your process is simple and straightforward is to test it on a newbie or an outsider, that is, someone who is not on your team.
If they can’t handle a step, then you need to simplify it or provide additional information, instructions, or context. If they complete the process without issue, you know your team will handle it.
We’ve covered what processes are, why you need them, and how to make them effective. But none of this matters if no one is watching them.
By keeping your processes up to date, making it easier to follow them, and always have your team included, you’ll create processes that people follow. Start saving time and effort on your own social media management!