Social media marketing and collaboration go hand in hand. Not just because of time – after all, social media doesn’t go to sleep when you do – but also because you need to consistently come up with new ideas and in many cases, get direction and approval from other parties (a client, your manager, and so on). But, how do you foster creativity in a social media team? How do you ensure you’re not losing time unnecessarily? How do you make sure that every update you post is approved?

In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the best social media planning and collaboration tools for teams and agencies.

The challenges of social media collaboration

There are 2 main situations that can happen: either you work as part of a team managing one (or several) social media accounts, and/or you need to get a clients’ approval and input on your work.

Whatever the situation may be, it presents some challenges that will eat up your time and decrease your overall productivity. And in the worst cases, it can lead to some mistakes.

Ideally, if you work with a team, you should invest in a social media tool that is built for collaboration. And here’s why:

  • Come up with ideas together, all in the same place, and decide together which ideas should make it in your social media schedule; plus, you can encourage people to make suggestions and edits on the proposed updates
  • Plan your entire social media content strategy and schedule it out (it will most likely save you hours every week, depending on how many accounts you’re managing)
  • Make sure you get approval from the right people before scheduling or publishing anything (which is particularly important when you work with hands-on clients)

In other words, a good social media planning and collaboration tool will help you save time and be more productive, improve your creativity, and help you cover yourself whenever you share something on social media that a client or manager doesn’t like.

Here are some of the best social media planning and collaboration tools for teams and agencies:


ContentCal is quite a few different things. It’s a social media marketing tool, for one. It’s a marketing and social media calendar and a planning and collaboration tool. And it’s also a social media scheduling tool with analytics.

There are quite a few features – and all of them tie into the collaboration aspect.

Once you add your team (and clients, if necessary) you can give each of them specific roles like content creator or approver:

This isn’t just so you can easily identify everyone’s roles, but also so that you can control what each person can do on the platform. For example, like above, one team member will only be able to create content and make suggestions of ideas, but they won’t be able to approve anything to actually be scheduled.

Once you’ve got everyone on board, you can start actually collaborating:

  • Create social media calendars for each of your accounts (although you can also create a calendar with all the social networks in one place):

  • Use the Pinboard to jot down your content ideas, get suggestions and feedback from other team members, managers, and clients, and drag and drop the best updates into the social media calendar to be published/scheduled
  • Create an approval workflow so you can make sure that each update goes through the correct channels before being published
  • Upload your media to each update and categorize and colour code your posts for easy organisation
  • Check your analytics to find the best times to post and find out which updates perform best (which you can also quickly reschedule to be published again)
  • Respond to any comments or messages from your fans and followers

What I love about this tool is that it seems like its creators truly understand the issues we face when collaborating on social media, as well as planning updates. It not only simplifies the process and helps you save time, but it also encourages you to come up with better ideas together, as a team.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a full-suite social media management tool with solutions for enterprises, agencies, and small businesses alike. It’s a very powerful tool with numerous features, but the reasons I’m mentioning it here are the planning and collaboration tools it has to offer:

  • Adding multiple team members to your account and assigning them individual tasks
  • Check who on your team is online so that you can quickly alert them if there’s any update or message that needs action
  • Write down your ideas and drafts and invite your team members to comment and make suggestions
  • Create an approval workflow to make sure each scheduled or published update is approved by the right parties beforehand
  • Use the built-in social media calendar to add your ideas and submit them for approval:

  • Collaborate on your social media inbox and the messages and comments you get: add custom tags, use filters, and assign messages
  • See in real time who is doing what (very useful for bigger teams):

  • Track everything your team is doing, such as what messages they responded to and when, and use the team analytics to check their task time and task completion ratio, among others


Another great planning and collaboration tool, CoSchedule can be used across all your marketing projects and not just your social media. It’s basically an online planning calendar of any marketing project, be it social media, email, and any other marketing campaigns you might need to hold.

You can easily add your team to the platform and create custom workflows which can then be reused for other projects; from there, you’ve got numerous other planning/collaboration features, such as:

  • A team dashboard where you can see at a glance what projects you’ve got going on, what deadlines are coming up, and what your team is up to:

  • Create approval workflows to make sure you’re publishing the right updates (and you can easily access a list of all the content that needs your approval):

  • Use the Workboard to create content, make plans, and write down ideas before you officially schedule them to be published (then drag and drop the best ideas directly in the calendar)
  • Automatically schedule your best updates at the best times to reach the most people (just select Best Time when you schedule an update)
  • “ReQueue” your best performing updates automatically, meaning you can have the tool automatically add these updates to any gaps in your social media calendar
  • Create team performance reports to see how effective each team member is


Hootsuite is one of the most well-known social media management tools around; but how good are their planning and collaboration tools?

You’d first need to get one of 3 plans to access team management features: Team, Business, or Enterprise.

Once done, you can use the tool to:

  • Add users to your team and set custom permission levels for each person; for example, you could choose which social profiles they get access to, which social networks, and so on:

  • Get your team to work by assigning them tasks
  • Use the Drafts space to collaborate with your team and write down all of your update ideas, as well as upload any media and assets you have

Since Hootsuite is a social media management tool – and a powerful one at that – you also get a plethora of other useful features such as social media monitoring, scheduling updates and creating queues, and analytics.


Trello is quite different from the other tools in this list in the sense that it’s not built specifically for social media and so it doesn’t have features like scheduling and analytics. That said, it is a great option for planning your social media and collaborating with others in an easy, intuitive way.

If you’re not familiar with Trello, the way it works is very simple:

  • Create an account and have your team create their as well
  • Start creating boards for all your needs; this is where you can add multiple lists, tasks, and collaborate with your team

  • Invite team members to specific boards to start collaborating

Trello is very versatile – you can head over to Inspiration to check out the different types of boards you can create and use one of the templates. And, you can even find social media calendar templates made by other users:

As you can see above, you can organize your tasks with different coloured labels, upload media and other attachments, create a checklist/task list, and have your team share their ideas and suggestions:

Trello is particularly great for planning; for example, you could create a list in your board only for ideas where everyone can share their own and the rest of the team can then give their suggestions on how each idea can be improved.


Social media collaboration – and all business-related collaboration, in fact – can be quite frustrating and time-consuming when you have to rely on multiple tools to create content, get approval, and plan your schedule; for example, Skype, email, text messages, phone, a social media scheduling tools, and so on. With a good tool, you can have everything you need in one place so that you can have more time to focus on creating better social media content and on planning a more successful social media strategy.