Social Media Management Crash Course

Social media management is exactly what it sounds like: managing a company's social media presence through all the platforms they are currently using, and setting up new ones if needed. This can be a lot of work but can pay off in huge ways for customers and companies alike.

Social Media Management Crash Course
Photo by Rahul Chakraborty / Unsplash

Let's go over the basics of social media management.

What is it? What do you need to know before you start managing your own accounts, or those of a company?

Social media management is exactly what it sounds like: managing a company's social media presence through all the platforms they are currently using, and setting up new ones if needed. This can be a lot of work but can pay off in huge ways for customers and companies alike.

You want to make sure that you're always listening on social media—you want to know what your customers are saying about you at any given time, and be able to react appropriately. You also want to know what the competition is doing so you can meet and exceed their strategies in terms of content, engagement, and timeliness.

In order to measure success on social media, here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) you should keep track of:

  • Reach/impressions: How many people see your content?
  • Engagement: How many people interact with your content? Likes/comments/shares.
  • Sentiment analysis: What do people actually think of your brand after they interact with your content? It's important not only to know how many people are interacting with

Know your audience

Start with knowing your audience. This is vital for multiple reasons. Most obviously, understanding who you're trying to reach will help you actually reach them!

But first consider what they like and dislike, what they find entertaining and what they find boring, what they are looking for, and most importantly: what they want to see. Think of your content as a product that your audience is in the market for—you need to make the right connections so that your audience knows it’s there.

You need to give them a reason to buy it (because we all know social media has a short attention span).

Once you understand who it is that you’re trying to reach with each piece of content, use this knowledge throughout the design process—and don't be afraid to let go of content (or design elements) if your audience doesn't respond well.

Use Color to Set the Mood

Consider your audience, the message you want to send, and what you want people to do after they see your design. Then apply color psychology to evoke emotional responses in your audience.

  • Use colors that reflect the mood of your post. Vibrant colors like red and orange are energetic and attention-grabbing, while muted colors like blue or beige feel calming and professional.
  • Use colors from the brand's palette whenever possible, so that everything looks cohesive.
  • Make sure that text is legible on top of any image you use. If you have a light background image, it may be difficult for users to read the dark text without adjusting their brightness settings. And vice versa for light-colored text on dark backgrounds.

Keep Your Brand Consistent Across All Your Social Media Platforms

When you first start thinking about building your social media presence, it's important that all of your profiles have the same look and feel.

You will want to be sure that all of your profile pictures are the same, as well as using the same color scheme across all platforms.

For example, you should use the same profile picture on Facebook and Instagram, so that people can easily recognize your brand when they see it in their newsfeeds or stories.

You can (and should) use a different profile picture for Twitter, since they're square rather than circular.

The cover photo is also an important element to keep consistent across all platforms; if you have both a Facebook page and an Instagram account, use the same image in both places.

The tagline under your profile picture is another thing to keep consistent across platforms; many companies use their mission statement or slogan here, so you might want to think about what you want to say before starting multiple accounts.

Use Interactive Elements to Engage Your Audience

Interactive elements are a great way to engage your audience, build relationships with your brand, and get people invested in content that's fun and educational. Here are some examples:

  • Quizzes: Whether it's a type of dog you should adopt or which character from The Office is your spirit animal, quizzes allow users to identify with the content on a personal level.
  • Polls: Have you ever asked someone you know if they prefer tea or coffee? Did they respond? There's an 80% chance the answer is yes! When used as a marketing tactic, polls encourage direct interaction by inviting users to share their opinions and give them instant gratification by showing them what others think.
  • Videos: Video content is highly engaging when it contains elements of interactivity such as buttons that can be clicked on at specific points in time. An example of this would be a video about how to make banana bread with clickable timestamps for each step that take the user directly to that point in the video so they don't have to search for it themselves.

Get Creative with Text and Fonts

It’s true that text is a fundamental part of graphic design, and one of the most important things to think about as you create engaging images for your social media posts. Here are some things to keep in mind when making decisions about the fonts you use:

  • Make sure your font is easy to read.
  • Choose fonts that complement your brand.
  • Choose fonts that match the mood or style you’re going for with your design.
  • Keep in mind how it will look on social media (some less common fonts won’t show up on all devices).
  • Incorporate social media trends (for example, popular ad copy reads “free shipping!”).
  • Use fonts that can be used in multiple ways: break them apart using Illustrator or Photoshop, add effects like shadows or outlines, etc.

As social media evolves, it’s important for social media managers to remain on the cutting edge of what’s new and trending. If you want to maintain an engaging presence across all platforms, consider experimenting with these newer additions to your arsenal:

  • Instagram Stories
  • Facebook Stories
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter Moments
  • YouTube Stories
  • Facebook 360
  • Instagram Live Stories
  • Facebook Live Stories
  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Live
  • YouTube Live

Building an engaged social media community is hard work. You can minimize the amount of work you put into it by making sure you get the design right from the start.

Building an engaged social media community is hard work. You can minimize the amount of work you put into it by making sure you get the design right from the start. As a social media manager, it's important not to view design as an afterthought or something that happens when everything else is done. Design should be considered in conjunction with other aspects of your brand identity and user experience from the very beginning. Not considering all elements of design will only set up more roadblocks for your brand and make it harder for you to reach your goals.

Designing for different social media platforms may seem like a daunting task, but there are some basic principles that can help even novice designers create compelling content across channels. The best place to start is by using each platform's own guidelines and templates, which will ensure that your creative assets are optimized for viewing on each unique channel.

Once you're familiar with templates, read our tips below on creating designs that will keep audiences coming back again and again.

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