Search
  • Justin Hand-Gregory

How to Manage a Social Media Page and Implement Aesthetically-Pleasing and Consistent Content




INTRODUCTION

A friend asked me recently if it's hard to manage a social media page for a client. I started laughing because, to me, it is not a very difficult task, however, I did not realize that, unless you are trained in design, this can be a somewhat daunting request from an employer.


Many companies are now requiring the management of the company's social media page as part of the tasks for their new interns and lower-level employees. These companies do not see this task as a very difficult one as all you have to do is simply "post pictures." However, Instagram's utility has shifted in recent years and incorporating aesthetics into a feed is the new norm. Therefore, I decided to write this post and deliver my personal approach on how to manage a social media page for a client in this day-and-age.


METHODS

For me, there really only exists two "methods" that you can choose from when beginning to plan the account's posts: the three color ruled method or the aesthetic repetition through photography method.


METHOD 1: THREE COLOR RULED

The three color rule is something that I discussed in a recent post. Simply put, it is a universal design principle that can be applied to virtually any design (graphic, interior, industrial, etc.) The rule states that there should only exist three colors in a design: the primary, the secondary and the accent. These colors then act as the brand's colors and should remain consistent in all designs produced by that brand. Why? Because consumers will begin to associate these distinct colors with this brand, which in turn, facilitates the brand's presence in the market.


The method is achieved by creating posts in a design software such as Adobe InDesign or Canva and then applying and interchanging the brand's colors with each post.


PROS

  • Good for accounts that do not want to post a lot of photos, i.e., accounts that want to emphasize more vector art and/or text.

  • Aesthetically pleasing to scroll through.

  • Versatile in terms of the intended message. In other words, you are able to retain aesthetic consistency while also producing different messages. Contrastly, this is more difficult with the photography method as I will discuss below.

  • Posts can generally be made on-the-fly, or by request, and do not require as much planning as the photograph method.


CONS

  • It can be difficult to design daily posts when you are confined to three colors.

  • It can be difficult to incorporate photographs into the feed without disrupting the aesthetic consistency. However, it is possible, as you can see in the examples below.


Here are some examples of this method:




METHOD 2: AESTHETIC REPETITION THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS

This method is achieved by posting aesthetically-consistent photographs that contain a distinct final touch. This is arguably the more popular method across the app because it emphasizes visuality, as opposed to text or digital artwork. In other words, people don't generally want to use Instagram to read content, they want to see content. With that said, this method is better suited for companies that have the objective of selling physical products, like clothing or vehicles, or that want to feature models and/or people.


In order to achieve this method, you need to post photos with a consistent editing style, which is usually done using a software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, however, there are other less expensive and equally powerful photo editing softwares. The editing style varies greatly depending on the mood you want to set for your feed, for example, a feed featuring architectural structures may want to use a dark tone editing style, while a feed featuring clothing may want to use a brighter editing style to emphasis the color and texture of the fabrics.


PROS

  • Aesthetically pleasing to scroll through.

  • Connotes professionalism, organization, expertise with media production and expertise with art direction.

  • More popular because it portrays reality, as opposed to digital artwork.


CONS

  • It can be difficult to incorporate text into the feed without disrupting the aesthetic consistency.

  • Some content can get lost in the feed because all of the posts can have the illusion of similarity.

  • Requires a stockpile of photographs that contain consistent content. For example, if you are managing an Insta page for a luxury clothing company, you need to have a month's worth of photographs prepared the month before. These photographs are also then subject to the exclusivity of clothing products and nothing else.


Here are some examples of this method:





SOFTWARES

I've already talked about most of the softwares I use, however, here is an organized list of softwares that I would recommend using to achieve the methods discussed above, both in terms of canvas size and editing style.



METHOD 1: THREE COLOR RULED


Artboard (or canvas) size: 500 px X 500 px


Softwares to create the posts:


  • Canva.com (free accounts have access to minimal features)

  • Adobe Illustrator (export as .png)

  • Adobe Photoshop (export as .png)

  • Pixabay.com (for free vector artwork)


*Important to note that if you use text in your posts, use the same font in all posts. It is also acceptable to use two or three fonts with your brand, assuming they compliment each other, i.e.: a serif and non-serif font usually compliment each other well.



METHOD 2: AESTHETIC REPETITION THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHS


STEP ONE

Import your photos into the software that you choose and place previously edited photos beside the imported photos as a style reference, in order to retain editing consistency.


Softwares to edit photos:

  • Adobe Lightroom

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • Fotor.com (free)


*I wouldn't recommend editing directly with Instagram's photo editing tools, nor Adobe's mobile applications, because you aren't able to use as many features as you can on a desktop software. In other words, you will not be able to obtain as distinct an exported photograph with a mobile photo editor as you would with a desktop software. This is how aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds are able to achieve this appearance.


STEP TWO

There is nothing more visually off-putting then an Instagram feed with photos that are all different sizes and the contents are all aligned differently. Therefore, once you have edited your photos, I highly recommend that you import them into a software and set a standard canvas size for all of your posts.


Artboard (or canvas) size: 500 px X 500 px


Softwares to import and align posts for consistent content:


  • Canva.com (free accounts have access to minimal features)

  • Adobe InDesign (export as .png)

  • Adobe Photoshop (export as .png)


PLANNING AHEAD


To conclude, as my friend Kevin Clark rightfully reminded me, no Instagram feed will be able to achieve aesthetically-pleasing and consistent content without having a plan before posting anything.


There are many different approaches to planning a social media page and you can find hundreds through a simple Google search. The key, however, is to discover and select a planning approach that best suits the intention of the Instagram feed you are managing.


EXAMPLES


If you are managing the Instagram account for a university, you might decide to use this planning approach for each month:


Mondays: An alumnus

Tuesdays: Giveaways to increase followers

Wednesdays: On-campus resources

Thursdays: News and updates

Fridays: Event reminders


If you are managing the Instagram account for a clothing brand, you might decide to use this planning approach for each month:


Mondays: Giveaways

Tuesdays: Seasonal styles

Wednesdays: Company's sustainability efforts

Thursdays: Sales (50% off jeans)

Fridays: Fashion in action

LEAVE A COMMENT


If you would like to give your opinion on this post, or you have a suggestion for a third method, please do leave a comment down below and I would be happy to give it a read!

35 views
Subscribe to receive updates
© Justin Hand-Gregory,  2020. All rights reserved.