Every company will be or should be aware of their brand guidelines – from font, colours, photography, logo and messaging, brand guidelines help to create your brand identity.
Even if one person or a mix of people are managing your social media, successfully marketing your brand on social media requires consistency. This is where a social media style guide is important - this is a separate document that relates to your company brand guidelines and having a social media style guide helps you to maintain a consistent brand, reduces mistakes, and useful for new recruits or agencies to get to grips with the right style.
Why do you need a social media style guide?
A style guide will determine how you want people to perceive you and to maintain a consistent brand.
It will help:
- Portray your brand personality
- Get you seen by the right people across social media
- Everyone on your social media team has something to refer to, minimising mistakes
- Give new team members a greater understanding before they even use your social media
What should your style guide include?
A social media style guide is a document you create and share that includes the right tone of voice, colours, fonts, words, and visuals that showcases your brand personality.
From our experience and following a recent useful training seminar we delivered, we have picked out some valuable elements to include in your social media style guide:
- Objectives – why are you on social media in the first place? These should be linked to your marketing strategy.
- Audience – who is your ideal client?
- Social media accounts – a list of your accounts is useful as well as who has responsibility and access to them.
- Tone of voice – describe your tone of voice so no matter who is posting, everything remains consistent.
- Content: What to post and when to post here, make a list of anything unique to your business such as acronyms or any jargon to avoid. Have a link to your social media calendar or an example list of blog posts and other content you use as well as when you post, including how many times per day and at what time for each platform.
- Sign off – does your content come from the company/brand or individual who has posted it? Decide on what fits best with your culture and personality.
- How should it look? It is important to make clear how you want your posts to look from sharing links, hashtags, style in terms of length, bullet points, capitals, tone of voice, if and where to have emoji’s, filters to be used on posts like stories, imagery and design from font and colour. Include examples.
- Call to actions – make sure you detail how you want and when call to actions to be used and on what posts, for example, a free download, arranging a demo, online meeting or webinar sign up.
- News and comments – outline how you handle relevant industry news, how and when to respond as well as how to handle negative comments.
- Posting on platforms – make it clear how you post on each platform – do you post the same or customise for each platform? Provide relevant examples.
A social media style guide helps to build consistent brand messaging and creates engaging unified content to represent your brand on social media. Cal Partners is an award-winning marketing agency for professional services firms. If you need guidance on your social media style guide or help with social media content and posting, get in touch with us for a free consultation.
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