Have you ever wondered how all those well-known brands manage to have such consistent social media profiles?
Well, it’s actually not that difficult and I am here to teach you how to do it by creating a social media style guide. Read till the end, because there’s a valuable checklist you will definitely fall in love with.
Why a Social Media Style Guide Is Important
Having a social media style guide is important for several reasons. For one, it lets you post regularly and consistently, creating brand content that corresponds to what your company stands for.A social media style guide will give your company a personality that your customers can fall in love with.Click To Tweet
It’s about how your brand appears and acts on social media. The style guide is also a great way to get any new members of your team on board with what you are currently doing.
It will help you to win more and fail less with everyone aware of what you are up to.
To put it simply, a social media style guide helps you appear consistent and not like there are ten people managing your social media profiles. It’s a guide and a set of rules at the same time.
Social Media Profiles & Brand Voice
The first thing you should do is list all of your social media accounts for your business.
You want to have them all in one place and be able to keep track of all of them at once. This will also help you decide who will be in charge of each account.
At the same time, you need to decide what your brand voice will be. Think of the tone you will adopt in order to use all the best practices of business storytelling.
You need to think about whether you want friendly or savage, casual or bold, sarcastic or formal, and so on. You could also use such traits as being cheerful, helpful, trendy, youthful, or deadpan.
Grammar, Terminology & Post Formatting
The next step is to think about which grammar standards you will be following.
This includes whether or not you will be using Internet slang as well as any other terminology specific to your industry. This is very important because it directly influences the tone and voice of your brand.
You should also keep in mind what kind of post formatting you want to use. Some brands like to stick to a certain post layout when placing the different elements in it, so you may want to describe this part too.
Take inspiration from different social media style guides to give you an idea of what your own guide should look like. For example, Medium’s social media style guide makes use of simplicity yet has colours.
BTW: Discover the right sizes for all your images on social media including LinkedIn, in our guide to Social Media Image Sizes.
Writing Tools to Use For Captions
To help you create your content or your social media style guide, use these tools:
- Grammarly: A web tool to check grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
- Trust My Paper: An online writing service to create your content for you.
- Hemingway Editor: A web tool that highlights adverbs, passive voice, and complicated sentences in the text.
- Studicus: Another great online writing service.
- Google Docs: A web equivalent of Microsoft Office Word to share and edit word files with your team.
- Plagiarism Checker: An online tool to check your content for plagiarism.
Visuals, Hashtags & Other Nuances
Having visuals guidelines is essential for your social media profiles to look consistent. For example, Ben & Jerry’s social media style guide focuses on their unique hand-drawn designs.
If you have something special to offer in your visuals, then use it. Don’t forget that visuals include images, videos, GIFs, and more. So if you want this section to be effective, you have to create rules for each type.
Similarly, make sure that you understand which hashtags you will use. Think of whether you want all of your posts to have the same hashtags or if you want posts on certain topics to have specific hashtags. Maybe you want to start your own branded hashtags for your followers to use, so think these through as well.
Don’t forget to outline how you will be dealing with different users in unexpected situations.
Social media is a dangerous place where everything you say or do can lead to your reputation taking a 180-degree turn. This is why you need to be careful when you are dealing with trolls or even with your competitors
In addition to that, think about how you will be replying to customers. If you get a negative review or complaint, you need to have a plan of action to follow. You will probably be following the same tone and voice guidelines that you described earlier in your style guide, but it’s still a great idea to note them down here in more detail.
Lastly, decide on how you will be tagging other users and whether you will be doing it at all. What if you want to address a particular brand and start a friendly public conversation? You should describe such situations in your style guide too.
Your Social Media Style Guide Checklist
To help you make your social media style guide the best it can be, here is a checklist you can follow in order not to forget anything:
- Goals: Your goals and aims on social media.
- Audience: Your target audience. You can also list and describe your customer avatars.
- Accounts: A list of all your social media accounts on all platforms.
- Voice & Tone: A description of what your brand’s voice and tone should be.
- Grammar & Terminology: The kind of grammar you will be using as well as the terminology and wording in your posts.
- What to Post: Describe what kind of content you will be posting and where to get ideas for posts so your team stays on the same page.
- When to Post: Describe your schedule with how often you post and during what hours.
- Who Owns It: Decide whether the posts published through your brand’s profiles should be credited to the brand or your writers accordingly.
- The Way It Should Look: Include an outline of where what should be in your posts, how they should be formatted, and what they should look like for every platform.
- Calls To Action: Describe how and where the calls to action should be included.
- Hashtags: The hashtags you will be using and where they must be placed.
- Emojis: Whether or not emojis will be used and if so, which ones.
- News Posts: Whether or not you will be publishing news posts and how they should be formatted if so.
- Cross-Platform Posts: If you are publishing one post to several platforms, include how it should be formatted for each platform accordingly.
- Visuals Guidelines: Guidelines and requirements for images, GIFs, infographics, videos, and whatnot.
- Handling Situations: Describe how trolls, competitor interactions, customer interactions, and other situations should be handled.
To sum up, creating a social media style guide for your brand is essential for writing brand content for your social media profiles.
It will help you stay focused and consistent posting regularly to your accounts and spreading the word about your business.
If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing, discover how to get 1,000’s of Facebook Page Likes For Free, How to Increase Your Instagram Post Reach or the Best Times to post on Social Media.