The Ultimate Social Media Style Guide For Businesses
Table of Contents
● Social Media Style Guide – A Synopsis
● How to Build a Social Media Style Guide
● Salient Features of a Social Media Style Guide
Social media has an enormous impact on businesses. Various popular social media platforms promote brands, advertise new products, effectively provide customer service, and resolve disputes.
Marketing dynamics have transformed over the last ten years, and digital marketing and social media have become the focal points, with technology taking center stage. Over the years, organizations have heavily invested in and relied on social media and have full-time in-house social media teams to manage their branding and marketing strategies.
Social media and businesses blend to create branding opportunities in abundance. Brands keep re-inventing through platform-based advertising and social media profiles for business sustainability. The paradigm shift towards social media, chat, and email customer service has given the much-required impetus for business growth.
From a call center service to email support, customer service, too, has seen a significant transformation, wherein communication now takes place on social media.
As a result, it is vital to have a robust roadmap when designing your social media marketing strategy to reflect your brand. And a social media style guide is the key.
Social Media Style Guide – A Synopsis
A social media style guide is an organization’s roadmap that guides the brand’s appearance and positioning on social media. The social media style guide is an integral part of your overall marketing brand guidelines that provide insights into how the brand appears and how the customer perceives your brand on various social media platforms.
Social media managers adhere to the social media style guide that details a company’s standards for writing, wording, and designing, reflecting the brand or organization’s nature and voice. A strong need for written communication skills seems in great demand for those taking on a customer service social media role.
A social media style guide will provide a clear-cut guideline on how you would want the customers to identify your brand or organization. As businesses are increasingly moving toward an online-centric model, a social media style guide is in great demand.
Uniformity and consistency are the key attributes of a social media style guide that will help drive brand communication and display the key elements. Once you establish the ground rules, it’s easy for multiple teams across multiple locations to comprehend the instructions and work accurately. It defines the design for all your content, from blog posts, images, videos, and presentations to office literature and business cards.
How to Build a Social Media Style Guide
There are specific dos and don’ts to follow when creating a social media style guide. It makes sense to eliminate certain ambiguities like types of trends, acronyms, and hashtags that may digress from your brand’s voice.
The social media team has to be creative while setting up an approval flow so that every message gets a final review. A commonly overlooked element is naming conventions for your profiles. As your brand sets its sights on newer channels, creating guidelines for formatting your usernames is good.
With billions of active social media users, brands face a lot of competition for attention. Have thorough knowledge of your potential customers by focusing on the targeted audience. Identify the right visual and verbal nuances that resonate with your customers.
Such an approach will naturally align marketing decisions with your goals and brands. If you’ve already established a brand style guide, use that as a starting point for your social media style guide, especially for image, video format, color schemes, and font choices.
Some of the dynamics when building a social media style guide are as follows.
● Define the purpose and goals
● Create a brand style guide with great storytelling.
● Use logo guidelines that instantly make your brand recognizable.
● Always include your brand’s core color palette.
● Spell out the typography hierarchy.
● Define brand voice and tone.
● Bolster your visual style through the imagery and iconography
● Set expectations and standards for quality social media content.
● Create a common understanding in your company around the tone, format, style, cadence, and imagery that best fits your brand across various social media platforms.
● Define the goals on social media
● Various formats augur well for different social medial platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Social Media Style Guide – Salient Features
1. Logo design
The logo is the most important part of the brand. It’s the one thing that everyone should instantly recognize and relate to you. A consistent depiction and display of the logo make your brand recognizable, and the brand remains etched in memory for a long time.
Clearly define the tone of your brand voice and maintain consistency across all social media platforms. Some of the tone descriptor examples are friendly, casual, humorous, energetic, sarcastic, etc. While creating a social media style guide, pay attention to the tone and emotion conveyed across blogs, ads, and social media platforms.
Grammar is the key component of a social media style guide. A standard grammatical approach holds the key while delivering the brand’s voice. Abbreviations, exclamations, and other things can help create cohesiveness in your content. You can apply a standard grammar handbook’s rules to your social media style guide.
While creating the social media style guide, work along with the team to develop guidelines for the language style. Please remember that the language approach has to be fair and inclusive. Ensure all the diverse viewpoints are well represented.
Avoid long captions; smart and short captions have the power to convey the necessary emotion better.
Avoid high-end vocabulary or unwarranted terminologies and encourage a simple language approach that is easy for customers to understand. Jargon related to the domain may be appropriate only if you target a niche audience in a high-tech industry.
Hashtags form an essential part of social media. Users find it easier to locate brands or products through hashtags. It’s a great way to collect testimonials and comments for campaigns, products, or businesses posted by the users. They help improve your impressions and engagement rates by creating visibility in search results.
Be consistent with your use of hashtags across all social channels to increase your content’s discoverability and thereby increase the visibility of the brand or product. A trending hashtag works to your advantage and helps you capture the current mood or momentum.
7. Social media accounts
Identify the list of social media platforms you would like to work on. Listing all your accounts will make sure you consider the needs of each account as you build your style guide. Choose the proper social media channels that work best for your brand’s image and audience.
Your posts shouldn’t be the only thing that should be consistent. Your usernames should also be consistent so that users can find you across all platforms.
Know your customer and define your target audience. Know who you’re speaking to before developing a compelling brand voice. Spell out the descriptions of your audience personas that may help you build your social media style guidelines.
Cadence refers to a rhythmic sequence of the number of times a comment or text needs to be posted on various social media channels. Google Analytics provides insights on the optimized times to post.
Images and videos are an integral part of social media that creates an impression instantaneously. Add standards and style section to your guide, defining the type of images and color scheme. And list out clear instructions; for example, every post has to have an image.
Emoticons feature on a regular occurrence, frequently being used by many brands. They’re used to illustrate or punctuate and are a valuable tool in making your posts more noticeable. They are powerful yet fun and add humor that appeals to all age groups.
In the End
An effective social media guide should clearly describe and bring consistency to your brand’s personality and tone and how you communicate to your audience on certain channels or topics.
The style guide aims to create a standard and consistent approach to marketing by clearly communicating the brand’s mission and vision and how we would like customers to interact with our brand via visuals, ads, texts, and blogs across various social media platforms.
Many factors like tone, grammar, language, jargon, etc., are incorporated into the social style guide, which will create instructions for the social media teams to work on. Social media channels have unique abilities to build brand impressions, loyal customers, and new business.
A social media style guide on deck is an asset to your business and brand. Once the style guide is established, the style guide team needs to work on solidifying brand imagery, enforcing editorial calendar dates, and continuously improving personas.
While laying out guidelines, a style guide considers different social platforms’ nuances. The style guide team can work on various branding and marketing strategies to help brands thrive and grow.
● A social media style guide calls for a consistent approach to tone, format, imagery, cadence, and style that best fits your brand across various social media channels.
● A social media style guide ensures that your team brings your style guide to life in your day-to-day communications.
● The basic steps before creating a social media style guide are as follows:
○ Have a brand assets folder as a central place to store different documents, images, videos, templates, etc.
○ Know your competitors.
○ Understand their ways of interacting with their audience, patterns of handling grievances, and communication strategies.
● The benefits of a social media style guide are that it provides brand credibility; new joiners shall be able to quickly pick up the instructions from the style guide without any work interruptions or delays.
● An established style guide has little room for error as it has time and tested documents worked and amended multiple times and is bound to give accurate outcomes.
● A social media style guide strengthens and solidifies the brand image and enhances your brand’s personas.
A social media style guide is a reference source on how your brand should appear and perform on various social media platforms. The guide provides insights into the customers to identify your brand or organization. It also defines parameters like voice, jargon, and language that will provide instructions to foster the marketing strategies of the brand or the organization.
A social media style guide aims to create uniformity in communication and branding clearly and cohesively, reflecting a corporate style in design and writing. The style guide ensures consistency across texts, messages, and visuals in expression and presentation, even when different teams or agencies work on it.
A social media guide is the perfect source telling you how your brand must appear and act on social media. It is a significant influencer that prompts impressions and thoughts of the people about your brand and the emotion created in them.
● Maintain a list of all your social media accounts
● Define your brand identity
● Set specific social media marketing objectives
● Have in-depth knowledge about your mission, vision, values, and brand history
● Create detailed guidelines on logo usage, color palette, file format
● Define the appropriate size, spacing, and contexts
● Tone of voice
● Brand story
● Image guidelines
● Color palette