Creating a style guide is imperative for any social media marketing strategy.
Think of it as your go-to for continuity and consistency.
A style guide can include anything from what your content looks likes, to how your posts read. By implementing a style guide, you can ensure your brands’ social media stays cohesive across all channels, even if multiple people are managing the same social accounts.
How to structure your style guide?
A well-constructed style guide is one that can be read, implemented and understood from the get-go. It should be comprehensive and clearly communicate the who, what, where, why and how of your social strategy.
To help you along we’ve broken down some the key components so you can get that oh so crucial document started.
Your social media objectives
Firstly, it is imperative to understand the ins and outs of what you are trying to achieve with social media. By having a clear understanding of your objectives, you can then implement your strategy based on those goals.
Social media accounts
Make a list of all the social media accounts you are currently on. If you are new to social, then make sure the platforms you have chosen, compliment your marketing objectives.
By making a list of your current social channels, you can ensure continuity between social handles. New platforms pop up all the time so keeping your username consistent makes it easy for customers or fans to follow you across multiple channels.
Personality, tone of voice and writing style
Understanding your brands’ personality will help to depict your social media voice and therefore your writing style. What is your social media voice? It is what represents your brand. Whether it is friendly, sarcastic, formal, dry or casual – it’s yours, and it’s what helps your audience identify with your brand. Finding your personality and voice means your content, messages and customer responses will read similar and therefore stay cohesive.
Visual content is a major player in social media, and creating visually pleasing content is imperative for a successful marketing strategy! By implementing guidelines, your essentially creating parameters around visual content which will help to keep your social media on brand.
Some guidelines you can specify include fonts, filters, brand colours and colour combinations, logo placement, image size, video orientation – the list goes on.
Post formatting and hashtags
Remaining consistent with the structure of your posts is another key component in a social media style guide. Some considerations include the use of hashtags, emojis, links, mentions or tags, font case and symbols.
For example, you may want to divide your Instagram caption into two sections, headline and hashtags, by using the backslash or bullet symbols. Documenting this in your style guide means your Instagram feed will remain consistent and therefore familiar to your fans and followers.
Depending on the industry you are in, there may be regulations or restrictions surrounding what you can post on social media. Make sure you do your homework and document all rules to avoid any unnecessary social slip ups.