Do you have a social media style guide? If your company and brand has any kind of presence on social media—and in this day and age, who doesn’t?—you need to get one. This guide will detail the language, tone, and personality of your brand on the various social media platforms you use to interact with your audience. It will also help you be more consistent overall and create brand identity that people will be able to recognize online.
If you aren’t quite sure where to begin in the development of your social media style guide, we’ve listed several of the most important elements you need to include below.
The Essentials of a Social Media Style Guide
1. Guidance on all of your social media accounts
The first thing you need to do is list all of your social media accounts. You might be active on everything from Pinterest to YouTube to LinkedIn, or you may only be active on a few, but you still need to ensure consistency across all accounts, especially when it comes to usernames. If you keep usernames consistent, it makes it easier for users to find you across different platforms.
If you have a multinational company, it may also be a good idea to create specific accounts for each region or country you serve, so you’ll be able to more authentically communicate with your audience there. For example, instead of one English language account on Twitter, you could have @Brand_Name_Canada, @Brand_Name_UK, and @Brand_Name_US.
2. The Types of Content Shared on Each Platform
In your style guide, you need to define the kinds of content you’ll be posting on each platform. For instance, LinkedIn may be used for job postings and industry-related content, Facebook and Twitter may be a good place to post product news and updates, and Instagram and TikTok may be the best platform for sharing behind-the-scenes content.
In addition to defining content for each platform, make sure you’ve noted the character limits, image dimensions, and maximum video size for each platform you use. You wouldn’t want to plan to post content somewhere it wouldn’t be compatible.
For images and videos specifically, it’s smart to spend some time in your style guide determining how you want these elements to look. Each type of post can have a unique design: product images and videos can have bright backgrounds, behind-the-scenes videos can feature the same familiar faces or voiceover, engagement posts can feature more images or videos of people, etc.
3. Brand Language
When you’re posting on social media, you want to be cognizant of the ways you talk about your brand and company. Make a list of key phrases and words that describe your business. If you use specific terms to describe your employees, customers, or products and services, include those, too.
You should also take this opportunity to clarify how your company and brand should be displayed. This may seem obvious, but different people in your company may have different interpretations of it. Is it brandname, Brandname, BrandName, or Brand Name? Here is where you can set the record straight.
4. Tone & Voice
You have a range of options when it comes to choosing your brand’s online personality. You could be funny, irreverent, witty, playful, upbeat, refined, snarky, or any combination of dozens of other traits. No matter how you choose to present yourself online, the goal here is to remain consistent. It’s also smart to consider how your tone and voice will translate across the numerous platforms you’re active on. Cute and fun may work much better on Pinterest than on LinkedIn, so consider how you may be able to adapt to the platform while still remaining true to your brand identity.
5. Emojis & hashtags
Emojis and hashtags are ubiquitous on social media. While you shouldn’t forego their usage, we do encourage you to use them carefully. Just like with the language you choose, make sure the emojis you include in your posts reflect the brand personality you’ve defined. And don’t over do it; too many emojis could just muddle up your message.
Hashtags play an important role on social media platforms, allowing users to easily search and find content they’re interested in. Making use of them will help users find and connect with your brand, but like emojis, be smart about it. Don’t try to take advantage of a trending hashtag if your brand has nothing to do with it, and check the hashtags you plan to use to make sure they aren’t associated with any content you’d like to avoid.
Get Your Social Media Content Ready to Go With Ashore
On social media, much like everywhere else on the internet, content is king. To make sure the content you produce strikes the right chord with your audience and aligns with your style guide, you need to get the best feedback possible during the review process. That’s where Ashore comes in.
Upload your images, PDFs, HTML files, videos, or audio files into Ashore, and easily share with everyone on your team. They’ll be able to mark up and make contents in context directly on your files. Features such as version stacking, version comparison, and approval checklists ensure nothing is overlooked and the process runs smoothly. If you’re ready to kick your social media activities into high gear, you need Ashore. Sign up for free today to get started!