How to Create a Social Media Style Guide

Category: Social Media Marketing

Written by: Tony Adragna

Posted on: September 21, 2018

It’s not uncommon to see a corporate social media account go viral for all of the wrong reasons. The majority of the time, the slip-ups that the corporation made could have been avoided if they had a social media style guide for their employees to abide by.

Creating a social media style guide for your business can save you from making BIG mistakes on social platforms.

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What Is It?

A style guide for social media is how your brand appears and acts on social media sites. This includes:

Social Media Style Guide
  • Colors
  • Voice
  • Visuals
  • Guidelines

Your style guide helps your brand have the same tone and appearance, regardless of who is actually crafting the social message on your team. This allows you to give your brand a personality, prevent social media fails, and onboard new employees that will handle your social accounts quickly.

Social Media Style Guide Creation

When you’re creating your social media style guide, it should include:

  • Your accounts - List all of the social accounts that your company currently manages. If your company has a primary Twitter account (@Nike), along with secondary options (@NikeUS, @NikeHoops), list all of those.
  • Your voice - This should incorporate how you want your brand to be perceived when you post. If you have a different voice for different platforms (formal on LinkedIn, more playful on Instagram), be sure to note that in your style guide. Some voice options are:
      • Helpful
      • Casual
      • Sarcastic
      • Trendy
      • Friendly
      • Humorous
Once you decide on your brand’s voice, be thorough in how you describe it in your style guide.
  • Grammar - When should your brand use exclamation marks? Should you use AP style for everything? Keep these things in mind when you’re creating your style guide.
  • Formatting - Do you want your brand’s posts to follow a certain format? Do you want to use hashtags and links at the end of your posts? These things should be in the social media style guide.
  • Hashtag use - Speaking of hashtags, how do you want your brand to use them? Outline how you want your brand to use hashtags on your social profiles.
  • Visuals - This ranges from graphics you use in your posts to fonts and colors. How do you want the visual appeal of your brand to come off?
  • Engagement - How do you want your brand to engage with social media users, if at all? These keeps everyone in your company on the same page when it comes to engagement and interaction.

View an example of our social media style guide to get an idea of what one looks like.

As your brand grows and changes over time, be sure that you’re updated your social media style guide as a working document and don’t let it become something that is outdated. It’s important that everyone in your company is on the same page when it comes to your social media pages.

Have social accounts, but not sure how to use them as marketing tools? Download our eBook below.

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