There is so much involved in getting it right on social media. Your style guide should be so comprehensive that you can pass it on to a new person and they can immediately understand your brand and the way you speak to your customers.
How do you talk to your customers? This should be a similar journey at every touch point to the business, be it call centre staff, website or social media. Everyone in the business should be on board with the way that you talk to your customers.
We love to help our clients get it right from the start which is why we find it super important to have a comprehensive branded style guide so that not only are we aligning with the brand, but every other business, employee or individual that speaks on your behalf in the future is also aligned with the way you engage with your customers.
How to get started with your style guide
Firstly, it is important to understand what is unique and different about your business
- What are your values as a business?
- What do you do that is different to others?
- Why are you on social media in the first place?
- What is your vibe as a brand?
Secondly, it can help to have a character which embodies everything your brand is about. Think about the following:
- If your brand was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
- If your brand was a person, what’s their relationship to the consumer?
- Describe in adjectives what your company’s personality is not
- Are there any companies that have a similar personality to yours?
- How do you want your customers to think about your company?
Once you have asked a few stakeholders these questions and have a well rounded response then you can start to move on to creating the document.
How to structure the document
- List active accounts and contacts
- Your social media goals and business values
- Audience breakdown/personas – Who are you trying to reach? How do they speak, consume content and behave on social? You should define who you want to attract and engage with on social media. Be specific.
- Your personality – Include the relationship to your customer, your fictional likes, hates and how you communicate on social.
- Tone of voice/Language – This should be personable. Each interaction should have a personality. Give examples; Write like this. Not like this. Why?
- Terminology – If there are phrases or words specific to your industry make sure these are reflected in the style guide with examples of how to use.
- Publishing content – You need to include everything here; if you share the same post across multiple platforms, where you source content from, hashtags you may use, emojis the brand uses, how to give credit to images or content writers, how to use links and what tracking to add if any and finally any platform specific guidelines for engagement and posting.
- Have a link to the content calendar
- Image and design guidelines – Include brand colours, logos etc… explain how images are created.
- Legal considerations and compliance issues – If your business is regulated then you may have to take into consideration what you are and are not allowed to say on social media.
Remember that this document should be a living, breathing document and should be updated regularly and not just when you bring new business or employees on board.
If you need a helping hand getting started with your style guide, and are looking for a social media marketing agency in Manchester, then speak to one of the team at Run2 and see how we can help you.