With the explosion of content and the potential of social media to assist in branding, personal or otherwise, users are on multiple social media platforms. It is good to utilise the different platforms, for each is unique but you as a person, wanting to build a brand or wanting to build a brand for your small business, need to have a consistent ‘voice’ across platforms.

What is a social media style guide

A consistent voice contributes to your social media style which is unique and which would be recognised by your followers.

Why do you need a style guide

You might be the only person managing your social media accounts or you might have a small team. Even then it is important that you have style guide clearly laid out so that you maintain the consistency in your voice.

There are many components of your social media presence and having them handy would help avoid confusion.

Components of social media style guide

Voice and tone

While the voice should stay consistent, you may want to define it. You might want to decide that your voice would be friendly and relatable or authoritative and formal. This will depend on the image you’re trying to create for your brand.

Grammar and punctuation

You may want to be very formal and use the correct language at all times or you may want to be friendly and use slang on occasion.

Formatting

You could decide on whether to have short or long sentences. What should be your strategy, short updates or long explanations? Decide on the placement of spaces and how frequently you start a new paragraph.

Emoji usage

Emojis are everywhere and even when you are a hard nosed business you might want to use them at times. Just be sure to use it in appropriate places – where it doesn’t seem forced.

Hashtag usage

Decide how many hashtags to use in every social media update and how to post them on each platform. You might want to have a list of frequently used hashtags handy, especially for Instagram where a large number of them can be used. Hashtags would also help you keep track of the topics you frequently talk about in the online space.

Multimedia usage

You can decide what kind of images or gifs or videos you would like to post across your social media platforms. They could be communicating fun or could be classy.

Announcements

How do you announce events or update on new things happening on your social media platforms? Do you like to do it bulletin style or would you like to build a hype?

Sharing links to useful content

How much do you share, what kind of content do you share (consistency is needed in the topics to brand you) and how often are things you must work out in advance.

Response on social media

Your posts would generate interaction as they should, but you need to be careful how you formulate your response. Again your voice and tone are important as are other factors such as how fast do you respond, whether your replies are long and rambling or short and laconic.

You need to work out your social media style guide even before you think you need one. So set aside some time and work on your ‘voice’ for strong branding. On the journey of blogger to thought leadership through #LeaderChatter all April. Come back for more! 

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