The Perfect Social Media Style Guide for Your Brand in 2022


Each model, publication, and web site wants fashion information. And each good social marketer wants an awesome social media fashion information.

A mode information helps preserve your model constant across all your channels. It would guarantee that everybody in your workforce is utilizing the identical terminology, tone, and voice.

Let’s take a look at why you want clearly outlined social media model tips, together with some nice fashion information examples for you to mannequin.

Why you need a social media style guide (aka brand guidelines)

A social media style guide is a document that outlines the specific style choices you make for your brand on social media.

This includes everything from your logo and branding colors to how you use emojis and hashtags. In other words, it’s a set of rules that dictate how you present your brand.

Why bother creating a social media style guide? Because consistency is key on social. Your followers should be able to easily recognize your content, no matter where they see it.

Ask yourself this:

  • Do you use serial (aka Oxford) commas?
  • Are spelling with British English or American?
  • Do you say zee, zed, or something else completely?

And that’s not to mention that small issues like spelling, grammar, and punctuation can have a big impact on brand perception.

If you want to build recognition, trust, and loyalty for your brand, then you need to be consistent in how you present it. That’s where a social media style guide comes in.

What your social media style guide should include

A style guide for social media should be clear and concise. It should answer basic questions about your brand voice, target market, and tone across different social platforms.

Here’s a full breakdown of what to include in your social media style guide.

A list of all your social media accounts

Start by creating a list of all the social media accounts your business currently uses. This is important because each platform will have slightly different rules when it comes to voice and tone.

For example, LinkedIn is a more formal platform than Twitter, and Fb is a mixture of each. Realizing the place your model falls on the spectrum will assist you create content that resonates with your audience.

 

As nicely, be certain to incorporate your social media deal with(s) in your fashion information. This may assist you get a transparent image of the naming conventions you’ve used for your accounts.

Are the names constant throughout channels? If not, now’s the time to select a mode and notice it in your fashion information. This fashion you possibly can guarantee new accounts on new channels are simply discoverable by your present followers.

Voice and tone

To attach together with your viewers, you must have a clearly outlined brand voice. Some manufacturers are super-cheeky on social media. Others keep a reasonably formal tone.

You possibly can take both method, or some variation, however you must preserve it constant.

Outlining your voice and tone in your social media fashion information will assist you guarantee all of your content material sounds prefer it’s coming from the identical supply.

It’ll additionally assist any new workforce members who come on board to shortly get a really feel for how they need to be representing your model on-line.

Listed below are some questions to contemplate as you outline your model voice and tone.

Jargon

Will you employ it? Except you’re in a extremely technical trade with a really area of interest viewers, your finest guess might be not.

Follow plain language that’s simple for your viewers to know, and make an inventory of jargon-y phrases to keep away from.

Supply: The World According to Skype

Inclusive language

What tips will you comply with on social media to verify your language is inclusive and truthful? Contain workforce members in the dialogue as you develop your inclusive language tips. In case your workforce is just too giant for everybody to affix in the dialogue, be sure to have various viewpoints represented. Flow into the preliminary tips to hunt suggestions.

Keep in mind, accessibility is a key element of inclusivity.

Sentence, paragraph, and caption size

Generally, quick is finest. However how quick? Will you are taking the identical method on Fb as you do on Instagram? Will you use threaded Tweets to transcend 280 characters?

 

Emojis

Does your model use emojis? In that case, which of them? What number of? On what channels? How typically? Have the identical dialogue about GIFs and stickers.

earnest ice cream instagram caption using different types of emojis

How and the place to make use of CTAs

How typically will you ask your readers to take a particular motion, like clicking a hyperlink or making a purchase order? What sorts of motion phrases will you employ in your calls to motion? What phrases do you must keep away from?

telus instagram post asking users to check out their open postions

Submit authorship

Do you submit as a model? Or do you attribute your social posts to particular person workforce members? For instance, it’s frequent for customer support social accounts to make use of initials to point which workforce member is replying to a public message. If that is the way you method buyer feedback, remember to define this in your social media fashion information.

 

Social media coverage

Your social media fashion information clarifies the small particulars of how your model makes use of social media. Your social media coverage clarifies the larger image.

A social media coverage outlines expectations for worker conduct on social media, and often contains steering on issues like content material, disclosure, and what to do when you obtain destructive suggestions.

In the event you don’t have one but, we’ve received a complete weblog submit that can assist you write a social media policy.

Listed below are some key factors to incorporate:

  • Group roles: Who’s accountable for creating and publishing content material? Who has the ultimate say on what will get revealed?
  • Content material: What kind of content material is acceptable (e.g., product pictures, worker pictures, firm information, memes)? Are there any off-limits subjects?
  • Timing: When is content material revealed (e.g., throughout enterprise hours, after hours)?
  • Safety protocols: handle passwords and security risks.
  • Disaster plan: How ought to your workforce handle a crisis?
  • Compliance: keep on the correct facet of the legislation, particularly in regulated industries.
  • Worker tips: For private {and professional} social media use.

Buyer/viewers personas

In the event you haven’t but defined your target market and developed your audience personas, now’s the time to take action. Earlier than you possibly can develop an efficient model voice, you must know who you’re chatting with.

When constructing out viewers personas, contemplate the next:

  • Primary demographics (location, age, gender, occupation)
  • Pursuits and hobbies
  • Ache factors/what they need assistance with
  • How they use social media
  • What sort of content material they have interaction with (e.g., weblog posts, infographics, movies)

The extra element you possibly can present to your workforce from the beginning, the higher outfitted they’ll be to develop content material that appeals to your goal market.

Brand language guidelines

There are doubtless a number of phrases, phrases, acronyms, and names which might be particular to your model. That you must outline exactly how you employ them.

For instance:

Logos

Your fashion information for social media ought to embrace an inventory of all of your model logos. Don’t put your checklist in all-caps, as a result of this makes it inconceivable to inform the distinction between, say HootSuite (unsuitable) and Hootsuite (proper).

Present tips for the best way to use your logos. Do you employ your product names as verbs? What about plurals? Or possessives? Sentence fragments? Get particular.

google trends do's and dont's of trademark usage

Supply: Google Trends Brand Guidelines

Acronyms and abbreviations

In case your model is especially acronym-heavy, you’ll need to embrace a bit on the best way to use them.

For instance, NATO is all the time written out because the North Atlantic Treaty Group on the primary reference, with NATO in parentheses afterwards. Like this:

North Atlantic Treaty Group (NATO)

In the event you’re utilizing an acronym that’s not broadly identified, spell it out on the primary reference.

As nicely, make an inventory of the acronyms your organization generally makes use of internally, together with what they stand for. Point out whether or not it’s applicable to make use of the acronyms on every social channel, or to make use of the total time period.

Pronunciation

Is there a proper technique to say your model identify? In that case, be sure to embrace the proper pronunciation in your fashion information. For instance, is it “Nikey” or “Nikee”?

In case your model identify is difficult to pronounce, contemplate making a pronunciation key. This may be so simple as together with the phonetic spelling of adverse phrases subsequent to the phrase itself.

Pronunciation is more and more necessary as social media moves towards video content.

Different language particular to your model

If there are different phrases or phrases which might be particular to your model, be certain to incorporate them in your fashion information. This could possibly be something from the names of merchandise to firm slogans.

For instance, Hootsuite staff are affectionately referred to as “owls,” each internally and on social media.

 

Starbucks, then again, refers to their staff as “companions.

In the event you use particular phrases like this, write them down. Not simply the way you consult with your staff, however any non-trademarked language you employ to consult with any facet of your organization. For instance, do you might have prospects, purchasers, or visitors? All of this data will assist convey readability to your social media fashion information.

Consistency tips

Let’s convey it again to the linguistic points we touched on proper initially. Consistency tips assist everybody posting on behalf of your model to use the identical language each time.

Your first step in constructing out consistency tips is to select a dictionary. (They’re all somewhat completely different.) Listing it in your fashion information and ensure all related workforce members have entry to an on-line doc or a paper copy.

You may additionally need to select an present fashion information, just like the Associated Press Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style.

This fashion you don’t should resolve on each grammar and punctuation alternative your self.

Listed below are some consistency points to contemplate.

US or UK English

Relying on the place your organization calls dwelling, you’ll need to use both US or UK English in your social media fashion information. If in case you have a worldwide viewers, chances are you’ll want to contemplate each.

That is necessary not simply for spelling (e.g., shade vs color), but additionally for vocabulary and grammar. For instance, in US English, it’s commonplace to write down dates as month/day/12 months, whereas in UK English the order is day/month/12 months.

In the event you don’t use language persistently throughout your channels, you threat complicated or alienating your viewers.

Punctuation and abbreviations

Generally, you need to use correct punctuation in your social media posts. This contains issues like utilizing apostrophes appropriately and avoiding textual content converse (e.g., lol, ur).

In fact, there are all the time exceptions to the rule. For instance, hashtags don’t use punctuation, and it’s usually accepted to make use of abbreviations on Twitter (e.g., TIL, IMO).

Remember to define the place and when it’s applicable to make use of abbreviations and slang in your social media fashion information.

 

Serial commas

Serial commas are a little bit of a divisionary topic. There’s no proper reply on whether or not to make use of them. The Related Press is usually in opposition to them, however the Chicago Guide of Style says they’re a should. Make your individual alternative on this problem and use it persistently.

Headline capitalization

Your social media fashion information ought to make it clear the way you need to format your headlines. For instance, the AP Stylebook recommends utilizing sentence case for headlines whereas the Chicago Guide of Style says to make use of title case. Once more, choose and elegance and stick with it.

Sprint fashion

True story: I as soon as gained a Dale Carnegie Pen for a speech in regards to the variations between a hyphen (-), an en-dash (–), and an em-dash (—).

You may not be as into punctuation as I’m, however you continue to have to outline your sprint fashion to make sure consistency.

Dates and occasions

Do you say 4pm or 4 p.m. or 16:00? Do you write out days of the week or abbreviate them? What date format do you employ? Remember to embrace all of those particulars in your social media fashion information so everyone seems to be on the identical web page.

Numbering

Do you employ numerals or spell out numbers? When do you begin utilizing numerals? These are necessary inquiries to reply in your fashion information so that everybody is on the identical web page.

Hyperlinks

How typically will you embrace hyperlinks in your posts? Will you employ UTM parameters? Will you employ a URL shortener? Be sure your social media fashion information contains these particulars.

Curation tips

Not each thought you share on social media can be uniquely your individual. Curated content might be a good way so as to add worth to your social feed with out creating new content material of your individual.

However which sources will you share from? Extra importantly, which sources will you not share from? You doubtless need to keep away from sharing posts out of your rivals, for instance.

Additionally outline your tips for how to source and cite third-party images.

Hashtag use

We cowl how to use hashtags successfully in completely different weblog posts. In your social media fashion information, your aim is to outline a hashtag technique that retains your social channels constant and on-brand.

Branded hashtags

Do you employ branded hashtags to encourage followers and followers to tag you in their posts, or to gather user-generated content? Listing any branded hashtags in your fashion information, together with tips about when to make use of them.

Additionally present tips for the best way to reply when individuals use your branded hashtags. Will you want their posts? Retweet? Remark?

Marketing campaign hashtags

Create an inventory of hashtags particular to any one-off or ongoing campaigns.

When a marketing campaign is over, don’t delete the hashtag from this checklist. As an alternative, make notes in regards to the dates the hashtag was in use. This fashion, you might have a everlasting document of the hashtags you’ve used. This can assist spark concepts for new tags for future campaigns.

For instance, as journey shut down in March, Vacation spot BC launched a marketing campaign with the hashtag #explorebclater. As native journey started to open up in early summer season, they transitioned to #explorebclocal.

What number of hashtags?

The supreme variety of hashtags to make use of is a matter of ongoing debate. You’ll have to do some testing to be taught what number of are proper for what you are promoting. As nicely, this quantity will differ between channels. Take a look at our information on using hashtags for every network to be taught extra.

Be certain your social media fashion information outlines finest practices for hashtag use on every channel.

Hashtag case

As nicely, hashtag case use ought to be clearly outlined. There are three otions for hashtag case:

  1. Lowercase: #hootsuitelife
  2. Uppercase: #HOOTSUITELIFE (finest for very quick hashtags solely)
  3. Camel case: #HootsuiteLife

Person-generated content material

Person-generated content material generally is a enormous enhance to a model, however be certain your workforce is aware of the best way to correctly curate and credit score it.

Tips for use

Unsure the place to begin together with your tips for UGC? We recommend some fundamentals in our submit on how to use user-generated content:

  • At all times request permission
  • Credit score the unique creator
  • Supply one thing of worth in return
  • Use search streams to seek out UGC you may need missed

credit score

Specify how you’ll credit score the customers whose posts you share. You need to all the time tag them, after all, however what format will you employ for that credit score?

For instance, digital camera icons are a typical means of attributing pictures on Instagram.

 

Design tips

We’ve talked so much about phrases, however you additionally have to outline your model’s visible appear and feel for social media. Listed below are some design tips to get you began.

Colours

In the event you’ve already outlined your model colours, these will doubtless be the colours you employ in your social media accounts. You could want to outline which colours to make use of in completely different contexts.

spotify brand colour use do's and dont's

For instance, chances are you’ll need to use a softer model of your model’s main shade for backgrounds, and a extra saturated model for textual content and call-to-action buttons.

Brand use

The place and when will you employ your brand on social media? It’s typically a good suggestion to make use of your brand as your social media profile image.

In case your brand doesn’t work nicely as a sq. or circle picture, chances are you’ll have to create a modified model particularly for social media use.

medium brand logo guidelines

Supply: Medium Brand Guidelines

Photographs

What sorts of photos will you employ on social media? Will you employ inventory pictures, or solely pictures that you simply’ve taken your self? In the event you do use inventory pictures, the place will you get them from?

Will you watermark your photos? In that case, how?

Remember to embrace all of this data in your fashion information for social media.

Filters and results

It’s necessary to create a visible appear and feel for your model. Whether or not you go #nofilter otherwise you use the latest design tools to edit your photos, consistency is essential.

Your social media fashion information ought to embrace data on which filters and results to make use of (or not use).

Social media style guide examples

Ready to build your own social media style guide? Use these examples as a jumping-off point for your own guide.

New York University (NYU) social media style guide

The New York University (NYU) social media style guide contains

  • all energetic NYU accounts
  • the best way to attribute content material to particular sources
  • detailed data on punctuation and elegance.

In addition they embrace platform-specific data, like what number of Retweets to make use of on Twitter every day. And, the best way to use line breaks on Fb.

twitter guidelines from nyu social media guidelines

Indigenous Tourism BC social media fashion information

Indigenous Tourism BC makes use of its fashion information for social media to enhance public understanding of Indigenous tradition throughout digital channels.

This section of the Indigenous Tourism BC social media fashion information has an enormous deal with language. Language is a vital a part of de-colonizing narratives round Indigenous peoples. By selling right utilization of Indigenous Style throughout media, they’re paving the way in which for higher understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

details of language usage for indigenous people in social media style guide

Starbucks social media fashion information

Starbucks’ social media style guide gives a culture-first information to discussing and selling the Starbucks model on-line.

By explaining the “why” behind their fashion decisions, they offer Starbucks companions a extra detailed understanding of the aim behind the model’s messaging.

starbucks social media style guide culture guidelines

Social media fashion information template

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? We’ve coated loads of materials in this information. However don’t fear—we’ve created a free social media fashion information template you should utilize to construct your individual social media model tips from scratch.

Bonus: Get a free, customizable social media style guide template to simply guarantee a constant look, really feel, voice, and tone throughout all of your social channels.

To make use of the template, click on the File tab in the highest left nook of your browser, then choose Make a duplicate from the drop-down menu. When you’ve completed that, you’ll have your individual model to edit and share. Be happy to delete any sections that aren’t related to what you are promoting, or that you simply’re not able to deal with presently.

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