Remember when you could get away with just get away with creating basic accounts and create your social media marketing strategy on a whim? Those days are gone. Now, not only is a social media marketing strategy necessary but a social media style guide is imperative.
Your style guide will be your number one resource for how your brand is viewed across all on your social media accounts.
It should help your marketing department to create a brand which offers a cohesive experience across all profiles. Ideally, your guide should include brand colors, voice, visual guidelines as well as everything else that you hope will distinguish you from your competitors. It should be a living document which you are constantly editing and evolving, just as social media trends and algorithms do.
One of the easiest ways to look unprofessional as an organisation is if your brand’s Twitter or Instagram feed looks like it is managed by 100 different people. It should not make a difference how many are in charge of your profiles, the tone of every post should be consistent. The easiest way to ensure this is by using a company-wide style guide.
It is also vitally important to ensure that your social media style guide is not simply your social media marketing strategy in disguise. These should be two entirely separate entities. The ideal strategy will be made up of more tactical information such as what and how often you publish and its focus will be on the methods you will use to reach your goals.
However, while your strategy will outline the things you plan to post on social media, your style guide will instead plan how to present these posts to a wider audience.
I can understand that this may seem of little importance to your brand. Especially at the beginning of the process. Will your followers notice if you are consistent across social media? Will they even care?
The short answer is yes!
Not only will it allow you to build a brand personality across different channels, but it will also enable you to implement more accountability across your marketing department. If everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, there become far fewer excuses for a poorly written Tweet!
Similarly, if you are at the beginning of the process, if you are trying to build a brand from scratch, this is an incredibly scalable resource. Commit time to developing this document initially, and it can evolve with your business allowing your social media to thrive.
If you want a successful social media presence, you need to have a marketing strategy and a style guide which work together. However, before both of these, you need to establish your goals.
For more information on how to establish what your social media goals should be, click here.