Template, Examples & Ideas for 2024

social media style guide

A social media fashion information is a vital doc for social groups of all sizes. Whether or not you’re a staff of 1 or 100, recording your choices about model voice and elegance in a central place ensures consistency in your social media presence — and builds model belief.

Maintain studying to seek out out extra about building a method information your social staff will really use. We’ve even included a free social media fashion information template that will help you get began!

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

What’s a social media fashion information?

A social media fashion information is a doc that outlines the fashion decisions to your model on social media.

This consists of every part out of your model identification (e.g. your brand and colours), to your tone of voice — and even how you employ emojis and hashtags. In different phrases, it’s a algorithm that dictate the way you current your model on social media.

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Why manufacturers want social media fashion guides

Maintain your picture and voice constant

Consistency is essential on social. To your model picture and voice to be constant, you’ll want to make some choices about how your model “speaks” on-line.

Your picture and video content material must be constant too, out of your model colours to the templates you employ for infographics to the fonts you employ for captions and thumbnails.

Assist your staff do their jobs

A model’s social content material must really feel prefer it comes from one constant place, even when completely different elements are created by completely different folks. Whereas your TikTok movies will clearly have a distinct fashion out of your LinkedIn posts, the general model persona must really feel acquainted.

A transparent social media fashion information is the governing doc for all these concerned in creating your social content material. It permits staff members to work independently in the direction of a unified purpose.

fashion information for social media additionally makes onboarding a lot simpler for each new hires and people in supervisory roles. It ensures organizational data stays along with your staff even when particular person staff members transfer on or change roles.

Construct belief along with your viewers

Your followers ought to be capable to acknowledge your content material, irrespective of the place they see it. Whenever you outline your voice, tone, and visible fashion in your fashion information, social media content material creation turns into simpler. Your content material all sounds prefer it’s coming from the identical supply.

social media fashion information additionally ensures you discuss persistently about what your model provides and the way your merchandise work. This builds consumer belief and consciousness, so that you’re prime of thoughts when it’s time to your viewers to make a purchase order.

Tips on how to create a social media fashion information

Making a social media fashion information from scratch includes inspecting the present state of affairs in your social media technique, making a file of what you’ve been doing, and cataloging various element about the way you’ll create content material going ahead. Right here’s easy methods to get began.

Checklist your social media accounts

This isn’t a social media audit, however you continue to must make a listing of each social account you employ to your model.

This may present a transparent image of the naming conventions you’ve used to your accounts. Are the usernames constant throughout channels? If not, now’s the time to decide on a method and word it in your fashion information. This may make new accounts on new channels extra simply discoverable for followers.

Make clear your target market

In case you haven’t but outlined your goal market and developed your viewers personas, now could be the time to take action. Earlier than you’ll be able to develop an efficient model voice, you’ll want to know who you’re talking to.

When constructing out viewers personas, contemplate the next:

Fundamental 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., blog posts, infographics, movies)

Outline your model voice

Tone and elegance

To attach along with your viewers, you’ll want to have a clearly outlined model voice. Some manufacturers are fairly cheeky on social media.

Supply: @Wendys

Others preserve a extra formal tone. You’ll be able to take both strategy, or be someplace in between. However you’ll be able to’t veer from one to the opposite. Take into consideration your model as an individual. Who wouldn’t it be? How wouldn’t it communicate?

In case you want some assist figuring this out, strive experimenting with Hootsuite’s free AI caption generator. It means that you can select completely different tones of voice, from cheerful to unhinged to VSCO lady. Attempt utilizing it to create completely different variations of the identical caption and see which feels extra pure to your model.

For instance, evaluate this cheerful caption:

Supply: Hootsuite free AI caption generator

With this grumpy one:

Which sounds extra like your model?

Content material size

Totally different platforms have completely different content material limits for each video size and variety of textual content characters, so that you’ll want to interrupt this down by platform.

The thought is that your viewers on every platform ought to know what to anticipate. In the event that they’re used to 15-second Reels, it may be complicated and tedious to get sucked right into a 90-second model. But when they’re used to longer explainers and also you instantly publish one thing a lot shorter, that’s complicated too.

The identical goes for captions. In case you normally write a number of phrases, an enormous block of textual content gained’t look proper to your viewers. However in case you use captions as a platform for storytelling and also you instantly change to some phrases or emojis, your viewers will surprise if one thing went fallacious.

Emojis

Will you employ emojis? Which of them? What number of? On what channels? How usually? Have the identical dialogue about GIFs. Your use of emojis (or not) has a transparent impression in your model voice and tone.

How and the place to make use of CTAs

You’ll be able to’t ask your viewers to take motion on each publish. We advocate the 80-20 rule, the place 80% of your content material is to tell, educate, or entertain your viewers whereas 20% straight promotes your model.

On that 20%, how usually will you ask your readers to take a particular motion, like click on a hyperlink or make a purchase order? What sorts of motion phrases will you employ in your CTAs? Will you embody CTAs in your video content material or simply in captions?

Submit authorship

Do you publish as a model? Or do you attribute your social posts to particular person staff members?

For instance, it’s widespread for customer support social accounts to make use of initials to point which staff member is replying to a public message.

Hello Nick, sorry to listen to that! Please ship us a DM with extra particulars and we’ll do our greatest to assist. ^co— Tangerine Assist (@TangerineHelps) April 21, 2024

And in video content material, it’s clearly a person (or people) on display. However on text-forward platforms, your content material seemingly comes from the model itself.

Make clear the way you determine publish authors (if in any respect) and the way usually staff members introduce themselves in video content material.

Inclusive language

What tips will you observe on social media to verify your language is inclusive and honest?

Contain staff members within the dialogue as you develop your inclusive language tips. In case your staff is simply too massive for everybody to hitch within the dialogue, be sure you have numerous viewpoints represented. Flow into the preliminary tips to hunt suggestions.

Accessibility is a key element of inclusivity.

Create linguistic consistency tips

Do you know that dictionaries are all just a little completely different? Select which dictionary you’ll use to your social content material and ensure all related staff members have access to a web based subscription.

You may additionally wish to select an current fashion information, just like the Related Press Stylebook or the Chicago Handbook of Type, so that you don’t must make each grammar and punctuation alternative your self.

Listed here are some consistency points to think about:

US or UK English

Or perhaps Canadian English? Or Australian? Possibly you’re not writing in English in any respect? Selecting a dictionary will assist be sure you stick with the best spelling to your geography.

Serial commas

There’s no proper reply on whether or not to make use of them (though most writers and editors have very sturdy opinions).

Are you able to passionately debate your place on the Oxford comma?Then you definitely will not wish to miss the 5 reside webinars included within the AP Stylebook Workshop.You will hear each the what and the why of AP fashion and you may ask your questions straight, about commas or the rest. pic.twitter.com/vDE8Ea5CCw— APStylebook (@APStylebook) April 4, 2024

The Related Press is generally in opposition to them, however the Chicago Handbook of Type says they’re a should.

Make your individual alternative on this problem and use it persistently.

Headline capitalization

Do you capitalize each phrase, or solely the primary? Once more, there’s no proper or fallacious reply till you outline your model fashion in your fashion information.

Dashes, ampersands, and exclamation factors

Dashes are available in two lengths: the en-dash (–) and the em-dash (—). It’s commonest to make use of the en-dash on-line, however you’ll be able to select both. You additionally must resolve whether or not to make use of areas on both aspect of the sprint. It’s commonest to make use of areas with the shorter sprint however not the longer one:

An en-dash – like this – normally will get areas

An em-dash—like this—normally doesn’t

For ampersands, you simply must resolve in case you’ll use them reasonably than writing out “and.” This may be helpful the place there are tight character limits, so you might wish to make a separate fashion alternative for X (previously Twitter).

AP fashion would not usually use the ampersand.However we observe the fashion of the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame.Word that we use rock ’n’ roll to explain the fashion of music.https://t.co/GuwRNvNLkx— APStylebook (@APStylebook) April 23, 2024

On the exclamation level entrance: Will you employ them in any respect? It’s most likely greatest to maintain them to a minimal on most platforms, until you’re going for a particularly chipper model voice.

Dates and occasions

Do you write out days of the week or abbreviate them? Do you say 4pm or 4 p.m. or 16:00 or 4 o’clock? What date format do you employ?

For instance, in U.S. English, it’s customary to jot down dates as month/day/12 months, whereas in UK English the order is day/month/12 months. This can be a case the place lack of consistency can even have real-world implications, like lacking an occasion or launch.

Hyperlinks

How usually will you embody hyperlinks in your posts? Will you employ UTM parameters and/or a URL shortener? Will you set hyperlinks within the physique textual content or in a remark?

Specify your linking protocols. Additionally make clear the way you discuss with hyperlinks in your bio on platforms the place that’s the one linking possibility.

Pronunciation

We’ve principally centered to date on creating consistency in your written language. However your spoken language must be constant too. Whereas your workers will definitely have completely different accents and methods of talking in your movies, your model identify and merchandise must be pronounced persistently.

If the pronunciation of your model identify or merchandise is unclear from the spelling, contemplate making a pronunciation key. This may be so simple as together with the phonetic spelling subsequent to the phrase itself.

Whereas your workers are unlikely to mispronounce your identify as spectacularly fallacious as Schweppes is pronounced on this video, there’s no sense taking probabilities!

Develop tips for content material curation, UGC, and cross-posting

Curation

Curated content material can 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 seemingly wish to keep away from sharing posts out of your rivals, for instance.

You must also create model tips for a way you share curated content material. Are you including insights of your individual? (Tip: The LinkedIn algorithm particularly prefers it once you add your individual perspective.)

Person-generated content material

Undecided the place to start out along with your tips for UGC? We advise some fundamentals in our publish on easy methods to use user-generated content material:

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 might need missed

Specify how you’ll credit score the customers whose posts you share. It is best to at all times tag them, after all, and digicam icons are a standard means of attributing pictures.

Cross-posting

You wish to get essentially the most out of all of the social content material you create. However that doesn’t imply it is best to publish the identical factor in every single place. Create tips for easy methods to tailor your content material for every social media platform.

For instance, perhaps you create infographics out of your weblog posts for Instagram and fast explainer movies for TikTok. The way you adapt your content material is as much as you, however some tips could make the method simpler for all.

(Trace: Use a instrument like Hootsuite to adapt content material for every platform as you publish.)

Outline your hashtag use

Branded hashtags

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

Additionally present tips for easy methods to reply when folks use your branded hashtags. WIll you want their posts? Retweet? Remark?

Marketing campaign hashtags

Create a listing of hashtags particular to one-off or ongoing campaigns.

When a marketing campaign is over, make notes in regards to the dates the hashtag was in use. This creates a everlasting file and may help spark concepts for future campaigns.

What number of hashtags?

The perfect variety of hashtags is a matter of ongoing debate. You’ll must do some testing to be taught what number of is true for your enterprise.

You don’t must choose a particular variety of hashtags, however goal for a transparent vary.

What case?

This can be a easy one. Select your case:

Lowercase: #hootsuitelife

Uppercase: #HOOTSUITELIFE (greatest for very quick hashtags solely)

Camel case: #HootsuiteLife

Doc visible fashion and catalog key belongings

We’ve talked so much about phrases, however you additionally must outline your model’s visible appear and feel for social media.

Colours

In case you’ve already outlined your model colours, these will seemingly be the colours you employ in your social media accounts. It’s possible you’ll want to outline which colours needs to be utilized in completely different contexts.

For instance,Ikea is well recognizable with their iconic Swedish yellow and blue.

Supply: @IkeaCanada

Fonts

You’ll be able to’t control the fonts when writing captions, however you’ll be able to management the fonts you employ in graphics, cowl photographs, and even Instagram Tales.

Bigger manufacturers would possibly put money into a customized font. However for many manufacturers, it’s enough to decide on one font, or a number of fonts for varied purposes, and use them persistently.

Logos

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

In case your brand doesn’t work properly as a sq. or circle picture, you might must create a modified model particularly for social media use.

Thumbnails

What fashion of thumbnail will you employ for surfaces like Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts? Do you embody textual content? Outline your thumbnail fashion and embody some examples. On that word, it may be a good suggestion to create some…

Templates

From Instagram highlights covers to social adverts to Pins, templates are one of the best ways to maintain your content material constant and recognizable at a look. Embody hyperlinks to your social templates in your fashion information. You too can use a instrument just like the Hootsuite content material library to handle your templates.

Photographs

What sorts of pictures will you employ on social media? Will you employ inventory photographs, or solely photographs that you just’ve taken your self? What about graphics? In case you do use inventory photographs, the place will you get them from?

Once more, the Hootsuite content material library is a superb assist right here since you’ll be able to create a catalog of pre-approved pictures to your social staff to attract from.

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Checklist necessary dos and don’ts

Jargon

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

Follow plain language that’s straightforward to your viewers to know, and make a listing of jargon-y phrases to keep away from.

Emblems

Your fashion information for social media ought to embody a listing of all of your model logos. Don’t put your listing in all-caps, as a result of this makes it not possible to inform the distinction between, say HootSuite (fallacious) and Hootsuite (proper).

Present tips for a way your logos can be utilized. Do you employ your product names as verbs? What about as plurals?

Model and product callouts and USPs

Create a listing of distinctive promoting propositions and customary call-outs to your model and all of your merchandise. Whilst you gained’t seemingly copy-and-paste this info straight into social media posts, it’s helpful to have clear speaking factors so your staff describes your choices appropriately and persistently.

Acronyms

You seemingly use acronyms on a regular basis with out even fascinated with it. However will your viewers know what all of them imply?

Make a listing of the acronyms your organization generally makes use of internally, together with the complete spelled-out variations of what they stand for. Point out whether or not it’s acceptable to make use of the acronyms on every social channel, or if the complete terms needs to be used.

Different language particular to your model

Hootsuite workers are affectionately often known as “owls,” whereas Starbucks refers to their workers as “companions.”

In case you use particular phrases like this, write them down. Not simply the way you discuss with your workers, however any non-trademarked language you employ to discuss with any facet of your organization. For instance, do you could have clients or purchasers or friends?

Language particular to your trade

The primary time I used to be on the point of go on a cruise, I discussed to my journey agent that I used to be trying ahead to getting on the boat. “The ship,” she corrected me.

As a passenger, my use of the fallacious time period didn’t actually matter. However as a author, that might have been an enormous deal. To you, these phrases are apparent. Ensure they’re listed in your fashion information so everybody posting to your social channels makes use of the best time period each time.

Content material varieties

What sort of content material is suitable (e.g., product photographs, worker photographs, firm news, memes)? Are there any off-limits matters? That is particularly necessary in regulated industries.

Hyperlink to your social media policy

Lastly, embody a Hyperlink to your social media coverage and social media tips for extra particulars on the suitable use of social media to your model and your workers.

Free social media fashion information template

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

3 social media fashion information examples

1. Mailchimp

Supply: Mailchimp

This very thorough social media fashion information hits all the important thing factors. It begins by defining the intent of Mailchimp’s social media technique, then will get into particulars like accounts naming conventions, publish size, and tagging protocols. We particularly love the element about exclamation level use: “They’re like high-fives: A well-timed one is nice, however too many may be annoying”

2. Occasions DC

Supply: Occasions DC

Occasions DC consists of their social media fashion information inside their bigger model fashion information. This retains all details about the manufacturers logos, colours, and imagery in a single place, together with particular tips about publish size and goal. We love the very particular tips on emoji use damaged down by platform.

3. Society of Ladies Engineers

Supply: Society of Ladies Engineers

This social media fashion information defines how the society makes use of all social platforms after which focuses on essentially the most generally used: Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and LinkedIn. We notably like that the information is obvious and detailed, but reminds customers to not get too slowed down within the particulars: “In relation to social media, it’s necessary to bear in mind a greatest follow construction, nevertheless, it’s additionally necessary to let creativity stream. “

Create shareable brand-approved content material with Hootsuite

The simplest means to make sure compliance along with your social media fashion information – whereas extending the attain of your social content material – is to create pre-approved model content material that your staff can share with just some clicks.

Your social staff members are the specialists in your social media fashion information – however they’re not the one ones enthusiastic about sharing your model’s social content material. Utilizing a instrument like Hootsuite Amplify makes it straightforward for everybody at your group to get entangled with out all of them having to check the intricacies of your punctuation and font decisions.

Right here’s the way it works:

Your social media staff creates, edits, approves, and shares content material that aligns along with your social media fashion information.

They publish the publish to Amplify, the place it’s accessible to all staff members.

Workers can entry content material, personalize it if acceptable, and share or schedule the publish to go reside on their very own social platforms.

That’s it! Workers also can counsel social content material (like occasion photographs or related information) to your social staff in order that they will create posts that align along with your fashion information for social media.

Save time on social media with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you’ll be able to handle all of your profiles, schedule posts, measure outcomes, and extra.

Do it higher with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media instrument. Keep up to the mark, develop, and beat the competitors.

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