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How to Create a Social Media Style Guide for Your Business

Are you looking to boost your social media presence in 2020? This article that the JC Sweet & Co. team found on Social Media Examiner discusses how to create a social media style guide for your business, to create a presence that your audience can get to know and learn to expect.

How to Create a Social Media Style Guide for Your Business

In this article, you’ll find seven critical elements to include when you create a social media marketing style guide.

1. Define Your Brand Identity

Before diving into the details, you need to get the essentials straight. Your business will need to define:

  • Your brand identity
  • Your objectives for social media

If you’re not sure about your brand identity, check out your mission statement. If you haven’t written one yet, try to fill in the blanks of this statement:

We provide (product/service) to (target market) by (unique approach) because (goals and values).

2. Declare Your Social Media Marketing Objectives

Once you know who you are, start thinking about what you want to achieve. When it comes to social media planning, you basically have three objectives available to you: reach new audiences, convert to customers, and retain customers.

Bear in mind that your objectives can change over time. You’ll have different goals, strategies, and social channels for different markets.

3. Choose Your Social Networks

The next step is to make a list of all the social networks your business currently uses. Don’t leave anything off the list, even if it’s a network you’ve neglected recently. If you have an account, put it on the list.

Now examine the list critically. Is anything missing? How does each network fit your aims for social media? If you have multiple objectives, try sorting your list of social networks into different buckets like reach, convert, retain.

4. Determine Your Brand Voice

Every social network has its own style, from influencer-heavy Instagram to Twitter snark.

But, while bearing these different styles in mind, it’s more important to find your own brand voice. This voice should be consistent with your brand values and resonate with your target audience.

Finding your voice is something that benefits from a team effort. Try setting up a board full of sticky notes and encouraging everyone on your team to share a few keywords. Look for words that are repeated or get a strong reaction from the group.

5. Outline the Rules of Engagement on Social Media

Your goals on social media include reach, convert, and retain. Your tone and content should fulfill those objectives. Think of it like this:

  • Reach – Attract
  • Convert – Inform
  • Retain – Serve

Going beyond the standard marketing funnel, social media isn’t just about getting customers; it’s about maintaining customer relationships.

The first two points – attract and inform – are mostly outward-looking. You’re creating posts and pushing ads that draw people toward your brand. The inform stage also involves some one-to-one responses as you answer questions from people who are considering a purchase.

The final point—serve—includes both customer service and social listening. Increasingly, people use social media as a customer service channel. In addition to direct customer queries and complaints, you should also be using social listening to find more potential customers.

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