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From Content Clutter to an Unmistakable Voice: The Social Media Style Guide
Communications – PR, Social Media, Content Tools 15 February 2024

From Content Clutter to an Unmistakable Voice: The Social Media Style Guide

social media styleguide - From Content Clutter to an Unmistakable Voice: The Social Media Style Guide

How can you ensure that content on your various social media channels is consistent and recognizable, even if someone else takes over content management? This is where the social media style guide comes into play. It defines clear guidelines for the design of articles, images, or videos and thus ensures that all publications speak the same language.

Why do companies need a social media style guide?

  • Consistency: A uniform language on all channels ensures recognition value for your audience.
  • Efficiency: Clear guidelines save you time when producing new content – and you don’t have to keep rethinking how something should be designed.
  • Professionalism: A holistic appearance increases credibility with your target groups.

Who is the Social Media Style Guide aimed at?

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The social media style guide is primarily aimed at your marketing and PR team, but other departments such as HR or customer service can also benefit from it. It is therefore important that all employees have access to the guide and understand it.

External service providers such as agencies or freelancers should also be familiar with the guidelines and be able to apply them. This way, you can ensure that the visual appearance remains consistent across all channels – regardless of who is currently working for the company.

A well-thought-out social media style guide therefore not only ensures a consistent presentation of the company to the outside world, but also facilitates internal workflows.

What does the social media style guide consist of?

social media style guide

  • The account definition per channel includes various aspects that help to ensure your uniform and appealing presence on social media channels. The name of the account, the handle (the user name), the bio, hashtags as well as the content and categories are defined.
  • The content of a social media channel includes both text and visual elements such as images and graphics. It is important that it fits the target group and addresses their needs. To ensure this, you can define content pillars – i.e. specific subject areas or categories – in which you regularly publish content.
  • The colors of the accounts should be defined in a color palette. There are primary and accent colors that shape the visual appearance of your social media profiles. The combinations of these colors determine the overall picture.
  • The font(s), their sizes and spacing as well as the font colors are also decisive for the appearance of your social media channel. A uniform design of the text elements contributes to recognizability.
  • Your company’s logo is the most important visual element and must be displayed consistently on all channels. The guide should therefore provide clear guidelines on the size, placement and use of the logo. Different variations can also be created – for example, a simplified version for smaller representations.
  • Clear guidelines for the use of images and videos should be included in the social media style guide. For example, specifications can be made for size, resolution or format. Also regulate the use of filters or effects so that all of your company’s content speaks the same visual language. In addition, it can be useful to provide examples of what type of images and videos should be used in which context – this not only makes it easier to create new content, but also ensures that it is tailored to the target group. When using images, you should also consider legal aspects, for example that images come from legal sources or are licensed.
  • Graphics can contain recurring symbols, motifs and design elements to create a consistent visual identity. The composition of the graphics also plays a role in their effect on the viewer.
  • Wordings refer to the terms and expressions used. This allows you to define certain words or phrases that should be used regularly. This also includes inclusive language: Whether and how you use gender-appropriate wording and sensitivity towards discriminatory expressions should be an integral part of the social media style guide.
  • The caption guideline describes guidelines for the text that belongs to a post. This is about text length, paragraphs, and the use of hashtags, emojis, and networking with other accounts. You can also define call-to-action elements here.
  • A social media policy can define role allocations for your team and clarify how often posts should be published and at what times. You should also regulate the handling of comments, as well as password management for account security.

Tips for implementing the social media style guide in practice

There are a few important points to consider to ensure that such a guide is implemented successfully:

  • Carry out training: All employees should be trained or instructed so that they know what is permitted or prohibited under this guide – this can be done through workshops, for example.
  • Provide regular feedback: Regular feedback allows you to identify potential for improvement and recognize the need for adjustments at an early stage. A continuous exchange among your employees increases the likelihood that the content is in line with the guidelines.
  • Maintain control: One person or a team should ensure that the design specifications are adhered to and that a consistent visual presentation is guaranteed.
  • Ensure up-to-dateness: The guide should be checked regularly and updated if necessary. This allows you to remain flexible for new trends or changes within your target group.

Which companies can you take inspiration from?

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There are numerous examples of companies with professionally designed social media presences thanks to a well-designed social media style guide! To name a few that are not among the usual suspects:

All in all, it is clear that a professional social media presence requires more than just good content – the way it is presented must also be convincing! A clear line not only creates orientation within your own team, but also conveys professionalism and credibility to the outside world. By consistently applying a guideline, you ultimately create trust – both with customers and (potential) employees.

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