How to Create a Social Media Style Guide for Your Business

What is a social media fashion information?

It’s the place you go to understand how your model ought to look and behave on social.

It’s a doc you create and share, exhibiting the precise voice, tone, colours, phrases, and visuals that makes your model you.

It’s not your content material advertising technique. That’s the what. Think of your social media fashion information because the how.


Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media technique information with professional recommendations on the best way to develop your social media presence.

Why do you want a social media fashion information?

While your viewers could not reward you for a way nicely all the pieces matches collectively, your boss will.

Why? Because…

Your model can have persona
You’ll present up the precise means, to the precise individuals, throughout all of your social accounts and posts
You’ll win extra, fail much less, with everybody within the know in your social media crew
Quickly onboard new crew members earlier than having them go social

Then, strut on over with confidence to say…

“Hey boss, I’ve got you covered for making our brand look consistent across everything we do on social media. For you, me, and everyone else that will post. See what I mean here.”

But, earlier than you get too assured, let’s have a look at what ought to go contained in the information.

16 issues your social media fashion information ought to embrace

Now that you recognize the why of the information, this part will enable you create a dwelling, respiration doc.

I’ll offer you loads to contemplate. Add new concepts as you go. Update different gadgets as your technique evolves. Think of your information as a course of, moderately than a static factor.

Share the hyperlink to your information typically.

This is the go-to place for everybody, to your model to point out up as supposed throughout all of your social media accounts.

Let the record start…

1. Your objectives

Use your information to remind everybody of why you’re on social.

State the objectives, entrance and middle, with a hyperlink to your social advertising plan and technique.

2. Your viewers

Too many companies lose sight of their who.

And the whats of their who.

But not you.

Create a purchaser persona (a fictionalized illustration) of your perfect buyer.

So you may know issues like their age, job title, pursuits, challenges.

And… how they communicate, devour content material, and behave on social. Does it differ from platform to platform? Define the individuals you wish to attain and affect on social.

You may have already got this for your online business. Make certain it exhibits up right here, too.

It’s arduous to jot down, design, and share posts for an ill-defined viewers.

three. An inventory of your accounts

Where are all of your social media accounts?

Can you reply that proper now? In seconds?

That’s what this part is for.

List all of them. Every. Single. One. Including major and secondary accounts.

For instance… Nike has a number of Twitter accounts.

This may also enable you outline naming conventions, which is difficult to do when you can’t see all of them collectively. For new accounts, on new platforms, use the identical naming fashion.

Maybe the identify you actually need is taken? If so, decide what’s acceptable for backup names. Maybe add some suffix to the tip?

Also, record everybody who has entry to every account, with their function and duty.

four. Your voice and tone

It’s not simply what your manufacturers says, however how, too.

Voice defines the general sound to your model persona. Tone is the best way you utilize your voice.

Both of those make your model extra human, permitting you to have pure conversations. Which is anticipated on social media.

Again, it’s essential to point out up constantly—throughout your adverts, posts, tweets, movies, and all the opposite methods you share.

“But, how do I establish my brand voice on social media?” you ask.


Find your adjectives
Write such as you discuss
Drop the drama
Write from the reader’s perspective
Listen and reply

I wrote this text that will help you do all these.

Describe your voice and tone in your information. So regardless of who’s posting, your followers and followers will understand your model excellent.

5. The phrases you utilize

Got phrases and phrases distinctive to your online business or business?

Include these in your information, together with methods to make use of them.

For instance:

Proper capitalization and spelling
How to reference shoppers or prospects
When to make use of acronyms
Words to keep away from utilizing all collectively (like all jargon, which requires mind translation)

Already have a information to your web site or weblog? Start with that to your social information. Use what you want finest, ignore the remaining.

6. What to submit

Ever hear this from somebody in your social media crew, “What should I post?”

Make it so that you by no means must once more—ever.

Load your information up with the place to go when your mind runs dry. List the place to search out weblog posts, bulletins, photographs, movies, or GIFs to make your model shine on social.

Check out these social media content material concepts that work for inspiration.

7. When to submit

This could or will not be essential to you.

But whether it is, make it identified the perfect instances to publish your posts. So you will get extra likes, shares, feedback and clicks.

How can you recognize when the perfect time to share is?

Take a have a look at our evaluation of the perfect time to submit on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

It’s backed again knowledge from over 400 million posts.

A publishing calendar can even assist with this. Don’t have one? Don’t cry. Here’s a helpful template you may obtain and use.

eight. Who owns it

For all these nice phrases and pictures, who needs to be given credit score?

It relies upon.

Do you need every submit to come back out of your model? Or out of your writers?

Either means, submit (the verb) every submit (the noun) accordingly.

Me? I all the time want that posts come from individuals, not manufacturers. Because we’re all within the human-being enterprise.

Consider together with quotation pointers as nicely, so nobody inadvertently violates copyright legal guidelines.

9. The means it ought to look

Can you see the fashion information getting clear in your thoughts? It’s all coming collectively, proper?

Let’s preserve going.

Just a few inquiries to reply in your information embrace:

What format ought to staff use for sharing hyperlinks, standing, and updates (e.g., does your group all the time use a selected URL shortener?)?
What ought to every submit appear like—for every platform?
Where ought to hashtags present up every time within the submit?
Some particular examples may appear like:
Do not use title case for updates
Write quick, crisp sentences that go the Hemingway app take a look at
Write all the pieces to sound conversational, not stuffy-business-like
Place any emoji at finish of a sentence, not within the center

You get the concept.

Yet one other reminder—the extra constant you look, the extra individuals will acknowledge your model.

Persistent about this aren’t I?

And try to be, too.

You’re not doing this for enjoyable (despite the fact that it’s enjoyable). You’re doing this to generate profits for your online business.

10. How to make use of any call-to-actions (CTAs)

Most submit on social as a method to keep on top-of-mind of their readers, providing worth for nothing in return.

This positions you as an professional in your house.

By doing this over time, you have got additionally earned the precise to ask your readers to take an motion.

Like clicking on a button, hyperlink, or picture. For issues like… join a free trial, obtain a information, or name us.

Use your information to assist social crew members know when and the best way to specific your CTAs.

I wrote these two items for you. How to Write a Compelling CTA for Social Media, adopted up with examples.

11. How to make use of hashtags

The hashtags you utilize will differ based mostly on the content material or marketing campaign.

List the entire ones to make use of for your online business
Identify your branded and marketing campaign particular hashtags
Know and clarify on which platforms to make use of hashtags (e.g., they’re not as efficient on Facebook)
State what number of to make use of to your Twitter or Instagram posts
Should they be all decrease, higher, or combined case? List that.
Those are some starters.

Our information to utilizing hashtags for each community goes deeper on the topic.

As you utilize hashtags over time, strengthen up this half (all components, really) of the information.

The finest guides are ones which were groomed over time and use. Data beats guessing, proper?

12. How to make use of emojis

Like them or hate them, emojis say extra, utilizing much less (characters).

And, it’s been proven they enhance engagement, if used accurately.

Outline when (and the way) to make use of emojis.

Our definitive information will jumpstart you.

Some concepts embrace:

emoji ideas

13. Know what’s happening

Did one thing great, horrible, or attention-grabbing simply occur on the planet? Something everybody now is aware of about?

For any breaking information story… Should you reply? How? When?

It’s a hyper-connected world. Outline a method to maintain your model from wanting tone-deaf or insensitive.

Publish with a conscience and consciousness. Determine if responding or pausing is finest, and the best way to resolve.

14. Posting throughout platforms

Do you publish the identical submit throughout Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others?

Or do you have to customise your message for every platform? (Spoiler: Yes, you must.)

And, you wish to use the precise phrases for the precise platform. Retweet and Share come to thoughts. Same for tagging, since usernames received’t all the time be the identical.

Define the principles so that you received’t appear like fools.

15. Image and design pointers

Have you ever seen how nicely put collectively an organization’s Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook feed seemed?

It wasn’t accidentally. It was deliberate.

For the colours used
The dimension of the pictures
Where they have been positioned
Which fonts look finest

Keep all of your belongings in a single and identified location. This will make it simple for posters to create and share visuals, so all the pieces will look because it ought to.

16. Handling trolls

This is recent for me. I lately wrote this Hootsuite article on the best way to cope with social media trolls.

So I’m including this part right here, so you may add it to your information.

Trolls trigger issues. You and your crew ought to know the best way to establish them, then decide the best way to deal with them.

Explain your technique so your model will seem rock strong when a troll exhibits its ugly.

6 social media fashion information examples

Explaining is one factor. Seeing is one other.

I’ve composed a listing of some glorious fashion guides to your eyes. They’re not all particularly for social media. But all of them convey the concepts outlined on this submit.

Use these guides to assist information your information.

1. Medium

I’ve all the time appreciated the mix of shade and typography on It’s large and daring, but minimal, with loads of whitespace. Everything is straightforward to learn, scan, or skim.

See the total model information right here.

Medium style guide

Medium style guide

2. Skype

The Skype video-chat platform is in every single place. And their fashion information is a wonderful instance of what your information may appear like. It’s enjoyable, but communicative.

See the total model information right here.

Skype style guide

Skype style guide

three. Mailchimp

Mailchimp has among the most excellent photographs and messaging throughout the online. Interesting although how their fashion information is all textual content. Whatever works, proper?

See the total model information right here.

MailChimp style guide

MailChimp style guide

four. Google

Because they’re so big, Google has a information to make sure all their belongings are ‘pixel perfect’. They count on a excessive customary for all the pieces visible on the internet.

See the total ‘visual asset’ information right here.

Google style guide

Google style guide

5. Cisco

Cisco makes use of an interactive strategy for his or her information, web page by web page. They even have a information only for colours.

See the total model information right here.

Cisco style guide

Cisco style guide

6. Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s pointers focus on hand-drawn belongings for his or her icons, fonts, and different photographs.

See the total model information right here.

Ben & Jerry's style guide

Ben & Jerry's style guide

Now, go ‘nail it’ by creating your social media fashion information, to make your technique occur.

Use Hootsuite to schedule posts, have interaction along with your viewers, and measure the success of your efforts. Try it free at present.

Get Started