Hi everybody. Your social media handyman Brian is here with another tool for your social media toolkit. To learn how you can build your own social media style guide, grab your hammer and a bag of nails and read on.
It should go without saying that every company should have a social media style guide for many of the same reasons that communications departments have style guides. What is a style guide, you may ask? It’s a reference document that provides communication uniformity. You want to maintain consistency across multiple communications channels. You don’t need to develop an elaborate AP size style guide, but you should have a basic outline for internal use.
Let’s start with the basics, using me as a test case:
Username – If at all possible, you should attempt to use the same username for all of your social media properties. What that means is your Twitter account has the same name as your YouTube channel and the same name as your StumbleUpon account. If your username is on the longer side, your style guide should have a couple shorter variants for those websites that limit the length of the username. For instance, my Twitter name @captainchunk could also be @cptnchunk.
User image – Having a user image is one of the best things you can do for customer engagement. Even though the effort to post an image to a social media account is minimal, the visual cue that a viewer gets when they click a link on your Twitter post and jump to your YouTube account lets them know it is your content and your brand.
Bio –There is a little more leeway in what you can use for your bio across social media tools, so you might want to include a few different versions in your social media style guide. Your bio might be tailored to different social media websites depending on the kind of social media and the number of words the websites allow, or the personality you are trying to show off. For example, your Twitter bio is brief, limited to 140 characters, whereas with LinkedIn you want to be more detailed.
Links – This is another important section to have in your style guide. You could specify a single link that all of your social media outlets would link back to, but I would suggest having a few different links to choose from depending on which social media website you are setting up. For instance, you might want a LinkedIn account linking back to your career page, or you might want the link in your Twitter account linking to the webpage for your latest product launch.
Those are the four main sections any social media style guide should have. Let’s see how we (Projectline) does? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Delicious. We use a common image and user name across all four accounts, tailor our bio for each account, and link back to our website – it’s a start!
If you have suggestions for a social media style guide, post them in the comments.
Until next time, don’t forget to be a social (media) animal!