Social media brand guides are becoming more useful across industries and organizations as an extension of the core brand guide. The social media space is only getting bigger and louder, so it’s important to create a document that can help train internal and external moderators on the details of your brand’s social media presence and how best to communicate with core audiences.
Here are 4 core steps to build a rockin’ social media brand guide:
Social Channel Overview
Cover every social channel and the best practices to execute its features correctly. Pieces you can cover include, but are not limited to:
- Profile Pictures and Cover Photos
- Bio Updates
- Event Coverage
- Important Tools and Unique Features
- Channel Best Practices
- Content Buckets & Ideas
- Advertising Overview and Directions
- Do’s and Don’ts
Tone of Voice
Include tone of voice examples and examples of posts that have performed really well based on your KPIs and why. We like to use the “instead of” and “try” method. So, instead of _________ , try ___________ . These examples can be very useful when training new moderators, so they can see true examples of what your brand considers successful and “on brand” content. We also recommend listing out some “we are” and “we are not” statements. These can come from core brand documents as guiding principles for tone of voice on social media.
Usage and Reputation Management
Using social media incorrectly and not having an authentic relationship with your audience are two ways social can’t serve you. So, you need to make sure to use your brand guide to focus on those elements as well.
To help moderators use social media channels correctly and to accomplish the correct goals, include usage examples in your social media brand guide, such as:
- How and when to tag another brand or partner
- How to use hashtags
- How to use images and videos correctly and in the correct platforms dimensions
- How to structure and format posts and links correctly
Reputation Management is the term used to describe page monitoring for comments, messages and more, not just on your page but in the social universe (social listening). Include directions on how moderators should respond to positive, negative and neutral comments or messages in your brand guide, as well as guidance on when to not respond at all or hide/delete comments all together.
References to the Core Brand Guide
Your social media brand guide should be anchored to your company’s big core brand guide, in terms of following logo usage, font usage, color usage and HEX codes, etc. Reference these core brand elements in your social media brand guide as well. This way, if a moderator needs any branded pieces for social media, those are already available all in one place.
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