How to Develop a Voice & Style Guide for Your Social Media Team

Kaylee Griffin photo of women at event

Social media has evolved to become an integral part of our daily lives. Commercially, social media has also become one of the main tools companies use to directly target and reach consumers with measurable return. For PR firms, it is important to develop and maintain a consistent style for all client social media accounts in order to ensure effective and consistent social media outreach, and it’s smart to develop a template you can use with all clients – a style and resource guide that will make it easy for anyone on the team to hop in and build out ideation and content that is aligned with social goals.

1. Social Media Access

There’s nothing worse than to find that a password has been changed. Start your guide with all email addresses, passwords and password hints that may be necessary.

2. Clarify the brand requirements

In this section, identify the profile photos, taglines, bio copy and any social-media specific logo usage. Provide an overview of voice and tone and target audience; who are you speaking to primarily through your social outreach?

Identify key hashtags, general hashtag usage, emojis and how each should and shouldn’t be used across different platforms. If there are certain products that need to be referred to in a specific way, hashtags or words to never use, this is the area to list out brand requirements. When sourcing found content, what was the source/crediting requirements?

3. Plan for measurement

When it comes to links, is there a preferred link shortener used to track clicks? Do links need to be appended with a Google tracking code? Identify how you will track and report on results (and where prior KPI reports are located to anyone new to the account can easily see past performance).

4. Develop daily/weekly themes

How will you identify, develop, produce and publish content? What types of content will you use most often – images, videos, infographics etc. What are approved places to source unoriginal content and how often can those be used in lieu of brand images? 

An easy way to ensure consistent content creation is to develop daily, weekly, or even monthly themes that drive content decisions. A section for key quarterly themes, products to promote, events to align with or impending press can be easily swapped out as needed. Don’t forget official (and less official) holidays too!

5. Identify top publishing times

Once you have content guidelines set, it is important to decide when to schedule posts on various platforms. Check this infographic for a guide to the best and worst times to post on professional platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

In your style guide, note how often the brand intends to publish across each platform, keeping in mind the geographical locations of key audiences and making sure there is new content going out at ideal times for all followers.

Ultimately, social media marketing should be a very fun and creative process. By creating a strong social media voice and style guide, your social media posts will be sure to follow as well as strengthen your team’s ability to drive results through a robust social presence for your clients.

About This Author

Britta Relyea is the Account Director at BLND Public Relations, a boutique PR and social media marketing agency based in Los Angeles. She specializes in creating tailored traditional PR and social media marketing strategies to help generate buzz and build brand awareness for clients. She is known for her work ethic, creativity, and dedication to detail, which she brings to every client.