Tips for Managing Your Online Style Guide

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When it comes to executing your marketing strategies in the form of social media posts, ads, and other online initiatives, it’s extremely helpful to have a go-to-guide that outlines how the content should look and feel. By keeping your content consistent and unique to your brand, you build trust and loyalty among your audience. Here, we break down the essential elements that will ensure your brand shines online!

Brand Voice & Tone

Developing a unique brand voice makes your organization stand out and improves recognition. Think about what you want your audience to feel when they interact with your content – inspired, informed, encouraged, happy, humored? Defining your brand voice can be as simple as getting a few team members together and brainstorming what keywords describe your organization best. Think about your organizational values, and who you are trying to reach. We suggest coming up with 3-4 key adjectives. Here at Saffire, our brand voice & tone is friendly, fun, authentic, & educational. 

From here, you can use your brand voice and tone to influence your approach to things like:

  • Spelling, punctuation & grammar: While these details might seem small, spelling, punctuation and grammar play a special role in shaping your style. In your style guide, note whether or not you encourage the use of things like abbreviations, exclamation points, trending vocabulary and so on. Whatever it is you decide is best, just make sure you keep it consistent.
  • Emojis: These elements can add some fun and flavor to your posts. In your guideline, take note of where and when to use emojis, or if you want to avoid them altogether.
  • Hashtags: Do you use hashtags? Do you place the hashtags at the end of a sentence, or do you only include them in the comment section of your post? Write down all the hashtags you use, if any, and where they should be placed.
Responding & Engaging with Your Audience

You know you’re doing something right when your audience is commenting on your posts, asking questions, and sharing your content! But how do you respond to their engagement? Here are a few issues to consider for your style guide:

  • Do you “like” every comment?
  • Do you respond to every comment?
  • How do you respond to negative comments?

If you don’t have the time or resources to be hyper-communicative with your followers that’s okay! The important thing is to be consistent so your audience knows what to expect from you.

Visual Content

Have you ever seen a post on social media and without a doubt knew what brand it was from? Chances are they have a strong brand personality that is anchored in the consistent use of imagery, filters, colors, and fonts. To achieve this level of consistency, we’d recommend including these pointers in your style guide:

  • Make sure you’re using photos and videos that complement your brand colors. Include sample photos to show off this concept.
  • Note what photo filters should be used and which ones to stay away from.
  • Keep your logo placement and size consistent on all photos/videos. Use examples to show the dos and don’ts of logo placement.
  • Make sure you are selecting photos/videos that align with your brand voice. Ask yourself, does this image communicate [fill in the blank]? i.e inspiration, fun, humor, motivation.
What & When to Post

So now that you have your brand voice and image defined in your style guide, it’s time to think about how often you want to post, and if you want to include content from outside sources. Things like industry articles, user-generated content, or trending GIFs/memes can be an awesome way to engage your audience. Some questions to be considered and answered in your guide might be:

  • How frequently do you post?
  • Do you only use in-house content, or do you share outside content?
  • What percentage of your posts should be internal content vs. sourced content?

 

Creating an online style guide will help maintain consistency and form a stronger brand identity. Your guide can continue to build and morph as your organization grows and changes, but it’s important to start with these essential elements to maintain cohesiveness when posting!