The Weekly Marketing Roundup: 14\/01\/2020In this Weekly Marketing Roundup: 14\/01\/2020 we discuss the importance of having a Social Media Style. #marketingnews #sydneydigitalmarketing #digitalmarketing #weeklymarketingroundup Thank you for tuning into this Weekly Marketing Roundup: 14\/01\/2020. Here we discuss how important is having a Social Media Style. Join the conversation in the comments below.What is a Social Media Style Guide? A\u00a0social media style guide is\u00a0the go-to source for how your brand appears and acts on social. It allows your brand to create a cohesive experience across every profile. Your guide includes brand colors, voice, visual guidelines\u00a0and everything else that distinguishes your brand on social media. It is a living document that should change and evolve over time. It\u2019s also important to note that a social media style guide is not the same as your\u00a0social media marketing strategy. Your strategy will consist of more of the tactical information such as what and how often you publish. Essentially, it\u2019s focused on how you\u2019ll reach your\u00a0social media goals. While your strategy outlines what you plan on doing on social media, your style guide breaks down how those actions should be represented and conveyed.Why Do You Need One?Why? Because\u2026Your brand will have personalityYou\u2019ll show up the right way, to the right people, across all your social accounts and postsYou\u2019ll win more, fail less, with everyone in the know on your social media teamQuickly onboard new team members\u00a0before having them go social#1: Define Your Brand Identity and Visual guidelinesYou need to define:Your brand identityYour objectives for social mediaHopefully, you already have a brand identity. Check your general marketing plan for a mission statement or positioning statement. If you haven\u2019t written one yet, have a go at filling in the gaps on this basic statement: The formula is deceptively simple. If you haven\u2019t thought about your brand identity before, be prepared to invest some serious time in completing the sentence above.Visual GuidelinesSince most social networks are highly visual, your social media style guide should\u00a0set parameters and standards for any images you share. There are 2 major types of visuals to cover inside your guide:Photos, graphics or videos shared within postsProfile images and header graphicsIf you\u2019ve ever looked at a company\u2019s Instagram feed and noticed that it seems themed or really well put together, it\u2019s usually because it was planned out. For instance, take a look at Tiffany&Co. Their feed is colorful and vibrant, but the posts don\u2019t clash against each other. Within your style guide, you can lay out:Brand colorsFonts for graphicsAcceptable color combinations, per networkPhotos of your office and team membersLogosWith all of your design assets in one location, it\u2019s easier for your team to create and share visuals that don\u2019t look out of place with the rest of your feed.Use Hashtags The hashtags you use will vary based on the content or campaign.List all of the ones to use for your businessIdentify your branded and campaign specific hashtagsKnow and explain on which platforms to use hashtags (e.g., they\u2019re not as effective on Facebook)State how many to use for your Twitter or Instagram postsShould they be all lower, upper, or mixed case? List that.Those are some starters.Our\u00a0guide to using hashtags\u00a0for every network goes deeper on the subject. As you use hashtags over time, strengthen up this part\u00a0(all parts, actually)\u00a0of the guide. The best guides are ones that have been groomed over time and use. Data beats guessing, right?#2: Declare Your Social Media Marketing ObjectivesThe first step in crafting your social media style guide is to figure out the why behind your social media presence. What are your goals on social media? Is it to bring in new business? Help customers with your product? Network with industry insiders? It\u2019ll most likely be a combination of things. It\u2019s ok to pick multiple goals, just don\u2019t confuse your followers with random or inconsistent messages. Here are some goals to choose from:Engage\u00a0an existing audience around your brand or related issue to build loyaltyEducate\u00a0potential or existing customers on a topic core to your brandInform\u00a0potential customers on how your brand will help solve their pain pointsEnable\u00a0your customers to succeed at what they came to doEntertain\u00a0your audience so they engage and pay attentionDelight\u00a0your users by having next level customer serviceEmpower\u00a0your audience to make the best choices for themAmplify\u00a0an issue your brand and its audience stand behindWrite a short paragraph defining these as they relate to you and how you\u2019ll bring them to life through the content you share. For instance, you may want to educate people without patronizing or confusing them and empower and them to learn to become better marketers.#3: Develop a Persona or PersonasPersonas are an essential part of your content strategy. They define who you want to speak to in your content. We engage with our personas not just in our website copy but when we post on social media as well. Have at least one persona featuring your ideal customer characteristics \u2013 for example, \u201cCTO Chris\u201d or \u201cMarketing Manager Chris.\u201d These examples are B2B personas, there are also guides available for creating B2C personas that delve into more personal demographics and psychographics. Bring your personas to life. In a B2B persona, focus on solving work-related issues and aligning your brand with the solutions your persona might be experiencing or needing. Do your research. Once you have an idea of who your persona is, find examples of them in real life. Look at who they follow, what they read, where they find information relevant to your offering. Ask them what their interests and true pain points are. You already know how your product or service solves their pain points. Your personas will help you determine how to best speak to your audience in an empathetic and intentional way.#4: Choose Your Social NetworksThe next step is to make a list of all of the social networks your business currently uses. Don\u2019t leave anything off the list, even if it\u2019s a network you\u2019ve neglected recently. If you have an account, put it on the list. Now examine the list critically. Is anything missing? How does each network fit your aims for social media? If you have multiple objectives, as discussed above, you could try sorting your list of social networks into different buckets like reach, convert, and retain. However, you also need to be realistic at this point. Think about the size and skill set of your team, and ask how many social networks they can reasonably support.#5: Determine Your Brand Voice (Grammar & Terminology)Your\u00a0social media voice\u00a0is one of the top things that will distinguish your brand from other companies. Your voice should be consistent across all mediums whether it\u2019s commercials, social media ads, Tweets or Instagram posts. For instance, if you\u2019re funny and humorous on Facebook but all of your YouTube videos are serious and straight-laced, it sends mixed messages. We can\u2019t tell you what your social media voice should be since it represents your brand. But it should be reflective of how you want your brand to be perceived. That might mean one or more of the following:FriendlyHelpfulCasualSarcasticBoldEnergeticCheerful and upbeatFormalYoung and trendyDeadpan or dry humor In order to help find your social media voice, it might be helpful to look back at your past content. Whether it\u2019s a blog post, ad copy or other messaging, pay attention to the tone and emotion conveyed. You can\u00a0also look at what other brands are doing on social media. You don\u2019t want to just copy another brand\u2019s voice, but it could give you some inspiration. Once you\u2019ve settled on your brand voice, write it down in\u00a0your social media style guide. The key is to be as descriptive as possible. Don\u2019t simply write:Voice: FunnyInstead, you might have something along the lines of this:Voice: Clean and playful humor. Responses should be upbeat, optimistic and positive. Avoid being sarcastic or mocking customers, followers or other brands.Another helpful tip is to include screenshots with examples of posts from your brand or others that showcase the tone you want to establish. Whoever is reading your social media style guide should be able to pick up on your brand\u2019s voice with ease. Of course, that particular brand voice is not for everyone. But whatever style you settle on, you have to be consistent. As we all know,\u00a0consistency is a vital element of brand trust. This means that if you decide to change your style, you need to introduce the changes in the right way. There are two options here: You can gradually introduce the new voice or go for a radical restart. One of the famous examples of this was\u00a0Coca-Cola, which deleted all of their Instagram posts last year\u00a0so they could start fresh with a campaign for kindness on social media.Grammar & TerminologyGrammar style guides aren\u2019t just for your website. Your social media posts should follow certain grammatical standards as well. This goes beyond whether or not you use AP Style. It extends to any terminology you use in-house, when to use exclamation points and other things that help create consistency in your content. You can be as detailed as you\u2019d like here, depending on your brand\u2019s preferences. If you already have a grammar handbook for your website or blog, you could carry over a lot of the same rules to your social media style guide.#6: Detail Your Measurement and AttributionMost marketers are now convinced of the value of social media. The only difficulty is proving it. That\u2019s where\u00a0attribution\u00a0comes in: being able to show where your clicks are coming from. And just like your brand voice, an attribution strategy only works if you use it consistently. So it\u2019s worth setting out the details in your social media style guide. I recommend including a\u00a0brief explanation of UTMs\u00a0because it\u2019s surprising how few people actually understand them. You can also list your preferred tools such as the free\u00a0Campaign URL Builder by Google Analytics. This is also a good moment to cover other link-related tools such as link shorteners, link services, and quick-fix tools like the\u00a0Facebook Debugger. If you have specific strategies for sharing links (for instance, on tricky networks like\u00a0Instagram\u00a0or LinkedIn), then explain them in detail.Here's an example with Google:Because they\u2019re so huge, Google has a guide to ensure all their assets are \u2018pixel perfect\u2019. They expect a high standard for everything visual on the web. See the full \u2018visual asset\u2019 guide\u00a0here. Now, go \u2018nail it\u2019 by creating your social media style guide, to make your strategy happen.