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How To Create Social Media Guidelines For Your Business

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By Vicky Monroe

Business Basics

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As 2022 comes to a close, I’ve been thinking more about how I can expand my freelance writing business in the new year. I recently realized what a big problem it is that I don’t have any public social media profiles for my business. For the 4+ years I’ve been self-employed, I’ve simply used my personal LinkedIn page and Facebook profile to generate work. 

I know that it’s crucial for businesses to be active on social media if they want to build a loyal client base. So I’m definitely planning to rectify this issue in 2023. But I know that simply posting on Facebook and Instagram a few times a week isn’t enough. I need to develop social media guidelines for my business if I want to succeed on social media. 

Why Your Business Needs Social Media Guidelines

In this day and age, customers want to connect with the businesses they follow. They want to get to know your brand and values through your company’s social media pages. So you need to ensure that your posts have a consistent brand voice. Creating a social media style guide that you and your employees can follow will help ensure your company’s personality shines through in everything you post. 

Another reason your company needs concrete social media guidelines is because employees are increasingly active on social media. According to Business Insider, many employees are becoming “workfluencers.” This means that they share details about their jobs and employers on their personal accounts. 

Instead of trying to prevent your employees and contractors from discussing work online, marketing experts suggest you collaborate with them. Provide them with guidelines on how to best represent your brand online. Then they can act as ambassadors for your business and spread your brand message to new audiences. 

For all of these reasons, I’m currently putting together social media guidelines for my business. If you want to join me, here are some tips to help you put together your own style guide. 

How To Create Social Media Guidelines For Your Business

Define Your Brand Voice

The first step to creating social media guidelines is defining your brand voice. Your brand voice is how you want your company to sound in your posts. If you currently have a brand guide for your blog or website, you can probably carry that style over to your social media accounts with a few tweaks. 

Social media tends to be less formal than blog content and website copy. Most companies use emojis, slang, and abbreviations in their social media posts to make their content more relatable and approachable, so keep that in mind as you’re editing your content guidelines for social media. 

However, if you don’t have any kind of content style guide and you’re starting from scratch, it’s helpful to choose a few adjectives you’d use to describe your ideal brand voice, such as: 

  • Trustworthy 
  • Sarcastic 
  • Funny 
  • Upbeat 
  • Compassionate 
  • Intelligent 
  • Youthful 
  • Helpful 
  • Punny 
  • Relatable 
  • Quirky 

Once you have a few adjectives picked out, you can use them to flesh out a full description of your brand voice. For example, say you want your brand to come across as trustworthy and your customer base is mainly young women. In that case, you may decide your social media posts should sound like they were written by a trustworthy, stylish older sister or best friend that your customers can look up to. This description is much more specific than describing your brand voice as “trustworthy” and will help you and your employees craft posts that match your vision for your brand. The more detailed you can be, the better! 

Include Examples

Next, it’s a good idea to study the social media strategy of other companies in your industry. If you find a social media post or page you like during your research, include it as a reference and source of inspiration in your style guide. You don’t want your team to copy or plagiarize these examples. But they can help your employees better understand your brand voice and the type of social media content you want to create. You should also include links to social media posts from your accounts that embody your brand voice so employees can figure out how to mimic it.

Outline Best Practices For Your Employees

In addition to understanding your brand voice, your employees need to know what is and isn’t appropriate to post on social media. In your guidelines, you should outline social media best practices, such as never posting confidential company information like financial disclosures. Address specific questions your employees may have, like whether or not they’re allowed to film in the office.

Additionally, if your industry has any laws or regulations that must be followed on social media, be sure to explain them to your employees. Social media experts also suggest asking your employees to add a disclaimer to their account bios that all opinions are their own, especially if they list you as their employer online. This helps make it clear that your employees’ social media pages are personal and don’t reflect the stances of your company.

If you want your employees to be ambassadors for your business, encourage them to use your company’s branded hashtags and repost things you’ve shared on your business accounts. You can even provide them with company-approved text and images they can use in their social posts to promote your brand.

Wrapping Up

Do you believe it’s important for businesses to post on social media regularly? Why or why not? Should employees post about their employer on their personal social media accounts, or keep work details private? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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