Successfully marketing your brand on social media often requires a mix of skills from the business owner, employees, and everyone working together.

When different people contribute a variety of skills to any project, it’s important to create a framework that ensures consistent quality and brand personality.

For social media marketing, that framework is called a social media style guide.

Step 1: Align Your Social Media Profiles
Formally list all of the social media platforms that your brand will be active on. If you’re working with a limited budget or a small team, consider engaging on only 1 or 2 social media platforms instead of multiple channels at once. Different social media channels have different personalities, your profile is one section that should be consistent across all channels. This helps improve your brand recognition, and it also builds your fans and followers’ trust.

Step 2: Document Your Brand’s Tone and Voice
After aligning your social media profiles, you need to define the tone and voice of your brand’s social media presence. For example, if your brand wants to be known as energetic and cheerful, then document that in this section of your social media style guide. What’s your brand’s personality?

Step 3: Create Posting Guidelines
How will you introduce the content that you’re posting to your brand’s social media pages?, When you share articles, will you tease a portion, or will you simply introduce it by the title?, When you share videos, will you set them to auto-play or require the viewer to click play?. How you approach these questions will help determine how your brand posts and interacts with followers across social media channels.

Step 4: Set Image Guidelines
Graphics go a long way toward setting the style and personality of your brand. Somethings to consider when setting your image guidelines are “What logos, positioning, and sizing will you use?” or “What fonts and colors will you use?”. Setting your guidelines early on will save time and frustration for your team because you’ll look great across all channels and won’t need to go back to fix problems.

The key to a good style guide is to make as many decisions ahead of time as possible, your team will appreciate the fact that you’ve made these decisions for them  because it leaves them more time for brainstorming and content creation.