Create Social Media Style Guide for Your VA
Creating an excellent style guide helps you delegate most of your social media activities to a competent assistant without having to look back over details. Proper guidance material for virtual assistant will pave the way for a successful collaboration. You can ensure the job is done according to your specifications by providing clear instructions.
Outsourcing social media management to a virtual assistant allows you to focus on other essential parts of growing the company’s profitability while still ensuring that all-important information is correctly represented.
What is a Social Media Style Guide?
A social media style guide is an in-depth description of your brand’s social media presence. After going through this style guide, the VA would be able to clearly identify what type of material to post on social media accounts while staying true to personality, tone, and manner.
This guide can help improve social media management techniques while maintaining brand identity across the various platforms.
Some things to consider when crafting a style manual
- What voice do you want to use? Formal? Casual? First-person? Second person?
- How often do you want to post?
- What kinds of things do you want to post about?
- Are there specific words or phrases that you want to avoid?
- Do you want to use hashtags? If so, which ones?
- What kind of images do you want to use?
- Do you want to include links in your posts? If so, where should they go?
- Is there a particular call to action that you want to use consistently?
How to Create a Social Media Style Guide for Your VA?
In order to produce a comprehensive social media style guide for a virtual assistant, you’ll need to include the following features:
List of Social Media Accounts
Make a list of social media accounts with their links. Even the ones you aren’t presently using, you may want the VA to include them in your social media management plan later.
- Social media sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Media sharing platforms: Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, etc.
- Forums: Quora, Reddit,Snapzu.com, Notabug.io, etc.
Voice and Tone Description
Your virtual assistant should have specific voice and tone standards to maintain consistency across all channels. The key to retaining devoted customers is a consistent brand voice. Followers should be able to recognize your postings even before looking up the account name when reading their social media feed.
Common voice and tone standards are:
- Be respectful and professional at all times
- Use industry-specific jargon
- Be positive
- Be consistent with tenses
Some Voice examples:
Inspirational, Down-to-earth, Educational, Motivating, Serious, Professional, Masculine/Feminine, Bold, Confident, Aggressive, Elegant, Empowering, Uplifting, Romantic, etc.
Some Tone examples:
Friendly, Formal, Informal, Sarcastic, Playful, Funny, Witty, Serious, Grumpy, Sad, Sinister, Scary, Creepy, Humorous, Genuine, Plainspoken, Functional, Positive, Considerate, Informative, etc.
When creating your social media management plan and sharing content online, it is essential to be respectful and professional at all times. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Do provide the VA with some examples of your company’s voice. A brief example of each tone should then follow. You may look to other companies for help in deciphering tones, such as Uber, Cocacola, Tiffany, Harley Davidson, etc.
When creating content for your social media channels, it is crucial to remain consistent in both voice and style across all platforms. Creating a style manual for your business will help ensure that your content is always on-brand, no matter who is creating it.
Even if your social media posts are only a few words long, you should follow the style guide you’ve chosen for other material like blogs, posts, ads, white papers, etc. If you haven’t started using one style manual yet, now is the perfect time to do so.
Examples of style manuals are:
- AP (Associated Press) stylebook
- MLA (Modern Language Association)
- APA (American Psychological Association)
- CMS (Chicago Manual of Style)
Skilled and experienced VAs are well-versed in each style manual. If they aren’t familiar with the one you would like them to use, they can learn quickly by utilizing free internet tools. Some of these style manuals are quite rigorous and need a lot of study.
Language and Format
You should also include a language description in the style guide to give a clear picture of the type of language and formatting you require. Here are a few things you need to describe in order to avoid confusion and chaos:
Some professional jargon is great for specific audiences. But other people might not understand it. So make sure to describe which terminology is allowed for your social media posts and which should be avoided.
When writing for social media, keep your sentences short and concise. This will make your content easier to read and more likely to be shared. Your VA should have max word count and sentence count numbers to refer to ensure your posts are on-brand and effective.
Decide beforehand If you want to use emojis, GIFs, or stickers in your entries. If you do, which ones are acceptable and which are not? Provide a list of emojis to the VA that you need them to include.
CTA (Call To Action) placement
Let the VA know if you wish to include CTAs in your social media postings (e.g., “once a week, at the end of the post” or “every day, in the middle of the post”)
Do you think your target audience knows acronyms, or do you want the VA to spell them out? You may make a list of unfamiliar terms that don’t need translation.
Is there a particular format required for your postings (i.e., headline, content, link hashtag)? Include it in the instruction manual; otherwise, future efforts will be marred by a lack of consistency with previous work.
Dates and times
Do you want the dates to be formatted as 2 May 2022 or May 2, 2022? This sort of formatting may seem unimportant, but it’s crucial to keep things consistent.
Create a list of hashtags to use regularly for each social media platform. It may be challenging to develop a comprehensive list of language and format requirements, but style guides can and should be modified over time. Hashtags are a great way to connect with a wider audience on social media. However, they should be used sparingly and only when they add value to the post.
The visual appeal of your posts is likely to be an important factor in their success. The style guide should contain information that makes images appealing to the target audience while at the same time being consistent across all social media platforms. Here are some things to consider:
- Colours and their combinations
- Font size
- Image size
- Disallowed images/videos
If required, you may also provide a source of pictures and connect the audience to the creative team.
Some platforms, however, need more attention than others. The following are some examples of network-specific rules:
- Twitter: At least one hashtag must be included in each post. Tweets should be shortened, the number of characters reduced, and the maximum length restricted to 200 words.
- Facebook: Delete URLs if necessary, and add line breaks.
- YouTube: For SEO reasons, video descriptions (with keywords) should be available.
- Cover image: The same image should be used as the cover image for all social media platforms.
One platform’s articles may appear huge on another. When VA attempts to modify the material, they should know which standards to follow.
Make sure the VA proofread the content before sharing it with the world. A few typos here and there can make you look unprofessional, and no one wants that.
Outsourcing Social Media Management to Virtual Assistants
Consistency is key to excellent social media management. A new employee could use this guide to give them a good understanding of what your social media postings should appear and sound like.
A well-designed style guide can keep everyone on the same page, from your staff to the VA. It’s a living document that may change and develop as your brand does.
A thorough and meticulously prepared style guide in place should be quick and easy to guide a VA in handling social media management.
Contact EFFICISE.COM if you are looking for the ideal VA for social media management.
Some general tips for creating style guides
- Keep it simple and concise
- Focus on the most critical elements first
- Use plain language that everyone can understand
- Be consistent with terminology, abbreviations, and capitalization
- Include examples whenever possible
- Update the guide regularly as the brand evolves
A style guide can be an invaluable tool for social media management, helping to ensure that the brand is consistently represented across all channels. With a well-crafted style guide in place, you can relax knowing that your social media is in good hands.