Having a standard for language, for nomenclature and for style keeps readers/users focused taking action based on the content. For some reason, social media coordinators used to (and sometimes still do!) forget this.
Back when social media marketing became mainstream (2010 or so), businesses and even many media outlets threw voice and style out the window because they were having temporary interns do the posting. Style is a huge part of storytelling, so it can be devastating to your brand when an intern who hasn't absorbed house style posts something jarring. Word choice, hashtag choice, timing, visuals, voice and more help shape a narrative, and it's vital that the social media narrative lines up with other avenues to present an accurate, enticing picture of your brand.
I don't write as many social media guides these days because more marketers seem to understand that stuff. I do, however, still emphasize consistency and regularly create/update update house style guides and marketing guides to incorporate the best information and techniques.
Below, you'll find a few of my house style guides, social media guides and freelancer guides for a university, a newspaper and a magazine. There's also a crisis communications ebook that I'd hleped shape and a really terrible PowerPoint presentation connecting social media and music.
Below: Portions of my voice and social media guidelines that I'd prepared for Saint Louis University's digital marketing specialist who arrived after I'd left. I'd built our social properties into high-engagement machines (organic only) and increased alumni, student and prospective student followers by thousands. (2012-ish)
Below: A portion of my guide to social media, working with photographers and curating quality content that I'd prepared for the Riverfront Times' digital editor who would come along after I'd left for other opportunities. My position had a limited budget and our parent media company didn't approve expenses for paid or dark posts, so all traffic was completely organic. I'd raised the RFT's Twitter and Facebook followers and engagement by tens of thousands. (2015)
Below: Saint Louis University's house style guide, which I'd significantly expanded and updated during my 10-year tenure there. I'd also created guides for submitting department news for our internal media outlets and assisted with maintaining logo/mark standards. (2002-2012)
Below: A crisis communications e-book that I'd helped write for Standing Partnership. Though the guide doesn't directly deal with social media, it does touch on the many things that can throw a wrench into a business's reputation, and naturally that includes what happens on Facebook, Twitter and more. Learn more about the project here. (2017)
Below: Rumblings from my old Tumblr. The 2011 outlet didn't achieve the stats that bloggers today enjoy, but it did ok considering it was just a lark that I tended to only occasionally. The tumbleweed also helped me land a "STL's Sexiest Cybergeek" honor. What a résumé builder! In the post below, I outlined the social media marketing tactics I'd used to win the contest.
I dropped Tumblr after I began getting paid for independent writing, though, because there simply wasn't enough time in the day or enough neurons in my brain to do it all. Sometimes I think about picking it up again.
Below: Slides and notes/commentary from my Social Media Club workshop presentation, "Social Media for Affinity and Awareness." I based the entire thing around bands and song titles. The design is admittedly very awful; presentations from the beginning of the 2010s were so embarrassing. But the point came across loud and clear, and we ended with a singalong to "Party in the USA" that attendees livetweeted and Vined. It was one of the most summarized presentations of the day on social. Total win.