Social media offers B2B companies a great opportunity to connect with their prospects, get new leads and engage with their customers.
By now, you should have identified and established a presence in the social media sites where your prospects hang out. If your company already has a social media presence, how do you ensure the message you present is aligned with your brand objectives?
Social media branding is important for B2B’s looking to stay ahead of their competition. Branding enables companies to present a clear and consistent message to their clients and prospects. Consistency fosters awareness and recognition, which can be vital in purchase decisions made by prospects.
To ensure brand consistency on social media, you need a style guide that outlines your company’s rules of engagement. The guide should consider the current state of your company and be aligned to your goals.
Goals of a Social Media Marketing Style Guide
A social media style guide should complement your overall online marketing strategy. The guide should be able to bring out the personality traits of your company and the voice of your brand. It should project your company’s characteristics and attributes at every level, regardless of the person engaging with the prospects.
The style guide should also identify clear metrics for measuring qualifying actions and intended results from social media. It should be analyzed within different schedules to determine whether it’s helping the business see improved brand awareness, or generate more leads and sales.
Now that we know the importance of a style guide, how do you go about creating one?
3 Pillars of a Great Social Media Marketing Style Guide
Social media is all about communicating and interacting with different people. Having a guide on the rules of engagement with prospects will help to project a consistent brand.
Moreover, if your social media marketing is handled by a team of employees, having rules of engagement is important to make the distinction between what the employees can say or do on behalf of your company and how they handle their own personal engagements.
To create a social media style guide, you need to work on three pillars: your target audience, content, and brand.
1. Your Target Audience
Your audience will determine the majority of the do’s and don’ts of your company on social media. Identify your buyer persona and drill down their personality traits. The traits will help you understand their likes and dislikes, and the best way to approach them.
For example, if you are targeting top level management, your interaction will be skewed towards formality than would be the case if you were targeting local SMBs.
Personality is important in your social media engagements. Strive to bring the “human” element in the company when interacting with prospects.
2. Your Content
The style guide should identify the types of content and message you can share on social media. There should be a policy regarding the content you can share. The content should resonate well with your audience.
As you interact with your audience, keep in mind your end objective. Keep your content relevant to the audience, providing value to them. At the same time, the content should help you achieve your sales goals.
Take time to communicate with your audience. Don’t leave any question unanswered for more than 24 hours. This study shows that 42% of people on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. If you are not swift with your response, you may lose customers to your competition.
When producing content, you don’t want to be always asking for a sale. Rather, produce informative, educative or entertaining content that will engage your prospects.
3. Your Brand
The social media marketing style guide should be aligned with your brand goals. Branding is what customers, suppliers and prospects perceive about your company. You cannot control what people think about your company. However, you can influence their thoughts.
Use social media to influence the perception of your prospects about your team, products, and company. By providing a consistent message in your company voice or tone, you will be able to curve the image you are looking for among your prospects. The style guide should bring out your core values as well as the company’s.
Stay Safe with a Social Media Marketing Style Guide
In social media, news travels fast. Moreover, what you say or share is open to public interpretation and potential misconceptions. Simple misunderstandings can mean gross brand erosion. Having a style guide can help your company avoid potential pitfalls in social media.
A good style guide should have a deliberate separation between brand voice and the personality of the person behind the social media account. The guide should also ensure social media interaction is aligned with the purpose, goals and potential stature of the company.