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05 May


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How to Make Social Resonate with Style Guidelines

May 5, 2011 | By | One Comment

Open house 2nite. b sure 2 b there!

Messages like that are sure to make your former English teacher cringe—but they’ll grate on customers as well. Whether you’re tweeting an event reminder, posting a Facebook comment, or responding to a Yelp review, the way to make your brand’s message resonate is to write clearly and professionally.

Angela Maiers, in a Social Media Explorer post, writes “Your words are your power; the stories you tell and how you tell them will define your place and space in the digital world.” So how can you help social media communications resonate?

Consider developing a style guide (a set of communications standards) for the social team. Here’s an example of a social media style guideline:

  • Be clear – Social media engagement is, by nature, short and sweet. But it’s also important to ensure the message we’re conveying to our customers is crystal clear and professional. Keep abbreviations to a minimum. Spell out words instead of tweeting or posting something like “ask 4 me” or “the open house is 2nite.”

The guide doesn’t need to be that thousand-page style tome you were forced to buy for English 101; you may only need a page or two. The point is that online interactions may be the only chance your brand has to make an impression and engage any one customer. Social media style guidelines will help those brand messages reflect that.

Have you ever been impressed (or unimpressed) by a brand rep’s writing on a social site?


  1. Ilona

    It’s my opinion that unless industry specific, acronyms don’t serve a purpose in client communications. The skill in today’s real-time world is keeping messages under 140 characters, which implies that the 5 syllable words will soon be a thing of the past in client communication. Simple, easy and direct. Thoughts?

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