By Steph Jones

14 basic social media guidelines

September 5th, 2023
1 min read

Social media is a minefield, especially for the uninitiated. You can find guidelines and various dos and don’ts lists all over the internet and some are more useful than others. Detailed guidance will vary wildly between each company using social media so it’s tricky to make recommendations with a broad brush.

However, recently we were asked for a list of guidelines for a client to follow and we’ve made them more general so they can help you too.

  1. Think about what you want each post to achieve. The phone ringing? Directing people back to the website? Starting a conversation? Give every single post a purpose and include a call to action (CTA) that matches that purpose.

  2. Good sources of content include news.google.com searches for keywords, Google alerts, news hacking and of course self-promotional content and blogs from your own website.

  3. Include a link back to your website when posting self-promotional content to make it easy for people to find your products or services.

  4. Always ensure that pictures are in the correct ratio for the social media feed you're posting to, otherwise they won’t display on people’s feeds.

  5. Attach multiple photos to Facebook and Instagram updates, if appropriate.

  6. Hashtags, they still work. There’s no rule on where to put them – in the middle or at the end, just don’t overuse them. For Instagram – use a good blend of relevant terms.

  7. Double-check everything you post. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes and that your links work.

  8. Avoid using all capital letters as online it is perceived as shouting. Also avoid using asterisks (****) to draw attention to competitions, promotions or events.

  9. Generally, avoid mentioning your competitors or sharing their content on social media. Maybe pretend they don’t exist.

  10. Stay true to your brand and voice – professional, friendly but not overly familiar, warm, not stuffy, approachable.

  11. Make content visual wherever possible. Social media continues to be image and video-led so trying to catch the eye with copy-alone is a real challenge.

  12. Keep an eye on current trends and see if you can put your own relevant spin on any. Most of the social networks favour relevant and trending content in their algorithms.

  13. Remember to tag in any collaborators that you mention where possible, include their username in your content. This also goes for location tagging. Any extra information you can add only serves to put your content in front of more people.

  14. Ensure all pictures are professional and true to your brand. Brand strength and consistency is absolutely crucial on social media and across the internet so don’t let off-brand or low-quality imagery let you down!

This list is clearly not exhaustive but if you’re just beginning, they’re a great starting point. If you have any queries about social media management, feel free to get in touch.

Steph Jones.
Steph Jones

Head of Social

A hands-on Head of Social, with extensive experience across Charity, Retail and eCommerce, both agency side and client side, with brands such as WWF, Virgin Pure and Purity Brewing. Steph considers all facets of the customer journey through social and paid media, as well as creating engaging content in line with the business goals to capture attention and convert audiences.