Social media guidelines
These guidelines are for members of University staff using social media and networks to represent the University. Please familiarise yourself with the University's Social Media Policy and Guidelines before embarking on any social media use.
Why engage in social media?
- Social media gives a good opportunity for direct contact with your customers and target audiences.
- Social media is interactive and encourages discussion. This can be very useful for establishing communication and dialogue with your important audiences.
Things to remember
- Social media creates a level playing field to discuss topics and share opinions.
- You should apply the same standards of conduct online as you are expected to apply offline.
- You should comment within your own area of expertise to provide unique, individual perspectives on non-confidential activities at the University.
- You are representing the University. Avoid engaging in contentious issues where you may not represent the University’s official view.
- React appropriately to the media and the audience. When disagreeing with others’ opinions, remain appropriate and polite. If you find yourself in a situation online that looks as if it may be becoming antagonistic, do not get overly defensive and do not disengage from the conversation abruptly; disengage from the dialogue in a polite manner that reflects well on the University.
- Before engaging with a particular social media on behalf of the University, do so personally to familiarise yourself and develop a good working knowledge.
- Social networking platforms are in the public domain and it is not possible to be sure what is being viewed, shared or archived, even if material is posted on a closed profile or group. There can be no reasonable expectation that posts will remain private and will not be passed on to other people, intentionally or otherwise. Material published online may have the potential to be available publicly, indefinitely. Therefore, you should not say anything that you would not be happy to say in a public gathering and you should not publish information which you would not be happy for anyone in the world to see.
- Social media requires an ongoing commitment. If you wish to create and manage a social media presence, you must ensure that you have the time and resources to support it.
If you are using social media for University purposes if is important to ensure that any such use is as secure as possible, in order to protect the University's reputation.
Your personal and University social media accounts should be protected in exactly the same way you would protect any other important online service. Principally, this involves taking good care of the devices you use to access social media, and ensuring you have good password security.
Remember: Use a strong password, use different passwords for different applications, never share your password, and log out when you have finished actively using a system. Advice on strong passwords is available from our Password tips page.