Find out about the University's social media channels and how you can contribute.
These guidelines are for members of University staff using social media channels and networks to represent the University.
- Social media creates a level playing field to discuss topics and share opinions.
- Practise the same standards of conduct online as you do offline.
- 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 an antagonistic situation online, do not get overly defensive and don't disengage abruptly; disengage from the dialogue in a polite manner that reflects well on the University.
- Before using social media on behalf of the University, familiarise yourself and develop a good working knowledge of the platform.
Social networking platforms are in the public domain.
- 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.
- Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in a public gathering
- Don't publish information that you are not happy to be seen by anyone in the world.
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 the channels are as secure as possible, in order to protect the University's reputation and minimise risk.
- Your personal and University social media accounts should be protected in exactly the same way you would protect any other important online service.
- Take good care of the devices you use to access social media
- 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.
Tips on using social media successfully
- The success of social media is down to human communication and interaction.
- Discuss and adapt your messages rather than broadcasting and repeating them.
- Talk with people rather than at people.
- Don't just push content out there and hope people find it; use social media to ask and answer questions and encourage discussion.
- People are much more likely to trust a recommendation from a colleague, friend, or reliable contact than from an anonymous search engine.
- Be active, but not hyperactive - maintaining visibility and communication is important, but nobody likes a spammer.
Social media is great for giving away content to emphasise your own expertise and reputation. Passing on knowledge, information, informed opinions and best practice can consolidate existing relationships and develop new networks.
Content that works well via social media includes:
- blog posts
- videos / vlogs
- research papers
- links to articles and websites.
Ensure you have quality content. It is easier, quicker, and cheaper to find content by other people than to create content yourself, but it is not as beneficial in the long term.
Social media offers many opportunities for finding out what people are saying about you, your institution, your discipline, or your industry, and thus monitor your reputation.
Almost every social media platform is searchable, and there are various third-party tools that can be downloaded for free which can make this easier.
Consider who you want to communicate with, and then find out which networks they actually use. There is little point in trying to cultivate professional relationships via Facebook or promote undergraduate activities via LinkedIn.
Social media is no different to any other professional work - you should consider how to measure your success with clear objectives.
- Do you want to use social media to drive traffic to a website? If so, you can measure your success via analytics to see if page hits have increased and if referrals are directly from your social media activity.
Likewise you may want to measure:
- downloads of a specific document
- new contacts made via online networking
- or another definable metric.
University social media team