Social Media Guidelines
Social media is a fantastic tool that allows you to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
It also lets organisations such as ours communicate what we have to offer to a huge audience, receive real-time feedback and provide help and advice.
The purpose of these guidelines is to enable staff to confidently convey who we are, what we stand for, and what we can offer the world on social media, and to be able to use the different platforms to our best advantage.
The University’s Social Media Manager sits within the directorate of Marketing and External Relations and is responsible for the management of the main University social media accounts.
They also oversee all social media activity with the University, and can offer advice and guidance on ensuring your social media presence doesn’t fall foul of University policy.
For full details of services offered please check below.
It is the responsibility of all staff to comply with consumer protection legislation. The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) and ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) regulations are the most relevant to our activity within the University, and all staff should be aware of how they could fall foul of these in their communications on social media. Recent scrutiny of the activities of the higher education sector in this area means that it is more crucial than ever to demonstrate that our social media content complies with our legal obligations.
To avoid copyright infringement, please ensure you own or have paid for any images or video you use directly in your posts.
Reputation management and abuse
It is an important part of the role of a university to stimulate debate, challenge and inform. It is therefore inevitable that some of our work and research will engender strong opinions and create lively debate.
Whilst we should defend our research, work and ethos, accounts which are associated with the University must be careful not to claim to speak for the whole of the institution. Don’t get drawn into commenting on areas that aren’t your field of expertise.
To assist with this and prevent confusion, the bio/about section of University social media profiles should clearly state:
- Who runs the account, and whether this changes on a regular basis (curated by a community, for example)
- What department/course it is affiliated to.
- What the purpose of the account is.
If you are running a personal social media account which could easily identify you with the University, then make sure to include a “views own” disclaimer in the bio.
Whilst we should seek to try and resolve genuine issues and concerns quickly, avoid getting into lengthy discussions with trolls and those posting abuse. This can quickly descend into farce and get personal – that’s not appropriate when you’re representing the University. If you wouldn’t say something to another person face to face, you also shouldn’t say it using social media.
Inappropriate comment and content can lead to complaints as well as consideration of disciplinary action by the University. Your responsibilities with regards to appropriate conduct on social media form part of the ICT acceptable usage policy which all staff members are required to adhere to.
Best Practice For Social Media Platforms
There's a large number of Social Networking platforms in existence. We've compiled a list of some of the biggest players, so you can get a snippet of information about them.
Originally described as ‘micro-blogging’, Twitter gives you 280 characters to share your views and news with the world, also letting you attach images, videos and links.
Facebook allows much longer-form posts than Twitter, and generally connects you with a smaller group of people who are usually more closely known to you in real life. This doesn’t mean that your posts can’t be seen by a much wider audience though – if your posts are set to “public” then they can appear in the feeds of friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, and so on…
LinkedIn is a professional networking site, where you can link with current and former colleagues, and make connections with those who you may want to do business with. It’s also excellent for job searching, and sharing best practice in your industry or sector, particularly through special interest “groups”.
Instagram may have become somewhat unfairly synonymous with photos of smashed avocado and enviable holiday destinations, but there is a certain truth to the stereotype. Instagram users are looking for high-quality, beautifully composed images, and out of focus camera-phone shots just won’t cut it. Users also appreciate originality – it’s not a place you would expect to see standard marketing material. For our purposes, it’s a fantastic space to show off the artistic work of our students.
Very popular with the 16-24-year-old demographic, Snapchat allows you to send a snap to your friends, which disappears forever once viewed. One of the most irreverent and fun platforms, a lot of Snapchat’s unique features, such as “lenses” and filters, have been adopted by some of the other social networking giants.
The biggest video sharing site in the world – YouTube receives around 30 million visitors per day. If you didn’t already know, video is king.
Pinterest, Weibo, WeChat, Google+, Vimeo. There are a huge number of social networking sites in existence, some exclusive to certain countries, some smaller, some of more or less relevance to the University.
SETTING UP A UNIVERSITY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT
If you would like to set up a University social media account, get in touch with the Social Media Manager. Rule of thumb is – if the bio will refer to the University of Salford in any way, contact us.
There are 100s of social media accounts associated with the University in existence, so it may be that there is already an account set up which will meet your needs. We may also be able to share your content on the central accounts, reaching a much larger audience.
- Include a profile picture, cover photo and bio which conforms to the corporate brand guidelines. These can be supplied by the Social Media Manager .
- Be managed through the approved social media management platform, currently Hootsuite.
- Be associated with a functional, rather than personal email address, supplied to the Social Media Manager for record purposes.
- If a presence on YouTube is required, this usually must sit as a playlist on the University’s YouTube channel, rather than as a separate account.
Please contact email@example.com to arrange account creation and training.
If you have responsibility for running a social media account you must inform the Social Media Manager if you leave your post to free up a Hootsuite licence.
How the social media manager can help
- Advice on the best platforms to reach your intended audience.
- Access to the social media management platform used by the University, enabling post scheduling and analytics.
- Branded assets and graphics.
- Content templates for quick sharing.
- Content idea generation session with the wider Content Team.
- Consultancy and campaign planning.
- Wider promotion and sharing of content through the main University social media channels.
- Advice on naming conventions.
- Reputation management.
Social Media Accounts
There are a whole range of social media accounts across the University representing different departments, courses and services. We’ve categorised them below to make it easy for you to find ones that are relevant to you.
Run a University social media account and would like it adding to the directory?
Salford Business School
School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
School of Health and Society
School of Science, Engineering and Environment