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Communications and Marketing Social Media Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) These guidelines are intended to assist staff and students in making more informed decisions regarding participation in social media that relates to the University.


(2) These guidelines apply to all staff and student staff members who manage, create or maintain or contribute to social channels for University purposes, excepting learning and teaching activities as per clause 4.

(3) These guidelines apply to consultants, contractors and other people engaged by the University or acting in any capacity that could be interpreted by association as representing the University's views.

(4) The use of non-University supported social media platforms and accounts for the purpose of learning and teaching falls under the Course and Subject Delivery and Management Procedure and is not within the scope of these guidelines.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5) See the Communications and Marketing Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(6) See the Communications and Marketing Procedure - Website and Social Media Platforms.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(7) When using social media you need to consider that information posted is public and unrestricted and be mindful of all University stakeholders and members of the public who may be exposed to your post.

Build a community

(8) In order to build a thriving community around your account, you must tend to it:

  1. Ensure content is fresh and frequent.
  2. It's a discussion, so make a positive contribution and encourage others to participate.
  3. Reply to messages promptly and acknowledge interaction where appropriate.
  4. Be inclusive and supportive.

(9) The table below lays out the content publishing requirements for each platform. If the platform you wish to use does not appear contact the Social Media Strategist for specific advice.

Social Channel Frequency Content
Facebook Up to four times a week Content should include original material but can also include links to appropriate third-party content
Twitter At least daily Content should include original material but can also include links to appropriate third-party content
Instagram feed At least three posts a week A high turnover of original and user-generated material is required
Instagram Story At least once a day A combination of brand graphics, behind the scenes and user-generated content
Instagram reels One to three times a week Content should be original, brief and engaging for ease of consumption by the intended audience
Pinterest At least three times a week Content should include original material but can also include links to appropriate third-party content
YouTube At least twice a month Original material
Snapchat At least three posts a week A high turn-over of original and user-generated material is required
Pinterest Adhoc Original material and user-generated content
Soundcloud A couple of times a year Original material

Be clear about who you are

(10) The Communications and Marketing Procedure - Media, Engagement and Public Comment provides information about making public comments on social media.

(11) If what you’re posting on social media relates to your association with the University on either a professional or personal basis, always clearly state your identity and your relationship with the University and provide a disclaimer if necessary.

(12) If your participation could be interpreted as official, then you must have the appropriate authority to represent the University.

Be honest

(13) Do not misrepresent the intentions or goals relating to your participation.

(14) Be truthful to the best of your knowledge.

(15) Do not misrepresent others.

Be accurate

(16) Always make a reasonable effort to substantiate what you are saying.

(17) Stick to material you know about.

(18) Be aware that what you say may be recorded and may be used in other contexts.

Consider your input

(19) Think before making statements you may regret.

(20) Take a commonsense approach to discussions.

(21) Remember, what you say may be around for a long time and can be spread to a large number of people in a relatively short time.

Say it simply and concisely

(22) Consider who your audience is and what they want to know.

(23) Avoid jargon – terms you might use every day may not be understood by your online audience.

(24) DON'T YELL AT YOUR AUDIENCE. Fewer capitals make online text easier to read.

(25) Use a tone of voice in keeping with the Brand Guidelines and social media content strategy.

Bring your content to life

(26) Be creative. Be inspiring. Add value.

(27) A social media account should be more than a vehicle to deliver your most recent announcement. Think about how you can best engage your audience — videos, audio, polls, Q&As, meaningful insight. What makes your content stand out in the fast-flowing stream of information online?

Make your account a safe place

(28) Consider the feelings and dignity of others, respect opposing views and do not incite negative or degrading dialogue.

(29) Always ensure that content or discussion does not include items that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory on the grounds of race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. See the Communicating Without Bias Guidelines.

(30) All official University accounts should clearly state and link to the University’s Social Media User Guidelines and let users know when they have violated them. Individual accounts are not required to set their own user guidelines.

Respect the intellectual property of others

(31) Do not use or pass off the work or ideas of others as your own.

(32) If sharing the work or ideas of others, obtain written permission from the responsible person or institution and make sure to properly credit the responsible party in the resulting content.

(33) If quoting the work of others ensure you attribute the work to the person or institution responsible for it.

Respect privacy and maintain confidentiality

(34) Do not disclose personal information about others unless you have their approval.

(35) Be aware that making personal information about yourself public also comes with its own risks.

(36) Do not disclose information that is deemed confidential, either by the University or by other organisations with which you interact as part of your role at the University.

(37) Do not disclose personal information you have received in confidence either explicitly stated or inferred from colleagues or students.

Consult others

(38) If contributing content that is related to your work at the University, check with colleagues that you are presenting a consistent message and not duplicating the work of others.

(39) Be informed on the topic; check for existing answers before asking questions.

Branding and design

(40) All University accounts should follow the brand advice set out in Brand Guidelines. Remember that most University social media accounts are public facing and what you publish makes a statement about the University.


(41) Where appropriate, use a disclaimer outlining that the views expressed are yours and not necessarily those of the University.

Linking to resources

(42) When using hyperlinks to University content, be aware of your audience and their ability to access the material.

Image permissions

(43) Obtain appropriate permission prior to posting images.

(44) If there is an identifiable person in your photo, video or audio clip use the Image Consent and Release Form to obtain permission to publish on social media.

(45) At large University events where individual consent is not practical, for example, outdoor orientation events, staff must display highly visible signage informing attendees that they may appear in photos, videos or audio taken by the University for promotional use.

(46) Staff should consult with the Social Media Strategist to determine whether such signage is appropriate given the circumstances of the particular event. For example, if the event is directed at school children or there are cultural sensitivities to be considered, then it would not be appropriate to use such signage to obtain consent from attendees.

(47) If the use of such signage is approved, the Social Media Strategist will provide the appropriate wording and consult with Legal Services, if required.

(48) If the University is hosting an event at a location that is not on University premises, the University must ensure it has obtained permission from the landowner/person with care and control prior to photographic images, videos or audio recordings being taken.

Have a plan

(49) Don't be on social media just because you can - be impactful.

(50) Have a clear goal, create a strategy to achieve that goal and set measurable objectives.

(51) Tracking your account and content allows greater insight into what resonates with your audience.

(52) Ensure you have set out a governance and resource model.

(53) Assistance with planning and reporting can be provided by the Web Office and Public Relations and Communications.

Central accounts or channels

(54) The University’s central accounts and channels are listed on the Connect website.

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Section 5 - Glossary

(55) These guidelines use terms defined in the Communications and Marketing Policy, Communications and Marketing Procedure - Website and Social Media Platforms, as well as the following:

  1. Account - means an arrangement by which a user is given personalised access to an application, website or tool in order to transmit electronic information including text, graphics, images, animations, video and sound, to an audience. Examples include a Facebook page or group, Twitter profile or YouTube channel.
  2. Account owner - is the person(s) responsible for the content creation and moderation within an account.
  3. Moderate - means removing illegal, inappropriate or offensive content from an account.
  4. Platforms - means social media applications, websites or tools that enable users to socialise online, send messages to one another, share interests and information, chat, meet people, and post information, photographs and videos for others to look at. They include:
    1. social and professional networking sites, e.g. Facebook, Yammer and LinkedIn
    2. video and photo sharing sites, e.g. Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo
    3. blogs, weblogs, and blogging platforms, e.g. WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr
    4. micro-blogging and activity stream sites, e.g. Twitter
    5. forums and discussion boards, e.g. Trove Forum, Yahoo Groups and Google Groups
    6. collaborative online deliberation and argument map sites, e.g. Debategraph
    7. virtual communities, e.g. Second Life
    8. wikis (collaboratively created repositories of content), e.g. Wikipedia
    9. any other application, website or tool that allows for user-generated content exchange.
  5. University premises - as defined in the Facilities and Premises Policy.