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Social media guidance

At The University of Manchester we’re committed to making the best use of social media to improve the way we communicate, both with external audiences and internally. Through engagement with our different partners and communities, we can use social media to help achieve our marketing and communications objectives.

If you create a social media account on behalf of the University, make sure it reflects the University brand. Our social media guidelines will help you adopt our visual identity for the main social networks. Our governance document is designed to ensure fairness, accountability and transparent decision-making in relation to the University’s social media activity and strategy.

Please please get in touch if you require further advice.

You can access social media channels from across the University via the social media directory.

This guidance will help you use social media safely and professionally, fully protecting yourself and the University. 

Choose from the following to go straight to the content you need:

What is social media?

This video gives an overview of social media and its importance in our communications.

How to use social media?

When using social media, it's vital that you have clear goals and a plan for your channel, and that you're are fully aware of your resposibilities as a member of staff.

Plan how you will use it

Before setting up a social media account, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve and to define some key objectives. Create a plan based on the following points. 

Strategy and goals

Simply, what do you want to achieve? For example – do you want to support or launch a communications or marketing campaign, engage with a specific audience, increase traffic to your website, promote the work of your department, or communicate to external groups? Define your goals and think about how you will achieve them in the short and long-term.

Measuring success

What do you hope to gain and how will you know when you've achieved it? Define success, such as the number of clicks to a webpage, or the number of social media engagements, then detail how you'll measure it and the tools you need.


Audience engagement

Define your primary audience as well as any secondary ones you may also have. How do you intend to reach out to them initially? Remember that simply setting up a social media account isn’t enough; you'll need a plan to get users to your channels and keep them engaged.

Content

What content are you going to share? Will it be news or engagement-based content? Think about the types of content your audience group is likely to engage with and share on social media. 
Remember, social media is two-way – it shouldn't always be about you. One of the main aims of your content should be to build brand loyalty to the University and encourage two-way communication with your audiences.

Account management and security

Who's going to be responsible for populating, maintaining and monitoring your social media accounts? Ensure you dedicate time and resources to manage your account activity, including creating content and answering enquiries. Store account passwords securely by protecting worksheets or use a tool such as Last Pass. If you share passwords as part of an account takeover, change them afterwards. Use a management tool such as Hootsuite if you're managing multiple accounts.

Evaluation and reporting

Achieving success on social media is a long-term exercise so be prepared to adapt. Monthly reporting is encouraged to ensure you are meeting your objectives and goals, and to understand how your audiences are engaging with your activity. Contact the social media team for a monthly report template.

New account notification

Contact the social media team when you set up your new social account and fill in the new account request form.

Our expectations and your responsibilities

The University respects the rights of employees to use social media, not only as a form of self-expression, but also as a means to enhance our reputation. It's important you're aware of your responsibilities as a member of staff and the risks and repercussions of inappropriate use.

Branding

Before creating a social media account on behalf of the University, make sure the visual identity reflects the University brand.

Be professional

Consider whether a particular post may reflect poorly on you or the University. Think about your audience and your message – don’t post content that could be considered to be offensive, defamatory or derogatory, could cause someone to feel bullied or harassed, or could harm someone's reputation. Don’t post anything online you wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing on our website or in our prospectus.

Be accurate

Make sure you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a retraction or correction later. Link to your sources whenever possible.

Give credit where it’s due

Don't claim authorship of content that's not yours. Check whether you need permission to reproduce, publish or share information, including photographs, videos or text. Don't post anything that is confidential or belongs to someone else. Check the terms and conditions of the social media platform to make sure you're happy with how your content is going to be used once it is uploaded.

Remember, everything you do online can exist forever

Be aware that posting anything online (even on closed profiles or groups) has the potential to become public, even without your knowledge or consent. You are personally responsible for what you publish and, once it's online, it is very difficult to delete or control how widely the material is shared.

What channels to use

This short film gives you an overview of the most popular social media channels and how they're most commonly used. 

Best practice by platform

The following channel guides have been produced by leading social media practitioners at the University and can be downloaded in PDF format.

Contacts

For more information or guidance on using social media at The University of Manchester, please contact the local representatives listed below. 

NameRoleDept/FacultyEmail

Alistair Beech

Senior Social Media Coordinator

Division of Communications and Marketing

alistair.beech@manchester.ac.uk

Harry Newton

Social Media Coordinator

Division of Communications and Marketing

harry.newton@manchester.ac.uk

Justin Wilson

Senior Digital Marketing Officer

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Justin.wilson@manchester.ac.uk

Gerald Heneghan

Senior Digital Marketing Officer

Faculty of Humanities

Gerald.heneghan@manchester.ac.uk

 

Andrew Poole

Digital Marketing Manager

Faculty of Science and Engineering

andrew.poole@manchester.ac.uk

Patrick Crich

Digital Marketing Officer

Division of Student Communications and Marketing

patrick.crich@manchester.ac.uk

Carl Jeffreys

Digital Content Coordinator

Library Marketing Services

carl.jeffreys@manchester.ac.uk

Tom Fern

Senior Communications Officer

Division of Development and Alumni Relations

tom.fern@manchester.ac.uk


For general enquiries please email socialmedia@manchester.ac.uk or call 58157.