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Creating social media accounts on behalf of the university

Staff may create extra social media groups or feeds for academic purposes, however any proposal to use a chat room, message board, microblog or social networking site to engage with students, businesses or any other members of the public or staff should be discussed and approved by External Relations and the relevant Head of Service or Dean.

The line of contact should be as follows:

  1. External Relations. ER will be able to advise you on starting a social media account, the propriety of such an action and the best venue for your plan. Contact the webteam (webteam@cumbria.ac.uk) with the following information:

    • The platform you intend to use (Facebook, twitter, etc)
    • Purpose of the social media account
    • Type of information that will be shared
    • Owners, ie who will take care of the account. At least one staff member must take responsibility. Remember social media profiles don’t survive by themselves; they must be maintained.
  2. Seek approval from your Head of Service/Dean.
  3. Inform External Relations of approval, account name and url and start date.

Before proposing a new social media account, please remember:

  • Be prepared to take care of it!
  • You should have a definite plan for the purpose of the site and an understanding how this fits with your target audience engagement.
  • All official University of Cumbria social media accounts should be branded. Contact the webteam for help with branding at webteam@cumbria.ac.uk.
  • Before it is launched, you should decide what level of engagement you want, what resources you need to achieve it and over what time-frame.
  • The closure or mothballing of a site should be carefully managed to ensure that it does not remain branded but neglected.

Social Media Representatives

New kinds of informal activity on third party sites must be discussed with ER and Heads of Service/Deans. One reason for this is to manage risk; another is to share valuable new experience across the university.

Moderation

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Negative comments come with the territory – do not delete them. Instead accept the criticism and respond in a respectful and helpful manner. Always try to provide good customer service. 

Don’t feed the trolls
Some users, commonly referred to as trolls, leave negative or inflammatory for the sole purpose of causing a fight. In this case, it is best to ignore them.

There are some instances where action will need to be taken. You should endeavour to either report to the platform’s abuse team or delete if there is no reporting option, any comments which:

  • are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others
  • are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable
  • contain swear words or other offensive language
  • break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity
  • are seen to impersonate someone else
  • describe or encourage activities which could endanger the safety or wellbeing of others
  • Comments can be reported on Facebook by clicking the ‘x’ on the top right hand corner and selecting ‘report abuse’.
  • Spam eg. sales messages may be deleted out