Social networking guidelines and information

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1 Social networking guidelines and information Introduction Social media is an emerging and changing landscape. The digital marketing communications team and corporate communications have a social media policy and are managing social media content as outlined in this document. We are managing content to provide a consistent social media policy while at the same time making sure the University can actively engage with users through social networking. Our official social networking feeds or profiles are often picked up by outside organisations, such as newspapers or journalists. Posting something or replying to something on any social media channel is effectively publishing that information. Therefore a user has to carefully think about any content they post and take personal responsibility for this. Background Online social networks have been around since the mid 1980s in the form of online communities such as The Well. The first modern style of social networking emerged in the mid 1990s with classmates.com, followed by friendsreunited.com in The idea of social networking has evolved overtime, although the core ethos of bringing users together has remained the same. There are now different types of social networking. No one site provides a complete solution that offers everything. YouTube concentrates on video and Scribd for the sharing of text information. The closest all in one services are Facebook and Myspace. These are user driven sites with groups which you can search and join. Social networking is not a new phenomenon but one that has matured over time as technology has developed and internet use increased. It is worth noting that most social media sites are businesses. They have their own money making agendas and users are subject to their business models. Social networking general overview Uploading content to social networking websites is different to placing content on Sheffield Hallam's website, as we do not have control of these sites. You may upload a video to YouTube which then links to a video of a drunken student uploaded by a different user. This has the potential to harm the University's reputation. We can try to remain in control of our social networking pages by preventing users from uploading photos or comments of their own. Social Networking sites should be closely monitored for

2 users making sure no derogatory comments are posted to profiles, groups or videos and monitoring any friends on a regular basis appearance official Sheffield Hallam social media sites must be corporately branded. You must take care to ensure that the correct branding is used in the correct places. Our policy is to ensure consistent branding across all networks. We only have one official Sheffield Hallam profile per social media site (except for Twitter - see page 5). It is OK for students, academics or support teams to set up profiles or channels, as long as they are not labelled as official, or purporting to represent the University in any corporate capacity. The scope of social networking is wide and every social media network is different, which means there are no strict rules or guidelines to follow. Social networking is about user responsibility. It is important when people from the University set up social network profiles that they only add high quality content and that they monitor what is posted. As soon as you engage in social networking, you must take personal responsibility for it. If users set up blogs, post on blogs or post to social networking sites then it must be clear that they are an individual's thoughts and that they are not representative of the University (unless otherwise agreed with corporate communications). Social networking used wisely is a positive medium but it can backfire if used incorrectly. Like any other communication channel, members of staff or students using their association with the University must ensure that their comments do not bring the University into disrepute in any way, which could be considered a disciplinary offence. Sheffield Hallam official channels All Sheffield Hallam's official social media channels are moderated by the digital marketing communications team, except Twitter which is moderated by corporate communications. Channels or social media requests are handled by the digital marketing communications team and corporate communications, ensuring we have a cohesive social media policy that does not confuse our users or potential students. It also allows both teams to know which content is being posted. This allows us to respond quickly if any problems occur and to control the flow of links between social media and the external shu.ac.uk website. The look and feel of social networking sites can change with little or no notice and we can't control this. This can alter how your content appears on the page, so we have to respond and update profiles as soon as changes occur. It is easier to achieve this if there are only one or two teams moderating content.

3 Social media should not be treated any differently to our corporate website as it is an extension of our marketing. Official social media requests have to be examined on a case by case basis. The reason for this is because of the diverse requests that have been made regarding the posting of social media content. The University has to have a consistent and consistently branded social media presence that feels integrated with the Universities marketing and communications plans. There should be no official University social media channels posted unless they have had approval from the moderators, which are as follows: Facebook Youtube Twitter - digital marketing communications team - digital marketing communications team - corporate communications Any user who posts content on social media should take responsibility for the content that they post. Comments should be labelled as unofficial and personal viewpoints. It is at the users risk that they post on social media. If you want to discuss or have any questions about social media, contact the digital marketing communications team on or for Twitter contact Any social media profiles must also be managed via teams and not just individuals. This is to make sure that if the individual who set the content up leaves the University the profile can still be managed. Those individuals managing social media sites after the site has been approved should be named and sent to either the digital marketing communications team or corporate communications. Example of a corporate news story For a high level corporate communications news story, we would place links on social media streams to the actual story on our website. This gives users confidence that it is an official news story, reinforces the Sheffield Hallam brand and helps distinguish official social media sites from unofficial ones, which may look similar. Popular social networking sites YouTube Our policy is to restrict content to high quality videos with marketing value. We do not want overuse video or flood YouTube, we want to only use the correct video in the right way. We do not treat video on YouTube differently to the way we manage it on our own website. It should be good quality, in the correct aspect ratio and go through the digital marketing communications team before it is placed online.

4 Channels YouTube allow one corporate branded channel per university. Our official channel is branded and any content has to be approved by the digital marketing communications team before it can be uploaded. Our corporate channel YouTube policy is to add subscribers, as these are people interested in the videos which we offer and not associated directly with us. We will not add new friends as this effectively is a corporate endorsement, and our friends may add inappropriate content. This means that in effect the University will be endorsing content which is beyond our control. Videos Most YouTube users usually search for videos on YouTube and enter channels from links on these videos, rather than searching for a specific channel. For example most people would not search for Sheffield Hallam University channel but may search for a video on city centre shopping and find a video which we have uploaded. It is therefore important to make sure that videos are tagged correctly, so they can be found by relevant search criteria. All videos submitted to YouTube should adhere to the University video policies as outlined in the media guidelines. For example, they should be of a good quality, under 2 minutes and in 16.9 format with clear and engaging audio. If you wish to submit a video to YouTube please with details. If you need advice on producing a video The address for the official University YouTube channel is Things to be aware of with YouTube When you upload a video to a social media site, it hard to control its use. People can now download videos from YouTube to their own computer. Videos uploaded on YouTube can link to content which is inappropriate for an educational institution. Each video on YouTube has to be carefully monitored for both comments and ratings. Our policy is that you only let people comment on videos after you have enabled the option to vet all comments first. Do not allow people to rate videos because bad ratings may effect how the University is perceived. You must keep an eye on any content uploaded to YouTube not upload videos unless the quality is high enough for you to stand behind that work not link to videos in your favourites from other institutions or creators. This leaves your profile open to any problems with associated content from these links.

5 not label any unofficial channels as official. Make sure that your channel states that it is not an official Sheffield Hallam University channel. Take responsibility for any video you upload or any comments you make What are the options on the official YouTube corporate channel Provide video for the digital marketing communications team to review and upload. For any video or photography within video content release forms must be provided on submission including all music copyright and participant releases. Facebook We have one corporate university profile and we upload selective and important content to it. Most universities on Facebook have a similar approach to us. We choose not to allow student comments or to update information as regularly as some of our competitors. We generally have more fans than our competitors, which suggests our active management of Facebook and selective content policy is what students actually want from a university. The official university Facebook page is located at Things to be aware of with Facebook Profiles that are set up need close monitoring, not just for a few weeks but their lifespan. Once a page is set up it is almost impossible to close it down while there are users still around. This means that any official profile should be set up and managed by teams and not individuals. Too many profiles dilute the chances of students finding your official profile. It is also difficult to know which profiles are official and which are not. With one corporate profile the University has more chance of being found in searches. If you want to set up an official profile you must for advice, information and also permission. However our policy is that we only have one official Facebook channel and develop content for this channel to provide a social media corporate identity for the University. Facebook recommendations Make sure any profiles uploaded are not branded as an official Sheffield Hallam University profile to distinguish these from the official corporate profile. Facebook is an effective method for current students to stay in touch with each other and the University. It may be a useful tool for marketing to current and potential postgraduate students through stories posted on the bulletin board.

6 What are the options on the official Facebook corporate channel Send news stories for the bulletin board to the Digital Marketing Communications Team. This must then relate to a link within our external site. We will not link to any other external website apart from our own. For example if there is an event at Hallam the bulletin board posting must link back to a page on our external website which holds all the information or story of the event. Types of content which we will upload include: High level corporate news stories Events major University let campaigns or University sponsored events Major University led conferences or seminars Major Hallam union events which are non political Send video or photography content to the Digital Marketing Communications team to be reviewed and if approved uploaded. For any video or photography content release forms must be provided on submission including all music copyright and participant releases. Twitter Twitter is different to other social networking media because it is more about engaging followers rather than uploading content or putting up a profile. Our twitter policy is different to the other social media sites. Rather than restricting use to one official branded Sheffield Hallam account, we have multiple accounts with different focuses. For example, Sport Hallam may want a separate account to promote their events and successes. Twitter can have a number of different official Sheffield Hallam feeds but these must first be authorised through Corporate Communications. If you wish to set up an official Sheffield Hallam Twitter account or provide news content, please contact Corporate Communications by on Things to be aware of with Twitter Twitter feeds need to be monitored and maintained on a daily basis. The person who maintains an account needs to be passionate about its use for it to stay interesting. It is important to check who is following your account and choose who you follow carefully. This helps you avoid signing up to someone s feed who posts inappropriate content or someone who may reply to your tweet with inappropriate content. Engaging with followers is key to successfully using Twitter. Regular updates, though not excessive spamming, replies and including shortened links, are ways of making the account interesting.

7 Twitter recommendations It is recommended that you do not use Twitter to bombard followers with messages as this can do more harm than good. Instead be selective about when you send messages, so people are informed but don t feel like you are intruding on them. Once a twitter feed is set up it should not be left stagnant but used on a regular basis. All twitter feeds should be checked daily and users should engage daily if needed. However only Tweet newsworthy stories do not send Tweets constantly throughout the day, limit how often you Tweet to how often you have content which is appropriate and informative. All Tweets should be thought about carefully, because whenever you put out a message it then becomes part of the public domain. Creativity is required to fit the 140 character restriction. Make your posts interesting, insightful and most of all post information that is appealing and newsworthy. What are the options on Twitter: to provide news content to the Corporate Communications team set up an official Sheffield Hallam University Twitter profile by contacting the Corporate Communications team, who will assess the request. Do not set up an official channel without contacting corporate communications. Blogs Blogs can be set up by anyone on a myriad of sites from Wordpress to Blogger. Blogs are usually personal sites with personal opinions. Any blogs about Sheffield Hallam should be labelled as unofficial so as not to confuse users. There is no need for corporate blogs as we have a corporate website to post information on. It is also important to make sure that you take personal responsibility for blogs as whatever you post is online for anyone to view and read. If you have any questions please Other social media There are many other social networking websites such as Myspace and Bebo but they are much less important than Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. At the moment we don t have official profiles on these other social networks but we will look to add these purely as a corporate badge. We will keep monitoring activity on these sites.

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