Social Media

Social Media Procedure

Policy Code: CE2006

Purpose

This procedure will ensure social media policy is implemented across the University and that best practice is maintained across the University. Further, this procedure mandates operational activities and assigns responsibilities to support the implementation of the Social Media Policy.

Scope

This procedure applies to the use of social media by staff, students, contractors, international agents, partners and members of University groups and committees:

  • representing the University via social media in a official capacity; and/or
  • using social media in a personal capacity where reference is made to the University on a social media site or the use of social media may have an impact on or affect the University or members of the University community (including other staff and students)

This procedure also applies to staff and students that wish to conduct activities on any social media platform (this refers to all platforms and accounts that are already established, and not yet established).

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act) – establishes TEQSA as an agency who regulate using the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards)

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Social Media Policy.

Actions

1. Staff and Students are expected to behave professionally and respectfully when using social media for personal or professional use

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Demonstrating courtesy, respect and honesty in either a personal or professional capacity All social media users
  1. Behave responsibly, ethically and with integrity towards the University and members of its community.  You are expected at all times to adhere to University legislation, policies and procedures in both a professional capacity, personal capacity and where personal use of social media overlaps with the interests of the University or members of its community.
  2. Express opinions and ideas in an appropriate, courteous and considered manner which both contributes, and is relevant to the discussion taking place.
  3. Avoid offering personal views, and only speak authoritatively on topics you are authorised to speak about. Ensure it is clear what your role at the University is, and identify if you are speaking in a professional capacity.
  4. Respect the rights of others to have, and to express, an opinion.  Where you disagree, do so in a constructive manner.  It is not appropriate and may even be illegal to post comments or respond to comments about the University or individuals which could be considered offensive, defamatory, harassing, threatening, discriminatory, intimidating or otherwise inappropriate. 
  5. Think before you post and exercise good judgement and prudence.  Always add value and don’t blindly pursue your own agenda because this often has unintended consequences.  Be ethical and responsible in your use of social media and don’t inflame a situation needlessly.
  6. Be aware of your personal liability and reputation.  Anything you post online is in the public domain and is difficult (if not impossible) to erase. It can be searched and shared. Remember that you are personally liable for the content of your online posts.
  7. Consider the impact of a post (including written or photos or videos) if seen by your employer, colleagues, students or future employers. 
  8. Consider the line between your professional and personal life which can often become blurred through the use of social media.
  9. Consider whether social media engagement could compromise or interfere with your work at the University. 
  10. Consider your connections on social media:
    1. Staff are advised not to have friends on social media who are University students and known to be under the age limit allowed on particular social platforms. Age restrictions may differ between platforms, and it is each user’s responsibility to check these restrictions and comply accordingly.
    2. The University recommends that staff do not have personal connections on social media with University students who are under the age of 18, unless express permission is obtained from a legal guardian.
  11. If posting in a professional capacity, identify who you work for and the capacity in which you are contributing and keep your personal views separate. 
  12. If posting in a private capacity and your online profile identifies you as a member of the University community, make it clear that the comments are your own and not made on behalf of the University. 
  13. Check your privacy settings and consider your own privacy and safety before you broadcast these details. Social media (such as Facebook and Periscope) can allow you to broadcast real-time information about who you are, what you are doing and your exact location.
  14. You must not use the University logo in circumstances where you are posting in a private capacity or on your individual profile without the express permission of the Public Relations Manager. 

2. Staff and Students are expected to comply with legal requirements, including the University’s legislation, policies and procedures when using social media for personal or professional use

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Ensuring confidentiality and privacy of the University and individuals All social media users
  1. Ramifications for a breach of confidentiality and privacy are extremely serious and may result in disciplinary action against the user.
  2. Ensure you do not disclose or comment on any private, confidential or secure information. Doing so may result in disciplinary action against the user.
  3. Do not publish contact details or other personal or health information about any individual
  4. Do not disclose commercially sensitive information about the University or post official University documents online.
  5. Ensure the necessary consent is obtained before posting images, video or audio content where individuals are identifiable. Consent forms are available on federation.edu.au/socialmedia or by emailing socialmedia@federation.edu.au
  6. Read, understand and adhere to relevant University policies and procedures including:
    1. Harassment, bullying and privacy policies
    2. The University’s Use of Computing & Communications Facilities Policy
    3. The Staff Code of Conduct
    4. Research Integrity Policy
    5. Ethical Conduct of ResearchPolicy
    6. Research Data Management Policy
  7. Remember that University legislation, policies and procedures apply to the use of social media in the same way as they apply to other aspects of life at the University, including but not limited to Harassment, bullying and privacy policies and The Staff Code of Conduct
  8. Respect University time and resources.  The University’s computers and networks are to be used for University-related business and purposes.  University time and resources should not be used to engage in social media activity for personal or non-University related purposes.
  9. Do not post content that includes work which is not your own or may infringe copyright or the intellectual property of another person.
  10. Ensure acknowledgement of and links to sources wherever possible.

3. Encouraging staff to get involved with social media, and attend the University’s social media training

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Accessing accounts for the purpose of posting content All social media users
  1. Ideally, each area of the University will have at least one Social Media Champion who is able to assist their area with social media best-practice and posting requirements through approved accounts.
  2. Submit a General Content Form if a Social Media Champion isn’t available. This form is available on federation.edu.au/socialmedia or by emailing socialmedia@federation.edu.au
B. Applying for the appropriate level of access to social media accounts All social media users
  1. Complete an Access Application Form if you believe you require Editor or Administrator access to an account.  This is form available on federation.edu.au/socialmedia or by emailing socialmedia@federation.edu.au The application will be reviewed and implemented by the Social Media Committee
  2. If you are an Administrator you are required to undertake training prior to accessing social media accounts
  3. If you are an Administrator you are deemed to be ‘Social Media Champion’
  4. Editors are also able to be Social Media Champions if this is agreed to by account Administrators.  The Social Media Coordinator must be notified so all Champions receive necessary training.

4. Having processes in place to review and make changes to existing social media accounts, and processes which enable staff and students to seek approval to open new social media account(s)

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Reviewing all existing social media accounts

Administrators

Social Media Committee

  1. Administrators are required to submit an Account Review Form as directed by the Social Media Committee.  The Account Review Form is required by the Social Media Committee to formulate recommendations for accounts.
  2. When reviewing social media accounts, the Social Media Committee, or a member of the committee will:
    1. Receive the Account Review Form from Administrators.  The committee will request additional information if necessary
    2. Determine and recommend that the account needs to either:
      1. remain operating (with or without additional parameters), or
      2. determine best method of closure and
    3. Discuss the recommendations with the Administrator(d) If applicable, provide  Administrators of the closing accounts with training and assistance in strategic content planning, platform management and access to suitable platforms for future content.
    4. If applicable, Administrators of closing accounts will be given access to suitable platforms for future content, and provided with training in strategic content planning and posting

B Access to Accounts Administrators
  1. Administrators are required to provide the Social Media Coordinator with full access or log in details to accounts for the purpose of: (a) reviewing, and (b) implementing recommendations. Refer to 4A.
C Removing of accounts Social Media Committee
  1. In the event that the Social Media Committee recommend a social media account be closed, the content on that account will be reviewed by the Social Media Coordinator. Reasons for closing or removing an account may include, but are not limited to:
    • If an account Administrator fails to provide reports as requested by the Social Media Committee
    • If an account Administrator or contact cannot be found
    • a duplicate account, or account with a duplicate audience is found
    • audience interaction is low, with no evidence that the account operates on a cyclical basis
    • audience numbers are low, with no evidence of a niche interest group
    • the account appears to have been abandoned
    • continued visibility of the account has a negative impact on the FedUni reputation. As outlined in 4B, Account Administrators are required to  provide full account access, or login details to the Social Media Coordinator.
  2. Action to be taken will be made on a case-by-case basis and information recorded in accordance with the University’s Record Management Policy and Procedure.
  3. One of the following actions will be taken:
    1. The account will be disabled or suspended (if possible) and content downloaded - with care to capture dates, names, conversations and other relevant information.  This data should then be recorded in accordance with the University’s Record Management Policy and Procedure
    2. If no content of importance or relevance is found (from a business or regulatory perspective) then the account will be closed without further action.
D Recording and storage of content Social Media Champions and Social Media Coordinator
  1. Content on official social media accounts must be recorded and stored on a secure network location prior to deletion in accordance with the University’s Record Management Policy and Procedure:

The ability to record content will vary, depending on the social media platform it is being taken from.

In most cases, the easiest method may be to take screen shots. Care should be taken to ensure that important information (such as dates, times, names and locations) are captured in these shots.

The data must then be recorded in accordance with the University’s Record Management Policy and Procedure

E Creating new social media accounts Social Media Coordinator and Social Media Committee
  1. Submit a Social Media – New Account Registration Form prior to establishing any social media account(s)
  2. Ensure your Dean or Director has approved all users intending to utilise a new or existing social media sites for professional purposes on behalf of the University. This includes:
    1. Staff members and contractors
    2. External members of University bodies or committees
    3. Students and alumni
    4. Partners and agents

The Social Media Committee will then arrange to meet the applicant to discuss the application.

  1. Understand your audience and your goals when utilising social media. Before commencing on social media in a professional university capacity you must identify who you are wanting to communicate with. You must also know whether your audience is likely to be on social media, and if so which site (ie Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn). In some cases your audience may be more likely to seek information directly through the website, in which case a campaign of targeted paid advertising through an existing social media site, and directing the audience to the website may be the best use of social media. The Social Media Coordinator can assist in: identifying these criteria; and creating a social media plan.

Refer to the Social Media Manual for further information

5. Having processes in place to assist staff and students with monitoring and responding to content, comments, messages, complaints and escalating issues and threats for action

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Escalation of issues All social media users
  1. Contact the Social Media Coordinator if you find content which you believe requires further action or consideration.  A link to the content (and/or a screenshot) should be emailed to socialmedia@federation.edu.au, along with any other supporting material and contact details. If necessary, issues will be escalated to the Social Media Committee for further consideration before being escalated to the Legal Team and the Vice Chancellor Senior Team.
    Issues will fall into one of three categories, each requiring a varying degree of deliberation – these categories are:
    • Green: Trivial comments
    • Amber: Low level complaints
    • Red: Comments that evoke inflated negative interaction, high level complaints and/or hostile cause groups
  2. Contact the Social Media Coordinator within 12-24 hours of discovering an issue to mitigate the risk of damage to reputation, brand or person.  Email socialmedia@federation.edu.au or telephone (03) 5327 6606

6. Offering training and support to all areas of the University that have content the University would like to publically share.

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Adhering to content creation best-practice All social media users
  1. Ensure content meets best-practice guidelines by referring to the Social Media Manual which outlines the fundamentals of creating content.  This is available on federation.edu.au/socialmedia and is available to all University staff.
  2. Attend all necessary training and actively check other methods of communication (such as email and the FedUni SMCs Facebook Group) to ensure you stay up to date with new trends and developments on social media.

7. Having a Committee who: are up to date with trends and developments; regularly review social media accounts’ performance; ensure appropriate levels of access are given; and manage (or assist in managing) issues, threats and other concerns

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A A Social Media Committee for overall management of the University’s social media activity

Director MACE

Marketing and Communications Manager

Public Relations Manager

Social Media Coordinator

  1. A Committee comprising of the roles outlined below to meet on a regular basis to review, recommend and apply policy and best-practice processes across the University:
    1. Director MACE
    2. Marketing and Communications Manager
    3. Public Relations Manager
    4. Social Media Coordinator
  2. Staff from across the University will be invited to consult on the Committee as required.

8. Having University systems and processes in place which allow Academic staff to effectively communicate with students and other staff

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Use of social media by Academic Staff for student communications All Academic Staff
  1. Social media cannot be used as a primary (or singular) source of communication with students by Academic Staff for assessable work requirements.
  2. In the first instance, the University’s course management system (i.e. Moodle) must be used.
  3. If Academic Staff believe that creating a social media account as a secondary source of communication with their student cohort is a beneficial option then they are required to submit a Social Media – New Account Registration Form.

Please refer to section 4D of this document.

Forms

  • All forms are included in the Social Media Instruction Manual, and are also available on federation.edu.au/socialmedia

Responsibility

  • The Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure/s
  • The Director, Marketing, Advancement and Community Engagement is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
  • The Social Media Coordinator is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this policy as directed by the Director, Marketing, Advancement and Community Engagement

Promulgation

The Social Media Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews and on the FedUni Policy Central’s Policy Library ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure; and
  2. Distribution of emails to University staff

Implementation

The Social Media Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews and on the FedUni Policy Central’s Policy Library ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  2. Staff induction sessions
  3. Training sessions

Records Management

Record Type Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
General Content Form University’s Approved Records Management System Social Media Coordinator Destroy 2 years after administrative use has concluded
Access Application Form University’s Approved Records Management System Social Media Coordinator Destroy 2 years after administrative use has concluded
Account Review Form University’s Approved Records Management System Social Media Coordinator Destroy 2 years after administrative use has concluded
New Account Registration Form University’s Approved Records Management System Social Media Coordinator Destroy 2 years after administrative use has concluded
Photo consent forms University’s Approved Records Management System Responsible Officer Destroy 3 years after administrative use has concluded
Captured Social Media Posts SM Content Issues Database / University’s approved records management system Responsible Officer Retention requirements will be dependent on content and context of post – contact Records Management Services for further advice