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Guidance Note: Safe use of social media and online communications tools affiliated with the university

There are multiple social media accounts that officially affiliate themselves with the University of Warwick, which represent a diverse range of activity across the organisation and offer numerous benefits to our shared audiences. There are many benefits to this; social media is an agile, fluid and varied digital platform in which an organisation with so many different functions and activities can connect to our various audiences. It is a great way of building a community, and also gives an insight into what studying, working and living at Warwick is all about.

Alongside the shared benefits of there being numerous affiliated accounts, there are also shared risks – crisis management and coordination of response, data security, etc. In order to realise the most benefits, and mitigate the risks, an adaptable and resilient strategy is required when managing a social media account. This guidance note aims to help anyone currently managing an affiliated social media account, or anyone that is considering setting one up.


Getting started: do I need to use social media?

It’s important to ask yourself these questions to see if social media is the best route for you:

  • What is the purpose of the social media activity/account?
  • Who is your main audience?
  • Does this audience want to interact with your department or team on social media?
  • Are the social media channels available suitable for your purpose and audience?
  • Do you need an account, or would a campaign achieve what you need?

Setting up a new social media account and building a following is time and resource heavy, and accounts are often set up with good intentions and then sadly neglected or forgotten about. A social media campaign may be more appropriate for activity with a limited timeframe, such as a particular event or campaign. This involves collaborating with existing accounts and teams to create and market your content across a number of existing channels with established followings.

Before you create an account on behalf of the University, please complete the social media briefing form and talk to the socialmedia at warwick dot ac dot uk.


Running and managing an affiliated account

There is a lot of advice, guidance and training available on how to manage a successful social media account. The key points below are a minimum standard for running and managing an account that is officially affiliated with the University:

  • comply with the regulations of the particular channel you are using;
  • comply with the online and social media communications policy;
  • comply with the guidance of any relevant regulatory bodies;
  • use an appropriate team resource email address to set up your account, as opposed to your personal work email address;
  • create the password using best guidance, and change it regularly;
  • save the password somewhere safe, in a password protected document or by using a password management system such as LastPass.
  • ensure that trusted and trained team members can access the account should the person responsible not be in the office;
  • stay in regular touch with the social media team – they are there to help, support and provide guidance;
  • follow the University of Warwick accounts to allow for ease of communications via DMs

Links to further advice, policy and support

Who to contact:

Social media team: Socialmedia@warwick.ac.uk 

Marketing team for use of logo enquiries: marketing@warwick.ac.uk