Social Media Communication Procedure

Document Number000954
Date Approved4 December 2011

1. Introduction

Social media are important tools for the University to communicate with its students, staff, communities and other stakeholders.

The Social Media Communication Procedures provides a framework for University staff, working to create and manage University of Newcastle social media channels.

These procedures must be read in conjunction the University of Newcastle Social Media Communication Policy 000953 and Social Media Communication Guidelines 000955.

2. Relevant Definitions

In the context of this document:

Social media - Online communication channels used to share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives via written comments, shared video or audio files. Social media platforms include, but are not limited to, blogs, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube.

University's official social media channels - The University of Newcastle operates a number of social media channels including blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and an official YouTube channel. The University's official social media channels refer to all pages owned by a University staff member/department.

Owner of social media channel(s) - A University staff member who is responsible for managing one or more social media channels, such as a Facebook page, Twitter account.

3. Using the University's social media channels

i. Staff are encouraged to contact the University's Marketing and Public Relations Office to add University information to the University's official social media channels. These include,
" The University of Newcastle Facebook and Twitter pages;
" YouTube channel;
" UoN Students Facebook and Twitter pages;
" UoN Future Students Facebook and Twitter pages.

Staff can also contact owners of social media channels in the University targeting more specific audiences where relevant.

4. Creating a social media channel

i. Before creating a new social media channel, complete the attached brief (Appendix A) and send it to the University's Marketing and Public Relations team. They will give you expert advice and guidance on how to establish channels and use social media before it goes to the relevant DVC or PVC for approval.

ii. The Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, or their nominated officers, will approve all new social media channels relating to their respective portfolios before establishment.

iii. Pro Vice-Chancellors, or their nominated officers, will approve all new social media channels relating to their respective portfolios before establishment.

5. Managing a social media channel

i. Owners of social media channels are required to monitor their channel daily.

ii. Owners of social media channels must respond to public questions, comments or requests for information in a timely manner and in accordance with the Social Media Communication Policy.

iii. Guidance on how to moderate a channel is outlined in the attached moderation flowchart (Appendix B).

iv. Any issues of concern should be reported to the University's Marketing and Public Relations team, Digital Marketing Manager in the first instance.

v. Marketing and Public Relations will be responsible for coordinating issues management and stakeholder management pertaining to social media use.

6. Social media expertise and training

i. Advice and guidance on social media are available from the University's Marketing and Public Relations team.

ii. Staff managing social media channels are encouraged to contact the University's Marketing and Public Relations team for training in the use of social media.

7. Essential supporting documents

Code of Conduct Policy - 000059

Complaints Resolution Policy - 000745

Conflicts of Interest Policy - 000934

Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy - 000914

University Computing and Communications Facilities Conditions of Use Policy 000817

8. Appendices

Appendix A - Social Media Brief

Appendix B - Moderation Flowchart


Appendix A: Social Media Brief (Word Version)



Prepared By:








(Short statement outlining the objectives of the social media project)

Social media channels:

(Please list the social media channels you would like to use)


Target Audience(s):

(Please list the audience(s) who you are aiming to reach, for example, current students, and approximately how many people you aim to interact with)



(Available budget)


(Please identify any key deadlines)




(Please identify who will develop the social media sites)



(Please identify who will add and approve content each day)



(Please identify who will moderate the social media sites each day)



(VC, DVC or PVC - Please identify who will approve the site before it goes live)




(List your desired outcomes and how you will measure them)

Email to


Appendix B: Moderation Flowchart (1) (Word Version)

For further advice and assistance, please contact the Digital Marketing Manager, Marketing Public Relations.

(1) Flow chart includes information from US Air Force Web Posting Response Assessment

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Date Approved4 December 2011
Date for Review4 December 2014
Policy SponsorVice-Chancellor
Policy OwnerMarketing and Public Relations
Policy ContactManager, Student and Staff Communications
Amendment History

New Social Media suite of Policy, Procedure and Guideline, approved Vice-Chancellor 4 December 2011.