Guidelines for students working with UBC Okanagan units and departments
Social technology has become a daily part of the lives of most UBC students.
This gives everyone an incredible opportunity: take the technology that you use in your daily life and directly connect with other people who are interested in what your UBC department does.
This helps everyone better understand what students and the community wants and need from UBC as a learning institution.
Official UBC guidelines
Before getting started, review the official UBC Social Media Best Practices and UBC’s guide on how to respond to compliments, complaints and questions.
Understanding the tools available
Social media is constantly evolving and changing. And keeping up-to-date on how to use each platform can be a job-in-itself.
Still, there are little things that can help your productivity. For example:
- Knowing the character limits of each platform is very important
- Learning how to schedule posts, either on the platform or via services like Hootsuite
- Basic things like understanding how and where hashtags should be used to increase the potential reach of a post
If you are uncertain about getting started and want a refresh on the basics of using the most popular platforms, we recommend you review the following:
- Facebook 101: www.gcflearnfree.org/facebook101
- Twitter 101: www.gcflearnfree.org/twitter
- Instagram 101: www.gcflearnfree.org/instagram
Social media tips and best practices
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Flickr are some of the common social media platforms that UBC departments often use to connect with audiences, but the variety of services and uses for social media are diverse and wide-ranging.
The value in social media is how it’s used. Be creative. And find ways to be valuable to your audiences.
For some basic ideas on how to develop content for social media visit: communications.ok.ubc.ca/socialmedia/bestpractices
Always keep in mind: Social media has the potential to affect UBC’s public perceptions in a number of ways. Those charged with the responsibility of access to department social media accounts must act as ambassadors to UBC. Inappropriate use of social media, either in an official or personal capacity, may be cause for disciplinary action and dismissal.
Your interactions on social media should reflect your department’s attributes: respectful, responsible, honest and responsive.
If you are unsure whether a post or message is inappropriate, please consult with your supervisor before you post.
Keep your posts positive and do not engage in negative or critical conversations with social media audiences.
Privacy and confidentiality
Always respect the privacy and confidentiality of UBC’s students, faculty and staff.
Informed consent is necessary when using a student, faculty or staff member’s information online. This is as true of photos as it is someone’s person contact information. Read UBC’s Consent to Use Image form to find out more.
Consent is not required for photos and videos that are taken at public events, but you should inform anyone who’s directly identifiable if you are going to be sharing content they are featured in.
Retweets, likes and shares are often considered as forms of endorsement. You should be careful how you use these with your department’s social media account. Please consult with your supervisor before you RT/Like/Share other’s content.
Everything you post can be altered and shared. Comments expressed privately between social media users can always be shared publicly, so be extra cautious when responding to questions/requests/criticisms.
If you are unsure how to respond to a situation please consult with your supervisor as soon as possible.
Digital Channels Communications Coordinator
The University of British Columbia