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Guidelines for UBC Okanagan units and departments with student employees

Social technology has become a daily part of the lives of most UBC students and employees.

And with this shift comes an incredible opportunity: take the technology that students use in their daily lives and directly connect with them as an audience.

Doing this helps university departments better understand what students and other audiences want and need from UBC as a learning institution and member of the community.

Working with student employees

Working with student employees to use social media in a responsible and professional capacity gives a UBC department an excellent opportunity to improve its online social experience,
and gives the students involved an opportunity to learn employable skills and get a good understanding of online best practices.

Students that are hired to help with a department’s social media presence should already have a good idea on the basics of how to post content to each of the major platforms.

A good indication of this is if the student has a background or interest in marketing, communications or video production.

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 use to connect with their 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

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.

Setting expectations

Another important factor in helping your department and student employee or volunteer succeed when it comes to social media is setting some basic expectations. These expectations should focus on:

  • The type of content that the department wants to focus on
  • Using social media platforms that best suit the content you’re creating
  • The frequency of posts (e.g. once or twice per day? Three or four per week?)
  • The tone of the post content (e.g. informal vs. formal, voice of the post, etc.)
  • Establishing whether it’s acceptable to share information from non-UBC sources? This is important because the content you share can often be seen as a form of endorsement. Certain academic and service units might find it important to share these sources in an attempt to further conversations
  • Safety, passwords, privacy, confidentiality, and tagging (e.g. do you tag other student’s personal accounts)

Contact

Chris Guenard
Digital Channels Communications Coordinator
University Relations

The University of British Columbia
Okanagan campus
Tel: 250-807-9932
Email: chris.guenard@ubc.ca