Core social media channels: Facebook instruction

Instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction must be used when planning and maintaining an RMIT-affiliated Facebook page or group. Ongoing management of the account should be informed by the best-practice approach provided here to ensure the University’s social media presence is uniformly well-maintained, with fresh, ongoing content of interest to an RMIT audience.

Exclusions

Nil.

Instruction steps and actions

Instruction (including key points)

Responsibility

Timeline

1. Getting started

1.1 Check the RMIT Social Media Register for accounts that overlap with your area of interest or specialisation. If they exist, consider a collaboration rather than setting up a new account.

1.2 Complete the Request to open an official social media account form available through Digital and Customer Experience Strategy and Information Policy. If this is not completed, your account will not be recognised as an official RMIT presence, and therefore not added to the Social Media Register. It will not be promoted or linked to via the corporate RMIT web presence.

On a practical level, the form will help you to plan and define a purpose for your account by asking for a statement of purpose and technical requirements, measures of success, audience, proposed content and life cycle of the account. Completing the form gives shape and structure to your social media presence and avoids the issues of abandoned accounts and outdated content by supporting a long-term approach.

1.3 Note that under the Social Media Policy, staff using social media at RMIT must undergo training. See the Opening an Official Social Media Presence Procedure for more information. See also developMe on the RMIT website for details on training sessions for Spokespeople and Associates at RMIT.

1.4 When setting up a Facebook account, be prepared to supply:

  • Account name;
  • Header image and logo; if you want to use the RMIT logo and branding, follow RMIT’s Brand (Visual Identity) Policy;
  • A succinct yet informative ‘about’ description;
  • Contact information: links to your websites and social networks, phone numbers, map locations, etc

Spokesperson


Before approval

2. Audience

2.1 Think about the audience you are trying to reach, the type of information you will be sharing and whether Facebook is an appropriate platform for that audience.

2.1.2 RMIT research commissioned by Digital and Customer Experience Strategy shows that students are the primary audience for this channel, although secondary audiences may include alumni, researchers, academic staff or general staff with allocated resources. Students bring with them an already sizeable knowledge and appreciation for interaction on Facebook.

2.1.3 Within RMIT, Facebook has been used successfully for teaching, marketing and communications. Additionally, research commissioned by WSIP demonstrates that, at present, Facebook is the primary social media tool utilised by RMIT staff, alumni and current students to engage and connect with communities online. If you want to use Facebook for academic purposes, consult the Social Media for Teaching, Research and Collaboration Instruction.

2.2 Think about whether your audience requires year-round engagement. If so, you will need to plan for posting information and monitoring feedback and posts on an ongoing basis.

2.3 If you plan to use Facebook for marketing and promotional purposes, refer to the Social Media at Event and Conferences Instruction and the Social Media for Campaigns Instruction.


Spokesperson


Ongoing

3. Privacy

3.1 Decide whether to make your Facebook page or group closed (i.e., not accessible to non-group members) or public. If the aim is to distribute research findings or teaching and learning outcomes, a public-facing account will be more desirable. If working with students, canvass their thoughts on privacy and whether they want their work in progress to be made public. Consult RMIT’s Communication with Current Onshore Students Policy for further instructions about online communications between teachers and students.


Spokesperson


Ongoing

4. Analysing data

4.1 Before posting, devise a set of metrics to determine what success might look like for your page or group. This could include forecasting and measuring how many people comment on a post or how many ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ the account might attract.

4.2 Use Facebook’s inbuilt ‘Insights’ tool, which sorts your posts into discrete data sets. This tool tracks engagement with specific posts, analysing, for example, how many unique users click on a post or create their own ‘story’ from a post. Think about what numbers you would want to see in these categories for a post to be declared ‘successful’. Such figures will depend on your audience size, expectations and their motivations, as well as yours.


Spokesperson


Ongoing

5. Permissions

5.1 5.2 Facebook users have the opportunity to control how their private information is displayed. However, privacy settings are not always clear. To protect yourself from unwanted attention, read the Terms of Service carefully in order to understand what Facebook can and cannot do with user-generated photos and other content.

Check whether you need to enable the following restrictions, which can be accessed via the Facebook dashboard:

  • Country restrictions;
  • Age restrictions;
  • Posting ability and post visibility;
  • Tagging ability;
  • Instant messages;
  • Moderation block list;
  • Profanity block list

Spokesperson


Ongoing

6. Administrators

6.1 Determine who will have administration access to your account. Keep a record of all login usernames and passwords. Share the details with your team and store them securely in case you change jobs or fall ill. See RMIT’s Password Procedure for the steps to be followed when choosing and storing passwords.

6.2Follow RMIT’s Moderating User-Generated Content on Core Social Media Channels Procedure and the Communication with Current Onshore Students Policy. In particular, note that students must not be named as administrators (this applies to official RMIT-associated Facebook presences but not student groups such as Clubs and Societies). For student Clubs and Societies, compile a list of administrators and, as for point 6.1, keep a record of all login and passwords to ensure a smooth transition between years and administrations.

6.3 For groups and pages with a finite life span (i.e., with a year date in their title), ensure there is plan for accounts to be archived according to the Deleting and Archiving of Social Media Procedure.


Spokesperson


Ongoing

7. Moderation and account deletion

7.1 Follow RMIT’s Moderating User-Generated Content on Core Social Media Channels and Managing Inappropriate and Unauthorised Users on Social Media procedures when moderating and monitoring Facebook content.

7.2 Accounts must be moderated and updated regularly by administrators to enable efficient responses to any problems that may arise and to ensure an engaging, interesting presence for visitors. A stale account can impact on the RMIT brand more negatively than if there was no account at all, as it could give the impression that the University is not enthusiastic about engaging with its target audiences. Stale and unmoderated accounts are also vulnerable to pranks and hoax posts.

7.3 In general, an account that has not been updated in six months will be marked for deletion and archiving by the Senior Social Media Analyst.

7.4 Problems or concerns regarding the use of an RMIT-associated Facebook account should be reported immediately to the Senior Social Media Analyst.


Spokesperson


Ongoing

8. Posting and commenting

8.1 When posting on Facebook, follow RMIT’s Spokespeople and Associates on Social Media Procedure for the responsibilities of RMIT staff on social media, including best practice on minimising risk for the individual and for RMIT and ensuring a positive, engaging experience and consistent brand representation.

8.2 Be transparent and honest. If discussing topics relevant to RMIT, you must use your real name, be clear who you are and identify your association with RMIT. If you have a vested interest in a topic you are discussing, be the first to point it out. Be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and be judicious in disclosing personal details.

8.3 RMIT staff commenting (not posting) on RMIT pages must follow the University’s Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Resources Policy, Brand (Visual Identity) Policy, Code of Conduct Policy, Communication with Current Onshore Students Policy, Electronic Communications Policy, Media Policy and Privacy Policy.


Spokesperson


Ongoing

[Next: Supporting documents and information]