Presence social media channels instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction must be used when planning the creation of an RMIT-affiliated account on a Presence channel (currently YouTube and Flickr). Ongoing management of the account should be informed by the best-practice approach provided within this instruction to ensure that the University’s social media presence is well maintained with fresh, ongoing content of interest to an RMIT audience.



Instruction steps and actions

Instruction (including key points)



1. Planning your social media presence

1.1 Before applying to open a YouTube or Flickr account, consider whether you need a standalone account. Remember that establishing an account requires time and staffing resources, as well a strategic ability to target a specific audience and build up a following through tailored content.

1.2 Consult 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. For short-term accounts, in particular, it may be more useful to channel content through the corporate RMIT platforms. For example, RMIT’s corporate YouTube account ( has a large, established audience and is willing to work with schools and departments to promote content.

1.3 If you want to use your account for academic purposes, see the Social Media for Teaching, Research and Collaboration Instruction. For marketing and promotion, see the Social Media at Event and Conferences Instruction and the Social Media for CampaignsInstruction.

1.4 Complete the Request to Open an Official Social Media Account Form available from Digital & Customer Experience Strategy. If this form is not completed, your account will not be recognised as an official RMIT presence, and therefore not added to the Social Media Register or 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the form gives shape and structure to your social media presence and avoids the issues of abandoned accounts and outdated content by supporting a long-term approach.


Before the account is created

2. YouTube

As a first step, decide whether you want to embed your video on the main RMIT web site, using the main RMIT YouTube account as host, or create a standalone account. Keep in mind the recommendations in section 1.1.

2.1 Embedding video

    2.1.1 Follow the steps outlined in the document Guidelines for the Use of Video and YouTube Embedded Services. In particular:

    • Contact Engagement for an embed code for publishing and for assistance in publicising your video through RMIT’s official social marketing channels;
    • Follow recommendations for consistent size, colour and presentation;
    • Underneath your embedded video on the RMIT website, add a link to the video’s location on YouTube;
    • For accessibility, add a Quicktime file copy of the video for download directly underneath the embedded video;
    • Where possible include a transcript of the video.

2.2 Standalone accounts

    2.2.1 Complete the Request to Open an Official Social Media Account Form as outlined above.

    2.2.2 Using the RMIT corporate site as an example, WSIP research shows that most YouTube views of RMIT content come from embedded videos rather than the channel itself. This indicates that for the University YouTube works most effectively as a content provider rather than standalone social media channel.

    As a basic content strategy, you could still create a YouTube account but embed videos strategically across the RMIT website including on your school or department page, RMIT’s News page and elsewhere as advised by the Social Media team.

2.3 Planning and creating your videos

    2.3.1 For advice on production requirements, consult the RMIT Video Production Manual. This document can:

    • Assist you to identify whether video is appropriate for your target audience;
    • Help you to conceive, create and deliver your video;
    • Offer recommendations and best practice principles for RMIT video content creation (including advice on promotional videos, music, metadata and SEO, planning and audience awareness, resourcing and technical preparation, distribution and equipment);
    • Direct you to online resources.

    2.3.2 WSIP research shows that promotional videos about RMIT have proved popular on YouTube, accounting for half of the ten most viewed RMIT videos about the University. Other popular subjects include projects and works showcased by various RMIT schools and colleges.

    2.3.3 Applying metrics to your YouTube presence is important, as it can help you to assess the success of your account. Common ways to analyse success on YouTube include views for each video.

    Also consider which phase of the University year you will be uploading your video in – such as admissions, exams, recruiting and so on – and target your audience accordingly. Think about what your audience are likely to do after watching: sign up to courses; give feedback, crowdsource ideas, etc.

    2.3.4 Apply appropriate branding, following the Visual (Brand Identity) Policy and the RMIT Video Branding Manual.

2.4 Curating other videos

    2.4.1 Carefully consider when adding videos produced outside RMIT to your YouTube account (via YouTube’s Playlist feature), as well as non-RMIT videos that you ‘like’. Such actions have the potential to reflect on your reputation and RMIT’s.


During the lifecycle of the account

3. Flickr

Flickr is a popular image-sharing site that also hosts popular discussion groups. Similar to the previous YouTube recommendations, it may be more effective to upload content through RMIT’s corporate Flickr account and take advantage of its large audience rather than setting up a new account.

3.1 Copyright

    3.1.1 Flickr offers a variety of copyright licences for uploaded images, each with different terms and conditions. Each image must be used in the fashion specified by the licence attached to it. Alongside the default ‘all rights reserved’ licence, Flickr uses the Creative Commons model. This offers six licences in four categories:

    • Attribution: others can copy, distribute, display and perform your copyrighted work (as well as derivative works based on it) as long as you are given credit.
    • Noncommercial: others can copy, distribute, display and perform your work (and derivations) for noncommercial purposes only.
    • No Derivative Works: others can only copy, distribute, display and perform exact copies of your work, not derivations of it.
    • Share Alike: others can distribute derivations of your work only under a license identical to that governing your work.

    3.1.2 Before applying Creative Commons licences to uploaded images, make sure you own the copyright for them, that you understand the licence variations and that they align with RMIT’s Moral Rights Policy and Intellectual Property Policy (these policies advise on right of attribution, right against false attribution and right of integrity in the University context).

3.2 Planning and curating your content

    3.2.1 Flickr allows you to organise your photos into groups, sets and collections. These can be named and tagged and descriptions added. Each sub group and each photo displays the number of views beside it, which is handy for applying metrics to your account. Decide whether to make your images public or private, depending on the needs of your target audience.

    3.2.2 Consider organising your content into sets and collections themed around different events, or different themes according to the needs of your department. For example, the RMIT corporate Flickr account is content-rich with photos consistently updated on a monthly basis. Images are divided into 17 distinct categories including RMIT Education Abroad, Student Services, Fashion, Open Day and RMIT Vietnam. Discussions within the RMIT group primarily focus on RMIT photography courses and degrees.

    3.2.3 Groups can also be set so that others users can upload images. Flickr offers a range of other tools to help organise your content including slideshows, geotagging and annotations.


During the lifecycle of the account

4. Posting and commenting

4.1 When posting as an RMIT staff member, follow the Spokespeople and Associates on Social Media Procedure and Communicating on Social Media Instruction for an outline of your responsibilities on social media, including social media training organised by WSIP through DevelopMe. These documents minimise risk for the individual and RMIT by ensuring a positive, engaging experience and consistent brand representation.

4.2 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.

4.3 RMIT staff commenting (not posting) on RMIT pages must follow the following policies:

  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Resources Policy;
  • Code of Conduct Policy;
  • Communication with Current Onshore Students Policy;
  • Electronic Communications Policy;
  • Media Policy;
  • Privacy Policy

Spokespeople and associates

During the lifecycle of the account

5. Moderation and content maintenance

5.1 Make sure you have allocated staff available to moderate comments on YouTube or Flickr. See the Moderating User Generated Content on Social Media Procedure and Moderating SocialMedia Instruction for recommendations. Follow the Communications with Current (Onshore) Students Policy for interactions with the student community.

5.2 According to the Managing Movement between Experimental, Presence and Core Channels Procedure, the account should have at least one trained resource allocated to the management, ongoing development and moderation of the account on a part-time basis.

5.3 YouTube is notorious for users uploading inappropriate comments to videos across the platform. To mitigate this, you might decide to disable comments altogether, although this is not recommended if audience engagement is a key objective. If you do allow comments, make sure your moderation policy is robust and understood by account managers.

5.4 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 audience. An account that has not been updated in six months will be marked for deletion and archiving by the Senior Social Media Analyst, following the Deleting and Archiving of Social Media Procedure.

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

Spokespeople and associates

During the lifecycle of the account

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