|Waterford Institute of Technology|
Do you manage a social media account used to promote or represent WIT? Fill out the form below.
Social media best practice guidelines
If you’re running a social media account that has been set up to promote WIT or communicate to a WIT audience you will benefit from reading the guidelines below. Please note these guidelines are a starting point and not exhaustive.
Anyone running a social media account should request training, and at a minimum have read the help sections on the social media platforms they are using. Interested in training? Talk to the CPD office or Marketing Office first for advice.
Do you really need a social media account?
We encourage niche social media accounts and love to share material brought to our attention on the main WIT social media accounts. However, before you set up an account take time to think about what it will be used for and how you will update it regularly and manage it.
There are other options. It is possible to have appropriate messages sent or scheduled from the main social media accounts or to have events added to the main WIT website if you are looking for a way to raise awareness of a particular cause or event. We can also help with PR.
Don’t use it as your only means of communication
Don’t allow social media to become a silo. Without paying advertising for posts it’s a hit and miss way of getting out a message. There are many other ways to communicate achievements and events by liaising with the Marketing & Schools Liaison office
Social media set up
Ensure the account has an appropriate logo and that the bio is fully filled out, mentioning the main WIT account for that platform. Use the hashtag #StudyatWIT too in the bio if it is directed at a prospective student or student audience. Read our advice on using hashtags to make the most of your posts.
You need a plan.
In a separate document set out:
- the purpose of your social media account:
- who you want to engage with
- how and when it will be used
- who will have access
- what the tone of voice will be (so that if multiple people use it they talk in the same manner)
- events you can schedule posts about
- events you will live report from
Social media management
Here’s some tips on basic social media management:
- Monitor the account regularly for messages or comments that require a response
- Engage with accounts you follow in an appropriate professional manner. Social media is about two-way engagement
- Thinking of spending money on promoted, boosted or sponsored posts? Talk to the Marketing Office before spending on advertising
- Make use of scheduling tools so you can schedule posts to go out when you’re not working and people are online
- Facebook allows scheduling of posts
- Use Tweetdeck (owned by Twitter) to schedule your Twitter posts
- Instagram does not allow scheduling
- Snapchat allows you to add images and video from earlier
Please tag or mention WIT’s social media accounts on the same platform if you want something to be shared by the main WIT account. Items shared from the main WIT account will also appear on the bottom of the website home page.
Respect intellectual property rights of others
Please respect the intellectual property rights of third parties. To protect you and the Institute against liability for copyright infringement, where appropriate, reference sources of particular information posted or uploaded and cited accurately. If users any questions about whether a particular post or upload might violate anyone’s copyright or intellectual property rights, they should ask the IP owner before posting it.
Think twice before posting
If you wouldn't say it at a conference or to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online. Also, be scrupulous about protecting individual privacy, the Institute and its confidential information and intellectual property rights. Do not publish or report confidential information or conversations that are intended to be private or internal to the Institute.
Strive for accuracy
Get the facts straight before posting them on social media sites. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors. This is especially important if posting on behalf of the Institute in any capacity.
Write what you know
If you are not an expert on a topic, you should make this clear to readers and write in the first person.
Understand that content contributed to a Social Media Site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on the person posting the message and/or on the Institute.
If a mistake is made, admit it, be upfront and be quick with a correction.
Photographs posted on Social Media Sites can be easily appropriated by visitors. Consider adding a watermark and/or posting images at 72 dpi and approximately 800x600 resolution to protect your intellectual property. Images at that size are sufficient for viewing on the web, but not suitable for printing photographs. Photographs belonging to third parties should not be posted on Social Media Sites without their consent.
Respect and comply with the terms of social media sites you visit
Personal social media use
Be transparent and professional Staff using social media sites must use separate personal and professional profiles. Even so, staff need be aware that in an increasingly connected world, no matter how diligent they are at separating online identities, the connection can be made relatively easily. This needs be borne in mind in any online participation.
Remember your audience Be aware that a presence in the social media world can be easily made available to the public at large. This includes prospective students, current students, current employers and colleagues and peers. Consider this before publishing to ensure the post will not alienate, harm, or provoke any of these groups.
Identify your views as your own If you identify yourself as a staff member of the Institute on Social Media Sites, you should make it very clear that the views expressed are your personal views and not necessarily those of the Institute, unless your views have been approved in advance by the Institute. All comments must be true and not misleading and all claims must be substantiated and approved. Remember, individuals are personally responsible for any content they publish on Social Media Sites.
The above is a guideline only and not an exhaustive list.
View what’s going on at WIT on one page. Want to see your story here? Tag the relevant WIT social media account in your post or fill out the 'add a post' form.
What’s a hashtag?
Hashtags are words and phrases that contain no spaces and are preceded by the symbol #.
They’re good to add to posts as by clicking on a hashtag in a social media posts you then see other social media posts which have the same hashtag. What this means is you are broadening the potential audience beyond your followers to people who click on the same hashtag. Also your followers can see more relevant posts that you posted by clicking on the same hashtag.
Read Facebook’s advice on hashtags
Read Twitter’s advice on hashtags
Read Instagram’s advice on hashtags
Hashtags in use at WIT include:
#StudyatWIT – this relates to posts which would be of interest to people thinking of studying at WIT in the future. It can be used with any story that relates to WIT community life, courses, students, achievements, etc. Note: please use correct capitalisation or you will receive replies from people saying it says ‘study a twit’
#HelloWIT – we use these when posting from external events such as education fairs
#CAO or #CAO2017 – we use this when the post relates to CAO applicants
#Waterford for Waterford-specific posts. If a post relates to a student for example from another county you could add that county hashtag eg #Leitrim to the post.
#AskWIT is one we use when we have our phone/web/walk-in support sessions for intending students
#GraduWIT was used for Conferrings in 2016
Hashtags from external organisations/campaigns
#LoveIrishResearch is an initiative from the Irish Research Council so any posts that have a research element should contain this hashtag.
Engineers Week, Science Week, Maths Week and so on all have designated hashtags. Check the hashtag in use if you’re getting involved in a national campaign.
Sharing something to do with Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths? Is there a #STEM hashtag?
Create a hashtag for a campaign
Thinking of creating a hashtag for a campaign, a course, a project, a competition, a good cause?
- Think of something snappy and memorable.
- Type it into the search facility on each social media
- Use it in every post
- Add it to all communications from emails to posters, press releases to brochures. You want other people to use it too!