Many University staff choose to maintain a personal social media presence, or get involved with running accounts on behalf of the University. 

Running social media accounts can be incredibly rewarding, and a great way of promoting the work of your team. But it also comes with certain risks and responsibilities.

Essential guidance 
Before assuming any responsibility for social media accounts on behalf of the University, you must familiarise yourself with the University’s Social Media Policy and the essential guidance on this page.

It is also strongly recommended that you set aside some time to read the relevant sections of the full social media guidance.  

This guidance is aimed primarily at users who manage or maintain social media accounts on behalf of the University, but may also apply to those with a personal social media presence.

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If you intend to create a new account which represents a School, Department or other University Service or subsidiary, you will need permission from the central Communications team before you get started.

Each account will require a registered owner, who will be the first point of contact with any queries or concerns. Please take some time to consider who should be the owner of your new account, and which other colleagues may need access. 

Before granting permission for a new account to be set up, Communications colleagues will consider a number of points, including:

  • Is there a significant gap in the University's social media offering for this audience, and evidence of interest in an account addressing this? 
  • Has the proposer completed relevant training?
  • Is the proposed content appropriate for the suggested platform?
  • Does a relevant or similar account already exist? 

To discuss the creation of a new social media account, please email with details of the proposed account.

Existing social media accounts should also be registered with the central Communications team. If you use or identify any accounts which you believe the central team are not aware of, please email at your earliest convenience.

University staff are welcome to set up and maintain personal social media accounts, provided that their use conforms with the University’s social media policy

University social media accounts reach hundreds of thousands of people each week, so it is important that all of our content is professional and consistent.

If you use social media on behalf of the University, you can help with this by: 

  • Keeping it professional and appropriate. Not everything needs to be shared on social media, but everything that is shared should have an appropriate tone. 
  • Always consider privacy, confidentiality and copyright. Data protection laws, security guidance and copyright rules apply as much on social media as they do anywhere else. You have a responsibility to ensure that you have appropriate permissions to share photos, videos, information and updates on your channels. If you have any doubt, seek advice from the central Communications team before posting.
  • Our brand is more than a logo or colour palette. It is what people think and feel about us - and allows us to persuade people to think about us in a specific way. You can help contribute to this by familiarising yourself with the University’s brand guidelines.
    • The brand platform is home to more than 16,000 photos, videos, templates and resources to help you. This includes our new digital templates, which allow you to create easy, platform-appropriate graphics and visual assets for social media and digital screens.
    • The style guide includes information on content, tone of voice, use of language and more. You’re not expected to memorise the entire thing, but you’ll find some key points in the full guidance. 
    • You should avoid creating your own graphics in programmes such as Canva or Photoshop. If you’re struggling to find appropriate templates or visuals, the Communications team are always happy to help. 
  • Accessibility should be at the heart of all we do. On social media, this may come in the form of adding alt text to photos, accurate subtitles to videos, or links to more accessible versions of content. See the accessibility section of the full guidance document for more information. 
  • Always consider security. If you manage or have access to a University social media account, you have responsibility for ensuring it stays secure. 

The security of our social media accounts should be a priority at all times. If someone gains unauthorised access to a university social media account, they could impersonate us to spread malicious information, or access confidential information in direct messages.

If you lose access to your account for any reason, please notify immediately.

If you are responsible for managing an account, make sure you:

  • Register the account to a shared inbox, not an individual one. 
  • Use a secure, randomly-generated password at least 16 characters long. 
  • Store this password in a secure manner. In line with IT password recommendations, you should consider using a University-provided password manager; this will also often allow you to share with colleagues securely. 
  • Consider turning on two-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of security to your account and means that even if someone has your password, they cannot log in. Depending on the site, 2FA codes may be sent by text, email or via a dedicated app. 
  • Regularly review who has access to your accounts. This may mean changing passwords after colleagues have moved roles, or reviewing who has delegated access to an account. You should aim to do this at least once a year, though more frequently if possible. 
  • Always consider security. If you manage or have access to a University social media account, you have responsibility for ensuring it stays secure. Don’t log in on public devices, or leave your laptop unlocked when you leave your desk. If you suspect there has been a security breach, however small, report this to your managers and the central Communications team as soon as possible. 
    • Only share passwords with trusted colleagues where it is absolutely essential to do so. You should never reuse a password on more than one platform. More information on passwords and security is available in the full social media guidance document.

Data protection rules apply to all the work we do at the University, including social media. You should always consider GDPR and privacy requirements. Some key times these come into play on social media are:

  • DMs and private messages. People may communicate personal information with you via private message - you are responsible for ensuring this is handled appropriately. In the case of sensitive information, such as IDs, you should delete any photos or messages containing private details and advise for it to instead be submitted through secure channels.
  • Queries from parents. As students are classed as adults, parents and carers become third parties. We're not able to give specific information about a student, including confirming whether they are studying with us, to a third party. 
  • UCAS embargo. Ahead of A-level results day each summer, the University honours the UCAS embargo - this applies as much on social media as it does elsewhere. Confirming, or even hinting, that someone has a place to study with us before they find out through UCAS could constitute a breach. 

If you have any questions about security and data protection on social media, you can email, or contact the Data Protection team.

Before using social media on behalf of the University, you should ensure you are familiar with the essential social media guidance outlined on this page.

This applies even if you have used social media previously in your current or previous role. 

Depending on your role, you may also find some of the additional resources in the full social media guidance helpful.

The Communications team run regular social media content training sessions, which cover topics including: content creation, account management and brand training. You can request a session for yourself or your team by emailing

It is inevitable that things may go wrong on occasion. Sometimes your research or press release might attract the wrong kind of attention. Other times, someone might point out a typo or mistake in your post. Whatever’s happened, don’t panic, but remember it’s better to ask for help earlier rather than later.

For little errors:

  • If you’ve made a typo, added the wrong photo, or accidentally pasted the wrong link into a social media post, take a moment to assess the situation and think about how you should handle it. As long as your mistake isn’t reputationally damaging or very serious, you can correct it and move on without worrying. 
    • If your post has just gone live, you can probably delete and repost it without a problem. On some platforms you’ll be able to edit your content, though remember that people can view your edit history, so this might not always be appropriate. 
    • If it’s been up a little longer, or anyone has noticed the mistake, the best course of action is often to own up to it. Deleting posts and ignoring criticism can make us seem aloof and above error. Honesty, apologies and corrections can help us seem relatable and friendly. There’s a great example of this on the UoY Alumni Twitter

For bigger issues:

  • Not everything can be fixed with an apology, and sometimes more support will be needed. Social media is full of trolls, many of whom get a kick out of arguing. While it’s fine to answer questions, don’t feel pressured to engage in argument or disagreement with someone who seems determined to start a fight. 
  • If at any time you feel you’ve been drawn into an uncomfortable situation, or are being unfairly targeted for your content, please email for support. Include screenshots of concerning content where possible, in case it’s deleted or altered at a later date. 

If you believe the incident could be reputationally damaging to the University, you should contact the Media Relations team on for additional support. This inbox is monitored 7 days a week, and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as they can.

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