Documentation:UBC Social Media Handbook

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The UBC Social Media Handbook is an online resource for the UBC community that aims to support unit-level initiatives in social media while also providing an organizational framework for social media activity across the university.

Governed by principles of open collaboration, active participation, and iterative experimentation, the UBC Social Media Handbook is intended to provide an overarching view of social media at UBC, and covers a broad range of subject matter such as general guidelines of use, relevant university policies, best practices and tips, and links to online resources.

For more background context, including the thinking behind using the UBC Wiki as the primary content repository for this handbook, visit Social Media Guidelines: Crowdsourced with a Wiki? or contact Adrian Liem.



Broadly speaking, the goal of the UBC Social Media Handbook is to provide a central hub for the university community to:

  • discover projects and initiatives currently underway in the broad realm of social media
  • share information such as past experiences, how-to material, and tips on best practices when it comes to using social media
  • connect with one another and find opportunities for collaboration


Contribute to the Handbook

The process for creating this handbook will grow and change as our needs and capabilities are established. For the time being, it's very simple:

  • Add anything you think might be relevant to achieving the goals of the handbook. We can let the workings of a wiki sort things out.

That's it. Really!

If you need help, a good place to start is to read more about the UBC Wiki

How can I contribute to the Handbook?

You can contribute by:

  • Adding New Content to the Handbook such as:
    • Content or links pointing to existing guidelines, tip sheets, how-to documents (just remember that all content will be public)
    • Links to external resources that provide examples of what other organizations are doing
    • Anything else you think might be relevant for others wanting to learn more about social media at UBC

If you need help adding content, contact Adrian Liem

Attend a Meetup

Social Media Guidelines

The following material consists of basic suggested guidelines for administrative and academic units that are considering or actively participating in social media. Guidelines and "policies" are an active topic of discussion and a work-in-progress at the university with a bottom-up & top-down approach | (View Slides: Social Media - How could we create a common set of guidelines?).

The most recent draft of the common guidelines are posted on the Cardinals website. Please send any feedback to

To learn more, attend a Social Media Meetup.

Using and Participating in Social Media

  • Listen and learn
  • Always show respect for others
  • Don't be afraid to be yourself
  • Be transparent to your audience when posting on behalf of the university
  • Protect your own privacy
  • Follow copyright and fair use laws
  • Know and follow relevant UBC Policies

Unit Guidelines

Individual departments that are creating unit-specific guidelines are encouraged to share their guidelines to the list below.

Social Media Brief

Before embarking on a social media initiative, it's important to consider how your efforts in social media fit into broader strategies and goals of your unit and the university. Many of the tools used in social media may be free, but free to use does not equal no cost to implement and support.


  • Why are you setting up a social media presence?

Goals & Objectives

  • What do you hope to achieve with this social media presence?
  • How will you measure performance, progress, and success?
  • How will you know when you've achieved your goals?


  • Who do you want to reach out to?
  • Who is your audience and how do you want to connect with them?

Resources & Approval

  • Who needs to give their "ok" to launch this initiative? Who is the business owner?
  • What kind of resources will be required to maintain this initiative?
  • Does your unit have the required skills and knowledge?
  • How will you staff this initiative? How long will you be able to provide this level of support?


  • Who else will be impacted by your initiative?
  • Are there any other units already embarking on a similar project?
  • Are there other units that you can collaborate with?

You may not have all the answers, or in some cases the answer may be "we don't know", but at least taking the time to ask and answer these questions will help you plan an initial strategy.

Campus Resources and References

UBC Channels / Accounts


Online Resources

Relevant University Policies

Related Initiatives

Network Specific Discussions


Cross-linking and cross-promotion

Several Australian universities have integrated the directory idea into the welcome page on Facebook directly to be able to show other university pages (official and unofficial) in the same network:

When designing your Facebook page, it might be worthwhile to consider a similar approach to cross-link with other major units of the university. Additionally, the Favorite Pages app can be used to place some other key pages into the left sidebar.


Related Channels

The related channels feature can be used to cross link to other UBC channels, e.g. a faculty could link to other faculties or a faculty could link to department YouTube channels with the faculty. Example:

It provides more reach for all channel owners as bulletins etc. appear in the recent activity of the related channels.

External Resources and References

Policies, Guidelines

[Source Name] : [Resource/Reference Name], listed in Alphabetical Order