Social media dos and don’ts

This guide, based on the recommendations of leading social media expert Brian Solis, provides specific instruction of what to do and what not to do when acting on behalf of the University’s brand in social media.


  • Ensure your voice and persona are representative of the University’s purpose, mission, values and characteristics.
  • Know whom you’re taking to and what they’re seeking.
  • Stay on message and on track with the goals of your role.
  • Respect those with whom you’re engaging and also respect the forum in which you participate.

Representing the University

  • Business accounts are no place to share personal views unless they reinforce the brand values and are done according to the official social media guidance and best practice.
  • Represent what you should represent and do not overstep your bounds without prior approval.
  • Know and operate within the boundaries defined. Doing so protects you, the University, and the people with whom you’re hoping to connect.
  • Always disclose your University affiliation, representation, and intentions.
  • What you share can and will be used against you – the internet has a long memory.

Tone and content

  • People expect to interact with people, be personable, consistent, and helpful.
  • Keep things conversational as it applies to portraying and reinforcing the personality and value of the university.
  • Add value to each engagement — contribute to the stature and legacy of the brand.
  • Be transparent and be human, but also be mindful of the purpose of our engagement with the target audience.
  • Don’t criticize competition, spotlight points of differentiation and value.
  • Apologise where applicable. If you’re not sure ask your line manager or a member of the Marketing Communications team.
  • Take accountability for your actions and offer no excuses.

Copyright and privacy

  • Ensure that you honour copyrights and practice and promote fair use of applicable content
  • Protect confidential and proprietary information.
  • Seek the approval of customers and partners before spotlighting their case studies.


  • Take the time to interpret the context of a situation before jumping in with a response.
  • Know when to walk away. Don’t engage trolls or fall into conversational traps.
  • Practice self-restraint; some things are not worth sharing.
  • Refer open issues or questions to those most qualified to answer.
  • Empower qualified spokespersons to offer solutions and resolutions. When in doubt consult with Marketing Communications.

When in doubt, ask for guidance. Marketing Communications is a good place to start.

If you feel you would benefit from social media training, please contact Vic Russell (vlh14) ext. 1244 in the Marketing Communications team to arrange this. You can find more information and resources on using Social Media, including Facebook and Twitter guides in the Social Media handbooks.


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