Getting Started, Best Practices, and Guidelines

How To Get Started

Contact Your Client Relations Coordinator

Your first step should be to identify and contact the Client Relations Coordinator (CRC) for your area. The CRC will help you with your social media plan, share resources with you, and introduce you to the Web and New Media team. If there is no CRC for your area, contact the Marketing Communications Office's general line at 204-474-8346.

Identify Your Goals

What do you want to accomplish with your social media initiatives? More engagement with your community? Increased awareness of your events? Feedback on programs? Understanding what you're trying to actually do with your social media presence will help you choose the right tools, and help you measure your success.

Build a strategy

Integrate your social media objectives into your overall marketing and communications strategy. Discern how social media will aid in the overall strategy.

Identify Your Tools

Once you know what you want to accomplish, the next step is finding the right social media tools to achieve those goals. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, YouTube, Pinterest, have different strengths and weaknesses. Spend some time being a social media consumer before becoming a social media producer to find out how these platforms work, and who uses them.

Identify a Social Media coordinator in your unit

It's easy to start up a Facebook page or Twitter account, the real work comes after. It's extremely important to identify someone in your unit who will be responsible for updating and monitoring your social media presence. It requires diligence and commitment on the part of the coordinator. A back-up person should also be identified for when the principal person is away.

Create your channel, name it appropriately

Because your social media presence will represent the University of Manitoba, it is important to follow our visual identity guidelines when creating your channel. Please check here for our Visual Identity Guidelines. Also, choose a name that identifies your unit and its association with the University of Manitoba. Check out our Naming Guidelines below.

Grow your channel

Start to populate your channel with appropriate content. Learn how to best display and offer that content. See what others are doing. Spend a week or so growing your channel and getting used to it before launch.

Launch

Time to alert the community that you have your new social media channel. Post a web button that links to your new social media site on your homepage, send an email alert to your email lists, start talking about it to your peers, link to the University of Manitoba’s main social media channels and let MCO know how we can help!

Tweak

As your social media channel starts to grow and interaction increases, you’ll probably get some feedback on what people like and don’t like. Adjust your channel accordingly. If your new Facebook page is becoming a forum for energetic discussions, spend extra resources on keeping that forum going. Or, if people seem to be appreciating your photos, provide plenty of fresh images for them to consume. The great thing about social media is that it’s easy to tweak on the fly. Maintain control, but allow your audience to guide the direction of your channel.

Best Practices

Be Transparent and Be Authentic

It's important to always clearly identify yourself and your association with the University of Manitoba, but it's equally important to be yourself. Social media has a great personal touch that allows individuals to personalize large institutions like the University of Manitoba with their unique voices. Let your personality shine through, but always be honest about your role with the university.

Be Accurate

What you post online can live forever, so make sure you have your facts straight before posting. Cite other sources when necessary. Also, try to avoid grammatical errors and typos, they can quickly make your social media presence look amateurish.

Listen

Social media is a conversation so keep your ears perked for what your community is talking about. Knowing what's topical and what others are saying about you will help you make more informed decisions on posts and content.

Be Active

Don't let your social media channels collect dust. Continue to add content and value to your channels to keep your community engaged. You should aim to post a couple of times a week, including new content. If that seems like too much, you might want to reconsider having a social media presence until a time when you can dedicate more resources.

Don't make it personal

Separate your personal life from your professional social media presence, unless it is related and would be of interest to the community. Keep content about your personal life on your personal pages.

Add value

Make your social media presence worthwhile for others. Bring your unique perspective to the table in conversations, add content that hasn't been seen/heard before. If you do, people will keep coming back.

Admit Mistakes

Did you screw up? Admit it quickly and without excuse. We all make mistakes and those of us who are willing to admit it will be forgiven, even online.

Deal with negativity positively

Many negative people have found a home in social media and love to post their negative opinions, some of which may be directed at the University of Manitoba. Don't be drawn into a confrontation by responding to them head on. Ignore those who are abusive and respond with empathy, positivity and any helpful information to those who have had a legitimately negative experience.

Be A Leader

Don't be passive with your social media channel. We are a community of trailblazers, innovators and visionaries, so our online community expects us to be bold. Bring that energy and passion to your social media channels!

Naming Guidelines

Facebook: University of Manitoba [unit name], e.g. University of Manitoba Graduate Studies.

Twitter: UM[unit name], e.g. UM_Medicine

YouTube: UManitoba_[unit name] or UM_[unit name]

Event Hashtags: #UM[event], e.g. #UMVisionary or #UMConvocation

Guidelines for Posting Content on University of Manitoba Social Media Channels

Do not post copyrighted video, music or images unless you have the proper rights and permissions. For more information about copyright guidelines, visit the Copyright Office website. It’s always best to use content that was produced by representatives of the University of Manitoba.

Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the University of Manitoba or its students, staff, faculty or alumni.

Do not post private information – e.g. phone numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers, etc. -  of any third party affiliated or unaffiliated with the University of Manitoba.

Use our Visual Identity Guidelines when creating your unit’s social media presence.

Avoid endorsing commercial products or services, political parties, or religions.

Moderating Comments on University of Manitoba Social Media Channels

Sharing thoughts, stories, interests and opinions is integral to social media and should be encouraged of our fans, followers and friends, within the following guidelines:

• Comments should be relevant to the topic
• Comments should add value
• Comments should be free of obscenity
• Comments that are abusive and/or threatening will be removed
• Comments that are determined to be spam or advertising will be removed

• Account administrators reserve the right to review all comments and posted materials and remove those comments or materials if necessary.

Best Practices, Video

Go here to learn best practices for producing compelling video for the University of Manitoba.

Web Standards, Governance and Copyright Guidelines Links

Web Standards Guidelines

University Web Page Policies

Copyright Guidelines

Contact Us!

The Marketing Communications Office team should be notified if you have established, or plan to establish, a social media presence that represents the University of Manitoba.

Please contact MCO’s Web and New Media Manager at Michael.Marshall@ad.umanitoba.ca.