Who we are
Our website address is: http:// forumonline.unam.edu.na
This document provides social media guidelines and procedures as an internal and external communication tool stipulated in the University of Namibia Communications and Marketing Policy.
The Communications and Marketing Department may be contacted for assistance in designing social media account headers, banners and or profile pictures.
- What is social media?
Social media is a series of websites and applications designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently and in real-time.
Blogs, social networks, wikis and websites such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube (to name a few) are examples of social media and provide exciting channels for us to share knowledge and connect with others.
Social media channels evolve rapidly while introducing new opportunities and challenges. Communications and Marketing Department has assembled “best practice” guidelines from respected online and industry sources to help in the effective use of these forums, protect personal and professional reputations, add quality to UNAM and follow University policies.
- Why do we need guidelines for social media?
- Social media has become an integral part of communications and users (Unit/Centre/Faculty/Department/Campus) are likely to be using social media tools for personal and professional purposes.
- Social media guidelines set employer expectations, while empowering employees to tweet, post or blog. In addition, guidelines educate staff on issues and items to avoid both personal and professional online updates or conversations.
- These guidelines apply to members of staff when participating on social media for work and during personal online activities that may give the appearance that they are still speaking on behalf of UNAM. Communicator’s credibility demands for consistency in tone, attitude, actions and professionalism.
- Social media offers the opportunity to engage in conversations with those who care about UNAM and to hear directly from them. Social media has helped to initiate new conversations, respond to feedback and maintain an active dialogue with friends, fans and others. Social media platforms are also effective tools for listening and understanding the needs of its audiences.
- General Guidelines & Procedures
Simon to add section for staff and students on responsibility and allowances in private and/or institutional capacity.
- The keys to success in social media are honesty, thoughtfulness and awareness of your audience.
- Make sure the communications are in good taste. Be sensitive about linking to content. Directing to another site may imply an endorsement.
- Above all, exercise good judgment and common sense. Never use profanity, slurs or derogatory comments. Be civil and welcoming. There is no such thing as “private” social media. Remember that what you post has a longer shelf life than you do. Archives save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it’s wise to delay posting until you are calm and clear-headed.
- User Do’s & Donts
- Be transparent and authentic. Be yourself.
Be honest about your identity. If you are authorised by your supervisor to represent UNAM on social media, say so. If you choose to post about UNAM on your personal time, please identify yourself as a UNAM staff member when appropriate. Never hide your identity for the purpose of promoting UNAM through social media. In the end, this could negatively impact your credibility. Never pretend to be someone else and post about UNAM.
The essence of community is the idea that it exists so that you can support others and they, in turn, can support you. Learn to balance personal and professional information and the important role that transparency plays in building community. You can use a disclaimer like “The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the position, strategy or opinions of the University”. Please always write in the first person and don’t use your University email address for private communications. Please also consider that even anonymous postings on Wikipedia or blogs can be traced back to the University.
- Be accurate
Make sure you have all of the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first rather than post a correction or retraction later. If you are still unsure and it is related to UNAM, talk to your senior staff or Communications and Marketing. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible; after all, that’s how you build community. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly. This will earn you respect in the online community.
- Respect copyrights and fair use
Always give people proper credit for their work, and make sure you have the right to use something before you publish. Only those authorised by UNAM may use the University’s marks or logos, so be sure you do not include UNAM brand symbols in your personal postings. UNAM photographs also may not be used for commercial purposes.
- Protect confidentiality and proprietary information
Online postings and conversations are not private. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about UNAM, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment. Follow University policies/guidelines and respect national laws, such as the Social Media Use Policy. Videos produced for communications and marketing purposes should follow University policies/guidelines on accessibility and include closed-captioning.
Although information is made available internally, it is not necessarily appropriate or acceptable to let the rest of the world know about it. If an item features the sentence “for internal use only” then that is exactly what it means and it is absolutely not meant to be forwarded to anyone who is not employed at UNAM. Messages from our Vice Chancellor to all members of staff are not meant for the media.
- Productivity matters
University computers and your work time are to be used for University-related business. It is appropriate to post during working hours if you have been instructed to do so or your comments are directly related to accomplishing established work goals, such as seeking sources for information or working with others to resolve a problem. Maintain your personal sites on your own time.
Do not use UNAM’s name or images to promote or endorse products, causes or political parties or candidates.
Also, linking to, or following and liking other sites is usually a good thing, but it’s important to consider the associations you want to share with potential applicants, donors and research funding agencies. Make sure your links are appropriate for your audience.
- Monitoring comments
Social media sites such as Facebook welcome comments — it builds credibility and community. However, if you choose to delete comments, you should have a policy on unacceptable posts that is easy for viewers to see, such as:
The following comments are subject to removal by account manager/ administrator:
- Comments including blatant profanity, racist, sexist or derogatory content
- Product advertisements
- Political support
- Comments that are off topic or spam
- Comments that are personal attacks on an individual
In general, if the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then the account manager/Administrator may allow the content to remain, regardless of whether it’s favourable or unfavourable to UNAM. Account Managers/Administrator should be responsive and recognise when a comment requires a prompt response.
Some sites, such as YouTube, allow managers to set comments to require approval before posting. This can be done on a case-by-case basis and is the decision of the Unit/Centre/Faculty/Department/Campus managing the account.
- Add value
Your UNAM-focused Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other platforms should, when possible, follow, mention and share from and to other University accounts, including the University’s core branded sites, which have a broad appeal, large followings and regular updates. These sites include:
UNAM has a strong social media community, and collaboration and support is encouraged.
- Understand and follow site policies
Social media platforms are owned by third parties, which have their own policies and rules for operating accounts on the site and, often, specific rules for brands and businesses. It is important that account managers understand the rules or guidelines they agree to abide by in operating any account.
What personal data we collect and why we collect it
When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.
If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.
If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.
When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.
If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
Who we share your data with
How long we retain your data
If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.
For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.
What rights you have over your data
If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.
Where we send your data
Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.