Social Media Policy

Responsibility for policy: Director of Marketing and Communications
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: April 2015
Next review date: April 2020

Print Version


  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to:
    1. provide guidance to staff with respect to both personal and official University use of social media, and
    2. set out the accountabilities and responsibilities of staff in relation to the University's social media presence.


  1. This policy is broad in nature to accommodate the fast changing landscape of social media.

Related documents

  1. This policy should be read in conjunction with the following:


  1. In this policy:

    social media means the collective of online communication channels, portals and websites dedicated to facilitating community-based interactions, sharing and collaborations. Social media allow people to socially interact, converse, network and share with one another online; examples of social media sites and applications include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.


  1. The University of Waikato supports the use of social media as a way of facilitating communication and dialogue between its various audiences, e.g. students, staff, alumni, the business sector, the research community and media, and of enhancing participation and engagement in teaching and learning.
  2. Staff must always be alert to the fact that postings on social media sites can be immediate, public and permanent, and any consequential actions to modify or delete content can aggravate and escalate situations.

Personal social media involvement

  1. A staff member using a social media site as a private individual:
    1. must not post confidential or proprietary information of or about the University of Waikato, its students, staff (including former staff and Council members) or alumni which was acquired in the course of the staff member's employment at the University
    2. when posting about the University, must do so in a professional manner and must always consider how the post may reflect on the University; this is particularly relevant where the subject matter is controversial
    3. must consider the privacy of co-workers, and must not post photos, videos, or details of internal conversations that may identify them without their permission
    4. must not use the University of Waikato coat of arms or any University logo on personal social media pages
    5. must not use the University of Waikato name, coat of arms or any University logo to promote a product, cause, political party, or national or local government candidate, and
    6. must ensure that any information posted about the University of Waikato is factually correct.

University of Waikato social media sites or presences

  1. A staff member who wishes to establish an official University social media site or presence must seek prior approval to do so from the Director of Marketing and Communications.
  2. Authority to approve the establishment of any University social media site or presence rests with the Director of Marketing and Communications; as part of the approval, they will identify a staff member in the relevant area as having a responsibility for maintaining it.
  3. A staff member identified by the Director of Marketing and Communications as having responsibility for a University social media site or presence must ensure that the information posted is:
    1. up to date and includes appropriate links to the University of Waikato webpage
    2. wherever possible, communicated in the first person
    3. factually correct, and
    4. authentic and professional in tone and style.
  4. Staff must not reproduce photographs, videos, recordings, trademarks or other material protected by another person's or entity's copyright on any University social media site without first obtaining the appropriate permission.
  5. The Director of Marketing and Communications has authority to moderate any content on any University social media site and to require the amendment or deletion of any posts that, in their opinion, pose a reputational risk to the University.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Director of Marketing and Communications is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

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