Social Media - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Social Media - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global and Engagement)
Designated officer
Director, Marketing
First approved
26 October 2017
Last amended
26 August 2022
Review date
2 September 2024
Related documents
Linked documents
Related legislation / standards
  • Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld)
  • Public Records Act 2002 (Qld)
  • Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cwlth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cwlth)
  • Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 (Qld)
  • Queensland Information Standards
  • Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (Cth)
  • Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cwlth)
  • Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld)
  • Defamation Act 2005 (Qld)
  • Fair Trading Act 1989 (Qld)
  • Student Charter
  • Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)
  • Records Governance Policy (Qld)

1. Purpose of policy

1.1 This policy provides a framework for the management of University social media channels and for the appropriate use of social media by staff and students. It outlines principles for effective and positive engagement activities to support the University’s strategic goals.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 This policy applies to the use of social media by all staff and students, as well as any other members of the University community to whom the Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy or the Student Conduct – Governing Policy applies.

2.2 This policy does not apply to the non-identifiable private use of social media by staff and students, as defined in this policy.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:

Social media is a broad term that encompasses interactive online communication channels that enable users to create and share content, opinions, experiences, and knowledge. These can be written comments, video, photographs, or audio files. Social media channels may include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

Official University social media refers to any public social media account, group or site that seeks to represent University as a whole or in part for promotional purposes, including (but not limited to) promoting University initiatives, research or events. Official University social media channels are managed by, or in consultation with, Marketing.

Non-identifiable private use of social media is use of social media by a staff member, student or other member of the University community in a way that does not associate the user with the University and does not impact on the University or a member of the University community in ways that could be reasonably considered to be inconsistent with the Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy or the Student Conduct – Governing Policy.

4. Policy statement

4.1 The University encourages the use of social media by staff and students to connect with the University’s community of researchers, business partners, alumni, supporters and colleagues. It is an important tool for academic, community, and business engagement, research and learning. The University expects social media to form part of a safe, inclusive, diverse, and supportive environment when used as part of employment, study, or other identifiable association with the University.

5. Principles

5.1 The University requires staff and students to use social media in a respectful, courteous, and professional manner, and to comply with relevant legislation, regulatory obligations, and University policies and procedures, including the Staff Code of Conduct – Governing Policy and the Student Conduct – Governing Policy.

5.2 The University empowers its staff to engage on matters directly related to their area of expertise via social media channels, provided their credentials are clearly established. Staff are advised to include a disclaimer to indicate the expressed opinions or views are personal and do not represent those of the University.

5.3 The University leverages effective social media as a key promotional tool, with Marketing entrusted to protect the University’s reputation and brand. The University logo may only be used by official University social media accounts and public groups approved by Marketing.

5.4 The University permits limited use of social media in its learning and teaching activities.

5.5 The University demonstrates a commitment to facilitating research and improving research impact through social media channels.

5.6 The University actively manages its official University social media accounts to ensure business continuity and to mitigate risk.

6. Authorities / Responsibilities

6.1 The following authorities are delegated under this policy and associated procedures.



Ensuring consistent processes, guidelines, and educative resources are developed

Director, Marketing

Ensuring appropriate administration of a central access control system for official University social media channels

Director, Marketing

Ensuring technical availability of a central access control system for official University social media channels

Director, Information Technology

Avoidance of breaches of legal, statutory, regulatory, contract or other obligations

Owners and administrators of official University social media channels

Upholding appropriate standards of behaviour on social media in alignment with University policies, procedures, and relevant legislation

All users of social media