Read our guidance on social media and view our University social media policy.
Social media is a common part of everyday life. It offers exciting and effective opportunities to engage, inspire and inform our various audiences by conveying messages, encouraging discussion, celebrating success and creating a sense of belonging with the University.
It also offers many ways to build important relationships – with current and prospective students, alumni, external collaborators and the wider global community.
While offering many benefits, social media also presents challenges and risks – particularly if you’re responsible for setting up and running social media accounts representing the University of Sussex.
We’re keen to encourage and support you to use social media platforms to promote your research, courses and the many exciting initiatives undertaken at Sussex.
Our social media accounts
The University manages various social networking sites and platforms, including:
Who this guidance is for
This guidance covers any social media activity where, as a member of staff, you directly (through running a University account) or indirectly represent us online, such as by identifying yourself as a University employee.
This also covers students (such as PhDs) doing work on behalf of the University.
Private accounts or profiles that don’t refer to the University fall outside of our guidance.
Students are not included in this, but can check information about Sussex social media on the Student Hub.
Freedom of speech
We fully respect the privacy and autonomy of our staff outside of their roles within Sussex.
If you have any questions about using social media, or need support, contact:
- the Social Media team for technical assistance or using official accounts – email firstname.lastname@example.org
- the Media Relations team for support to limit any reputational damage or risks to yourself or the University – email email@example.com
- your line-manager to raise any initial concerns or report incidents
- Report and Support to disclose if have experienced bullying, harassment or intimidation, including trolling.
The term “accessibility” refers to making sure our social media content can be used and understood by everyone – regardless of any impairment or disability.
It is the responsibility of anyone who creates social media content (including graphics, photos, audio and video content) to make sure it is accessible.
In the context of social media, for example, accessibility also includes not overusing emojis and making sure no essential information is conveyed using them.
For more information about creating accessible content, read our guidelines on making and keeping our website accessible for all visitors.
If you are publishing or sharing content from official Sussex profiles that include images, photographs, videos or text, always ensure you have the correct permissions and consent from the rights-holders to avoid infringing or breaching copyright laws.
The act of liking, posting or sharing content can be viewed as an endorsement, so ensure what you are posting or sharing is in line with our values.
Before you share content from a social media account:
- try to validate the authenticity of the account you want to share content from – for example, look for the blue tick on Twitter, read the biography on their page or scroll through posts and photos to see if they are the kind you expect to see
- ensure they are the original rights-holder of the content you want to share – and if they aren’t, ask who is and contact them directly to seek permission
- ask their permission to share their content on the platforms you’re planning to use, unless you’re sharing directly on the platform you found the content, such as a retweet.
It’s especially important not to publish content or contact details of staff or students without their express permission.
Protecting people online
We take online safety and our duty of care to students and staff seriously. Do everything you reasonably can to make sure social media environments are safe for everyone.
Think we’re missing something important in these guidelines? Send your comments or queries to the Social Media team. We welcome all constructive feedback.
Policy and guidance documents
Our policy and accompanying guidance aims to support you in your day-to-day professional life and promote a safe and respectful environment for all.
You can download our: