Social media

Here is some good advice about using social media, either as an individual or on behalf of NTNU.

Norsk versjon - Sosiale medier

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Employees' use of social media as individuals #

NTNU's management values the efforts that employees and students make in using social media. It is, however, important to be aware of what you publish and the kinds of impression you give of yourself and of NTNU. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • If you are going to publish pictures, videos or sound clips of people, you should ask their permission first.
  • All employees are responsible for ensuring that use of social media does not damage or undercut the office environment. Think about how you address your colleagues or talk about your workplace. Social media is not the first place you should criticize what is going on in your office or lab.
  • Be open about involvement in cases where there might be possible conflicts of interest.

Before you set up an official NTNU profile #

By "official", we mean a profile that you create and operate for an NTNU project, department, unit, etc.:

  • There should be a specific reason that you establish a presence via a social media channel. Social media should be seen as a tool that is used for a specific purpose and to achieve a defined goal.
  • Before you create a social media site or identity, you and your unit should define the goal for the site. The goal should be supported by one of NTNU's strategies or processes.
  • Be clear that it is your project, unit or department that is creating the social media site, not you as a private individual. This will help everyone avoid any uncertainty as to whether the messages or posts are personal, or whether they are official NTNU posts. At the same time, this saves time and effort for everyone involved  -- because if someone responsible for the channel leaves NTNU but has been posting personal messages on the channel, then the channel will have to be shut down when that person leaves.
  • Define your audience, gather information about it and then choice the appropriate channel. How and where is your audience? How much time do they have? How do they use social media? What are their common features? What kind of relationship do they have to NTNU? And so on...
  • Make a plan to market your channel before you create it. The public won't come to your site if they don't know about it. 
  • Social media is not mass media in the traditional sense, and is not suited to general information, or marketing. Instead, social media is a conversation, and a way to help people.
  • Remember that the public decided who they will follow and like, not you, the person sending the messages. Most people use social media for social contact, not because they want to buy something or follow a "brand," like a university.
  • There are no shortcuts to success. Instead, success is dependent on you having an operating procedure in place so that you provide interesting content. Think of it like gardening. Gardens that are not taken care of disappear in the weeds and no one wants to visit them. 
  • Each official channel should have someone who has the main responsibility for the channel ("Social Media DJ"). Make sure that you don't dilute this responsibility if a number of different people are going to produce content.
  • All official NTNU channels must use NTNU's graphic profile.
  • Make sure to measure your results -- continually. You can count your followers, members, likes, commentary, the number of shared messages, problems solved, positive or negative feedback, downloads, opinions in commentaries, and so on. Learn from your measurements and use the information to continually improve your site/service.

Nine principles for using social media at NTNU #

If you are acting on behalf of NTNU, for example as an editor or moderator for a research project on Facebook, the NTNU leadership has approved the following nine pieces of advice on social media that you should follow.

  1. Make a long-term plan: Outline your goals, target audience and language (Norwegian/English/??) before you create a social media site or service. Make sure you have time to follow through with your plans. Short and frequent messages are better then long and infrequent messages. A dead channel of communication or website is bad advertisement for NTNU.
  2. Be polite, accommodating, and helpful. Think of the media you are using as a showcase for NTNU. Respect and help people who talk to us.
  3. Explain who you are. If possible, provide your full name and where you work. Don't use a false identity. Add logos and profile colours if you are using social media on behalf of NTNU.
  4. Cultivate conversation and communication in both directions. Don't use social media simply as a channel for "selling" your work or research.
  5. Be academically oriented. You may employ a personal tone when you write, but try to clearly separate personal comments from those you publish on behalf of NTNU.
  6. Remember where you work or study. You are allowed to communicate both positive and negative happenings, but think through the consequences for NTNU before you publish anything. This also applies to your individual use of social media, when your readers are aware that you work or study at NTNU.
  7. Check your facts before publishing, and remember to supply sources. Don't spread rumours. Apologize for and correct mistakes as soon as possible.
  8. Answer quickly, preferably on the same day as a question or post is posted. This reduces the risk of mistakes and misunderstandings spreading in the media.
  9. Other rules apply during emergencies. You should not communicate about emergencies (fires, accidents, etc.) unless you all given permission from the manager of the emergency.

Remember that you should not publish information or content (pictures, graphics, videos) that you have not been given permission to publish.

Questions or comments?

  • You can discuss what you have read here with friends and colleagues on this Facebook group (in Norwegian, but you could probably post in English and get answers).
  • Questions and comments can also be sent to NTNU's Communication Division, kontakt@komm.ntnu.no

NTNU's official social media sites #

NTNU's Communication Division manages the official NTNU sites on Facebook, Twitter,  YouTubeFlickr and LinkedIN (for alumni members).

NTNU's English Facebook page is managed by NTNU Office of International Relations

A number of employees or groups are active with blogs and Twitter.

NTNU faculties active in social media #

Other NTNU divisions using social media  #

Contact #

If you need advice on using and communicating via social media, contact the Communication Division, web@komm.ntnu.no.

Twitter for beginners. (Norwegian only link)

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