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If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest. 9.9 million Australians use social networking sites, clocking up an average of 7 hours per month. This certainly highlights that social media is no longer a 'buzzword' but now a way of life. There are many online social mediums. Facebook has been likened to attending a casual BBQ, Twitter being cocktail hour and LinkedIn a business luncheon. Deakin University recognises the vital importance of participating in online communities to learn, advocate, collaborate, exchange and contribute for the benefit of professional and personal development and is committed to participating in social media the right way.
There are a number of official Deakin University social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, iTunes U, LinkedIn, Yammer and the 'Deakin Speaking' blog. There are also many approved non-enterprise level pages which can be found on the social media web page. These are another way the University stays active and engages with its communities. Social Media Guidelines have therefore been developed to protect the University and individuals from any unexpected or undesirable outcomes arising from the use of social media, providing common sense advice to the Deakin community. These guidelines offer information relating to the do's and don'ts of social media usage at Deakin as well as covering policy, best practice and information for those who post on behalf of an official University Division, Unit or Faculty.
Community engagement, particularly with current students, along with being a marketing tool to attract future students, is the most common use for social media at Deakin. Of course as social media is such a large part of student’s lives and one of the biggest communication channels they use, it also has a direct impact on teaching and learning.
Since including the social media links on the Deakin web site home page, usage of University social media has dramatically increased, with the home page access making it simple for people to virtually connect at a click of a button. Deakin encourages its staff to explore and engage in online communities and advises that staff approach these worlds in the same way they approach the physical one: by using sound judgement and common sense, adhering to the University's values, treating every interaction as if it were face-to-face and by following the Staff Code of Conduct and all other applicable University policies.
Thinking before you post means considering if your content will offend, surprise or shock your current and future classmates, teachers, friends, family, parents, employer, clients, and business partners. So in order to remember to use social media correctly, approach everything you write on the basis that it will be on the front page of the newspaper. Following the guidelines provided by the University will ensure social media works for you. Remember, social media is a virtual billboard for the world to see.