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FAQs

Want something shared on one of the corporate social media accounts?

The corporate Open University social media channels would love to showcase all the great work coming from each of the university departments, and endeavour to do so at every opportunity, where appropriate.

There are two ways for us to share your content - tag us into social media posts and we'll pick them up. Or give us a heads up - with plenty of notice - via social-media@open.ac.uk and with as much information as possible.

As we have strict brand guidelines and quality control, you will make it easier for us to share your content to a wider audience by keeping things high quality:

  • Use the correct size of images for the social network and ensure they're high quality
  • Be sure to include ALT TEXT for accessibility
  • Don’t share vertical videos, always record in landscape
  • Always caption your videos
  • Don't overuse hashtags in the share text (please remember to capitalise the first letter of each word in a hashtag, else screenreaders are unable to read them which has accessibility implications)
  • Use relevant (working) site links in your status updates and include people’s Twitter handles where appropriate
  • Give The OU Social Media Engagement Team as much notice as possible if you want them to help draw attention to something you're sharing

Want to set up a new OU social media account?

All new social media accounts relating to The Open University need to be approved by the Social Media Engagement Team.

If you would like to request a new account, please begin by completing this form. Following receipt of the fully completed form, the Social Media Engagement Team will review and may come back to you offering recommendations or requesting further information.

Applications are typically reviewed within 4 weeks, but please note that during resource limited times this process may take longer.

What does the Social Media Engagement Team (SMET) do?

The Social Media Engagement Team sits within the Marketing and Communications Unit and is responsible for all organic (not paid) social media communications. 

SMET monitors all social media messages and mentions across the corporate accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and responds accordingly.

The team is also responsible for best practice on social media - this includes tools, channels, processes, creating and scheduling, community management, optimisation (including for mobile), stats analysis, graphic design, video and audio, test and learn 'pilots', crisis management and social media campaigns.

The OU's corporate social media accounts are monitored during evenings and weekends.

Can I use OU branding?

If you are using The Open University branding on any social media, make sure you have checked the brand guidelines produced by the Marketing department. If in doubt, email brand-enquiries@open.ac.uk

There are strict rules about how the logo can be used so if you are in any doubt, please check first.

If we're running social media for another part of the OU, how do we interact with the corporate accounts?

If the corporate account shares a piece of content that is relevant to your faculty or department, share the original post. Please do not attempt to recreate the content and post it directly to your channels.

For example, during the OU Virtual Degree Ceramonies, the corporate channels shared engaging content. The chances are you will find something that your followers would like so click 'share' or 'retweet' and share directly from the original account:

Who responds to student queries on social media?

All queries on social media are responded to as quickly as possible, either by the Social Media Engagement Team in Marcomms, or the Student Recruitment and Fees team.

What do I do if I spot a potential social media crisis?

If you think something negative is likely to end up on social media, let us know in advance. SMET constantly monitor for reputational risks and knowing where to look can sometimes help us to stay on top of a potential crisis.

If you become aware of an issue unfolding on the main brand accounts, please leave it to SMET to respond. Rest assured, they will be dealing with the issue. If you are concerned something has been missed, email social-media@open.ac.uk.

Can I get support using Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is our recommended social listening and engagement tool. If you need support using your Hootsuite account, please visit the Hootsuite Help Centre. For immediate support, use the live chat that can be accessed on your Hootsuite account.