Social media

The purpose of this guide is to enhance the use of social media using best practice standards.

This makes sure that employees, councillors, contractors and the community understand their responsibilities when using social media platforms

This policy guide is part of our Social Media Framework and should be read along with the following documents:

Social media usage framework

We see the benefits of engaging with the community through social media platforms. We also understand the potential damage that can be caused through inappropriate usage.

We have a duty of care to ensure that content and comments published to our social media sites adhere to appropriate standards.

Misuse of social media could:

  • create the wrong impression as humour, irony or satire can be misunderstood
  • mislead the community as publishing inaccurate, incomplete or out of context information is confusing
  • lead to the unlawful release of confidential or personal information
  • cause reputational loss
  • damage our relationships
  • be detrimental to the effective delivery of services to the community
  • hamper our ability to be open and accountable to the community.

What is social media?

Social media allows individuals, communities and organisations to share, create and discuss content online.

Social media may include but is not limited to:

  • social networking websites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Yammer)
  • video and photo sharing websites (Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat)
  • blogs, including corporate blogs and personal blogs
  • blogs hosted by media outlets ( ‘comments’ on news articles)
  • micro-blogging ( Twitter)
  • wikis and other online community generated forums (excluding Council initiated programs) (Wikipedia)
  • forums, discussion boards and groups (Google groups)
  • vodcasting and podcasting
  • messaging technologies/apps (WhatsApp)
  • streaming platforms ( Twitch, Mixer)
  • private messaging
  • geospatial tagging (Foursquare, Facebook check-in).

Posting of comments or questions by the community

We aim to provide factual information about Council and our city through our social media platforms.

  • We use social media to promote our city, initiatives and events.
  • Our community are able to post on our corporate accounts. These accounts are monitored to make sure all posts comply with our guidelines.
  • We may remove posts in languages other than English if the message cannot be translated
  • Our information privacy policy (PDF 276 KB) also applies to our social media policy.

When posting content to our page, comments should not:

  • harass, bully, incite violence, abuse, attack, threaten or discriminate against other users. Including comments about individuals or group's age, disability, gender, political leaning, race, religion or sexuality
  • take part in trolling, baiting or disrupting a conversation
  • be false, misleading or irrelevant
  • include profanities, obscene or offensive language
  • provide other people’s personal information
  • contain advertising, appeals, petitions, requests or endorsements, or promote commercial or political interests.
  • speculate or comment on legal matters
  • include materials that breach the intellectual property rights of others
  • be posted more than once
  • contain malicious software or files
  • violate the terms of use of social media platforms
  • break the law (including violation of copyright laws) or encourage others to do so
  • encourage or incite rioting, picketing or any other actions considered a public nuisance.

Failure to follow our policies and procedures may result in un-tagging, removal of posts or comments and users being blocked from our social media. Our use of social media - response flowchart and guidelines PDF (75 KB) outlines the steps for responding to comments made by the public.

We reserve the right to remove comments and take the discussion 'offline' or into a private message. We will do this if the content is personal in nature, or is affecting the enjoyment of the page for other visitors.

Our response to questions and enquiries made via our social media

We will acknowledge questions and enquiries made during standard business hours of 8.00am to 5.00pm within 4 hours wherever possible.

We will respond to enquiries made outside of normal business hours on the next business day.