Creating a Social Media Content Calendar

“What should I post on social media?” It’s one of the most common questions the social media team at Michigan Technological University hears. Most folks understand a stagnant social media page isn’t favorable, so most people are anxious to regularly produce compelling content that will engage their audience. Here are some things to consider when planning content for your Michigan Tech-affiliated social media pages:

Make a Calendar

Maybe you begin by planning a week out, maybe a month or a whole year. Perhaps your content calendar is a paper or text document, or maybe it’s Excel or Airtable (that’s what we use). Planning your social media out helps you look at the big picture: what is your goal for the page (s), what do you want to communicate, and how regularly? Bonus: A social media content calendar also helps legitimize your social media efforts to your supervisor.

Start Small

Maybe you commit to posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Hold yourself accountable with an actionable goal. If you find yourself with more rich content and an engaged audience, expand to other days and times, or even multiple times per day (Michigan Tech averages about two Facebook posts per day).

Get to Know Your Audience

When you’re planning social media content, think about who your audience is and how they might consume their digital media. Share content based around what you know about them. For instance, if your target demographic is working professionals, perhaps they are more likely to read a news blog when they wake at 6 a.m. vs. 1 p.m. Recognize the times your audience is most likely online and the times they are most likely to engage, may differ.

So What Do I Post?

Think about your content as a mix. Categories might include our academics, student and faculty profiles, athletics, research, campus life, the local area (Houghton, Keweenaw), outdoor adventure, diversity, honors and rankings, weather (our alumni love hearing about this!), and outreach. Decide what categories fit your department or area’s goals and how frequently each should be highlighted.

Look for Freebie Posts

Your content calendar should be agile enough to jump on current University news and events. If the main Michigan Tech pages post a research story, consider resharing it. If the Huskies win big, reshare. It’s an easy way to curate more content. Also look for user content, that is, the stuff students and faculty share about #MichiganTech. It might be a neat photo or a blog post. (Just be sure to get permission from the owner first.)

What works for you on social media? Feel free to share:

Shannon Rinkinen
Brand and Social Media Manager