Flash’s birthday: A lesson in content planning

What do you do when your mascot has a birthday coming up? You start planning, and we’re not talking about a party.  

When it comes to managing a social media account -- or multiple social media accounts -- a content plan is imperative. A social media manager needs to make sure his or her accounts are strategic, cohesive and engaging. One way to achieve those goals is to take the time to map out the content available. 

Content Calendar example
For the university accounts, we use a content calendar (see our example calendar to the right) to make those decisions. We’ll note everything from university events we want to highlight on our accounts, to news stories we’d like to share with our Kent State community to important messages that need to be communicated in an emergency.


There will be plenty of instances when you have “pop up” content, but a content calendar is still helpful for a few reasons.

  1. It’s a planning tool. Do you get requests from internal departments? Do you have events you know you need to push social content out for? This tool will help you plan and organize your content. 

  2. Scheduled content: Do you have a post scheduled to go out around the same time as your crisis communications? If it is something that would undermine your upcoming communications, a content calendar is a perfect reminder to reschedule that item.  

  3. Consistency: How was a similar message delivered previously? Go back and check your content calendar. Your audience will be able to pick up on the tone and importance of the post the more consistent you are with your messaging. 

Let’s get back to Flash. We recently realized that Flash’s birthday was approaching. Naturally, we did what any good social media team would do -- we started planning a video! We found our actors (a special thanks to Interim Dean of Students Dr. Telea Drummer, Kent State Athletics Assistant Director of Marketing Donovan Robertson and the birthday boy himself - Flash!), coordinated with Dining Services for special edition birthday Kent State cookies, stopped by a local retailer for the perfect Kent State balloons and voila - a fun piece of content was hatched! 

The video, which has more than 19,000 views on our various platforms, would not have happened if we weren’t in the habit of planning. At the university level, we have an overarching content planning session weekly and review the content calendar daily. Depending on the unit, content planning may happen once-a-day or once-a-month. It really depends on the size of the social team and the amount of content available to feature or is able to be produced. Whatever that range is, we recommend that social teams make it a priority to find out what works best for them. 

As always, stay social! 


POSTED: Monday, October 21, 2019 - 4:38pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 5:15pm
Deanna Stevens Ulrich