Repurposing Content for Social Media

December 10, 2012

Academic departments produce a lot of content. Faculty members are always writing and teaching, academic departments are producing communications materials in various print and digital formats, and campus services have marketing materials on hand. A lot of the content you are already producing can be posted to social networks. In fact, content posted for social media in one way can be used differently within other networks. For example, the School of Architecture and Planning features digital posters in their Facebook photo albums, and they even include photos of printed posters. The Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) holds monthly Twitter chats called #citychat. An announcement with background information is posted to the CoLab Radio blog. After the chat, a transcript is pulled together on Storify, embedding all the participants' tweets, which forms another piece of content comprised entirely of user-generated posts.


  • Do not post the same content in the same format on every social network. Repurpose without being redundant.
  • Do not repurpose content that is out of date.
  • Divide longer content into shorter pieces for individuals who might not have read the content in its longer format.
  • Increase awareness around resources by posting the content in different ways for different networks and audiences.


  • Repurposing can serve as a curation or aggregation method for those who don't want to scout out all the pieces (such as with #citychat).
  • After posting a presentation on SlideShare, think about posting the slides as images in an album on Facebook, especially if each slide could spark different thoughts and comments.
  • Take something you have produced in print and segment the content to post to social media. For example, perhaps you have a magazine or newsletter full of articles with images. Post one of these images per week on Pinterest and link back to the online version of the article (or a PDF to download).
  • Department websites often have a lot of great content. Every day tweet a link to a relevant page on your website. In fact, it may be possible to post a link to separate pieces of content on one page. For example, MIT Medical's Community Wellness Downloads page includes several sections. Instead of linking to the whole page, they might choose to post a link to the Cheat Sleep pamphlet one day and a link to the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation clip another day.
  • Does your department offer a lot of printed brochures or one-page handouts? Make these available online as downloadable PDFs and in HTML format. Share the links to each item, one per week, over a series of weeks.
Posted By
Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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