Much to Post About Nothing

When your job is to manage professional social media accounts, you are responsible for posting relevant and creative content. When nothing new is happening during a pandemic, what are you supposed to post? Where can you find new content?

I currently run the social media accounts for the University of Florida Barstool brand of Barstool Sports, including Instagram with a 40.9k following, Twitter with a 12k following, and a newly launched TikTok account with over 1,500 followers.

Barstool Sports is a sports and pop-culture blog started by Dave Portnoy in 2003. Today, Barstool is valued at $450 million, and owns over 700 social media accounts covering everything from major Super Bowl news to updates on eighth-year seniors at the University of Florida.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I learned a valuable lesson on how to find new content to post when nothing sports related is happening.

For the Barstool Florida accounts, I have tried to establish the University of Florida brand by posting about social life, university life and UF sports. With all students forced to leave campus and college sports canceled in March, I struggled to find content to share with followers. The account relies heavily on user-generated content, and I went from receiving at least seven direct messages of content a day to maybe five per week.

With no wild party videos or Kyle Trask touchdowns, I had to think of creative, new content to keep the Barstool Florida accounts flowing with posts. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned on how to create posts when there is limited fresh content.

Use Weekly Hashtags

By creating relevant weekly hashtags, social media accounts can ensure that several days a week, the account will have a post. On the Barstool Florida account, I use the two weekly hashtags #TinderTuesday and #GoodBoyFriday. Followers religiously submit funny tinder conversations and Gator-themed dog pictures in hopes of the account posting their content.

On This Day Posts

“On this day” posts are perfect when a social media account is lacking content to post. Look up holidays, birthdays, and impactful events that are relevant to the social media account. For example, Barstool Florida posted for Gator legends Dan Mullen’s and Bradley Beal’s birthdays, or Barstool UF would post on January 8, 2020, that 13 years ago today the Gators won a National Football Championship.

Look for video footage on TikTok

With the rise in popularity of TikTok, an entire social media platform of downloadable videos now exists. TikTok is a great place to find relevant, savable videos to repost and credit the original post. Barstool Florida has reposted TikTok videos including Florida football highlights, party videos, and game-winning Gator home runs.

Follow Popular Social Media Trends

Relevant trends on social media are great to follow when content is lacking. Make the trend relevant to the personality of your account to continue a common theme among all posts. Relevant trends that occurred during quarantine included: the pushup challenge, “Roses are Red,” and trick golf shots. On the UF Barstool account, I created a “Roses are Red” TikTok making fun of Florida State University that reached 32,412 accounts.

Make Captions Relevant to What’s Going On

Social media posts are only as strong as their captions are. Creating clever captions around relevant topics is key to having high engagement on each post. During quarantine, I centered many of Barstool’s captions around coronavirus puns. For example, the caption for Auburn’s quarterback being chased by Gator lineman was “Auburn’s attempt at social distancing.”

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