Step-by-step tips on using AI for social media content from BU’s social director 

Including prompts you can use today. 

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Gone are the days when social media pros have to develop engaging content ideas using their brainpower alone.                                                                         

Now these platform-posting maestros can use generative AI to help get their juices flowing. 

From brainstorming ideas to creating first drafts of content, using generative AI to draft quality social media posts takes curiosity and creativity to strike a balance between your human voice and the bot.  

Boston University Social Media Director Dave McDonald spoke to PR Daily about how his team uses generative AI for social media success by sharing a step-by-step guide to posting even better content.


McDonald and his team use generative AI if they have writer’s block or just want a creative boost with social media posts. 

For example, McDonald might first ask ChatGPT to create SEO-optimized outlines for things like Instagram Reels, YouTube videos, photo captions for posts. Or McDonald might ask the bot for help creating SEO-friendly titles for BU’s platforms. 

When needing SEO assistance for titles, his team might give a prompt like: “I’m seeking a name for a new YouTube video series at Boston University. Please give me five SEO-friendly titles for…”. Then they refine ChatGPT’s output to meet their needs. 

He added that users should experiment with ChatGPT and see what works for them and their organization.

“AI can be helpful throughout the production process of these projects,” McDonald said.

 3-step guide to drafting social media content with AI

Here are some useful steps McDonald uses when creating content with ChatGPT:

 Step 1: Type the prompt, “Please act as a social media manager. Create five posts for an X (formally Twitter) post using the critical points from the content below.” 

After the prompt, McDonald pastes an entire original article into AI for better chances of accuracy because the bot could potentially use other web sources for the request, which can lead to issues with plagiarism and attribution. 

 “By including the whole article, AI will only use your original content to build out your request, ensuring accuracy,” McDonald said. 

Asking ChatGPT to act as a social media helps ChatGPT to generate specifically for McDonald and his busy social media team, who work on various posts that highlight the student experience and engage the 184-year-old university’s students, faculty and other stakeholders.

“When giving AI a prompt, it’s essential to be as specific as possible to help get your desired outcome,” McDonald said. “Including information like the particular job function you want the AI to act as, the tone of your desired result, and your target audience will save you a ton of time when editing and building off of what the AI engine you’re using produces for you.”

After providing the context and content you’d like generated, add a call-to-action segment. Provide a website link or other CTA request and ask ChatGPT to incorporate it.

Step 2: Add and edit.

McDonald asks generative AI to suggest various additions to posts, like keywords. 

These might include the names of a featured student’s hometown or major. The SEO keywords are easily searchable for future students who can relate to who they’re reading about on social. 

McDonald said it’s important to edit generated posts so they fit a brand’s tone and voice. 

“AI is whatever you make of it, right? So, if you want it to be a robot, copy and paste what it puts out and put it out there,” he cautions. 

 McDonald then double-checks the generated content for accuracy, brand style, voice and tone. Then, McDonald adds relevant social media handles as needed. 

Step 3: Publish the post and bask in the glory of your hard work, but not for long – there’s always more to do!

Here’s an example of a BU article the team fed to the chatbot and asked to create this X thread

Working with generative AI for social media takes practice and a willingness to learn. McDonald, who is self-taught in AI, encourages people to test out different tools and grow every step of the way. 

“Don’t be afraid to experiment,” McDonald said. 

Learn more about social media and AI by joining us at Ragan’s Social Media Conference at Disney on March 27-29.

Sherri Kolade is a writer and conference producer at Ragan Communications. She enjoys watching old films, reading and building an authentically curated life. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR/comms speaker in mind for one of Ragan’s events? Email her at


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