Microsoft Dynamics has been using social media for more than 5 years. Through our time on the Interwebs, we’ve had great opportunities to build up relationships with our customers and Partners – relationships that often jump off the screen and enter into real life at events like Convergence. We’ve also learned a lot about how to tailor our content to best benefit you, our audience.
One of the key things you’ll hear over and over is that if you’re planning to own a social media account, you must be active on the channel. This means posting outbound, or proactive, content 3-5 times a week, and being available to respond to customer questions, doubts and praises. On the Dynamics team, we are active on our channels all day, Monday through Friday. You may have even had a conversation with us! (We’re looking at you, SolverUSA, FieldOne Systems and Hitachi Solutions.) While a good amount of our conversations focus on answering questions, we also talk about the weather, weekend activities and pop culture. For some reason (maybe we’re hungry?) we find ourselves veering toward the food and beverage genre quite a lot.
In addition to focusing on creating engaging conversations with your followers, we have some tips and tricks for maximizing your social media presence.
- Keep character count in mind at all times. You have 140 characters to make an eye-catching statement: this includes spaces, @handle mentions, and images (which take up 22 characters).
- With that said, use images! They help your content stand out from an endless stream of other tweets. Ideal image dimensions for posting on Twitter can be found here.
- Using hashtags is a great way to insert your content into other conversations on Twitter. For example, if you’re talking about customer experience, using the hashtag #CX adds your tweet to other relevant conversations. Be mindful about how many hashtags you use, though – we try to stick to no more than three for Dynamics. If the majority of your tweet content consists of hashtags, it makes your brand seem desperate for Favorites and Retweets, and really doesn’t contribute much to the conversations you’re adding yourself into.
- Think about developing brand- or product-specific hashtags. For Dynamics, we use #MSDynCRM for Dynamics CRM, #MSSocialEngage (for Microsoft Social Engagement), and many others for our ERP products. These allow us to monitor specific conversations related to our products.
Facebook & LinkedIn:
- We use between 15-30 words for our social copy. The motivation with this messaging is to direct eyes to the headline of the article you’re sharing. Headlines cause viewers to click the most.
- To that tune, customize article headlines to be catchy! Headlines are the copy most likely to draw the viewer in, so you want them to be good. Including numbers in the headline, like “5 reasons why social media managers are the best,” tend to capture attention the most.
Other best practices:
- Get to know your audience really well! Dynamics, for example, is very business focused, so we push out a lot of thought leadership content that, we hope, appeals to business people in the modern workplace. We also try to use an informal, friendly—dare I say cheeky? —tone that helps give our brand a personality.
- Don’t forget YouTube. Video has quickly become one of the most popular mediums on social media, and it's because the shelf life of videos is much longer than a blog post or Tweet. Therefore, videos are worth the investment. They can be a great way to generate SEO if you use key terms in the title, tags and video description.
- Try using short links, created with a link shortener. This will allow you to easily track clicks on links you share across channels, and will give you great insight into what’s gaining the most traffic.
Once you’ve got your social media strategy down, it’s important to keep an eye on how everything is performing, and what others have to say about you. Shameless plug here: we use Microsoft Social Engagement for a variety of needs, including keeping tabs on things like audience demographics, sentiment, and key terms being used. Watch these features in action here.