Create, update, send, and schedule social media messages

 

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics Marketing

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is scheduled to be retired on May 15, 2018. After that date the service will no longer be available. Please plan accordingly. For details, see the blog post Microsoft Dynamics Marketing service will be discontinued, and learn what’s coming next.

Use Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to manage your social-media marketing initiatives and to monitor the way social-media users are responding to them. Dynamics Marketing provides features that let you and others at your company create, approve, post, and track marketing messages to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Features include:

  • Create and post tweets on Twitter

  • Create and post updates to Facebook

  • Schedule posts to be sent in the future

  • Generate redirecting URLs to include in your messages

  • Route posts for review, with automatic release on approval

  • Integration with Microsoft Social Engagement

For even more insights into your social-media campaigns, integrate Dynamics Marketing with Microsoft Social Engagement, which provides many tools for analyzing the way people are talking about your company, brands, and campaigns on social media, providing valuable insights that can guide your overall marketing strategy. You can connect directly from Dynamics Marketing to Social Engagement to manage your search terms and view a wide variety of customizable social-media widgets right in Dynamics Marketing. You can place social-media widgets on any Dynamics Marketing dashboard, including on your home page, the side dock, and/or on the Dashboard tab of for your Campaign and Company maintenance pages.

To work with social-media messages, you must have Edit/View Social Media privileges, which also grants access to social-media outlets. More information: Work with user accounts and staff contacts 

Your social-media messages must be sent to an existing social-media account to which you have the user name and password. You must set up each of your social-media accounts as a media outlet in Dynamics Marketing. To set up a social-media outlet:

  1. Go to Assets & Media > Media Planning > Media Outlets.

  2. Click the New button  New button.

  3. Dynamics Marketing prompts you to select a media type. Choose "Social Media" and click Submit.

  4. The Create Social Media page opens. Use the settings here to set up access to your social-media account and make associations to your other marketing initiatives as needed. The following settings are most important (and required):

    • Site: Choose the social-media site where you have an account (such as Facebook or Twitter).

    • Account/Login/URL: Enter a value (such as your account name) that will help you and others recognize the social-media account this media outlet will be attached to).

    • Company: Specify the site or client company that this account belongs to. You will only be able to send messages that also belong to this company. This is a Type-ahead field.

  5. Click Save to save your work so far. The page reloads to include related-information tabs and a few new buttons.

  6. Click the new Authorize Access button at the bottom of the page. A pop-up window opens, providing a sign-in form for your selected social-media site. Use the form to sign in and/or approve access to your account.

    System_CAPS_importantImportant

    Many browsers block all pop-up windows by default. You must allow your browser to display pop-ups from Dynamics Marketing, both for this and for several other features. Many browsers provide an alert symbol in the address bar when a pop-up is blocked; try clicking this symbol to allow the pop-up. Otherwise, see your browser documentation for details about how to allow pop-ups from specific web sites. Usually you can choose the specific sites you will allow pop-ups from (we recommend that you do not allow them from all sites).

  7. Click Save or Submit to save your new media outlet. Your new outlet will now be available for selection as a target when creating new social-media messages for the same site/client company as this outlet.

More information: Manage media outlets

To work with social-media messages, go to Marketing Execution > Social Media > Social Media. This brings you to the Social Media Messages list page, which provides many of the standard controls for searching, sorting, filtering, adding, removing, and viewing items in the list, plus other common features. See Learn how to work and get around in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing for details about how to use these common controls.

Whenever you create or edit a social-media message, the settings described in the following table are provided.

Field

Description

Date/Time

  

Either specify a date and time to schedule the message, or choose the Now radio button to post your message right away.

System_CAPS_noteNote

If you schedule the message for a future time, you can edit the message until that time arrives. If it turns out that the message couldn't be delivered at that time, the user that created it can be notified via an email alert if he or she subscribes to it (More information: Work with alerts).

Company

Enter the name of the company that the current record belongs to. The company must already exist in the database; type-ahead assistance is provided (or enter “%%” as a wildcard to scroll through all companies). The current record is only available for use with other relevant entities that are also associated with this same company. For example, a marketing message associated with the company Woodgrove Bank can only be sent to contacts belonging to Woodgrove Bank and included in campaigns associated with Woodgrove Bank.

System_CAPS_noteNote

The Sites list only shows media outlets (social-media accounts) that belong to this same company, so be sure to pick the Company before you try to pick any Sites.

Sites

Select the check box for each social-media account you want to send the message to. This list includes all of the media outlets of type Social Media that are currently configured in Dynamics Marketing and belong to the same company as the social-media message you are writing. More information: Create a social-media outlet for each social-media account you post to, later in this topic

Tags

Use tags to organize, categorize, sort, and classify your messages. You can add any number of tags, but can only select from tags that are already configured for your site. Start typing the name of the tag you want to add to view a list of matching tags, and then choose one to add it (or enter "%%" as a wildcard to list all available tags).

System_CAPS_noteNote

These tags do not affect your message content and are not related to the hashtags that are commonly used in social-media posts.

Your admin can customize the set of tags available here; see Create custom drop-down values and folders for details (category type = Social Media Message Tag).

Program, Campaign, Event, and Job

Use these settings to associate your message with other marketing initiatives of these types as needed. Each of these is a Type-ahead field.

Files

Image files can be associated with messages. To attach an image to a message, click the Upload button Upload button.

Each site has slightly different image formats that are accepted. You can't go wrong using GIFs and JPEGs. Messages that have files with other formats (such as Word, Excel, PDF, etc.) attached to them will not be sent.

System_CAPS_noteNote

When posting files to Twitter, the following limitations apply for each message:

  • You can include at most one GIF file (animated or static), and can't combine this with other image types.

  • You can include up to four static image files (JPEG or PNG format), but can't combine these with a GIF file.

  • Each GIF, PNG, or JPEG file must be less than 3 MB

  • You can include up to one video file (MP4), which must be less than 15 MB and less than 30 sec.

Other restrictions may also apply when posting files to Twitter; check their web site for details.

Message

Enter the text content for your message in the large field at the bottom of the form. The number of characters you have used so far is displayed at the bottom of the field; this is especially important when posting to Twitter, which limits your posts to 140 characters (Facebook currently allows 63,206 characters).

System_CAPS_importantImportant

Twitter now automatically generates a redirecting URL for all links that you add to a Twitter message. The links it creates are always 23 characters long, regardless of how long your original URL is. Most URLs are longer than 23 characters, but if you enter one that is even shorter than this, then the new link created by Twitter will still be 23 characters long. As a result of this feature, the character count shown for your message in Dynamics Marketing may be incorrect for Twitter messages if you are including URLs in the message.

System_CAPS_tipTip

Use the Insert URL button to generate and insert a short URL that redirects to an actual (possibly quite long) URL that you specify. This can be useful when posting to Facebook, but is less helpful for Twitter, which automatically replaces all URLs using it's own link-shortening and redirection feature (as mentioned in the previous note). For more information about the Dynamics Marketing redirecting URL feature, see Create redirecting URLs.

When you are done composing your message, click Post to send it. If you set Date/Time to Now, you message is posted right away; if you chose a future date/time, then your message is scheduled but not yet sent.

System_CAPS_tipTip

You can edit the message until the time it is sent. If a message cannot be delivered, the sender will be notified via an email alert.

You can see scheduled, but not yet sent, social messages on the Social Media Messages list page. (Use the Customize Columns toolbar button Customize Columns button to show the Status column if you are not sure which are scheduled and which are sent.) Two special-purpose toolbar buttons are provided to help you send or cancel scheduled messages, as outlined in the following table.

Button

Description

Post Immediately button
Post Immediately

Select the check box for one or more messages, and then click here to send those message right away instead of waiting for their scheduled time. For messages still pending approval, this function overrules the approval process by sending the message right away.

Cancel message button
Cancel

Select the check box for one or more messages, and then click here to cancel those messages, thus preventing them from being sent at all.

If you need to get your message approved by another Dynamics Marketing user (or users) before it gets posted, then click the Route for Review/Approval button instead of the Post button when you are done authoring the message. You'll be prompted to select an approval template, or you can set up a custom approval workflow; your message is added automatically to the workflow (More information: Manage review and approval routing, Design a graphical approval workflow).

Messages are automatically sent (or scheduled) after being approved by all reviewers. If a message is approved after its scheduled send date has passed, it will be sent immediately on approval.

After your message is posted, it becomes inactive and read-only. You may need to switch the Show/hide inactive setting Show All/Active Only button/Hide Inactive/Deleted button to see your sent (inactive) messages.

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