As product managers living and working in the 21st Century, we all know about the importance of social media. Many of us have probably already added these skills to our product manager resume. However, discovering just exactly how to make the best use of these new tools that allow us to get in contact with our customers is still something that we are all struggling with. What we need is some expert guidance on which social media tools we should be using and just exactly how to go about using them.
One of the biggest mistakes that Product Managers make is that they think that social media is all about distribution. We view it as a way to inform the world about our product development definition. We end up putting the same story out on each social media tool. However, each tool is different and each one requires you to tell your story in a different way.
Twitter is all about getting people’s attention. If they are already following you, then those tweets that you send out about the next version of your product or the new customer that you just signed up will get read. However, what about everyone else?
It turns out that Twitter is all about the hashtags (#prodmgmt) . What you need to do is to take a look at what hashtags are trending when you go to make your tweet. Once you know this, make your tweet relevant to this hashtag, include the hashtag in your tweet, and pose your tweet as a question that will cause your readers to stop and think for a moment. If you do all of this correctly, then your readers will turn into followers and that’s how you get the word out about your product.
Facebook postings are all about the image that you include. People who see your posting will be seeing a lot of other postings at the same time. You are going to have to take the time to come up with an image that is going to grab their attention and get them interested enough to slow down and read your copy.
What you need to do next is to provide them with exactly the information that they need to know. When people are shopping for your product, what features do they use to compare your product with others? Mention these features in order to help your potential customers evaluate your product.
On Facebook it is ok to go for the sale. Include a link that has the words “buy now” before it. On Facebook, if you want somebody to do something, you have to tell them to do it.
Instagram is all about you acting human product manager. Instagram is very, very personal. It is a way to capture those real-life moments. Instagram is also all about images – real-life images. The people who are viewing your Instagram want to know answers to questions like “where are you?” or “what are you looking at?”.
The images that you post on Instagram don’t have to be nearly as polished as the ones that you post on Facebook. These are the images that look like you snapped them with your cell phone camera – because you did!
Instagram does not allow you to include links with your photos. The only place where you can have links is in your Instagram bio. Make your photos interesting enough so that people go to check out your bio and from there they go to find out more about your product.
People use Pinterest to look up their dreams or to find out how to do things (utility) . You need to make sure that your posts support one or both of these ideals.
When you are using Pinterest you need to keep in mind that you are not trying to just sell your product. Instead, you are trying to educate your customer about how they can go about solving the problem that your product was created to help them solve. Give your potential customers context and inform them about everything that they would like to know about your product.
On Pinterest you can use a lot more text to talk about your product. Remember, people come to Pinterest when they are ready to buy things so they are going to be spending more time taking a look at what you’ve posted. They’ll also be looking at it with a critical eye so make sure that you take the time to write clearly!
What All Of This Means For You
In order for your product to be successful, as the product manager you need to get a dialog started with your potential customers. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to use today’s social media tools to connect with your potential customers and tell them about your product. This ability should be a part of every product manager job description.
Determining which social media tools to use is the first step. The experts recommend that you focus on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. For each of these tools you are going to have to understand what its audience is looking for and you’ll have to create a personality that will work with that audience.
This sure seems like a lot of effort. However, it turns out that it is a very good way for you to spend your time. If you can reach your social media audience with a message that they want to hear, then your product may turn into an overnight success story!
Question For You: Which of the four social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) do you think is the most valuable to a product manager?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Product launches are one of the most difficult things that product managers are called on to do. The reason that they are so difficult to do well is because no matter how detailed of a product development definition you’ve created, there are still a large number of moving parts that are involved. It can be very easy to focus on the target customers who you are hoping will select your product. However, it turns out that there are even more types of customers that you should be worrying about: internal customers.