Lots Of Social Media Choices, But Which Ones Work For Product Managers?

by drjim on September 9, 2013

Which social media tools will get the attention of your product's customers?

Which social media tools will get the attention of your product’s customers?
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Pitty the poor product manager. There you are, sitting in the middle of the greatest social media revolution to ever happen and now you find yourself with too many choices. After you get done creating your product development definition, should you be spending your time on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or should you be off in a corner somewhere tweeting about why everyone should buy your product? Good news, I’ve got the answers and I’m going to share them with you…

What Social Media Tools Are Available And What Value Do They Have?

A recent survey by the Wall Street Journal discovered that there are currently 6 different major social media tools that product managers can use to communicate with potential customers about their products. These include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Pininterest. Of these tools, most product managers believe that LinkedIn offers them the best chance of connecting with customers while Twitter offers a less than 3% chance of doing so.

Measuring the value from the time and effort that you put into your product’ social media efforts should be a part of your product manager resume and can be quite difficult to do correctly. You need to take a look at a number of different factors. These can include click-throughs, page-views, or even direct sales.

You need to balance the results that you are getting against the time that you are putting in. Many product managers spent between 1-5 hours per week working on social media. There have been reports of product managers who spend upwards of 10 hours per week on their social media efforts; however, how much time is spent needs to be closely related to how much time your potential customers spend using social media.

Why Is This So Hard To Do Correctly?

Finding the right social media tool to use in order to get the word out about your product can be a challenge. This is where things get interesting for product managers. The Twitter tool is used by roughly 15% of all online adults. It sure seems like this social media tool should be of more value to us than it currently is turning out to be.

Right now Facebook is being viewed as being both the most used and the most effective social media tool for product managers. Twitter is suffering from a belief that one of the biggest problems that it has is that it can be very hard to meaningfully engage with potential customer using Twitter.

Another problem with using Twitter to promote your product is that many Twitter users are not using the service to shop. Instead, they are looking for quick pieces of information and then they move on. Ultimately, Twitter is a great tool for people who have short attention spans. Twitter’s limit of 140 characters per message does not make a product manager’s life any easier!

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

Product managers currently have 6 major social media tools that they can use to communicate with current and potential customers about their product: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and Pininterest. Doing this correctly is now a part of all of our product manager job description. Which one should they be using?

Everyone seems to agree that LinkedIn has the biggest potential to connect product managers with customers. However, Twitter’s huge user base makes it a possible contender. However, it’s not completely clear how best to do this right now.

We are still in the beginning stages of the social media revolution. Exactly how to maximize the value from the tools that are available to us is unclear. However, what we are starting to realize is that there is no one tool that will be perfect for a given product. Instead, we need to find out which combination of social media tools will work best for our product.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Since Twitter messages are so fleeting, how often do you think that you need to tweet about your product in order to be effective?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As product managers we’d like to think that the new product creation process and its product development definition process are a neat, orderly process. However, the reality is often quite different. New products have a nasty habit of popping up all of a sudden and as product managers, we need to be able to react to this and deal with it. The energy generation and distribution business is currently providing us with a very good example of this…

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michael October 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I’ve found Twitter to be a great tool to find customers who are using my product. If I want to strike up a richer conversation, we take it offline.

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