Which Forms Of Social Media Should Product Managers Be Involved In?

So many choices – which part of the social media should a product manager be involved in?
So many choices – which part of the social media should a product manager be involved in?
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How many social media ecosystems are out there these days? By my count (if you still include MySpace), there are 9 big ones. As an already overworked product manager working on your product development definition this means that you’ve got an important question that you’re going to have to answer: which ones are you going to use to promote your product and which ones are you going to let fall by the wayside?

Picking The Right Metrics For Your Product

Before you can have any hope of evaluating which of the many different social media ecosystems you are going to want to pursue in order to promote your product, you are first going to have to make a decision regarding which metrics are the ones that you’ll need to use to evaluate each ecosystem. Make the right choice and you’ll have something that you can add to your product manager resume, make the wrong choice and there goes your product.

As you can well imagine, the list of possible metrics is quite lengthy. `However, the folks over at the Harvard Business Review in a recent study of the different social media ecosystems broke it down into 4 primary metrics.

The first of these was, of course, gender. This was followed by age. Both of these may be critical metrics for understanding where your product’s customers are spending their time. Next came education and household income. Taken together these metrics can provide you with a good feel for where the customers that you want to go after are spending their social media time.

The 4 metrics were then applied to 9 of the most popular social media ecosystems. These ecosystems included: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Myspace, Pinterest, Google+, and Digg.

Gender & Age

Where do boys and girls spend their time online when they are using social media? As you can well imagine, most of the social media ecosystems are fairly evenly split down the middle. However, there are a few surprises. Specifically, Pinterest is skewed towards the ladies with about 75% of their users being female. Likewise, both Reddit and Google+ seem to have more male users than female users.

When it comes to age, things get a bit more interesting. Not surprisingly, you are going to find the older users using LinkedIn as their primary social media ecosystem. However, this is followed by both Facebook and YouTube. The youngest users, those 24 and under, are the heaviest users of Google+ and Reddit.

Education & Household Income

When we dive just a bit deeper into the lives of our customers, we start to uncover more interesting things. The most highly educated users are using LinkedIn the most. The least educated users can be found on YouTube and Twitter. Across all of the various social media ecosystems, the majority of the users fall into the “some college” camp.

When we take a look at the role that household income plays in who uses what social media, once again LinkedIn attracts the wealthiest users. What’s more interesting is that Digg is the site that attracts the users with the lowest income and this is followed by Pinterest.

What All Of This Means For You

The explosion of new social media ecosystems seems to be nonstop. Right now there are 9 separate popular social media systems that some or all of your customers are probably using. Although social media was probably not a part of your original product manager job description, it’s there now. There simply is not enough time in the day to stay on top of all of these different social media outlets so what’s a product manager to do?

In order to sort through the various social media ecosystems, a product manager first needs to prioritize which metrics are the most important for his or her product. After that, analysis can be made based on gender, age, education, and household income.

The one thing that I think that we can all agree on is that the world of social media is still rapidly changing. Although we may never be able to be able to say that we are on top of it, with a little analysis we probably can say that we are spending our limited time in the right places.

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

Question For You: Do you think that it is worth any of your time to manage your product’s identity on MySpace anymore?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

p>Wouldn’t it be great if the product that you were managing was used by millions of people every day? Even better, wouldn’t it be cool if it performed some function that generally made them happy after they used it – like gave them money or something like that? Well guess what, product managers who work for banks and who are in charge of the bank’s ATM machines have this kind of job. What can we learn from them?