You’re a product manager. When people talk about “social media,” you feel tuned in. You have 150 or 200 people on Facebook, and you see people playing the latest Zynga games and telling you all sorts of things that usually don’t pertain to you. Maybe you subscribe to Pete Cashmore’s Mashable to keep up with the “Web 2.0″ world.
You’ve heard of Google+. You’ve even got a Twitter account, and perhaps you follow 30 or 40 people — a few celebrities, a few colleagues you know in town, maybe another product manager or two, and a couple of college friends. When you see a product manager with a rock star Twitter presence, you don’t really get it — in fact, you may think they’re wasting their time on Twitter, a cespool of unimportant celebrity worship.
I’m here to tell you just how wrong you are.
Let’s consider the ways you can take advantage of the opportunities social media provides you to impact the performance of your product:
- Product Research: Are you using canned searches of Twitter for topics related to the problem you’re solving with the product you manage? Are you a member of relevant groups on LinkedIn, and following relevant LinkedIn questions? What about related topics on Quora? Don’t you want to know the challenges being experienced by people in your space?
- Product Marketing: Does your company have a presence? Does your company engage the community about your product, and the problems it helps solve? Do you hear about any responses that come in from your company’s social media accounts? If not, you’ve got some work to do!
- Agile product professionals, take note! One big challenge in the agile community is that product managers are asked to serve as product owners, forcing them to spend more time in the scrum room and less time with customers. Turn the tables! Use some of that idle time in the scrum room to catch up on your clients and prospects! Engage them online. Challenge yourself to setup a site visit with someone you’ve never met, by approaching them the right way on Twitter. It can be done!
- Product executives, are your product managers engaging the market through social media avenues? Why not?
Take the time to consider how spending some time on social media can pay off with deeper insight into your target market. Go get yourself some Klout!