Product Marketing Rule #11: Leverage Social Media or Be Fired!
Product Marketing Rule #11 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Sandra Greefkes, Filigree Consulting
Social Media is like having a child for the first time. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Social media is more important to product marketers than anyone else in an organization.
Yes, that is right, social media is important for corporate communications, public relations and marketing communications; but, given social media’s potential for timely and actionable insight, it is the product marketer’s closest lifeline to guaranteed success in the market. Why? Because it gives you direct one-on-one access to customers!
As a product marketer you want to become a social media guru. Find out who in your company is responsible for social media and work with them to become engaged. Your product managers, customer service support team and others will thank you. Most importantly, your clients and prospects will seek you out.
There are 4 social media actions you can take as a product marketer: listen, learn, share and cultivate.
If you do nothing else with social media, you should at least listen. Not just once or from time to time, but continuously. Set-up alerts, use an automated monitoring system, find the most relevant blogs and set up an RSS feed.
What is being said, where and by whom? Is there agreement or are there conflicting points of view? Who are your detractors? Who are your advocates? Actively seek out feedback. Social media allows fast, direct and broad feedback that is cost effective. Anything from product specific feedback, to new product or feature ideas, new target segments, support requirements etc. Join or start the conversation. Think of what you learn from social media as an adjunct to your in depth research such as focus groups and surveys.
This is not about how many followers or fans you have. It’s about knowledge sharing with your customers and prospects which is supported by broad collection of thought leadership content – not corporate, product or service information.
Enable customer intimacy and trust, through reciprocal sharing of valuable knowledge between you and your prospects. Form a virtuous cycle to drive deeper loyalty and better products and support. It’s about enabling internal and external education and then applying that to your messaging.
Product Marketers are a social media marketer’s dream partner.
They have deep market knowledge and understand the issues that clients and prospects face in a market.
They have deep solution knowledge which enables them to answer questions, react on the fly and generally be as helpful as possible in the social media world. Product marketers should focus on the customer, not just the technology. People want to talk about people, problems and process and solutions, not products.
At the end of the day, social media strategists and product marketers are a marriage made in heaven. You could not find a more synergistic relationship if you tried. So, if you are a product marketer looking to become a superstar, seek out and engage the people who lead the social media strategy in your organization. Otherwise you eventually might find yourself in the unemployment line.