For a product manager, making the leap to social media might come with a series of questions: How can I harness the power of these tools to promote my company? What sort of information can I gather that will help create competitive products for my target market? How much interaction with customers is productive, and when will it start hurting my company?
Depending on your company, the answers to these questions will vary. What’s most important for product managers, however, is to be aware of the different ways these tools can be beneficial. In order to make the most of your social media venture, you must have a clear idea of what exactly these tools can help you accomplish. Below, we’ve listed our three recommendations for what social media can do for you.
1) Provide data for market analyses
Utilizing social media tools will help you analyze your market, providing valuable data for your upcoming or current products. You will have the ability to browse the profiles, interests, and backgrounds of people connected to your company, and create a . The cities and areas with a large concentration of consumers, their educational backgrounds and current fields, and names of other companies to which they are connected are all incredible sources of data about your consumers that were previously difficult to accumulate.
However, there’s no reason you should limit your data collection to your company’s connections. By taking advantage of public platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, you can also access to your competitors’ profiles. The information that social media can provide you about other companies and their market will help you re-evaluate and restructure your own marketing strategy.
2) Invite more customer feedback
Setting up a social media profile is a great way to create a forum for customer feedback. Because customers are already familiar with many social media programs through personal or official use, the addition of your company in such a domain makes it easier for them to engage in conversation with you. Whether it be feedback on a product, questions, or concerns, customers find such forums more inviting than dialing a 1-800 number and working their way through prerecorded messages, or navigating the company’s website.
3) Allow you to join and lead discussions
What if you’re afraid to set up a forum for customer feedback? You might think that because it’s a public forum, you’ll have to deal with negative comments that might tarnish the image of your company or products. However, although it’s true that you will need to monitor ongoing conversations, the fact that you yourself can join the discussion will raise the credibility of your company, adding a human element to your company and its products.
This human element will show that you care about your customers by making it clear that someone is always available to address comments and concerns. Such a statement creates a great degree of comfort, and consumers feel a much stronger connection to the company. Another benefit of joining in on discussions is that by monitoring the conversation as a product manager, you can steer it in any direction you choose. For example, you can put links to products on your company’s website and invite customers to share their thoughts and ideas for improvement. Beginning such conversations will help customers feel that they are valued, create a stronger connection between customer and company, and allow you to address your customers’ needs. Even when you come across negative comments and criticism, remember that these provide excellent opportunities to showcase your customer service.