To be a good social media person at a brand, you have to have a background not just in digital or marketing but also in your product.
Too often I’ve seen companies decide they need a social media strategy and go out and hire a crack team of ‘gurus’. What’s missing here is that in order to effectively achieve true two-way communication and bring value to customers, the people running social media need to have an innate understanding of the product itself.
Knowing why Pinterest is an effective social network is good but not enough. It’s important to understand why people are using the product in the first place. A background in public relations is great, but a background in the product’s development is better.
Zappos is an online shoe retailer, but it’s real product is great customer service. The company puts every single employee through four weeks of customer service training before they even begin their role. After the intense training, every employee knows the company product. They just happen to sell shoes, but what Zappos really sells is excellence in the customer experience - and this understanding is baked into the social media plan.
Social media is often lumped in as a marketing function, customer service or digital function. Only sometimes it’s part of the product person’s role.
However, it’s not just one of these team’s responsibilities. The social media person needs to be across all of it.
Doesn’t sound easy, does it? It’s not. Nor should companies pretend it’s easy by creating a Facebook page, hiring an intern to run it and calling it a day for their social media strategy.
Effective social media engagement begins with understanding the product first, and what it’s job to be done is.