Thomas Fuchs Martin over at webproductblog.com had a great post called “the 7 reasons why good product managers must be on Twitter” which covers the big reasons like listening to customer feedback and connecting with other PM’s.  This then got me thinking about other perhaps less pressing reasons to be on Twitter and I give you…

5 non-obvious reasons product marketers should Twitter:

1.  Communicate Bad News – You thought Twitter was just for tooting your/your company’s horn?  Twitter is all about real time information distribution.  You’re having a major service problem? Your website just went down?  Your CEO just got arrested?  Your customers will be happy they heard it from you first before they got a chance to get all cranky because they don’t know why things aren’t working (well OK, maybe not that last one).
2.  Spy on the Other Guys – There are actually not that many examples of people leaking corporate secrets on Twitter but you can certainly get a feel for what certain groups are thinking by following the individual Tweet streams. Plus you get to feel like a spy.
3.  Get inside the heads of Analysts and Experts – They curse! They make geeky jokes! Watch them in their native environment and understand what makes them tick (or at least have some better small talk topics lined up when you next meet with them). 4.  Find People you Want to Hire (and some you don’t) – You can learn a lot about a person from their Twitter stream.  I’ve got a list of people I only know from Twitter that I would like to work with.  That works the other way too. Remember the “Cisco fatty” incident where a person was caught tweeting the following – “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Don’t be the manager who hires that person. (OK, it was an internship and she already turned it down, but who knows what crazy stuff YOUR candidate is Twittering…)
5.  Prove you’re human (so people cut your company some slack when you screw up) – I think marketers vastly underestimate the power of humanizing a brand.  It’s very easy to type “XYZCorp sucks” in a moment of frustration.  It’s much, much harder to type that when you exchanged fart jokes with the lead product manager of XYZCorp just yesterday.  You think I’m joking.  I’m not.

Got any others that I missed?  In the comments please.

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