Just last week it was confirmed that I would be named my company’s new “social media product marketing manager.”
But rest assured, while the position itself rocks my socks off, the actual title of the job was not one that was decided easily. And I continue to find little assistance with online resources on jobs in social media to help guide exactly what the org or title structure of any social-centric team should look like.Sure. There are the social media marketing managers & community managers, the former of which was my new position’s original title. But I began wondering, even despite my immediate circle’s overwhelming familiarity and expertise in all things social, would the larger organization truly understand what I do if my title was “social media marketing manager?” Would the absence of the word “product” lend them to automatically assume I simply manage our Twitter acccount and Facebook pages? (Which, to be clear, are actually not a core part of my job responsibilities) Or would they grasp the larger idea that I am the sole owner of all social media product strategy, product requirements, development plans and product marketing initiatives across the enterprise? I figured many would default to the first. And that concerned me. So, the discussion began. I recommended “social product manager” or “social media product manager,” both of which were identified as poor options to avoid confusion with product manager positions that exist within our core development team. That reasoning made sense, so I continued to noodle my options.
It seemed almost silly to be so picky – and I continue to reassure my boss that I am not a high-maintenance employee. Not sure if he is buying it yet or not. 🙂 The thing is, with this new role, I wanted everything within my control to be perfect. There will be plenty inevitable challenges outside of my control that will arise, so why not lay the best foundation I possibly can. That included my title.With that said, I continued to create new options.
My next suggestion was “social product marketing manager,” only to realize that most people, in small and large organizations alike, don’t understand that simply the word “social” will suffice when describing a role that includes social media as it relates to products. I would argue that eliminating “media” would make the role even more all-encompassing, but I had to decide if that was an argument worth having.In a brand spankin’ new role like this where my ability to internally educate the masses is most imperative to ensure I can achieve success, I have to play to the crowd. If more of my internal audience will “get it” by my role being a mouthful and my business card looking like it puked up social media search results from Monster.com, then so be it. Thus, we did what any good horse-by-committee/camel-builders would do and settled on “social media product marketing manager.” Phew. I’m excited and exhausted already. 🙂 Let the games begin. -SKE
Have any of you had to tackle this issue lately? Would love your thoughts on this topic and any good resources or tips on structuring your social product teams within a large organization.