Archive for the ‘Web Team’ Category


Social Media FAQ #6: Who “Owns” the Social Media Program?

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I’ve started a new series, called Social Media Frequently Asked Questions. It’s a collection of the top asked questions I hear over and over. I’m putting them here on my blog is a great place to help everyone quickly get educated, convince their boss, or be able to help their clients get over these hurdles, so please, pass them around.

If you’re seeking advanced topics, cruise through the web strategy posts (it goes back pages and pages)

I’ve been speaking to a couple of companies each week from a variety of industries, and each at different levels of expertise (see the five questions I use to gauge their level of sophistication).

Now, in 2008, I’m often on the phone with the VP of Marketing, or speaking to a large group of corporate marketers, previous yesars, it was a small brownbag of those that were trying to evangelize –enterprises are waking up and seeing the impact.

I’ve noticed a trend of questions lately, where during the Q&A session someone will ask “Who owns the social media program?”. I get variations on the theme that include “Who should updated Wikipedia?” or “Who should respond to bloggers” or “Who should respond to twitter?”.

I’ve deduced there are two reasons why people ask this question:

The first reason is that companies are very unsure of who ‘owns’ this type of communication, one very foreign to the model of corporate communications who creates press releases and anoints official company spokespersons.

The second reason people ask this question is that they’re undergoing internal turmoil, and they are trying to get me to say something that will prove a point to someone else in the room. I can always tell, as I see the audience eyeballs shift from the person who asked to the person it was ‘intended’ to aim at. (Speaker tip: I watch the audience as much as they watch me during presentations –esp blackberry usage, and what’s said on Twitter)

..both are valid and real.

All of this gets trickier and trickier as when we realize that social media impacts nearly every department in the company, at first PR, then Marketing, Product Teams, Research & Development, Support, Engineering, HR, Legal, Sales, and of course the executive team, in fact, I’ve outlined how social computing impacts the whole product life cycle, only for advanced readers.

Social Media FAQ #6: Who Owns the Social Media Program
The answer to this question is “It depends”, and here’s how I answer it:

First, I discuss that the once solid lines of communication of corporate communications are now blurred at the edges of the company, where employees who blog, or Gen Y students who indicate they work for a company in their Facebook profile, or the product manager who guises as an expert in a third party product site participates –now everyone, in one shape or another can represent the brand online.

Secondly, I first share the three models of internal organization, the tower, tire, and the hub & spoke. After reading sharing this, I ask the audience which camp they currently are in, and where do they want to be.

Thirdly, I talk about the need for the roles of the community manager and the social media strategist, in fact there’s a report on it on the Forrester site. Roles are needed for success, in fact I was the former community manager at HDS –I’ve lived through this. (I’ve also developing the ability to quickly identify who these folks are in the room: by the questions they ask, head nodding during certain points, and when their eyes light up when I talk about connecting with customers)

Lastly, I discuss the air traffic tower, an internal tool and process where a cross-functional team assembles and communicates (the hub and spokes as I mentioned above)

I purposely did not directly answer ‘who’ owns the program (but something I would do for clients), instead, I’ve layed out all of the options, some goals, some roles that are appearing, that will help define where you should go. The thing is, each company will be different, although I clearly see some trends occurring.

Whew that was a lot, but each of those represent different takes of what’s happening in the external market and how they impact internal teams like Corporate Communications, Legal, HR, Sales, Product Teams, Support, and most of all… customers.

People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: June 18th, 2008

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onthemove

I’m starting this post series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • Luke Armour joins Fleishman-Hillard’s digital practice in Cleveland as a Senior Acct Executive, part of his duties will be focused on social media, in addition to other programs related to digital marketing, congrats!
  • Scott Monty, formerly of Crayon social media agency joins Ford Motors to head up their social media practice.
  • John Cass joins me at Forrester Research at our Boston HQ as our Online Community Manager, great guy, I’m super pleased to have him, we’re already engaging and having a good dialog.
  • Doug Haslam joined SHIFT Communications who is on my radar for delivering social media services in Boston as an account director.
  • Dave Fleet goes to Thornley Fallis Communications Inc as a Senior Consultant, working out of their Toronto office.
  • Former Techcrunch writer Duncan Riley spins off his own publication called the Inquisitr, apparently he left on good terms with Arrington but the content sometimes looks similar. Duncan is a great writer, and has a built in following, good luck on your own!
  • On a similiar vein, former PC World top dog Harry McCracken launches his own site Technologizer to cover the industry and joins the Federated Media family. Another example of mainstream headed into the social world.

  • How to Connect with others:

    Submit an announcement
    If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email.

    Seeking Social Media Professionals?
    If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

  • See Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers)
  • Connect with others in the community manager group in Facebook
  • Check out Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • See Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it.

    I’m seeking folks that are related to full time hands on social media strategy and community managers, to be on this list, so let me know if you see these folks, and please submit them. Also, I probably will not include executive management changes on this list at social media companies, as the list would go on and on, but you can feel free to express yourself in the comments!

    …Famous Web Quotes for $500 please

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    I’m writing this from the plane, as I travel to Cambridge at Forrester’s HQ to teach a Social Computing Workshop with Peter Kim tomorrow. As I daydreamed while watching the clouds go by, I couldn’t help by reflecting on all the stupid things I’ve heard in my short 9 year career, here’s the real nuggets:

    Here’s some ridiculous things I’ve heard in my short career of 9 years in web:

    “The company is fine, despite some streamlining, we’re on a growth track” (My former CEO before we went Chapter 11 at Exodus Communications, FAIL)

    “All those guys in the other group are assholes” J.M. (Hmm, if you think everyone else is the asshole, doesn’t that make you the asshole JM?)

    “Yes, of course our system is scalable” –Sales Guy, CMS company (before we deployed an un-scalable and inflexible CMS system)

    “I read you email, my assistant printed it out for me this morning” –executive at a large bank (during my meeting with him about the intranet)

    “We’ve got that feature, here’s a screenshot of what we’ve got in development and in our roadmap” -web product manager (I reported to this guy, and he asked me to make mock ups of what we were going to deliver during an analyst review…we never implemented)

    “Blogging is a fad” –Web Developer at Hitachi Data Systems (guess not)

    “Second life is amazing, there’s a future there” -Jeremiah Owyang (everyone’s smitten by cool technology, I’ve since learned)

    “I can’t access the ‘C’ Server” -A mid-level business manager said to me (referring to her local drive)

    “Backup? Nah, I just make changes to the live code” -Said a .net web developer (just hours before overwriting 3 days of development, oops)

    Need to rant? here’s your chance: Add you own below, but no reason to leave the perp’s name, unless they’ve stated it in public. On a related note, my new favorite blog is the FAIL Blog, have a laugh, at the expense of others you mean son of a gun.

    What I learned meeting the Executive Recruiter: Natives, Immigrants and VPs of Marketing in Social Media

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    Just got back from meeting with an executive recruiter, no, I’m not planning on leaving Forrester, I was helping a friend, as well as doing some research about social media skillsets. You see this recruiter (he’s left a comment, and his name is Matt Raggio, you can reach him on his website) finds executive talent for social media startups here in Silicon Valley. He’s well connected to the VC community, and knows when leadership teams need to be built out.

    See the challenge for many companies right now is that social media is a very important aspect of marketing, especially if your company is selling soical media products, services, or software. While the traditional forms of marketing don’t go away (advertising, lead gen, email marketing, website, SEM, event, and product marketing) they are all enhanced, impacted, or disrupted by social media.

    Furthermore, a VP of marketing at a social media company really needs to demonstrate that his own firm has some expertise, if not mastery, over the very medium they are offering.

    If finding the right mix of marketing resources wasn’t hard enough, there’s a gap between the Marketing Immigrants often the traditional marketers who use the same play book year after year and the new social media marketing folks, often young, masters at the tools, but lack business experience.

    While the Social Media Immigrants may be entrenched and comfortable in the old ways, they often lack full understanding or the ability to do social media effectively, over planning, stiff messaging comes across un-authentic. On the other hand, the natives grew up or are familiar with these tools, yet they lack the ability to define, reach towards, or meet business objectives, or manage a profit and loss.

    So you see the dilemma, finding these marketing leaders in the world of social media is a challenge, the right balance (at least in these early days) are hard to strike, and the often successful are very happy where they are.

    I learned a lot from him, he gave me some pretty raw career advice, but I exchanged my knowledge too, I also told him some local haunts and events he should attend to find leadership talent. I also suggested he learn how to use Facebook to increase his network –and maybe even market the jobs using social media tools.

    What do you think, is it easy to find a VP of Marketing that gets both worlds of natives and immigrants and do an effective job?

    People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: May 18th, 2008

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    onthemove

    I’m starting this post series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • SF based Adam Metz has become a partner at theMIX, leaving Launchsquad. The company does social web strategy consulting, business development and public relations for a varied set of clients
  • Kristen Taylor started a new position as the Online Community Manager for the Knight Foundation (who funds online journalism and community); previously, she was the Associate Director of Online Content and Social Media for PBS.
  • Antonio Salgado Leiner of Mexico is excited to be new media and social media manager to social computing director at NeoSocial Media.
  • Congrats to Jackie Danici who has joined Qik (mobile live video) as the Director of Marketing, I’ve known Jackie for a few years now, there’s no mistake why they call her the dynamist, see video from Pat Phelan.
  • Stefan Constantinescu and Ricky Cadden are now part of Nokia’s S60 Online Marketing Team, they will be using blogs, and will encourage word of mouth around the platform, congrats guys!

  • How to Connect with others:

    Submit an announcement
    If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email.

    Seeking Social Media Professionals?
    If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

  • See Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (There are three new jobs posted this month of May)
  • Connect with others in the community manager group in Facebook
  • Check out Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • See Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Hiring? Leave a comment
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it.

    I’m seeking folks that are related to full time hands on social media strategy and community managers, to be on this list, so let me know if you see these folks, and please submit them. Also, I probably will not include executive management changes on this list at social media companies, as the list would go on and on, but you can feel free to express yourself in the comments!

    What is a Web Strategist?

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    My long time friend Martin McKeay (Network Security A-Lister) asked a curious question when I tweeted about Len Devanna, EMC’s Web Strategist. Martin asks: “I saw your tweet about EMC, saw that Len’s role is Director of Web Strategy. Better question would be what does that really mean?”

    What is a Web Strategist?

    Definition:
    The web strategist is responsible for the long term planning and ongoing programs for a website, at least one exists at every corporation.

    Scope:
    A web strategist (this isn’t just a term I made up for my blog) is a REAL job title typically found in large corporations where the web is a necessary communication channel, or a title used by internet consultants who provide high level advice. Most often the web strategist is in marketing, but this role can appeal to the intranet or extranet. They are responsible for balancing the three spheres of web strategy (See graphic).

    They manage budget, and ultimately are key decision makers for which vendors are hired.

    Questions they have to answer:
    How do we align our website with our corporate objectives?
    How do we spend our resources?
    How do we measure our return on investment?
    How do our customers think of our website?
    How do I prioritize our projects?
    What future technologies do I need to be aware of?

    Rank:
    They are often at Director level, VP level, and on occasion, when the website is mission-critical, they are at C level (Chief Internet Officer, or some variation), at eCommerce companies this may be the web product manager. They often report to a senior rank in marketing, or sometimes engineering or IT.

    Background:
    Web Strategists are business people first, tech people second. They understand the direction and strategy of the company, and know how to use the web to meet those needs. They do have a background working in web, often from 5-10 years, and they know which of the many forms of web marketing they need to use to meet their business objective.

    Duties:
    A Web Strategist is actually a program manager, this means they manage ongoing projects, teams, and resources, to understand the difference between tasks, projects and programs, read this guide. They manage a profit and loss, and often responsible to other business units, manage budgets, and measure ROI.

    Team:
    Often, they act as a director to project managers, web managers. Those teams assemble the technical teams, as well as technical teams reporting directly to the Web Strategist.

    Who they interact with:
    Aside from managing their own team, they deal with the many internal business stakeholders, their management, and spend time managing relationships and deliveries from vendors. See this list of the many external constituents.

    Salary:
    They are paid as director or VP level. In the SF bay area, and experienced web strategist who’s responsible for the public website of a large corporation should be paid at director level or above. I would expect that to be 80-120k, and in the rare case be 120-300, esp if it’s a large web or eCommerce company. This varies greatly, so do not refer to that example as doctrine, as I’ve not done formal research to back it up.

    Notable Professionals
    Here’s a few people that are doing good work, many I’ve worked with in the past, do note the title isn’t as important as the responsibility and duties.

  • Michele Frost, Director, Web Marketing, Forrester Research (current colleague)
  • Peter S. Group Director, Enterprise Web Strategy (my former boss)
  • Lisa D. Director of Online Marketing at Joie de Vivre Hospitality (former colleague)
  • Olivier N. Director, Global Web Marketing, Hitachi Data Systems (briefly, my former manager)
  • James Spanfeller President, Chief Executive Officer, Forbes.com
  • Dave Churbuck, Vice-President of Global Web Marketing
  • Bryan Rhoads, Senior Internet strategist, social media and online community specialist, Intel
  • Where to find them:
    If you’re trying to hire a senior web strategist, they can be found already working at another company (you’ll likely have to poach) or they are members of my Facebook Web Strategy Group, or attend regional meetings at the Internet Strategy Forum, a group I’ve been involved with for years. In 2006 they published research based upon a member survey.

    If you’re a recruiter, you can advertise a job opening on the Web Strategy Job board, powered by Job-o-matic.

    I’ve video interviewed Len before, if you want to know him better. You can follow me on Twitter, my handle is jowyang.