Questions to ask when you run the website.

Good news! You are now in charge of the website!

Now what?

Here are a few critical questions to consider when you take over the website. Discuss these with your team, your boss, and your peers.

How well does the site support our strategic outcomes?
What is your organization trying to achieve? How much of a contribution is the site making to those goals? What more could it do to provide value?

This is the first thing you have to understand before you can really do anything significant with the site.

Which segments of our target markets are the most relevant for us online?
Of all the markets your organization serves, which are the most relevant to your online goals? How well does your site target and serve those people?

Attracting welders to a knitting site probably doesn’t do anyone much good. Make sure your site has the right audience. If it doesn’t, you have a great opportunity to have a tremendous impact by getting the right people to the site.

Do we have the tools, technology and skills to execute effectively on our current goals?
Does your content flow freely to the site without errors or revisions? Do you have process bottlenecks? Are some things that should be simple to achieve highly complex?

As the new leader of the website, you have an opportunity to spot problems that have become invisible to everyone else yet are a big drag on productivity. Fixing some of these right off the bat is often relatively easy and gives you some early wins for your team and organization.

Does your new responsibility signal a great shift that the site must reflect?
Big picture: does your new role signal a broader change in the organization? If so, make sure you consider how that new high-level direction can be best supported by your team and website.

Get a mentor.
Finally, be sure you have a mentor or two to help you explore and master this new job. A mentor can be your boss, another internal leader, a colleague or someone outside the organization. The key thing is to have someone who will ask the tough questions of you to make sure you are focused on creating results and executing effectively to do so.

I offer coaching and mentoring to web and IT leaders if you desire an independent, external, source of feedback and advice.

Social Media People: Less Agita, More Action

I’ve seen quite a few posts lately from social media specialists complaining about the lack of stature, engagement and respect they have within their organizations.

Here’s the thing folks: respect is earned. No one is going to give it to you by dint of your job description or the number of followers you have on Twitter. They will give it you when you help them create value, when you help them to achieve their goals, when you make their job easier.

If you spend all your time telling people they are ‘doing social media’ wrong, you’ll never get anywhere. Spend your time helping people to achieve their goals and you will earn respect if successful.

Here’s another thing: you don’t need everyone to ‘get it.’ All you need is one person to believe in your ability to help them. Start there, maximize their results, and then tell that story around your organization. Over time, you’ll have strong support and respect.

Believe me, I’ve been there. As an early web pioneer in associations, I used to gnash my teeth about people not getting it. Once I let go of that and focused on creating results with those who would partner with me, life got easier, I did my job better, and ultimately earned significant respect within the organization.

Here’s a final thing: even if you are genuinely being held back by the man, complaining about it online isn’t going to help!

More action, less agita.