The basis of a social media strategy

Why do we need a defined basis for a social media strategy?

The basis of a good social media strategy is its information base, not the strategy itself.

The better we know markets, companies and competition, the better our strategies can become. Unfortunately, we rarely have an optimum of information – in quantity and quality. And if we had it at our disposal, we would have the problem of distinguishing the very important information from the not-so-important information. Information overkill is less helpful to strategy development than it is confusing.

Therefore, we would not be so badly advised to focus on a necessary information base and work with it consistently.

Advantages of defined information base for strategy development

Completeness: Once we have defined a minimum requirement for the information base on which we build social media strategies, we can quickly see whether a specific strategy is built on a solid foundation or rather a questionable construct. By means of a defined information base, we therefore have a checklist with which we can check how stable the ground is on which our strategy stands.

Assumptions: Strategies are always built on assumptions. If we act competently in strategy development, these assumptions are clear to us and we keep them recognizably as such. We can confirm these assumptions on the basis of our information base or correct them.

Comparability: One strategy follows the next. The more dynamic the environment, the faster the change. Sometimes different strategies for different markets run in parallel. It is helpful if the strategies have a comparable basis so that similarities and differences become clearer and the effect of the strategy does not become more obvious.

On what basis should a social media strategy be built?

This question can be answered in very different ways. I answer and justify them from my personal assessment and do not claim to give a generally valid answer. How far it applies to your situation or is helpful, you can possibly see about the reasoning.

Basis and justification

Social media performance potential for companies

The social media performance potential includes everything that social media can do for companies. We distinguish the performance potential of social media for people and for companies because social media is primarily focused on people. Companies are legal and organizational constructs that are distinctly different from people. For example, in their behavior and communication.

  • We cannot communicate with companies, only with people who represent the company.
  • The networking of people with companies and vice versa has a different quality than the networking of people with each other.
  • Companies are on social media with a different objective than people.

Rationale: if we don’t know what social media as a whole can do for businesses, it is factually impossible to expect to develop a social media strategy that taps into that performance potential as much as possible.

Self-test: does your social media management have an overview of the social media performance potential for companies? This is likely because the topic is in the professional literature.

Performance potential of social media Performance potential for the company’s business model

After the general social media performance potential for companies, the social media performance potential for business models is relevant. This is about the core of what makes the company tick and what shapes the company’s success.

For quite pragmatic reasons, we distinguish here between two different forms of performance potential

  • Performance potential to support the business model: everything social media can do to support an individual business model.
  • Performance potential to change the business model: what social media can do to change the business model. In addition to adaptation, change also includes expansion, reduction, impairment or destruction.

Rationale: if we don’t know what social media can specifically contribute to the success of our business model, it is unlikely that our social media strategies can unlock this potential for our company and its business model. Social media strategies that fail to do this are significantly less useful or powerful for the business.

Social media options for action

Social media options of action for action are a company’s options for action in social media in order to realize the benefits of social media in existing competition. Through the social media options of action, we define not only what benefit can be derived from social media for the company, but also what we have to do to be able to realize this benefit in the existing competition in social media. In this way, we take into account the competitive situation.

Social media options of action in pbsm

The position of the social media options of action in the strategy process of the potential-based strategy model is shown in the following figure.

Social media options of action in the strategy process

The social media options of action are based on the social media performance potential for the company’s business model.

Check the quality of your social media strategy or strategy process

Self-test: does your social media management have a clearly defined and detailed picture of the benefits of social media for the existing business model and is this benefit a basis for the current social media strategy?  This is not very likely. This topic can be found neither in the training of social media managers, nor in the technical literature, and also in Google there is quite little about it.  

External links

Social media strategy in wikipedia

Internal links

Why it’s time to rethink social media strategy.

Performance of the potential-based strategy model pbsm.

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Individual posts about social media strategy

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