3.7 Options corporate benefits

Learning objective: Recognize and design interactions between social media options for action and the corporate benefits possible with social media.

Reading time: approx. 12 minutes

Exercises: Exercises are in the PDF of all exercises of this course. Download it from here.

This content builds extensively on the post Social Media Performance Potential for Business . If necessary, you should recap this post.


Importance of company benefits in the decision on social media options for action

We use the company benefit – in addition to the competitive situation and resource requirements as a further decision-making aid on the content of social media options for action. The potential business benefit associated with a piece of content is used to assess how much that content can contribute to the success of the business.

Definition and explanation

In the CompanyBenefits, we summarize the concrete benefits of a social media strategy for the company.

The corporate benefit in the potential-based strategy model is

  • as part of the social media performance potential is an expression of a fundamental performance capability,
  • as a strategy component, an expression of the power of a social media strategy for the company.

Role of the company benefit in the development of social media options for action.

As a reminder, the following is an overview of the general processes around social media courses of action.

We determine the fundamentally available performance potential of social media for an individual company based on the existing business model and the social media performance potential and define the fundamentally possible benefits for the company. We have already completed this process.

We compare the company’s options for action in social media based on the social media performance potential and the business model as general social media options for action with the competition in the individual topics/topic areas and thus obtain an overview of which contents of our options for action meet which competitive situation and what effect we can expect in the best case scenario based on this competitive situation.

  • This overview allows and evaluation of individual social media courses of action and social media courses of action as a whole from a competitive perspective.

We determine the social media action options company benefits for the respective topics from the business model and company goals. To this end, we determine the corporate benefits that social media can provide in the individual subject areas.

Explanation example

Based on our knowledge of the performance potential of social media, we can identify what benefits social media can provide for the company. Using the example of a company’s customer relationships (business model module customer relationships), these include the

  • informing customers: we provide customers with information with a clear benefit that contributes, for example, to better use of our services.
  • Building relationships with customers: we create a relationship with our customers via communication, contributing to higher customer satisfaction (where relationships are important for customer satisfaction).
  • building relationships between customers: through relationships between customers – on our platform and through our services – we increase customer loyalty.
  • obtaining information about customers, their needs, attitudes and behavior: a better information base about the market and its needs increases our performance and competitiveness.
  • the involvement of customers in corporate processes (such as support): this enables us to increase the competitiveness and performance of our company and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • motivating customers to behave in a desired way: this strengthens our market development and our competitiveness.

Importance of topic areas: By analyzing at the topic area level, we can identify both the social media affinity and the competitive situation more precisely and in more detail. We can therefore see which company benefit is more likely to be successfully realized (user preferences, user behavior and competitive situation in the topic areas).

pbsm impact: by working with themes as a basis and incorporating the business model, we recognize the connections and effects of social media on the business model as a whole and can thus also use social media holistically for our business model.

Sources of a company benefit

CorporateBenefit is generally aligned with the company’s business model and corporate objectives. Knowledge of the competitive situation helps us to assess the potential benefits for the company. The analysis of company benefits and the competitive situation at the level of the topics allows a more precise orientation of the strategy and, last but not least, shows weaknesses and strengths of the competition more clearly.

The corporate benefit results from the performance potential of social media, which we can shape as a competitive advantage in a specific area.

  • We create the corporate benefit for topics and subject areas. This allows us to be more precise in our social media activities, more precise in how we compete, and more precise in how we support our business model. In order to generate a high corporate benefit from social media, we must therefore successfully use social media in the topics and subject areas that are of the greatest importance for our business model and our corporate goals. The competitive situation should be understood here as a yardstick that we have to jump over for this, not as a criterion for whether we are intensively engaged in these topics / subject areas*.
  • BusinessBenefit results from the impact of our social media activities/strategy, which in turn is based on the competitive performance of our social media strategy components. Our social media impact is based on the attention and behavior of social media users. So if we do not achieve a higher competitive performance in any of our relevant strategy components (usage format, user benefit, motivation, participation), we will hardly be successful in the competition for attention and thus already not participate in the competition and a desired behavior of the users.

*Only if we are clearly unable to survive the competitive situation – i.e. if we do not see a chance to compete in a certain topic / subject area – should we not be heavily involved in high-priority topics / subject areas. In such cases, we must try to secure the desired corporate benefit, for example, by means of a bypass solution.

Corporate Benefits and Social Media Options for Action – Interrelationships and Interactions

With every piece of content in our social media action options, we simultaneously decide on a concrete corporate benefit from social media. In other words, we should always keep the respective company benefits in mind in addition to the competitive situation when considering the content of our options for action and, of course, also when evaluating individual social media options for action.

Risk: If I decide on a usage format solely on the basis of the competitive situation, the business benefit may be much lower.

For example, I do without motivational and participatory structures in the options for action because I assume that the competition is far from being able to act with them and I expect to gain a sufficient competitive advantage by focusing on other content. This means that the activation of social media resources for market cultivation – and thus the overall potential success of the strategy – is significantly lower. The corporate benefit from activating social media resources would be economic (manpower from the market, higher performance of our social media strategy) and market-specific (higher market success in social media). I give the competition a chance to catch up and maybe even overtake and forgo economic advantages.

Shaping the companyBenefits from the social media Options for action

We shape business value through the content of our social media courses of action. However, we are not completely free in shaping the content of our social media courses of action; rather, we are dependent on the performance potential of social media for the individual topics and subject areas and, of course, limited by our resources and the competitive situation.

Contents and corporate benefits

We have identified the potential content of our social media courses of action. We should compare these contents with the respective company benefits in order to

  • more clearly identify the relationship between content and benefits.
  • Identify content that cannot be attributed to a specific benefit.
  • to recognize more clearly the significance of individual contents for concrete corporate benefits.

This comparison provides us with an overview that helps us to evaluate the individual options for action from the perspective of corporate benefit.

Company benefit vs. competitive situation

If we want to achieve a certain corporate benefit through social media, it is quite possible that we will then encounter a particularly pronounced competitive situation in one or more subject areas. We could circumvent this competitive situation by investing in these areas only to the extent that is absolutely necessary, but we will then also be able to achieve the desired corporate benefit only to a limited extent.

My personal recommendation: don’t fight in any competition you can’t claim. If you don’t see a competitive opportunity in a topic area, try bypassing the competition. For example, by focusing on topics and subject areas that are upstream of blocked topics and subject areas in user decision-making/behavior.

Resources and corporate benefits

It is easier to take responsibility for the necessary company resources if the possible company benefits are clear.

In the social media options for action, we contrast possible content and its competitive situation. This gives us an overview of the competitive quality of the individual contents.

In order to obtain the necessary resources for the realization of content, it is helpful to compare the content not only with the competitive situation but also with the possible business benefits. We thus create a link between content and benefit that facilitates the provision of corporate resources, but also makes it easier to evaluate the intended content from the point of view of its contribution to corporate benefit.


Determination of the possible company benefit

We determine the potential corporate benefits from and through social media for the company’s business model and corporate goals. The practical implementation therefore takes place in the analysis of the business model and the company’s goals.


Stakeholders: we integrate the affected departments of the company in the definition and derivation of the possible company benefits through social media in order to give the social media strategy a corresponding acceptance and significance for the departments. .

We examine in each case what benefit social media brings to companies / organizations via

  • Effect: information/knowledge, behavior, relationship, commitment
  • Method: reach, content, networking, participation, motivation, user benefits
  • Usage formats: Audience, Community, Network

can generate. To this end, we work through all the modules of the business model as well as the individual corporate goals. The easiest way to do this pragmatically is to use a simple checklist of questions.

CorporateBenefits via Social Media Impact

Information: How can we use information for our customers to improve the company’s success in the respective area of the business model, i.e.

  • Customer segments
  • Value Propositions
  • Customer relations
  • Business model channels


Knowledge: How can we generate relevant market knowledge about our customers and their needs via social media?

Behavior: can we influence an existing behavior of our customers with the help of social media?

Relationships: we can use relationships with our customers or between our customers to succeed in

  • Customer segments
  • Value propositions
  • Customer relations
  • Channels of the business model


Engagement: how can the engagement / participation of social media users contribute to the success of our business model via

  • Customer segments
  • Value Propositions
  • Customer relations
  • Business model channels


CorporateBenefits via Social Media Methods

Social media impact is applied through various methods, which have already been outlined above. You can also use these methods as a criterion for analyzing business model and company goals. Of course, this broadly coincides with the questions on social media impact, but leads to an implementation-related concretization that may simplify the search, but in any case provides a more rounded picture for the further development of the strategy.

The following questions serve as examples to make it easier for you to develop your own questions.

Example value propositions

  • How can we contribute to the success of our value propositions – at the needs and performance levels – through content? For example, by making it easier for users to find suitable services for their individual needs or to have them recommended to them through content in social media – interactively.
  • How can we contribute to the success of our value propositions by networking with users? (one answer could be about a better knowledge of the needs and the use of the services from the communication within the framework of this networking, another would be that the networking can promote the engagement of these users – that is, their participation).
  • How can we increase or secure the success of our value propositions through participation / user involvement? Possible answers could be: by improving services through user feedback, by focusing more precisely on user needs, by identifying new needs, or by recommending users to use services for specific needs.
  • How can we increase the success of our value propositions through motivation via social media? For example, through motivational systems that reward user support for using services or finding solutions through other users.
  • Which user benefits from social media contribute directly or indirectly to the success of our value propositions?

A complementary approach to the analysis is to examine how the business model (via its modules) or the corporate objectives can be meaningfully supported by the use of the social media usage formats (including their combinations). However, this approach has the risk that we judge a benefit over the advantage from the use of a tool, whereby the analysis of which tool can be useful in a concrete situation and to what extent is omitted. In other words, an abbreviated analysis based only on usage formats is not recommended.

Corporate Benefit for Corporate Goals

We apply the same methodology for the analysis of the company’s goals. I.e. we check how we can make an impact via social media.

Options for action CompanyBenefits – Summary of possible CompanyBenefits.

As a reminder, the goal of a social media strategy is to create value. Company benefits for the company, user benefits for the users. Without user benefits, there will be no company benefits. Therefore, we focus accordingly on implementing a convincing, attractive and, above all, competitive user benefit.

Beyond that, however, we should always keep the corporate benefit in mind. Otherwise, we run the risk that this not insignificant benefit is not sufficiently weighted in the strategy.

Our methodology for this:

  • We classify options for action according to topics and subject areas in order to make the competitive quality of a strategy draft / our strategy alternative clear.
  • We assign to our topics the business benefits we want to achieve via these topics. In this way, we create a direct link between topics and corporate benefits.
  • We show the possible competitive positions for topics that is possible from a particular combination of core strategy components. In this way, we make the relationship between corporate benefits and the respective combination of contents of the core strategy components visible.

Business Benefits Strategy Version Work Template

For example, the overview / working template for showing the performance of a social media strategy version could correspond to the following figure.

Notes and explanations on the example of this work template

We create this working template to provide an overview of the performance of a single social media strategy release. In this overview we recognize

  • what corporate benefit a strategy should provide for the business model. We can, of course, extend this corporate benefit to additional business objectives.
  • which topics are addressed in the strategy and what share these topics have of all meaningful topics of the company and, last but not least, how many high-priority topics are covered and used by the strategy. The priority of the topics and the social media affinity of the topics of the strategy version can be listed or left out, as long as these factors are sufficiently known and remembered by us.
  • which content from the core strategy components we use for the individual topics.
  • via the color coding of the topics and contents of the core strategy components with the expected competitive position (leading, equal, inferior) which competitive position is to be achieved in the individual topics. In each case, always taking into account high-quality implementation and the accurate assessment of competitive reactions, which we took into account when defining the content of the core strategy components.

Exercise own company

Determine the business benefits that can be realized in social media for your company:

  • Describe the social media benefits for the customer segments of the business model.
  • Describe the potential social media benefits for the business model's value propositions.
  • Describe the potential social media benefit for the business model's customer relationships.
  • Describe 5 topics that are relevant to the business benefits of these modules of the business model.