4.0 Strategy components

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

The module or chapter Strategy Components is dedicated to the tasks that arise from the social media strategy for the individual strategy components.

The aim of the section is to

  • Strategy components to be understood as a bracket between defined social media strategy and daily work in social media.
  • Understand the role of strategy components in the development / definition of a social media strategy / draft social media strategy.
  • Understand the methods we use to derive the content of strategy components from a defined social media strategy and concretize it for day-to-day social media work.

Overview of the strategy components

Our strategy components are

  • Usage formats
  • Range
  • Target groups
  • Channels
  • Topics and contents
  • Communication
  • User benefit
  • CorporateBenefits
  • Motivation
  • Participation
  • Goals and target system
  • Resources
  • Assumptions and prerequisites
  • Strategy risks

The contents of the individual strategy components are defined in these.

Importance of the strategy components

The roles of the strategy components in pbsm

We use the strategy components in the potential-based strategy model to develop a strategy / strategy alternative and, as a logical consequence, as components of the final social media strategy. This task results in two roles for the strategy components:

  • we use different content in individual strategy components to develop and evaluate strategy versions.
  • we use the strategy components of the selected strategy to document the strategy and design the daily work in social media.

Strategic importance

Strategy components define the individual contents of a strategy. They are the individual parts of a structure that works together. The strategic importance results from the following effects

  • The individual strategy component highlights the interactions in a strategy. This enables us to recognize which content in a strategy “works together” without problems or interferes with each other. This has a direct impact on the success of the strategy.
  • At the same time, the individual strategy component enables us to identify in greater detail the strengths and weaknesses of a strategy in relation to the competition or in terms of its impact on the market. That is, we can both develop higher-performing strategies more easily and avoid weaknesses in our strategies more easily.
  • We can better identify the resource requirements and feasibility of a strategy via the content of the individual strategy components.

Practical benefit of a strategy component

The strategy components contain the tasks and goals of a social media strategy – broken down by functional areas. Thus, the strategy components are the bridge into the day-to-day work in social media. They contain the content for task and work planning in social media and make it easier for us to keep track of the implementation of the goals and content of our strategy in our day-to-day work.

Definition of the contents of a strategy component

Division of the strategy into overall strategy and strategy components

We divide the social media strategy into a

  • overview, which explains the strategy to us at a glance and in
  • Strategy components that describe the individual contents of the strategy in more detail.

Note: This breakdown makes it much easier to implement the strategy and incorporate it into day-to-day work. A strategy that is not present in the day-to-day work, i.e. that shapes the day-to-day work, will sooner or later have problems in and with implementation.

Definition of the contents of the individual strategy components

We determine the content of our strategy components through the following process.

  1. Deriving the (core) content of the strategy from the modules that provide the input for strategy development, i.e.
    1. Business model and corporate goals
    2. Social media affinity of the market (via its topics from customer segments and value propositions).
    3. Competitive situation
  2. Derivation/adjustment of the contents of the strategy components from the defined strategy/strategy version
  3. Review of content for quality of content (performance)
  4. Checking the content for
    • 4.1. Interactions within the strategy
    • 4.2. Competitive quality
    • 4.3. Resource requirements / feasibility

If the review of the content reveals unsolvable problems in

  • the quality of the content
  • compatibility with other strategy components (interactions)
  • Competitive quality
  • Resource requirements / feasibility

we must adapt the content – taking into account the effects – as far as necessary.

Content elements of the strategy component

Content elements describe what we want to achieve, how we want to achieve this goal, and what impact this has on other strategy elements, as well as the resource requirements that result. In our strategy component, we thus describe and explain

  • Targets
  • Measures
  • Competitive performance
  • Performance for business model and corporate goals
  • Interactions
  • Resource requirements

as precisely and concretely as possible. Strategy components are the bridge into day-to-day work. We use the strategy components to define the tasks for the “day-to-day work”.

Additionally, it is highly recommended to justify this content. This includes an explanation of why we have chosen this content, as well as the basis on which this content was created. This helps us to more quickly assign the impact of changes – in the fundamentals – to the affected strategy components and to more quickly identify the impact of changes in the strategy components – on the fundamentals and sources.

Priorities and strategy development

Strategies are structures whose individual components work together to achieve a desired result. The more components work together, the more complex the strategy and the interdependencies. Therefore, to develop a social media strategy, we should be clear in advance about the priorities of each strategy component in order to design a result that works. Through these priorities, we define which strategy component is the determining element in the interactions with other strategy components.

This priority has a comprehensive and, above all, directional effect on the nature of the strategy, as is clear from the following examples:

  • Channels and usage formats: If the channels are the determining element in this relationship, the usage formats are subordinate to the performance potential of the channels and the performance potential of our strategy is limited by the performance potential of the channels. If the usage formats are the defining element, the channels subordinate themselves and we have to adapt the use of our channels to the requirements of the usage formats. This may mean that we have to use channels differently and supplement them so that we can use the potential of the usage formats.
  • Participation and channels: if user participation is crucial to our strategy, this strategy component must be given priority.
  • Communication and channels: If certain communication relationships or functions are indispensable, this must be reflected accordingly in the use of social media channels and we must design our channel architecture accordingly. If the channel architecture cannot be adapted to the requirements from communication, this strategy component will fail partially or completely – with the corresponding consequences for the social media strategy as a whole.

Strategic significance: If we base our strategy on external performance potentials, our strategy will be reduced to the extent that these performance potentials are below the given possibilities. At the same time, this results in a potential competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis competitors, which comes into play when other suppliers – whether performance competitors or attention competitors – operate with a less limited strategy. The priorities of the individual strategy components in relation to one another thus have an impact on the competitiveness and future viability of a social media strategy.

Interactions and requirements between strategy components

There are intensive interactions or requirements between the individual strategy components that want to be taken into account when designing the content of a strategy component. If this does not happen or does not happen sufficiently, the strategy component “works” or does not work at all accordingly. This can lead to a lasting reduction in the success / impact of the overall social media strategy.

Interactions are mutual influences in a social media strategy and are not limited to interactions between two strategy components. A content of a strategy component can affect several strategy components. Here we consider the interactions between two strategy components. To identify the impact of a content on multiple strategy components, we examine all individual strategy components.

Example participation: active user participation supports the development of reach. The range in which user participation takes place has a corresponding impact on the extent of user participation. With user participation we can start a process that is also called "going viral".  

Requirements of a strategy component to one or more other strategy components are unilateral in nature and result from the fact that a content of a strategy component must be implemented in other strategy components.

Example UserBenefit: our social media strategy is based on a UserBenefit that has to be implemented in the usage format(s) of the strategy, the communication, if possible also the motivation and last but not least in the social media channels.  

Intended “redundancy” in the strategy components

Due to the requirements of strategy components, there is a system-related redundancy in the contents of the strategy components which is a useful, sensible and intended characteristic of the potential-based strategy model pbsm.

The requirement of a strategy component for other strategy components becomes tasks for them that the individual strategy component is supposed to perform. A requirement/task is therefore present in at least 2 strategy components.

This “intentional redundancy” is useful because it supports a seamless strategy. Requirements that are listed in one strategy component but do not appear as tasks in another strategy component (and are solved there) are practically absent from the strategy. Thus, this content of a strategy component fails and jeopardizes the completeness and impact of the strategy.

By strictly checking and ensuring this intentional redundancy, we can avoid this risk and ensure the completeness of the strategy.


For each strategy component, we identify qualitative as well as quantitative targets, even if we cannot always define the quantitative targets precisely and may have to readjust them during the strategy process and implementation. We combine the objectives of the individual strategy components into one strategy component Objectives for the entire strategy.

Thanks to this summary, we can more easily recognize when individual goals are not compatible with the strategy as a whole or the goals of other strategy components and can take steps to resolve these differences.

Static targets and relative targets

We can use both static goals and relative goals for the strategy components. Static goals have the advantage of simplicity and clarity but also the disadvantage of being inflexible. static targets are usually fixed quantities.

Relative goals have the advantage of flexibility but the disadvantage of being more complex. Relative targets refer to a different quantity and can be temporarily static.

Example of themes: the example of themes as a central element in the potential-based strategy model provides a good explanation of the practical as well as strategically relevant difference. If a company wants to take or keep a leading position in the competition in a topic area, this can lead - using the example of an audience - to this company offering the most content for this company.  

If the company defines this requirement by means of a static target in the form of a fixed quantity, this is a simple and clear requirement. If a competitor decides to take the leading position in this topic, this establishes a spiral in which the company with the static goal follows more or less belatedly and thus permanently threatens to slide into a disadvantageous competitive situation.  

A company that operates through relative goals is forced to constantly update its goals and therefore reacts more quickly to changes. In addition, we base the relative target on a more original measure (the leading competitive position) rather than a past measure derived from it (fixed volume based on past competitive position).  


For each strategy component, we define its identifiable qualitative and quantitative resource requirements. We summarize these needs in the Resources strategy component.

Thanks to this summary, we can only see the resource requirements of the individual contents of the strategy components and can more easily identify where which resources face which expected effect. We also more easily recognize the impact on strategy and its components when resources are not available in sufficient quantities and can communicate these consequences more quickly.


The practical application of strategy components is described in the individual strategy components.


We practice working with strategy components in the respective strategy components.