4.12 Strategy Component Objectives

The topic of objectives is divided into the areas of

  • Basics: here you will learn the basics of the strategy component and the derivation of the content.
  • Application: here you will learn the practical application.
  • Exercises: here you practice the derivation on your own example(s). In the coaching package of the online course you will receive feedback, suggestions and criticism on your exercises.

The learning objective of the topic is to

  • Provide objectives as part of social media strategy.
  • be able to derive the contents of the strategy component from the defined strategy and the contents of other strategy components.

Reading time: approx. 14 minutes

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

Definition of the strategy component

The strategy component objectives of a pbsm social media strategy contains all objectives to be implemented in a social media strategy. That is, we outline the business objectives to be achieved with the social media strategy and the resulting social media objectives.

Significance of the strategy component objectives

The strategy component objectives is a summary of the corporate objectives as well as the social media objectives of the social media strategy, both at the overall strategy level and at the strategy component level. This summary of the objectives

  • facilitates checking the completeness of the strategy’s objectives, i.e. whether all business objectives are matched by corresponding social media objectives.
  • facilitates the review of objectives for plausibility (derivation of social media objectives from corporate objectives, as well as assessment of content to realize the objectives),
  • Facilitates the review of objectives for their interactions.
Strategic benefit of the strategy component objectives

If the anchoring of a strategy in day-to-day work is inadequate, the strategy will have a correspondingly weaker effect on day-to-day work, i.e. it will not be given sufficient attention or implemented and the result will fall short of what is possible.

The objectives form the quantitative connection and anchoring of the social media strategy to the daily business. In other words, we break down the objectives in the strategy in the individual strategy components to such an extent – from the corporate objectives to the social media objectives – that they can be used as guidelines for day-to-day business. To this end, we also use KPIs as far as possible.

The strategy component objectives itself has no formative, defining significance for strategy development, because in this form it is a mere summary. It provides clarity and orientation for the daily work, and as a consequence of the overview as a control authority for completeness and plausibility.

Practical use of the strategy component objectives in everyday social media life

The objectives in the strategy component objectives provide us with individual concrete targets for implementation in day-to-day business. This also includes the KPIs that we have derived from the individual strategy components. In this way, we clearly align our day-to-day business with the objectives of the social media strategy. If we deviate from these objectives in our day-to-day business – in planning as well as in results – we are more clearly and quickly aware of the effects on the success of the strategy.

Requirements for the content of the strategy component objectives

The strategy component objectives should address at least the following content:

  • Requirements and objectives from business model, competition, corporate objectives in the form of the corporate benefit to be realized.
  • Social Media objectives of the Social Media Strategy
  • Corporate and social media objectives from the individual strategy components (overview)
  • KPIs for the respective targets

Absolute and relative objectives

Social media objectives should be measurable. This requires quantities. However, quantities are also relative. Whether I am the market leader with 40,000 customers or not depends not least on how big the other competitors are. Thus, absolute objectives can be misleading if the appropriate context is missing. We can define objectives both as absolute quantities, in relation to a potential, or in relation (for example, to the competition). Which approach is the most recommendable depends not least on the possibility of measuring it.

Social media impact and business success

Social media objectives are effects that are to be realized in social media. To ensure that the impact realized in social media also becomes a corporate success, we make sure that the link between social media impact and corporate benefit is as clear as possible, both in strategy development and in the summary of the strategy’s objectives (reminder: in pbsm, corporate benefit is the benefit to the company that occurs when we have realized a corporate objective through social media). A content-related / factual as well as measurable reference from the company benefit to the social media effect should be recognizable so that the social media success contributes clearly and measurably to the company success.

As a reminder, here in the form of an example the connections / impact chain of an individual companyBenefits from a module of the business model to the corresponding social media objectives.

Business modelCorporateBenefitsStrategy
Social media objectives
KPI / Measurement
Customer segmentsMarket leader
Segment X
Leading position in the most important topics of the customer segment through competitive usage format, highest user benefit and most active user recommendations Market leadership in the usage format(s) of the topics active reach in the topics measured by users / time period
Leading UserBenefit for the topics of the customer segmentActive use UserBenefit/period
Participation: highest user recommendationsNumber of user recommendations/period
Motivation: Motivation for recommendation with motivation systemMotivational impulses / period
Example impact chain business model- social media objectives

So only work with social media objectives that pay off on a clearly defined and strategically desired business benefit. The further away the social media objectives and their KPIs are from the strategically desired corporate success/corporate benefit, i.e., the longer the impact chain, the more strictly we must ensure that there is as clear a connection as possible between the social media objectives and the corporate benefit.

Multiple social media objectives and business benefits

In practice, we more often have to deal with multiple social media objectives that we have to meet in our day-to-day work. For example, we need to build reach, keep that reach active and generate attention for specific services and activities, help shape the company’s image, including its employer branding, and possibly even develop or strengthen a brand.

Working on such a colorful bouquet of objectives requires an even clearer focus on the corporate benefits we want to achieve in social media. Neglecting one of the objectives may have a negative impact on more than just that objectives.

For practical purposes, it is therefore valuable to have a system of KPIs that covers all these objectives and shows the degree to which they have been achieved. In this way, we at least reduce the risk of neglecting individual objectives in our day-to-day work. The risk of dispersing resources, which exists when there are a large number of social media objectives to be achieved in parallel, cannot be eliminated by a system of KPIs alone.

Interactions and objectives

We know the interactions between the various strategy components and, when developing the contents of these strategy components, we check whether the contents of the strategy components are compatible with each other or whether there are conflicts between these contents.

For the objectives, we should consider similar. After all, objectives are nothing more than quantities we want to achieve for or with certain content. Therefore, if contents of the different strategy components can conflict with each other – because they negatively affect each other – this must also be true for the objectives of the strategy components. And, of course, not only for negative influence but also for the positive effect of the contents of the strategy components on other strategy components.

We are therefore well advised to look at the objectives of the individual strategy components to see whether they support each other or whether there are conflicting objectives.

Social Media KPIs

Social media KPIs are metrics designed to help us stay on track with the right objectives in our day-to-day work and know where we are on the path to achieving our objectives. To derive KPIs, we need (corporate) objectives that our social media strategy should achieve. We need to be able to drive these objectives in social media using metrics. For this topic, I recommend taking a look at Vivian Pein’s Social Media Manager. This read is certainly within reach of every social media manager, or at least it should be.

KPIs are indispensable for the definition of strategy because their definition provides us with strategic guidelines for our day-to-day work as well as parameters with which we can recognize the success/progress in the implementation of the strategy in our day-to-day work. For these two reasons, we are particularly interested in ensuring that there is as strong and direct a link as possible between KPIs as a measure of the success of day-to-day work and the company benefits / contribution of social media to the company’s success.

For the selection of KPIs, two rules of thumb for practice:

  • Much does not help much. It is advisable to focus on fewer KPIs than to try to chase a multitude of more or less meaningful KPIs. It’s easier to keep track of a handful of KPIs in your day-to-day work than to constantly deal with one or more dozen of these metrics.
  • Short distances make for success. KPIs whose contribution to the company’s success is made in a short way are valuable if only because their impact is not reduced in a long way. Therefore, orient yourself to social media objectives and KPIs with a short and direct relationship to the company’s success. This does not mean that they neglect building and maintaining infrastructures such as reach and channels, but that they keep an eye on their relevance and impact for the company’s success.

Popular KPIs

For example, Meltwater has a blog explaining the 22 most important KPIs. Here are some example from it.

Share of voiceShare of Voice = (sum of own mentions ÷ sum of all relevant mentions of all competitors) x 100
Engagement rateEngagement Rate = (Number of engagements ÷ Number of fans and followers) x 100
Click-Through RateClick-through rate = clicks ÷ total reach x 100
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)ROAS = advertising profit ÷ advertising costs
ImpressionsImpressions = number of times content was displayed
RangeReach = number of people who have seen the content
Social Media MentionsNumber of mentions in Soclal Media
Number of sharesNumber of posts/content shared/forwarded.
TonalityTone of content on social media, i.e., whether content is treated positively or negatively.
Conversionsdesired response in or through social media

Some of these KPIs social media has in common with online advertising. Even though objectives can be achieved in different ways, the goal can be the same.

In social media, KPIs are largely focused on the audience usage format, as the Meltwater example shows. At the same time, however, KPIs for other usage formats – especially communities – are also possible. We base KPIs for communities, for example, on the number and activity of users and the functions that contribute to this, such as networking and communication between users. .

For practical work, it is helpful to develop a feeling for how far a KPI is from the actual business objective. The structure of a target / KPI pyramid or the presentation of a corresponding impact series are helpful for this.

Interactions of the strategy component objectives

The objectives strategy component is a collection of all the objectives of the social media components in one place. This results in an automatic interaction with all other strategy components. Therefore, the interactions of the objectives will not be treated independently. The interactions between the contents of the individual strategy components automatically lead to interactions between the objectives and are dealt with in their respective topics.

Application Strategy Component Objectives

Requirements for the content of the strategy component objectives

The strategy component objectives serves as an overview of the objectives of the social media strategy and its KPIs. This overview

  • summarizes the objectives of the individual strategy components at a glance.
  • shows how the objectives are interconnected (corporate benefit and social media objectives). In this way, we ensure a clear chain of effects.
  • shows which social media objectives contribute to which corporate benefit, or which corporate benefit is to be achieved with which social media objectives. In this way, we can determine the target orientation of the social media strategy to the desired corporate benefit and identify possible deficits or weaknesses.

The strategy component gains its strategic as well as practical importance through its function as a bridge into day-to-day work. On the basis of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicator), we ensure that the objectives of the strategy are targeted in the day-to-day work.

Overview of corporate benefits and social media objectives

Criteria for the practical derivation of KPIs

  • Social media objectives must be measurable. With this, we should break down / clearly define our social media objectives to the point where we can define objectively measurable success criteria.
  • Social media objectives and their KPIs must pay off in terms of business success. This means that they must be related in content to the intended corporate benefit.

Sources for social media objectives

  • We derive social media objectives for topics. Thus, we cover the contribution of social media to business models and corporate objectives.
  • We derive social media objectives for the core strategy components user benefits, usage formats participation, motivation and social media channels. There we implement the objectives for the topics.
Practical examples
  • Social media objectives for topics: we want to become the leading source / address for content, networking or for engagement in one or more topics. From this goal and from the respective competitive situation, KPIs arise, for example, for the use of content, for user networking, for user engagement.
  • Social Media objectives for UserBenefit: we want to provide the leading UserBenefit in the competition in our topics as a goal. Concrete KPIs can be generated from the user benefit and its application.
  • Social media objectives for usage formats: KPIs for usage formats result, for example, from the use of content as targets or from user participation in communities.
  • Social media objectives for participation: KPIs can be derived from user participation objectives.
  • Social media objectives for motivation: KPIs for motivation, for example, are based on the objectives for the motivational structures we use.
  • Social media targets for social media channels: the scope and intensity of the social media channels used are sources of KPIs, for example.

Work Templates

Below is a suggested working template summarizing the objectives as an overview. However, it is not very sure that we can present all the objectives in a worksheet in this format. The overview in this format is primarily for explanatory purposes.

About the contents of the overview

Business model: we focus this overview on how a social media strategy/strategy version supports the business model. So the overview is to show what this strategy can do for the business model. This overview is therefore not only suitable for demonstrating the performance potential of a strategy for a business model but also for evaluating and comparing business models.

CorporateBenefit: we show which corporate benefit a strategy should provide for which part of the business model. We take the corporate benefit from the analysis of the social media performance potential for the business model.

Strategy component content: here we describe with which content of which strategy component wr provide this business benefit. The source of this content is the strategy components. We should have an explanation for all corporate benefits, with which strategy component we create this benefit and we should have a corporate benefit for all content of the core strategy components, for which this content creates a concrete benefit.

  • If we have content in the core strategy components that does not create tangible benefits, we should review that content to determine whether it is necessary.
  • If we have company benefits without information on the content of the core strategy components with which these benefits are provided, we should check this. Either we do without the benefit in the strategy or we define how it can be provided.

Social media objectives: we list here which social media objectives are associated with the content of the strategy components. That is, we note what needs to be achieved in social media with this content in order to realize the business benefit. These can be absolute objectives or relevant objectives, but should definitely be measurable objectives.

KPI: here we define the KPI we use to measure the social media objectives.

In this example, qualitative and quantitative targets are distinguished. Qualitative objectives are or at least should also be measurable. However, it is not always easy to cleanly determine the required quantities for these objectives. Particularly when it comes to changes in behavior that are difficult to measure or changes in structures, caution is called for. Explanation: A typical example of this in social media is the measurement of activity among users in a community. In a community with constant growth, measuring activity across all members is tricky because activity also depends on the status of users. A new member who establishes himself in a community is – because of setting up his own profile and searching for acquaintances etc. – more active than after his establishment phase. – more active than after his establishment phase. If the community management does not take care to measure the activity by cohorts (formed on the basis of the duration of membership), the picture of activity over all will not reflect the true state of activity of the community and a drift of users into inactivity will go unnoticed as long as it is masked by the growth of new members.

The interactions at the level of the objectives can be made clear, for example, by means of an overview in which social media objectives that are mutually dependent are compared with each other.

If we recognize that the objectives of one strategy component conflict with those of another strategy component, we should revise the content again.

If we recognize that the objectives of one strategy component are not supported by other strategy components – with which there is an important interaction – this is a sign of a strategic weakness that we should rework.

Strategies whose components support each other are significantly more powerful. The extent to which this support is in place is also indicated by the support among the objectives during the strategy development and evaluation phase.