4.13 Strategy Component Resources

The Resources strategy component is divided into the following areas

  • Basics: here you will learn the basics of the strategy component and the derivation of the content.
  • Application: here you will learn the derivation by means of an exemplary procedure (method).
  • Interactions: here you check the interactions between the strategy components.
  • 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 resources 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. 10 minutes

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

Basics of the strategy component

Definition of the strategy component

In the potential-based strategy model, the Resources strategy component summarizes the resource requirements of a social media strategy from the respective strategy components. It is thus an overview of the resource requirements of a strategy and includes both the resource requirements from the company and the social media resource sources used.

Significance of the strategy component

The strategy component Resources has primarily an informational significance. It summarizes the identifiable resource requirements for a social media strategy and thus contributes to the assessment/evaluation of the strategy.

For the implementation of the strategy, we thus have an overview of the prerequisites at the resource level that we need to secure / create for this strategy.

Strategic importance of the Resources strategy component

The need for resources for a social media strategy either develops during the strategy process or the resources available are already determined at the beginning of the strategy process. Orientation to the resource situation in the development process has an impact on the content and thus the performance quality of the strategy. If we base our strategy development on the available resources, the current resource situation defines how much use the company can make of social media. As a rule, this benefit is usually significantly lower than what social media can contribute to the success of the company. A comparison of the impact and resource requirements of different strategy versions is the more appropriate approach to strategy development.

In the course of the strategy process, it may become clear that a desirable social media strategy overstretches the company’s available resources. In this case, reduced use of social media – with a correspondingly reduced impact – can hardly be avoided. However, the decision on a reduced strategy is sensibly less the task of social media management than of corporate management.

In both cases, the strategy component Resources has a significance influencing the success and benefit of the company through social media – in other words, it is strategic.

Types resources

For social media strategy development, it is helpful to look at the different types of resources.

Obviously, it has to do with

  • Quantitative resources such as the number of people active in social media for the company and the amount of budget available for social media work.
  • with qualitative resources such as the competence of the people who use social media for the company

to do.

Company resources

By corporate resources, we mean the resources we invest in social media from within the company with its contracted service providers.

As far as qualitative resources are concerned, in addition to the quality with which social media can be used, it is above all the competence for the strategy that is decisive. The strategic social media competence is ultimately decisive for what the company achieves for its investment in social media in terms of concrete economic benefits. The required strategic social media competence must therefore include knowledge of social media as well as knowledge of the company and its business model and the strategic skills to use the performance potential of social media for one’s own company in such a way that the optimum possible value is achieved for the company for the investment in social media. This includes, not least, the ability to actively shape competitive situations in social media.

Market resources for social media

Market resources are resources that we can use in social media, but they do not come from corporate resources. These are, for example, resources from partners (especially sales partners) that we can draw on in social media. In order to leverage market resources for social media, we must create sufficient value for these partners with our social media strategy/social media benefits so that it is in their best interest to open their social media resources to us.

Social Media Resources

Social media resources are resources provided by social media. In particular, additional resources can be created through the participation and engagement of social media users. These additional resources from social media, of course, require corresponding benefits for social media users and associated social media user participation and engagement features.

We all know the remarkable impact of content that is massively shared and spread by social media users. When a piece of content goes viral, it can, in effect, “overnight” create a significant, economically valuable impact for the company. Therefore, it is not surprising that companies aim for their content to go viral.

Besides the aspect of spontaneous social media resources in the form of viral content distribution, the no less valuable aspect of structural social media resources receives much less attention, whether because it requires additional thought and effort, but also because it does not correspond to the widespread focus of social media use on the mere distribution of content.

Structural social media resources are created by more or less regular participation of social media users beyond the spontaneous dissemination of content. We know examples of this, for example, from the involvement of social media users in customer retention in corresponding support forums. However, the participation of social media users – given the right framework conditions – can go well beyond this participation, which is very valuable in itself. Using the example of wikis (such as Wikipedia), the actual service (of the wiki) to the organization/company comes from the social media users. If companies succeed in systematically integrating social media users into processes, the resource situation for social media can improve very quickly and drastically and become a real competitive advantage.

The practical benefit of the Resources strategy component

In everyday social media, the practical benefit of the strategy component Resources is significantly lower. It defines a requirement for quality and quantity of resources for the implementation of the defined social media strategy. Thus it is recognizable,

  • that the implementation of the strategy and thus the desired social media success in day-to-day business will be jeopardized if the resources fall below these defined levels.
  • that with higher resources, the strategy should be reviewed and adjusted. Purely qualitative intensification (more resources = more of the same day-to-day business) should be avoided.

Requirements for the content of the strategy component Resources

The content of the Resources strategy component should address at least the following topics.

  • Resource requirements of the individual strategy components
  • Description of technical resources and their necessity and use
  • Description of human resources by qualification and scope.
  • Description of the financial resources

In addition, it makes sense to compare the resource requirements of the individual strategy components with the impact that can be achieved with them.

The chicken-and-egg problem of resources in strategy development

The willingness of a company to invest resources grows with the benefit that this investment carries / can carry for the company.

Here are some key aspects for strategy development

  • If we define our social media strategy based on the resources currently available, we may be foregoing significant benefits that social media would otherwise offer the company. Knowing these benefits, management might be happy to allocate the appropriate resources to take advantage of them.
  • If we define a social media strategy that requires significantly more resources than we currently have available, we run the risk that this strategy will not be accepted if the benefits from this strategy are not convincing enough to justify this investment.

Usage of the Resources strategy component

The benefit of the Resources strategy component lies in the overview of the resource requirements of a social media strategy – both for the decision / evaluation of the strategy and for securing the resource requirements.

Overview of resource requirements

Work step 1 – Summary: we summarize the resource requirements from the individual strategy components. This gives us an overview of the resource requirements for a particular social media strategy. It is helpful to distinguish the resources in this overview according to existing resources that are already available and resources that still need to be created.

Resource requirements and impact

Work step 2 – Allocation: For the discussion of resource needs, it can be helpful to show the connection / impact and prerequisite of resources for certain measures and structures and their importance for the success of the strategy.The impact of resource deficits should be made clear in this. This has the advantage that any discussion about the necessity of using certain resources also takes into account the impact on the success of the strategy.

Structure of the resource requirements

We distinguish between resources for building structures and resources for operating these structures.

For example, for an Audience we need the following structures

  • Platform (software and web space for running an Audience). This can be minimal by using external platforms as a cost factor, or it can be an investment by developing and operating a standalone solution.
  • Content: we need for an audience regularly updated and useful content that is competitive in quality and quantity. Depending on the subject areas and the competitive situation, this may require the establishment of a veritable media production capacity, which does not necessarily have to already exist within the company.
  • Management: we need the competence to manage an audience and to secure and realize the associated business benefits. Depending on the size of the audience, this is a task with entrepreneurial ambition.

In contrast, the structural resource requirements of a community are different:

  • Platform: we need a community platform, with a – compared to the Audience – much more complex structure and more diverse functions. There are also inexpensive or free software packages for this, but they usually require some customization. For this, in turn, the necessary technical competencies in IT and in the management of communities are indispensable.
  • Content: the content is produced by the users, but in order to ensure the attractiveness of the community for its users, the management of the community must be able to ensure sufficient up-to-date and attractive content (from the users). In addition to the tools for managing the community, this requires sufficiently powerful motivation and participation structures, which are not always available to a sufficient extent in standard packages and must be adapted accordingly.
  • ManagementIn addition to the management of the corporate benefit, the management of the community is a task that goes far beyond the management of an audience in terms of demand and scope and, in addition to the competence to ensure active relationships and activities between users, also requires a stable technical knowledge in order to be able to assess and ensure the quality, quantity and attractiveness of the community functions.

The need for a dedicated resource requirement applies to both examples. This is helped by a requirements specification that includes the performance of the respective usage format and the associated resource requirements.

Securing the resources

Principle: Behind every identified resource need, we should be able to note a source that can securely and permanently meet that resource need. If this source does not exist or is not able to permanently cover the required resources in the necessary scope and quality, we are dealing with an open resource situation. Open resource situations jeopardize the implementation of the social media strategy and should therefore be reliably clarified before implementation begins, so that we can approach the implementation of the social media strategy on the basis of a secure resource situation.

Open resources: Since not all resources required for a strategy are always available in the company from the start, it is helpful not only to clearly define the resources that still need to be procured. It is also useful to define when these resources must be available at the latest in order not to jeopardize the implementation of the strategy.

Resource sources

In the resource requirements representation, we define the sources of the resources, that is, where the required resources come from.

Risks from the Resources strategy component

The Resources strategy component summarizes resource requirements and how they are met. Risks arise when resource requirements are not permanently secured or are unexpectedly lost. It therefore makes sense to note identifiable risks accordingly and to examine how these risks can be avoided or reduced. Strategies whose resource requirements cannot be adequately secured should be reviewed and either the resource situation or the strategy adjusted.

This overview lists the resource requirements for various uses. Depending on the usage format, the focus in resource requirements is on content, structures or management. Assigning resource requirements to specific measures makes it easier to establish the relationship between effort and benefit.