4.2 Strategy Component UserBenefit: Application

The section on the strategy component UserBenefits 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 derivation by means of an exemplary procedure (method).
  • 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

  • Understand UserBenefit as a component 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. 32 minutes

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

Application

The starting point for defining the strategy component UserBenefit is a strategy draft in which the core UserBenefit(s) of the strategy draft are defined.

  • Definition: we describe the intended user benefit(s) of our social media strategy, i.e. what benefit, what impact, by what means will be delivered.
  • Measures: we describe with which measures the user benefit is created.
  • Resources: we describe the identifiable resource requirements for the UserBenefit – in particular the technical, financial and human resources that are prerequisites for the UserBenefit.
  • Sizes and KPIs: we define the target sizes and the KPIs for the strategy component (e.g. coverage of the target group by UserBenefit, Utilization, Impact CompanyBenefit).
  • Target group relevance: we describe the target group relevance of the user benefit and its attractiveness for the respective target groups. To do this, we define which key interests and needs our user benefits address.
  • Competitive effect: we describe the competitiveness of the UserBenefit – both in relation to performance and attention competitors, i.e. whether we can bring about competitive advantages, a leading market position, a tie with existing competition or merely a weaker position in competition through the UserBenefit in the respective topic area(s).
  • Usage format: we describe the usage formats that are required or suitable for the user benefit.
  • Interactions: we describe critical interactions with other strategy components that negatively impact user benefits and solutions.
  • BusinessBenefit: we describe how the UserBenefit contributes to the BusinessBenefit. Whether this is the case directly – i.e. the user benefit has a causal effect on the company benefit – or whether this is more of an indirect nature, in which the user benefit builds up a basis that subsequently has a positive effect on the company benefit via further processes.
  • Assumptions: we describe assumptions on which the UserBenefit is based. This mainly concerns assumptions about the effect of user benefits in the target groups and in the competition.
  • Prerequisites: we describe prerequisite on which the UserBenefit is based. This includes above all technical, personnel and conceptual requirements.
  • Goals: we describe the qualitative and quantitative goals of the UserBenefit and the goals to be achieved with the UserBenefit. This applies above all to the extent and intensity with which our user benefits are accepted by users and their impact on the competition. User benefit goals can range from generating attention to systematic participation.
  • Resources: we describe the identifiable set of resources required for the UserBenefit, in particular the technical, financial, and human resources that are prerequisites for the UserBenefit.
  • Risks: we describe identifiable risks that arise / can arise from the defined user benefits.

The task of the application is to define the strategy component UserBenefit

  • to work out the content.
  • to be examined in terms of its quality and relevance.
  • to be examined in its interaction with the other strategy components.
  • define the measures for the implementation of the user benefits.
  • Describe assumptions and prerequisites for UserBenefit success.
  • Assess the resource requirements for the implementation of the UserBenefit.
  • Determine the goals from and for the UserBenefits.

Work steps for deriving the contents

From the topics that define our market, we define one or more UserBenefits according to the requirements for the content of the strategy component under “UserBenefits of the company” and check these UserBenefit(s) for

  1. Relevance and attractiveness (for our target groups)
  2. Coverage (of our target groups)
  3. Usage format (which is suitable for the user benefit)
  4. Competitive quality (compared to user benefits of the competition, determined by the topics of the strategy)
  5. Corporate impact (support of business model / corporate functions)
  6. Realizability of the company benefit

Explanation of the individual steps:

Step 1: Relevance and attractiveness

We check in 2 steps how relevant and attractive our planned user benefits are for our social media users.

  • Step 1 deals with the relevance of the benefit. We test this relevance based on the interests and motivations of our social media users. Does our UserBenefit meet an important interest or motivation of our social media users? Assessing this requires in-depth knowledge of the interests of our social media users / target groups. Existing studies from marketing/market research or appropriately structured personas help here.
  • Step 2 checks how far the user benefit and or the interest behind it is part of the social communication. In other words, how far and how pronounced this benefit and the interest behind it is present in social media. If we have an interest that is not present in social media, the question arises whether this interest is relevant as a basis for the user benefit of a social media.

Note: If the user benefit has no or only a very weak connection to the interests of the target groups, this is a hard knock-out criterion. criterion. Under no circumstances should we try to apply a user benefit in the market that is not of interest, no matter how many internal reasons there are for doing so.

Result: we have identified one or better several well-suited UserBenefits with convincing relevance and attractiveness.

Step 2: Cover

In this step we check which of our possible UserBenefits from step 1 has sufficient coverage of the planned UserBenefits within our target groups. In other words, what proportion of our social media users / target groups we will reach with our planned user benefits. To do this, we check which needs and interests the user benefits address and to what extent these needs and interests exist in our target groups. This content is either available in marketing (target group knowledge) or must be collected.

Note: if we reach only a small part of the target group with a suitable user benefit, this is also a form of relevance problem. We can try to address the missing part of the target group by a complementary UserBenefit or we choose another UserBenefit with a more acceptable coverage.

Result: We have one or more user benefits that are convincing in terms of relevance, attractiveness and coverage.

Step 3: Usage format

We check which social media usage format best serves our intended user benefit. To do this, we analyze whether the user benefits best from an audience, a community or the usage format network.

  • An audience is suitable if the user benefit consists primarily of content in sender-receiver format.
  • Network is recommended when the UserBenefit consists of content relevant to personal networks or professionally based networks.
  • Community is preferable if the user benefit consists primarily in a social context such as the experience and knowledge of others (user generated content) or community is a prerequisite for the user benefit (recognition, status).

Of course, we can basically combine usage formats or supplement them in individual services, always provided that we can afford these possibilities from a conceptual, technical, personnel and quantity and quality point of view.

Result: we have the right usage formats for one or more user benefits that are convincing in terms of relevance, attractiveness and coverage.

Step 4: Competitive quality

We compare our planned UserBenefits with the UserBenefits of our competitors. To this end, we use the themes of our strategy. That is, we compare the intended UserBenefit(s) with the UserBenefits of our competitors present in the themes of our strategy. This enables us – assuming appropriate knowledge of the competition, market and target group – to assess whether our intended UserBenefit is more attractive than the UserBenefit(s) of our competitors.

Equivalence of UserBenefit will contribute significantly less to the success of our social media strategy / social media use than a recognizably more attractive UserBenefit. Remember that user value is the “flagship” and the key success factor of your strategy.

We compare our UserBenefits from step 3 with the UserBenefits of our competitors and check whether we can compete with the UserBenefits of our competitors.

  • Competitive advantages over the user benefits of the competition can be expected.
  • have an equivalence of user benefit with the offers of the competition. will contribute significantly less to the success of our social media strategy / social media use than a recognizably more attractive user benefit. Remember that user value is the “flagship” and the key success factor of your strategy.
  • have a user benefit with lower competitive quality.

Problems and solutions

  • Equivalence in competition: If our UserBenefit is at most equivalent to the UserBenefit of our competition, it is advisable to think again about the UserBenefit of our strategy.
  • Lower competitive quality: a startup with a UserBenefit with lower competitive quality is difficult to compensate for within the strategy, even via strengths in other strategy components. A more competitive UserBenefit is a much better alternative.

Result: we have identified one or more user benefits and the usage formats suitable for them, which are convincing in terms of relevance, attractiveness, coverage and competitive quality.

Step 5: BusinessBenefits

Here we check how our UserBenefit(s) from Step 4 affects the CompanyBenefit, i.e., what benefit the company derives directly or indirectly from this UserBenefit. We check whether – and how – the user benefit

  • Contributes directly to a desired business benefit
  • indirectly supports a desired business benefit.

If the intended UserBenefit is not positively related to a CompanyBenefit, this UserBenefit is not necessarily immediately obsolete. If it opens up and secures the market for us in the form of social media users, it still fulfills an important purpose – namely to enable the success of our strategy. Nevertheless, a lack of reference i. This is a disadvantage in the sense of a causality of the user benefit to a concrete company benefit, because in this case we have to build a larger bridge from the user benefit to the company benefit. D. h. We should also pay attention to ensuring that the path from user benefit to company benefit is not too long and complicated. If we still have several equivalent user benefits to choose from, a higher direct relationship to the company benefit is a decision criterion.

Result: we have identified one or more user benefits and the usage formats suitable for them, which are convincing in terms of relevance, attractiveness, coverage and competitive quality and contribute – directly or indirectly – to the company benefit.

Problems and solutions

  • No completely convincing user benefit remains across the individual work steps:

Goals Strategy component

The general task of the strategy component is to define a suitable user benefit as a task for implementing the strategy in day-to-day business.

We measure the quantitative and qualitative implementation of the UserBenefit via the KPIs from the practical use of the UserBenefit by the users. For example, in the form of dissemination or active use of the offered user benefit related to the reach

Decisions

Deciding on the user benefits of our social media strategy is part of defining the strategy. It is mentioned here to show the strategy component UserBenefit also from the point of view of determining the content.

  • Defining the or UserBenefit for our social media strategy.

Basis for decision-making

The most important basis for decision-making is the overview of the user benefits of the topic areas of our social media strategy that are suitable and useful, already exist / are used in these topic areas or are not yet available and open.

Involved

  • Social Media Responsible
  • Market Responsible
  • Person responsible for customer relations

Involving market managers and those responsible for customer relations in this decision makes sense in principle because the choice of the user benefits

  • has a far-reaching influence on the success of the social media strategy.
  • affects the customer relationship.
  • has an impact on market results – especially if the user benefit is more closely related to the company’s performance, for example by directly supporting its use or sales.
The priority of UserBenefit is to create value for the user and should not be altered by other interests – such as sales opportunities. An unconvincing user benefit that is primarily designed for a sales advantage will do more harm than good in the long run.

Requirements for other strategy components

The content of the UserBenefit strategy component gives rise to requirements for other strategy components. Below are some basic / typical requirements as an example.

  • Requirement for usage formats: the user benefits must be realizable in the selected usage format of the strategy. If the user benefit is, for example, an exchange with other users, the Audience standalone usage format is less suitable.
  • Requirement Motivation: supporting user benefits through motivation contributes to the success of the strategy. Therefore, motivation methods and structures should be geared towards this.
  • Requirement Participation: UserBenefits can benefit from participation. We therefore give the strategy component participation the task of supporting user benefits through participation offerings and, if possible, generating a network effect.
  • Communication requirement: User benefits should be permanently communicated. In the context of communication with the users as in the communication action of the users. For this purpose, appropriate structures should be created, such as content visible on the website for this purpose.
  • Requirement for social media channels: the implementation of user benefits is associated with corresponding measures and functions that must be able to be implemented in the social media channels used.
  • Resource requirement: in the resource requirement, care must be taken to ensure that the resource requirement can be secured on a permanent basis. If the resource requirement also consists of special know-how, we should make sure that this know-how cannot be lost due to personnel changes, for example.

For the specific content of the strategy component, develop the respective requirements for other strategy components via the content and the measures for implementing the user benefits.

Measures of the UserBenefit strategy component

We have now comprehensively defined and tested the user benefits we want to deliver with our social media strategy. The next step is to define the measures that create this user benefit.

The types of user benefits are described in the Fundamentals. Now it is a matter of determining the measures that can ensure a selected user benefit. Since we know the type of benefit with the UserBenefit, we can derive the required usage format and the social media impact (type and scope) from it.

When determining the usage format, we are dealing with both the suitability for the user benefit and the competitive situation of the user benefit. In other words – we should not only pay attention to which usage format is sufficient to ensure a user benefit, but also which competitive effect the individual usage format has. For example, if both an Audience and a Community can be considered as a usage format, the Community enables a much higher competitive impact, but also corresponding resources.

Practice Notes
Problems in the implementation of the user benefit are more often based on the selected socia media channels and their performance potential. Remember that user value is central to the success of the strategy. Adjust the use of social media channels as appropriate. 
Be careful not to confuse user benefits with business benefits. A positive context of UserBenefit exists, for example, when the UserBenefit benefits from the company’s performance. An obligatory link – user usage only with simultaneous use of the company service – is counterproductive. 

Process result

At the end of this process, we have a user benefit that matches the possibilities of social media and the company as far as possible, does justice to the competitive situation, and supports the business model as much as possible.

Use of the result

  • Strategy definition (via the strategy component UserBenefit)
  • Examination of interactions within the strategy
  • Strategy evaluation – especially competitiveness of the strategy.

Insights for strategy development

  • The user benefit in the market for the respective topics represents once the standard, which we must perform with our Soclal Media offer at least likewise, in order to be competitive.
  • We check whether we can offer / create a more relevant / attractive user benefit for our users as part of our social media strategy. This would have created a temporary competitive advantage for our social media strategy, which is important for the success of our social media strategy.

If we find a more attractive user benefit that we can create via our social media offering, we generate a competitive advantage that is probably limited in time. This competitive advantage is then limited in time if it can be copied / also offered by competitors.

Social UserBenefit

When deploying a user benefit, it is helpful if that user has a social component. I.e. that it grows, for example, by passing on or by communication. This is the case when the UserBenefit is helpful for ego or social self-expression, or the UserBenefit can be passed on to others with benefits for the User. Social UserBenefits support the building of reach and the spread of our social media offering beyond the performance of a “normal” UserBenefit.

Different user benefits for different topics

It is not certain that we will find meaningful open user benefits for several or even just one topic area. Of course, that won’t stop us from at least looking for them, because open user benefits are a good basis for competitive advantages.

Since topics can have different priorities for our company – as well as for the users – it makes sense to focus on the topics that are particularly important for companies – or users – when searching for open user benefits.

We can certainly use different UserBenefits for different topics, as long as we are able to implement them in a technically and conceptually clean way. Different user benefits for different topics increase the uniqueness of a social media offering and make it more difficult for the competition to copy this offering.

Lack of competitiveness of the planned user benefit of our social media offer

If the intended social media offer / social media strategy lacks a competitive user benefit, this is a handicap for the success of the social media offer / social media strategy. We should urgently try to compensate for this deficit in the awareness of what is present in the market in terms of user benefits in order to design a competitive strategy.

Me too – UserBenefit

If our user benefits are as close as possible to those of our competitors, this is a serious handicap for the success of our social media strategy, which we urgently need to compensate for with other strategy components. If we are not able to do this in a way that is convincingly recognizable to the user, the success of the strategy is questionable.

Resource requirements of the strategy component

We define which economic resources are required to enable the desired user benefits. These can be technical resources as well as personnel or other material resources. We pay particular attention here to required functions of our social media platform. The measures we need to generate UserBenefit are our sources for estimating the resource requirements of UserBenefit.

Opportunities and risks Strategy component UserBenefits

General risks in connection with user benefits
  • The easy traceability of the UserBenefit of a strategy by competitors can lead to a quick equalization of a competitive advantage from the UserBenefit. This strategy thus loses a key success factor. For practical application, it is therefore advisable to develop the user benefit also from the perspective of copyability.
  • User benefits that only marginally correspond to the interests of our target groups are risky as success factors. We run the risk of being only peripherally successful. We take strict care to ensure that the user benefits, which we use as a key success factor in our strategy, are highly attractive to all target groups relevant to our strategy.
  • The tendency to build user value on top of company performance can also be risky, especially if this combination is to the detriment of the credibility and acceptance of the overall social media offering. It undoubtedly makes sense to create a user benefit that is attractive to users and has a direct positive effect on the marketing of the company’s services. However, the emphasis here is on the fact that the user benefit must actually be attractive for the user. The bait must taste good to the fish, not to the angler.
General opportunities in connection with user benefits

An attractive user benefit that is difficult to copy from the competition is a highly sustainable success factor for a strategy. Therefore, check the possibilities of developing a user benefit that cannot be easily or even quickly copied by the competition.

User benefits with a social component are particularly helpful for a social media strategy, especially if this component helps to increase the user benefits of the individual through networking, recommendation, participation or other value-creating behaviors.

User benefits that are directly related to the company’s performance are not disadvantageous per se, provided they develop their own appeal for the user.

Individual risks from the content of the strategy component

In addition to the risks described above, further risks may arise from the individual content of the UserBenefit strategy component. If UserBenefits cannot be realized to the required extent or quality – for all or individual users – due to technical problems or compatibility issues from the UserBenefits with the performance potential of the social media channels, this can have a negative impact on acceptance by social media users. This generally concerns negative interactions between strategy components.

Assumptions and requirements Strategy component

In the strategy section, we set out the assumptions and conditions that must be met or must occur in order for the following to occur

  • our measures are successful in realizing the desired user benefits.
  • the user benefits have the desired effect for the social media strategy.

We use these two overviews to regularly review the impact of UserBenefit and the measures that enable UserBenefit.

Interactions and requirements

As a rule, the user benefit has a particularly pronounced impact on

  • Competition: user benefits help determine how competitive our social media strategy is.
  • Reach: the UserBenefit is important for building and maintaining reach. We check to what extent our UserBenefits contribute to building the required reach.
  • Content and topics: the UserBenefit must be easy to communicate and seamlessly integrated into the content and topics.
  • Channels: the UserBenefit must work in the channels we have available. If this is not the case, we are faced with the decision of choosing another user benefit that works in the channels or adapting our channels accordingly.
  • Resources: we must ensure that user benefits are sustained. We are therefore examining whether we have the necessary resources available for this in the long term.

The general interactions of UserBenefit with other strategy components.

UserBenefit – CompanyBenefit

The interactions between user benefits and company benefits are a consequence of our decisions. It is desirable not to establish the user benefit too far from the business benefit, but this proximity is not a mandatory goal. It’s more a question of how difficult it is to transition from a user benefit that is far removed from the company benefits to the company benefit. If the two do not match at first glance, this is neither a cause for concern nor even a reason to adjust the user benefit or to forego a sufficient company benefit. We solve this problem by designing secure processes that move from social media success (through user benefit) to business success. This can be achieved through a backpack solution (corporate services become part of the user benefit, e.g. as an add-on) or through a potential solution (the social media strategy taps into a market potential, qualifies it and feeds it into the corporate processes of market cultivation).

Interactions UserBenefit – Usage Formats

The user benefit can place concrete requirements on usage formats to the extent that the user benefit requires or prefers a certain usage format. For example, if the user benefit is generated by content alone, an audience is sufficient. If the user benefit consists of the experiences of other users, a community makes more sense than an audience. Please don’t just think in either-or categories here. Usage formats can certainly be combined. For example, an audience with a community core that provides or curates user generated content or editorial content.

If our UserBenefit consists of content that is useful for the user, our usage format must also be able to provide this content accordingly. If we assume that the benefit is based on individual content, then our usage format – if we assume an audience, for example – must also be able to provide this content individually. It sounds simple, but it’s not always.

  • If our audience includes only users who are interested in a specific content, this is easy. We just need to make this content available to all users of this Audience.
  • If our audience includes users with different interests or with a need for individual content, we must be able to deliver the content relevant to each user individually. This requires both individual addressing of the content and, not least, knowledge of the respective preferences. In this case, we must be able to create and maintain a profile of our audience’s preferences and provide them with relevant and useful content according to their preferences.

The two similar situations lead to very different technical and conceptual requirements for the social media channels in which we use Audience in the same usage format – Audience in this example. If we build the audience of our example first, we could help ourselves by building individual audiences exclusively for users with the same preferences. However, this can lead to an exploding number of audiences that subsequently also need to be provided with content.

If our user benefit consists, for example, of the experiences of other users or the exchange and networking with other users, our usage format is a community according to this benefit. Here, too, the user benefit results in a concrete requirement for the usage format.

In order for a community to function as a usage format from a user benefit, the benefit must include a corresponding permanence. A momentary benefit, for example to profit from the experiences of other users for a certain reason, is not automatically sufficient for enough users to participate actively in a community permanently.

The demand from the user benefits on the usage formats thus also meets a demand from the usage formats on the quality of the user benefits.

Interactions and requirements UserBenefits – Target groups

UserBenefit is generally something individual – i.e. related to the individual user. Nevertheless, we are of course forced to ensure that we address the desired target groups with a user benefit that is attractive to these target groups. If this does not happen and we forego a user benefit that is very relevant to the target group, the probability that we will win over these target groups is low.

Therefore, there are mutual requirements between the target groups – via the preferences of the target groups we address for our UserBenefits – and the UserBenefits.

Interactions and requirements UserBenefits – Reach

The UserBenefit also determines how attractive our social media offer / strategy is for our target groups. The development of a – relevant – reach thus depends strongly on the attractiveness of the user benefit (for our target groups). If the development of the reach is based on the quality of the user benefit, this also results in requirements from the reach strategy component for the user benefit.

Interactions UserBenefits – Contents and Topics

The UserBenefit should be consistently selected from the environment of our content and topics. Our topics represent our markets and a UserBenefit that does not originate from the environment of these markets is certainly not quite as helpful in developing these markets as a UserBenefit that corresponds to the core of the topics of the market or markets. The content and topics therefore have a defining role vis-à-vis the user benefits. Content and topics define the range within which we place our user benefits.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. If we work with topics of low social media affinity, it makes little sense to align the heart of our social media strategy with topics that have low impact or traction on social media. In this case, it is more advisable to pay attention to a user benefit with high social media affinity and relevance for the target groups, and to extend this approach to the topics and content as well. We can then transport our own topics – with low social media affinity – more easily and successfully in a backpack of user benefits and topics with high social media affinity.

Interactions and requirements UserBenefits – Competition

We use user benefits to shape the competitiveness of our social media strategy and its offerings. In other words, we will not launch a competitive strategy/social media offering if its user benefits are not highly competitive. The user benefit is thus the defining strategy component. We recognize its quality in its competitive effect.

Since our UserBenefits determine the competitiveness of our strategy, this also results in the requirement for the UserBenefits to be successful in direct competition (with other UserBenefits of the competition).

Interactions and Requirements UserBenefits – Motivation

Motivation is often misunderstood as an optional component of a social media strategy. The need to gain the approval and support of social media users alone speaks highly of the need to understand the motivation of social media users as a success-relevant component of a social media strategy.

The strategy component Motivation describes, among other things, what kind of motivation we use and how we organize this motivation.

The UserBenefit itself has a motivating effect, of course. That is, the user benefit should function as a motivating factor. If a user benefit does not meet this requirement, not only does the effect of the strategy component motivation suffer, it is also likely to be difficult in competition.

We check with the UserBenefit which type of motivation is used as well as the goal / behavior to be motivated and whether the motivation can be supported and strengthened by motivation systems via the UserBenefit.

Interactions and Requirements UserBenefits – Participation

We examine here whether UserBenefit can benefit from user participation and, if so, how this participation pays into UserBenefit and how UserBenefit benefits from this participation in detail. We also pay attention to the interaction with motivation.

It is advisable to extend this examination to include which participation offerings we can create that support, enhance or increase user benefits. A user benefit that grows with the participation of other users contributes enormously to the success of a social media offering.

Interactions and requirements UserBenefits – Communication

The communication strategy component describes the type of communication and the formats and media used for it. We check the interactions between communication and UserBenefits to see whether we are communicating in the UserBenefits in the appropriate way and to what extent our communication can contribute to the UserBenefits themselves.

A user benefit that is not conveyed in the communication with the user is not very effective. This results not only in the user benefit’s demand to be present in communication, but also in the user benefit’s demand to be communicable.

Interactions UserBenefits – Channels

Not every user benefit can be generated in every available social media channel. In particular, the performance of the major external social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. sets narrow limits. In this case, basing the definition of user value on the performance of the most important social media channels carries some serious risks. In this case, the room for maneuver for the user benefit is reduced to the lowest possible denominator – with corresponding effects on the possible success of the strategy.

It is more advisable to keep the user benefits as attractive as possible, to integrate additional functions in the platform if necessary, or to establish a separate platform for the user benefits and link it to the social media channels used. In this case, the use of external platforms is limited to the feeder function, which is easier to implement.

Making the engine of one’s own social media strategy dependent on the performance of external social media channels is also critical from the point of view of changing the performance of the channels.

If the user benefit is tied to a specific social media usage format, this impact must also be taken into account. That is, if a user benefit absolutely requires a community, the channels we have planned for our social media strategy must also be tested for their performance for a community.

Interactions UserBenefit – Resources

In terms of resources, we check whether we can permanently secure the resource requirements for the creation of user benefits. That is, whether we already have or can obtain the appropriate human, organizational, and technical resources to ensure user benefits. It makes little sense to establish a user benefit as the driver of a strategy if this driver is not available in the long term. The UserBenefit has the defining meaning for the resources here, i.e. the UserBenefit determines the requirement. But if this cannot be secured in the long run, we have to correct the user benefit. This, in turn, has extensive implications for the success of our social media strategy and for the other strategy components.

Practice shows that this aspect is often underestimated. It is questionable, for example, whether know-how can be safeguarded in the long term if this know-how is held by just one person.

Interactions UserBenefits – Goals

Our UserBenefits have goals of their own and also have an impact on the goals of other strategy components – e.g. reach, target groups. If our UserBenefits do not work as expected, we will have problems with the goals for UserBenefits but also with other goals. This interaction certainly contributes to the fact that we pay appropriate attention to user benefits.

UserBenefit is a defining element of our social media strategy. That is, its content influences the content of other strategy components. Nevertheless, UserBenefit is naturally subject to interactions with other strategy components. In case of incompatibilities, however, we do not adjust the central element but the subsequent elements of the strategy.

An essential requirement for the UserBenefit is the compatibility and relevance of the benefit for the target groups. In other words, the preferences of our current and future social media users provide the framework for deriving user benefits.

Another fundamental requirement for the user benefit is its suitability for the respective usage formats. We can compensate for deficits in user utility for certain usage formats to a limited extent, but certainly not entirely.

Thus, if a user benefit is not permanently useful, it lacks suitability for a usage format that aims at permanent or at least regular usage. Typical here is the aforementioned use of recommendations and experiences of others. The less permanent the nature of the user benefit, the more difficult or questionable the use of a community.

Work templates (examples)

Below you will find example work templates explained that describe the content of the strategy component UserBenefit and that you should adapt to your individual requirements. These working templates map the final content of the strategy component such as the derivation of the UserBenefit content.

Overview Strategy Component UserBenefit

The aim of the working template is to summarize the most important contents of the strategy component UserBenefits for a quick overview. The content is the result of the process for deriving the content.

The working template should include:

  • UserBenefit: the UserBenefit(s) that we finalize in our social media strategy.
  • Goal UserBenefit: the primary goal we want to achieve with this/these UserBenefits.
  • Subject areas: the subject areas that are addressed by this / these UserBenefits.
  • Measures: the most important measures that create / enable user benefits.
  • Resource Requirements: the requirements for resources to enable this UserBenefit.

Overview suitable UserBenefits

This working template provides an overview of appropriate UserBenefits. As part of the process for deriving the content of the strategy component, it is an important basis for decision-making. In this process, we decide which UserBenefits we want to use in our social media strategy.

We hold the UserBenefits for the topics that are suitable, already used in the market or still open in the market. Alongside this, we make a note of the sources from which the topics originate.

Source: UserBenefits are based on the courses of action for this strategy component that we identified in an earlier work process.

Of course, you can also represent the UserBenefit for entire markets. However, you then forego more precise market cultivation at the subject level. Keep in mind that you can use multiple UserBenefits, or use different UserBenefits for different topics.

However, different or multiple UserBenefits are only recommended if the subject areas are not suitable for a common UserBenefit. The more UserBenefits we deploy, the more complex the strategy becomes and, last but not least, the UserBenefit(s) result in concrete requirements for other strategy components – such as, in particular, the social media channels we want to deploy.

Overview Competitive Situation UserBenefits

This working template represents the competitive situation within a UserUse. This working template is part of the development process, in this case it is used to determine the most suitable user benefit.

Initial situation: We have an intended UserBenefit with which we enter into competition with the UserBenefits offered by the various competitors (performance competitors, attention competitors).

We use this overview to show the competitive situation for our UserBenefits. In doing so, we keep track of competitors and the quality of their UserBenefits – in comparison with our UserBenefits. The practical benefit of our overview is that we should be able to see at a glance whether our chosen user benefit is sufficiently promising in the market. If our UserBenefit is sufficiently competitive, we continue to work with that UserBenefit. If we recognize weaknesses in the competition, it is highly advisable to revise our UserBenefit.

Overview Requirements for the strategy component UserBenefits from other strategy components and to other strategy components.

Overview Interactions – Problems and Solutions

Explanation work template

Here we list the interactions between the key strategy components, note the problems we have identified based on the compatibility of objectives and measures, and the possible solutions. Problems without solutions may require revising the content of the strategy components involved.

Exercises

About the exercises

We practice working with the strategy components on several examples. The most important reason for this is that you will gain some practice in working with the strategy components. From the exercise come insights and questions, and with time, experience. Another reason is that you should collect this exercise from a broader perspective. Therefore, we apply the exercise to different industries.

In addition to your own company, you should look for 3 examples on which to carry out the exercises for the individual strategy components.

You can look for your own examples for your exercises – besides the example of your company. Below you will find suggestions

  • own company: try to apply the exercise to your company’s – existing or virtual – social media strategy.
  • Media: apply the exercise to Gruner + Jahr’s CouchStyle project ( https://www.couchstyle.de) or ZEIT (zeit.de).
  • FMCG: Paulaner (beer), MacDonalds, Purina (pet food).
  • Brand companies: SEAT, Bosch Professional Power Tools (blue line), PUMA Sport and Streetwear,
  • Trading company / chain store: Proposal Douglas Cosmetic, dm-markt or Lidl
  • b2b: Würth, Stihl,

Please practice with 3 examples from different industries.

The exercises are primarily for self-control. I.e. you try to carry out the described exercise and thereby recognize how far you can apply the learned contents yourself and where you may have to reread and rework. You solve open questions

  • in which you review the material of the section (basics, applications).
  • check the FAQ for answers,
  • use the forum for open questions.
  • use the lecturer consultation hour (only participants with coaching package).
Participant with coaching package

The coaching package includes written discussion of the submitted exercises. I.e. participants submit their exercises as a pdf document for feedback via the upload function at the bottom of the website and receive my feedback via eMail about the submitted exercise.