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Data segmentation: The missing link in your brand community strategy

By now, we hope you’ve learned why brand community should be an integral part of your business strategy in 2020 and beyond. (If not, you must not be subscribed to our blog). As a recap, investing in your community can dramatically impact your business’s bottom line through improved retention, higher product quality, and more sustainable growth.

Brand community members can be anyone who has a passion for your brand, including but not limited to customers, influencers, employees, and ambassadors. While all of your community members come together because they share a common interest, your brand, not all people within your community have the same needs. Segmenting your community and then delivering personalized experiences based on the unique needs of each member will go a long way in building trust and brand loyalty. 

But when we talk about segmentation in marketing, a plethora of criteria comes to mind from purchase behavior, life stage, and other demographics. So when it comes to segmenting your brand community, where should you start?

Enter your best friend, data.

Having the proper data in place allows you to understand the individuals within your community so that you can accurately segment them. Segmentation helps you understand how to activate your community members so that your brand can provide better experiences.

Why you should use data to inform your community segments

While you can and should absolutely commission new people to join your brand community, your most valuable community members are the people who already know and love your brand. By leveraging existing brand ethustists to advocate for your brand, you can reduce marketing costs, increase the authenticity of your message, and drive organic growth. 

Data will help you identify the most valuable members to reach out to first so you can avoid going through an extensive recruiting process. 

When identifying your most valuable community members, consider these data points:

  • Number of purchases
  • Total purchase amount
  • Social media mentions
  • Social media engagement with your brand

You can gather this data manually through your ecommerce platform and other 3rd-party services, but getting a holistic view of each community members’ relationship with your brand, including their social and sales data, may be difficult without the proper tools in place. 

AspireIQ Elevate provides users with automatic segmentation tools and smart recommendations to help brands identify their top community members at a glance. Our smart recommendations suggest new members for your program based on social mention and purchase data so you can easily identify, engage, and activate your most influential brand advocates right away. 

Smart recommendations take several factors into account, such as purchase amount, numbers of brand mentions, and social influence, and then segment your community members based on these criteria. Our system will regularly update the recommendations based on the latest data acquired to ensure that you always have the most up-to-date information about your community. 

How to segment & activate your community

Deciding how you will segment your community members is the important first step to take before you activate them. You can divide your community members based on criteria unique to your brand, but here are a few ways we recommend segmenting your brand community:

Top fans

Brand fans are the people who love your brand but may not have made a purchase yet. They may follow you on social media, engage with your content, and have you on their wishlist, but they have not yet pulled the trigger. Although brand fans may not be top revenue streams, they are huge factors when it comes to word-of-mouth referrals and brand awareness. 

In order to identify fans, take a look at the people who mention your brand on social media whether it be in comments, posts, and stories on Instagram, tweets, or YouTube videos. At AspireIQ, we define top fans as those who are in the top 20% of mentions on Instagram.

How to activate top fans:

  • Ask to create content
  • Engage on social media

Top opinion leaders

Opinion leaders are brand fans who also have a wide reach online. These people have an engaged audience who look to them specifically for product reviews and recommendations. Having these people on your side will go a long way to increase customer acquisition and retention. 

To identify your brand’s top opinion leaders, take the top 20% of people who have mentioned your brand by the number of engagements who also have high recent average engagements. For example, AspireIQ Elevate automatically defines top opinion leaders as the people who mention your brand on Instagram within the top 20% with a minimum of 400 recent average engagements. 

How to activate opinion leaders

  • Ask to create branded content
  • Ask to co-create product
  • Ask to host (virtual) events

Top customers

Customers are the people who keep your brand going. They’re the ones purchasing your goods or services, so keeping them happy is the key to a successful business. 

In order to identify your top customers, calculate the total spend and determine those who are in the top 20%. You can also define top customers as the top 20% by total number of purchases, regardless of amount spent. 

How to activate customers

  • Ask to join loyalty program
  • Ask to leave product feedback
  • Ask to write product reviews

Top loyalists

Loyalists are a combination of brand fans and customers. These are the people who purchase from your brand regularly and mention your brand online. Loyalists are probably the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to building out your brand community because they are already heavily bought into your brand. 

In order to identify your top loyalists, consider the top 20% of people who have mentioned your brand who have also purchased from your brand by number of orders.

How to activate loyalists

  • Ask to join referral program
  • Provide an affiliate link
  • Ask to join ambassador program

While segmenting your community manually is possible, having a tool to do so automatically will save your team a ton of time and resources. AspireIQ Elevate will automatically segment your top fans, customers, loyalists, and opinion leaders and then allow you to customize your view with filters and sorting, and see relationship status at a glance. With a robust CRM to organize and gather insights about your brand advocates and a social inbox to enable personalized communications at scale, you can better understand who your community members are in order to build genuine relationships that benefit both the individual and your brand. 

For more information about building and managing a brand community that drives brand growth, contact one of our experts today. 

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