Know Thy Customer: Social Customer Segmentation

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Social Media holds the key to unprecedented Customer Segmentation. It is vital that marketers learn the methodology and benefits of using social data for a deeper understanding of your customers and how to segment them. This eBook illustrates how social media can be used to overcome limitations presented by traditional customer segmentation so that you can stay ahead of your competition and gain a better understanding of your customers. Download Now.

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Customer segmentation is an undeniably valuable tool that helps brands better understand and reach key consumer groups. There are numerous benefits to dividing a broad group of customers into subsets with shared characteristics. Segmentation allows brands to determine .the key groups within their customer base and then focus efforts on better serving them

Over the past decade, social media has brought about a much-discussed explosion in consumer data, adding to the ever-expanding pool of “big data” and bringing with it new opportunities for customer segmentation. Tracx worked with Attention, the leading social marketing agency, to develop a means of leveraging social audience data to produce rich customer segmentations. By tracking and analyzing the social media activity of consumers, we gain access to their unsolicited opinions about brands, as well as insight into who they are and how they behave beyond the brand relevant content they produce.

Challenges With Traditional Segmentation

Much like efforts to measure brand health, segmentation efforts faced the following constraints prior to the rise of social data:

  • Limited access to behavioral and affinity information about consumers. In traditional segmentation, data is limited to what consumers directly provide. As such, it can behard to understand and categorize customers at a deeper level .
  • Little contextual information for segmented groups. Once groups are identified through traditional means, it’s impossible to gain insights into how the group identity is expressed and how it plays out in the marketplace. For example, it may be discovered that women, ages 25-35 who drive luxury automobiles are a customer segment for a brand, but there is little to no way to understand why.

Small sample sizes. Surveys, focus groups, and what can be gleaned from sales and other brand data limits sample size for segmentation based on affinity or behavior.

Defeats the Limits of Traditional Segmentation

How Social Media Overcomes the Limits of Traditional Segmentation

Shifting the focus from base demographics to social triggers of intent, favorability and behaviors, advanced social media-based segmentation creates audience clusters and definitions that more deeply address not just broad expansive groups, but social communities of like-minded consumers and brand advocates.

Deeper insights:Unsolicited consumer opinions and thoughts paint a deeper, more complete picture of interests and what draws segments together and to the brand .

Greater Sampling: large sample sizes ensure that customer groups have a robust presence within the brand’s overall audience.

Accelerated Results

Textual content analysis as the entry point to defining groups exposes strategic content and marketing insights.

Where to Start

First, collect the full breadth of social media activity surrounding a brand, at both the content and unique user level across all major social outlets, news sources and review/comparison properties – aggregating billions of data points. Then, sort the social media audience by area of interest and behavior. (The demographic breakdown of the audience is available and included, but the most enlightening parts of the (.study come from the subsequent levels of analysis While the organization of customers by shared interest, nity, and behavior is not an entirely new concept, social media allows for a level of accuracy, spe city, and sheer volume that was previously unobtainable.

Intelligent Segmentation

  • Describing the brand’s social audience in terms of demographics and social networks
  • Identifying social customer groups by mutual affinity and describing the group • .populations independently
  • Determining group features: shared interests, communities and relationships, and • online behavior and engagement style.


Ultimately, the results of this process yield intelligent social audience segmentations that move beyond the borders of social media to drive cross-channel and cross-department :applications

  • Target customers effectively with relevant content on their preferred channels • within social and on other media.
  • Build and shape campaign strategies geared toward identified target groups
  • Determine best practices for content generation, at the segment and broad • .audience lev
  • .Identify opportunities and limitations of the brand

Methodology: Overview

Advanced platforms use a combination of Boolean search queries and social channel spotlights to collect all data relevant to the brand, product, or category ecosystem in social .

In order to conduct customer segmentation, the following process is undertaken:

  • Review existing consumer research
  • Sample interactions with brand content and identify patterns and themes
  • Segment social data by applying customized queries to filter by group mutual affinities
  • Analyze bucketed data to define key group characteristics
  • Survey group interactions and assess psychographics: preferences, tendencies • .behaviors, attitudes, etc
  • Review and compile data to construct consumer landscape by linear characteristics • and group boundaries

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Methodology: Data Organization

Once the above process is completed, the data can now be intelligently cut and organized into the following categories:

  • Identity –Broad, base demographics for the brand audience - including age, gender location, social platforms, and conversation topics
  • Interests – Shared interests form the core identity of social customer segments Through classication and identication of interests, core groups are identied for deeper analysis. Interests include primary topics of interest for a group, and can be shared passions, preferences, pain points, or concerns. Identity is recalculated for each interest group, and is then compared with the broad demographic makeup as well as across individual groups
  • Relationships – The way consumers interact and relate to one another and to inuencers within the social space. Close attention is paid to subscriptions and connections to information providers, as well as personal relationships
  • Behaviors – Analyze and document behavior trends within each group, including media consumption, interaction, and documentation of one activity. Do they produce original content or respond to inuencer posts? Do they share news articles? Do they discuss purchase habits or indicate when and how they use a product?

Methodology in Practice: Verizon Customer Segmentation

Tracx worked with Attention, a leading social marketing agency, to develop a means of leveraging social audience data to produce rich customer segmentations for Verizon using the ,outlined methodology. This segmentation surfaced three core customer groups; Entertainees .Investigators, and Sports Fans

Example customer group/persona: The Investigators

As an example of this segmentation process, a hypothetical customer group/persona called Investigators” was created.

Methodology in Practice: Insights to Action

Data without insight is worthless .Insight without action is a waste

Turn insights into action:

From the insights surfaced above, a series of actionable items were identified and immediately set into action

  • Activate the largest customer group with the largest reach by focusing marketing efforts towards serving the Sports Fan group on Twitter, where they interact heavily
  • Create content on Twitter using casual language and featuring mainstream entertainment sports, movies, and events.
  • Target Entertainees on Facebook and Twitter with an engagement-focused campaign • featuring call-to-action post.
  • Acquire new customers and retain existing ones by providing knowledgeable customer • service--a key factor in the purchasing decisions for all groups--across all brand-owned social media channels.
  • Leverage influential blogs by featuring reviews and comparisons FiOS services, products • and/or special features.
  • Improve brand engagement and advocacy with a Twitter campaign featuring sports and • offering an incentive of either an upgrade or a discount.


For every segmentation exercise, different insights and action items will surface. The process (can be applied to any product, brand, or service. This process requires (1) large data pools, (2 tools to aggregate and analyze these data pools, and (3) time.

Broaden the applications of these insights

Complete the picture of your customers by leveraging social customer segmentation. Brands and organizations can better target and engage their audience across all channels for a truly .unified approach throughout the purchase cycle The customer segmentations produced from social media can immediately be tested and applied directly back into social strategies, however, the intelligent approach involves a feedback loop where these new findings can cross-inform multiple marketing channels (mobile, video, display, search, print, television, radio, content, messaging, out-of-home) ,as well as multiple departments (including sales, marketing, customer support, product (development, operations, supply-chain management.

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