Communities can be powerful growth drivers. When a brand’s customers interact on a common platform over time, they become loyal advocates. They help marketers remove pain points by giving critical feedback and direction. To ensure a successful community-led growth strategy, companies must collect and analyze data from their community to ensure its health.
An effective way to measure the value and health of communities is to use the SPACES framework. SPACES stands for Support, Product, Advocacy, Contribution, Engagement and Success. Here’s how it works.
Within a support forum or community, users interact, resolve problems and address issues. It is a form of customer service from the ground up. It goes a long way in increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing costs.
Community users can provide valuable feedback on design and use cases to drive innovation. Collective insights can supplement or replace customer surveys. The business can involve customers in proposed changes and new launches for a sharper consumer focus.
Marketers know the importance of word of mouth. It is an authentic and powerful way to attract new customers. Community members can become brand advocates to drive awareness and acquisition. They can recommend the brand and share positive experiences.
A community strategy can provide a platform for consumers to create and distribute content. Such content can be a valuable contribution to other marketing efforts. User-generated content, for example, can be distributed across channels. The credibility of such content is high.
Communities can foster specific activities or aspects of identity that create strong ties of belonging. These can be linked to the brand to turbocharge other community activities such as advocacy. It also leads to repeat purchases as well as rock-solid loyalty.
This stage takes community building to higher levels and yields great benefits. It leads to more acquisitions and sustained customer lifetime value. Specific users can be empowered to share best practices and instruct others on aspects of brand use. Potential experts and specialists can be spotted and promoted. Participating in the community becomes a way of life backed by the brand.
Metrics for SPACES
To further define a community’s business value, marketers can track the efficacy of the above aspects via specific metrics.
- In Support, some metrics are the number of active users, levels of participation and reaction, and decreased customer support involvement.
- In Product, you can check feature adoption, new ideas generated, and event participation.
- In Advocacy, some common metrics are the number of new members, active users and amount of posts and comments.
- In Contribution, marketers can track community engagement, the creation of new content, and new users.
- In Engagement, there are similar metrics, such as new sign-ins, the number of active conversations during a period and event engagement.
- In Success, you can check Net Promoter Scores, active user rankings, and spontaneous promotional efforts outside the community.
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