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Author's profile photo Margot Heiligman

What Is “Social” Share of Voice and Why Is It Important for Marketers?

Two Marketers Working While Standing_LG.pngSocial Sentiment, Social Media Monitoring, listening, all of us involved in social media marketing fashion some form of analytics around our brand, company or product; and it pays to have a clear-cut view of it.

But your brand or product alone is not enough to give a complete picture of your situation compared to the rest of the social web. 

Share of Voice (SOV) as defined by Wikipedia, is “A brand’s or group of brands’ advertising weight expressed as a percentage of a defined total market or market segment in a given time period. The weight is usually defined in terms of expenditure, ratings, pages, poster sites etc.”

And if that is so, Magic Bean Lab posits, “Share of Voice is something brands (through their own efforts) achieve, whereas Social Share of Voice (Social SOV) is something that they have thrust upon them.”  Which means that we haven’t really the control over Social Share of Voice that we would have had in a traditional marketing communications SOV  sense.

Obviously, there are tools out in the social web which can give a thumbnail view or sketch of your social web credibility as compared to your competitors: Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex all come to mind – and they’re all fairly standard in how they compare you vs. your competitors.   There are also comprehensive social media monitoring tools which among their benefits include the ability to analyze a brand, product, or company compared to others in their product category; and customize the look of the social share of voice dashboard to your own specifications.

Working backwards from what we’d like to see in social share of voice; this would be on my top 5 list:

  1. How does my product [aka. company, brand] compare to the other products providing a similar outcome to customers across the social web?  Are there gaps in what we can provide?
  2. How does my product compare to other products in the same general “space” of solutions?
  3. How often is my product mentioned (or not mentioned) when important keywords around our category are discussed?
  4. How do reviewers (customers, partners, bloggers, analysts, independent thought leaders, etc.)  view our product compared to others?
  5. How can one measure the social conversations in our product category in both quantity and quality?

OK, so now I’ve found out my social share of voice as compared to this set of competitors, now what?

If I distill down what Jay Baer of Convince and Convert suggests in increasing one’s social share of voice; the key is:

  1. Awareness – the more social advocates interact and engage with you the more likely they will be to create content which includes you
  2. Delighting customers so that they’ll do the marketing for you
  3. Humanize wherever and whenever possible – we often remember people over brands in social
  4. Create content to either accentuate the positive, or to apologize for the negative

Helpful words, for sure. Projecting out where you’d like to be will help to get there.  Quantifying the gaps by looking at Social Share of Voice can help you emphasize where to focus your energies: on advocacy? user-generated-content? messaging? humanizing your brand in the social web? 

This is certainly a space which is always evolving; where do you think the next iteration of Social Share of Voice will take your audience and your brand / product or company?

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