How do you determine the ROI of your social media campaigns? 30+ social media marketers weigh in with their expert advice.
| Aug 10
Masooma Memon on May 5, 2021 (last modified on May 3, 2021) • 15 minute read
If you’ve been wondering about your brand image and how your ideal audience thinks of your business, you’re basically thinking about your share of voice.
Put simply, share of voice is your market share or brand impression that determines what your prospects and customers think of you.
The question now is: how to calculate share of voice and why should you bother doing so? In this report, we’ll answer this and more, as we look at the following:
Share of voice is a measure of the exposure your business gets. It tells you how much of the market share your brand or company owns in contrast with your competitors.
The benefit? The more market share you have, the better your popularity among your customers and prospects – ultimately helping you acquire and retain more customers.
Google, for example, has a high share of voice in the search engine market. Consequently, more people recognize it, use it, and recommend it to others.
So, how can monitoring share of voice help you?
When it comes to social media, more than 50% of the respondents we surveyed believe the most important reason for measuring share of voice is getting Customer insights. Next ranked are Brand management and Competitor intelligence.
Let’s break these insights down to understand how share of voice helps businesses.
By learning which content gets most engagement, you can tell what topics resonate with them. Daisy Jing of Banish writes, “Know what customers like and when do they like it. From there create good content for them to like and schedule them accordingly.”
You can also tell what content is trending and what is working for your competitors. At Startup Bonsai, for example, Adam Connell tells, “A large part of our content strategy is focused around SEO but keyword research tools can’t tell you what content is trending.
Measuring share of voice can tell us when competitors hit a ‘home run’ with any content piece. This allows us to dig deeper and uncover popular topics before they’re too widely covered on the web.”
Hootsuite’s Nick Martin has learned similar insights. “The biggest actionable insight I’ve learned from measuring share of voice on social is: What content is working for our competition. I monitor our competition to find and analyze spikes in their mentions. If a specific blog post or content type is doing well, I report that back to the relevant teams in my organization so we can attempt to replicate the success.”
Lastly, Donna Bloss from Thrive Cuisine discovers content trends based on their share of voice. “I have discovered what is trending, and what’s not. There are other tools to use for this, but what’s currently trending is quite flippant so finding inspiration from competitors is great. It also helps us understand how best to format our blogs and social media posts.”
Tracking share of voice can also help you fine-tune your campaigns based on what you learn – the same way it helps FindNewCarInsurance.com.
Melanie Musson explains, “If our SOV is unchanged, we won’t try that campaign strategy again. If our SOV increases, we know how strategy resonated with our audience and we’ll plan future ads accordingly.”
Another benefit of keeping tabs on your share of voice is understanding your brand image vs. your competitor’s. “SOV has helped us measure the results of our campaigns v/s competition, instead of isolated reports,” points out Dog with Blog’s Abhishek Joshi.
“It has helped us learn more about our audience – what kind of content is getting traction, what’s of value to them etc. This has, in turn, helped define our content approach and prioritize channels that we need to focus more on.”
You can also use these insights to polish your product/service. Ali Saeed from Poixel shares how they did so. “For one client, we saw they were mentioned on an influencer’s page. She was asking the question: ‘Which diet brand you like the most and why?’ Many people were mentioning our client’s profile with the average comments being ‘Don’t go for (the client’s brand).’
Through the discussion there, we discovered that people loved the food but there wasn’t much of a variety there. So, we took that as insight and told our client you need to increase your menu items and include local food. That insight was valuable in understanding what consumers liked and didn’t like about the brand”
Editor’s note: This AccuRanker dashboard focuses on “Share of Voice”, or how you compete with competitors over popular keywords. Download this dashboard to see which competitors have a bigger presence on important keywords
and learn how share of voice changes each month.
To add, monitoring share of voice can also help you learn more about your audience as well as the language they use.
“Since the share of voice is from the actual audience’s engagement on the internet, we can gain insights from potential customers to better position our brand in the future,” outlines Explainerd’s Natasha Rei.
“That’s why it’s crucial to always track share of voice as it often represents the behavior of our potential customers.”
On the other hand, Alex Birkett from Blissfully notes, “the biggest actionable benefit – outside of social monitoring and customer support responses – has been in gleaning Voice of Customer insights for our messaging and copywriting.
We can simply mine the exact words people are using to describe their pain points and our product to better position how we’re describing our platform. This makes copywriting fundamentally easier to write and more effective/resonant for our audience.”
Lastly, tracking your share of voice enables you to proactively solve your customers’ problems.
The team at The Furnace Outlet has reaped this benefit. “Measuring share of voice with social listening tools allows us to respond to customers on social platforms when our company is being discussed,” Melissa Haws elaborates. “This way we can quickly resolve complaints, gather feedback and connect with customers.”
The most basic step you can take here is to search for your brand name and see what you find when you Google your business name online. This will instantly show you what others see when they search for you – giving you an idea of the kind of impression they develop about your business.
Donna Bloss from Thrive Cuisine does the same. “I measure it by researching my company’s name, Thrive Cuisine, on the different search browsers, then research those of my competitors. I do this on a monthly basis so I can reduce the search results by changing the search settings.”
“This is very important to understand who is dominating the market, which brand is more popular,” Bloss elaborates. “There is also a lot to learn. Seeing a competitor ahead of you [means’] you can analyze their brand and activity and evaluate your own brand and activities thereafter.”
To get a numerical value of your share of voice for organic search, curate a list of your and your competitors’ ranking keywords and find out the click-through rate (CTR) for each keyword.
To measure the entire keyword set’s share of voice, identify the average monthly search volume for each keyword and multiple it with the CTR. This gives you an estimated incoming search traffic overview for each month.
Now total the estimated search traffic for your full keyword set and use it to get your share of voice using the following formula.
Share of Voice = Brand Traffic / Total Market Traffic
Note that you don’t have to do all this measurement manually. Using the right tools, you can fast track the process, even get the tool to measure a share of voice value for you.
Editor’s note: Want an easy way to measure your share of voice? Try this free AccuRanker Keyword Overview dashboard template that shows you how your most important keywords are performing in organic search by tracking metrics such as CPC, search volume, share of voice, and rank.
Calculating your PPC share of voice is comparatively easy as you simply have to grab it from Google AdWords.
The only thing to keep in mind: the share of voice equivalent here is called ‘impression share.’ It denotes the percentage of times your ads were shown in contrast with the times the ads could have been shown to your audience depending on your campaign and keyword settings.
To calculate, log in to Google AdWords, then: click on the campaigns tab > columns button > Modify columns > Competitive metrics and fill in the impression share columns you want to track.
Editor’s note: Get a bird’s-eye view of your ads’ click-through rate, impressions, and other crucial performance metrics on one dashboard: Google Ads PPC Performance Dashboard Template.
Now, for calculating your brand’s perception on social media. Try these 5 ways:
Start by reviewing what customers are saying about you on social media.
“In order to calculate share of voice on social media, you must first collect the customer’s voice using internal social media analytics tools such as Facebook Insights, YouTube Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and so on,” suggests ProsperoWeb, LLC,’s Brian Stewart.
“To begin, calculate general share of voice to determine how well your brand is known and how much it is discussed in comparison to your competitors. At this point, it’s simply a matter of determining who has the greater share of the discussion.”
Once you’re done, you can dig into a topical comparison with your competitor using your customer’s voice. Stewart writes, “this is useful for determining customer perceptions between your product or brand and the competition, which can aid in marketing or product creation differentiation.”
This one’s a hat tip of Blissfully’s Alex Birkett who says, “We’ve been measuring share of voice in two ways on social: qualitatively and quantitatively.”
Here’s what both cover:
“Arguable, it’s the qualitative stuff that is more important since it’s a leading indicator of the quantitative stuff,” Birkett observes. “So if we see that someone has a bug, challenge, or issue with our brand, we can step in and proactively remedy the situation.
Eventually, this translates to a higher percentage of people mentioning us in threads asking for ‘alternatives to X?’ or ‘thoughts on SaaS management tools?” threads and discussions.”
Think of it like this: when you gather quantitative data in terms of brand mentions, you can respond to your audience’s queries, issues, and complaints quickly.
The speed in being responsive is impressive itself. And, here’s the added benefit: when your audience sees you are actively responding to them, they engage with your further. This, in turn, increases your share of voice on social media.
Studying your social media engagement is also an excellent way to measure your share of voice on social media. Look out for people mentioning/tagging your brand, sharing your content, and leaving comments, for instance.
The team at Acodez takes this approach to measure their share of voice. Neil Jose “we do keep track of the engagement rates that our social media posts receive in the form of comments and likes, how often are we mentioned by our followers and, the impressions that our social media ads receive.”
Similarly, Milkwhale’s Andre Oentoro writes they “measure the share of voice on social media by counting our mentions through comments, shares of our content by our audience, and mentions of our brand in general.”
The Banish team adds another metric to this mix. “Engagement and Trending Posts using Unique Hashtags,” Daisy Jing highlights. “If your posts are the main basis for integrity and your posts on certain topics are what matters most (what people have been waiting for), then you have a loud voice with a cult”
Lastly, it’s also helpful to look at your retention: which of your followers are returning to consume your social content – turning from followers to loyalists.
Andrew Pires from The Maskie comments on this. “We measure this by firstly seeing retention. How often do our followers come back to see other posts we have and comment on our posts? If we can get high amounts of retention without having to spend a lot, then we know we are being successful.”
Editor’s note: Keeps tabs on your social engagement with this free Social Networks (Growth & Engagement) Dashboard Template. You can see all the essential engagement metrics across social channels such as Facebook page engagements, new Instagram followers, and more on one screen with this dashboard.
“A great way to measure your share of voice on social media is to see what types of audiences you’re reaching,” advises Katie Fellenz from Trust & Will.
Fellenz suggest you “look into the ages, the locations, and other important demographics, then compare to what your target goal was.” This way, you can tell if you’re reaching the right audience as well as determine your share of voice in the targeted circle.
Additionally, Fellenz applauds finding your share of voice by looking at your engagement. “Another great way to measure your share of voice is to see how many reposts, tags, and mentions you’re receiving.
If your brand is being talked about when you search social platforms for it, you’re probably doing a good job with marketing, and you’ll likely see an increase in engagement with your product/service.”
Most respondents listed BrandWatch, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite as tools they use for measuring their share of voice on social media. Other tools mentioned by respondents were Brand24, Mention, IG Insights, FB Insights.
Sharing how to use Brandwatch to discover share of voice on social media, Hootsuite’s Nick Martin comments, “I create queries for both my brand and our competitors using relevant branded keywords (handles, hashtags, etc.).
I then track the mentions of each query and using a component in Brandwatch to visualize the data, present the mentions as a pie chart. I monitor the differences and report weekly and monthly on how we are doing compared to our competition.”
Miranda Yan also uses the same tool to measure the share of voice at VinPit. Yan explains they use to: “understand the differences between our brand and our competitors, such as: What platforms work for our competitors? Who has more positive and negative mentions? Where social media platforms are they popular? Which top influential people talk about them?”
They do this by “using social listening alerts for [our] brand and competitors and comparing them” to get the insights shared above.
Abhishek Joshi from Dog with Blog uses Brandwatch as well. “The formula we use is: (the total number of our brand mentions/total mentions within our market) x 100. It is of utmost importance as it helps evaluate our positioning in the consumer timeline and, thus, giving an overview of our brand’s position.”
Clarify Capital’s Nishank Khanna, on the other hand, shares they use Awario to measure share of voice. “Awario not only lets us measure our SOV but provides information on our competitors’ SOV. One of the biggest benefits of measuring SOV is that you’re given data that helps you determine how your strategy may impact SOV.
Using the data, you can draw conclusions about how a certain campaign or news story may have influenced your SOV, or what your competitors are successfully doing to gain SOV.”
At Stand With Main Street, however, the team uses a couple of tools. Charles McMillan writes, “my team and I use Business Suite, Google Analytics, and ManyChat to share our voice to social media as well as to gain conversion with our clients.
By doing this, it heightens our business interaction with various types of people and we have doubled our expected monthly gain practicing this marketing strategy.”
Using the right tools to track social alerts, brand mentions, and more, you can quickly and effectively measure your share of voice. Use the insights you gain to improve customer support, understand your audience better, identify content that engages your followers, and more.
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