The short answer is that share of voice should be very, very, important to your marketing performance dashboard. Social share of voice, is similar to the more comprehensive marketing metric, share of voice. Its growing in its usefulness and insightfulness as listening platforms broaden their reach. If you are not a social media practitioner or familiar with social metrics, social share of voice can be defined as the number of times your brand is mentioned relative to your competitors. It is most often shown in a percentage format, so its actually calculated from the sum of mentions of you and your competitors.
So how and why is social share of voice becoming a more powerful measurement and benchmark. Here are a few points to consider when evaluating if share of voice has a place in your marketing performance dashboard:
Online visibility – Online visibility is a very broad term. In the context of this conversation and social share of voice, we are looking at online visibility as an organic/earned measure verus a paid marketing measurement. This can be a powerful measurement when working with marketing organizations that believe in the the power of thought leadership, content marketing and inbound leads. In order to acquire a reliable measurement, it requires selecting the right social listening tool. Many tools are limited in the number of platforms and properties they report from. Any share of voice measurement that doesn’t pull from at least 30 properties and span more than just “social media”, is not going to be an accurate online visibility indicator. Lately, I have been working with a software application that provides data inputs from over 80 online properties, and represents much more than just social media. It takes some “working around” the basic feature set, but once you learn how to stretch the limits of a social listening tool you can really make them met your specific demands. This particular solution helps broadens our reach by including general organic search data with the social media data. As we combine social property data with places like Google, bing, PRNewswire, and increase all data to a significant enough size, we suddenly have a good benchmark for online visibility.
Market share – As social media listening and share of voice have become more mainstream, serious research analysts have put time and effort into the statistical and predictive models that might link share of voice to overall market share. While the science is still relatively primitive, the early conclusions being drawn are interesting. Its predicted that market share could increase 1% for every 10-15% increase in share of voice. As with any statistical forecasting model, every marketer needs to look at these conclusions cautiously. There are always multiple variables that affect unique instances. Statistical validity aside, if you can start to make the connection between market share and share of voice, it can be an eye-opener to any marketer working on the organization’s performance benchmarks.
Getting the right social share of voice pieces (tools) and perspective (uses) into place, can help you extract real marketing insights that complement the overall marketing performance dashboard.