Share of Voice: Definition, Calculation, Tools [2023 Guide]
The share of voice (SOV) is one of the most important marketing metrics. It helps you determine the visibility of your brand against your competitors. The higher the SOV, the more authority you have within your business niche.
This blog post will answer all your questions about this digital marketing metric.
We discuss how to track different kinds of share of voice, how to measure it, and, finally, what you can do to improve it.
Let’s dive in!
- Share of voice definition
- Market share vs. share of voice
- Share of voice calculation
- Share of voice tools
- How to increase the share of voice?
- A quick recap
Share of voice definition
Share of voice (SOV) measures your brand’s visibility across different marketing channels against your competitors. It gives you an overview of your brand’s position in the whole market.
You can use this metric to calculate the percentage of a brand’s visibility regarding:
- Volume of mentions
- Pay per click (PPC)
- Social media
By tracking these metrics over time, companies can see how their SOV is changing and what steps they need to take to improve their position in the market.
Brand24 is a tool that measures the share of voice. Try it!
Market share vs. share of voice
While the two concepts are often used interchangeably, they are actually quite different.
Share of voice (SOV) measures the percentage of brand awareness within a given market that is attributed to a particular brand, company, or product.
Market share or Share of Market (SoM) is the percentage of sales within a given market that are attributed to a particular brand, company, or product.
While market share is a valuable metric for determining your brand’s sales in the marketplace, the share of voice is important for understanding how often your target consumers see and hear your brand name.
Share of voice calculation
How to measure the share of voice? To calculate SOV, you need to divide your brand’s measures by the total market measures.
It could be your social media mentions, website traffic, link clicks, or paid advertising clicks.
Share of voice formula:
Share of voice = (Your brand metrics / Total market metrics) x 100
It might seem challenging, but luckily we can use the share of voice tools that will do the job for us.
As the share of voice can be tracked across various channels, including social media, traditional media, and online search, you can implement this formula to measure:
- PR share of voice
- PPC share of voice
- SEO share of voice
Share of voice in PR
The share of voice is a great metric to assess the results of a PR campaign.
Calculating the share of voice you generate while conducting organic PR activities is a bit trickier than measuring the paid share of voice.
You have to know the social media reach of every single post, the type, and the number of interactions and compare these metrics to the whole industry.
That seems like a lot of work.
A helping hand is a media monitoring tool. Such tools collect and analyze the data you need to calculate the SOV. I will show you how to measure the share of voice based on Brand24, one of the top social media monitoring tools available on the market.
Brand24 collects all publicly available brand mentions containing your predefined keyword, including mentions posted on all major social networks, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Twitch.
Moreover, the tool collects mentions of your brand from other publicly available sources, including news sites, blogs, review sites, podcasts, and newsletters.
Set up projects for your own brand and for your competitors. That way, you can conduct competitor research and measure the SOV.
You can calculate the share of voice manually or take a look at the tool dashboard:
You get a list of the 10 most active profiles, so you can compare the share of voice your brand generated to the SOV of your competitors.
Brand24 will also give you the components of the metric, such as estimated reach or the total number and type of interactions. Combine all the data with sentiment analysis, and you have all the information you need about your brand’s online presence.
The best part is you can set up a project for your competitors. Not only will you get the information about your company, but also about all the brands you’re competing with.
A listening tool will automatically calculate the SOV, but you can also measure the metric by yourself.
Use this share of voice formula:
Share of voice = (the total number of your brand’s mentions/the total number of mentions within your market) x100
The percentage will indicate the share of voice a particular social media account generates. For example, if Brand A received 100 mentions and there were a total of 1,000 mentions for all brands in its category, its SOV would be 10%.
This method of calculating requires you to know the number of mentions relevant to your industry.
The share of voice in PPC
Of course, the easiest way to calculate the PPC share of voice is to use a dedicated tool.
Fortunately, there’s a way to measure it without using a paid tool. It’s not an easy task, though.
I’ll do my best to make the whole process as comprehensible as possible!
To calculate SOV in PPC you must divide your brand advertising by total market advertising.
PPC share of voice = (your brand advertising/total market advertising) x 100
What metrics will you need?
- List of your keywords or your competitors’ keywords (if you’re conducting a competitor analysis)
- The total value of your market
The first two metrics are relatively easy to find, especially if you use an SEO tool.
The CTR for each keyword, on the other hand, is hard to assess. Many external factors influence the CTR, for example, your domain authority or any changes in the Google algorithm. And that’s just for the share of voice of a single keyword.
If you want to calculate the SOV for a whole group of keywords, take a look at the monthly search volume (you’ll find it in Google Analytics).
To calculate your share of voice, divide brand traffic by total market traffic.
The disadvantage of calculating your SOV is that you have to do it manually. That’s not only a time-consuming process, but it is easy to miss important brand mentions. You also need to know your media spending and paid advertising.
Some SEO tools will calculate the SOV for you and will do it on a regular basis. You’ll be able to compare the fluctuations in the brand’s share over time and, ultimately, increase the share of voice for your brand.
SEO share of voice
To measure SEO share of voice, you need the assistance of SEO tools that compare your search visibility to competitors. Let me explain this process using Ahrefs, the tool I use daily for SEO purposes.
First, you need to pick keywords and set up a rank tracker. Then you can add your main competitors. As a result, the tool will compare your visibility to competitors’.
The best share of voice tools
As we mentioned earlier, measuring the share of voice manually may take a lot of your time and effort. Fortunately, some tools can do it automatically for you.
There are different types of solutions that you can use to measure the SOV depending on what kind of data and information you are looking for.
I prepared a list of social media monitoring tools that you can check out for this purpose.
Free 14-day trial. Personal plus plan for $49.
Brand24 is one of the most robust and affordable social listening tools on the market. It monitors brand mentions in real-time, but it is a web monitoring tool with an advanced analytics section.
The tool covers various sources, including major social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, review sites, news sites, blogs, newsletters, podcasts, and other publicly available Web sources.’
Brand24 measures the share of voice, online presence score, sentiment, and other metrics that can give you an idea of how your company or PR efforts, campaigns are performing.
With Brand24, you will discover the percentage share of the most influential authors in discussions on social media.
It is very flexible since right away, it offers 4 pricing plans that you can choose from, depending on your needs, expectations, and budget.
Set up Brand24 to measure the share of voice and increase your marketing!
Starts at $1,000/month for 10,000 mentions. Detailed pricing is available upon request.
Brandwatch is an enterprise-level social media listening tool. It offers a wide range of functionalities, but it is one of the most expensive tools on the market.
Brandwatch can be useful for measuring a brand’s share of voice, as it will give you ready-to-implement insights that could boost your business online presence, help you make more informed decisions, and, ultimately, increase your market share.
Brandwatch does not offer a free trial period, and there is no information about its pricing on the official website.
Here is an article about Brandwatch alternatives. If you don’t want to spend that much on a social listening tool, you may want to check it out.
The basic plan costs 9.6k/year. Detailed pricing is available upon request.
Talkwalker is a social listening and analytics company. It is used for social media monitoring by the biggest brands and agencies from all over the world. It offers multiple features to provide advanced results to all clients.
It offers analytics, so it will surely help measure the share of voice.
The basic plan aimed at smaller brands or owned media-focused companies costs $9,600 yearly. The prices of the two remaining plans, Corporate and Enterprise, are discussed on request.
Here is a post on Talkwalker alternatives if you are interested in trying different solutions.
04 Sprout Social
Free 30-day trial. The standard plan costs $89 per user/month.
Sprout Social is a media management tool that can be used for monitoring as well.
The tool collects mentions of your brand across major social media platforms. It offers social media automation that will help you manage your online presence but also get the social listening insights you need to boost your business, including the information about your share of voice.
Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial, which does not include a Listening feature.
Here is a post on Sprout Social alternatives, if you are interested in trying different solutions.
How to increase the share of voice?
Once you measure your SOV, you’ll know whether you need to improve it.
Compare your SOV to your competition. The comparison will give you benchmarks, and you will be able to correctly assess your SOV levels.
When people look for a certain service or product, they should think about your company. If your brand is not as recognizable as you wish it were, don’t worry!
Social media networks gave us, besides distractions and cute kitten videos, great platforms to broadcast your message.
Here are our tips and tricks on how to increase your SOV.
01 Develop your social media accounts
The first tip sounds like a no-brainer, yet it’s still a surprise for many companies. Mainly because building a robust social media presence takes a lot of time, and you don’t see the results right away.
But choosing the right social media platform, posting regularly, and engaging with your audience is the best way to improve your share of voice on social media.
02 Don’t sell right away
The beauty of social media? It’s about being social – talking to your friends, sending GIFs, and sharing photos.
That’s why the primary purpose of your social media presence should be natural customer engagement with your audience. Thank them for their comments, reply to their complaints, and share their posts. People will come and buy your product, even if you don’t sell to them directly.
03 Invest in share-worthy content
The more people see your posts, the higher your SOV will be. That’s why it’s important to invest in content that people want to share.
If you have no idea what type of content works best in your industry, explore your competitors’ pages. They either already discover what works, and in that case, you can get inspired by their posts.
Or they’re completely lost, in which case you can learn from their mistakes.
04 Think beyond social media
Traditional media is not dead! You can raise your online share of voice by promoting your business offline, increasing organic search traffic, and improving your online advertising and digital marketing efforts. It does sound crazy, doesn’t it?
But it works!
Many people bring the conversation from offline to online. If your campaign is well-executed and interesting, there will be an online buzz around it. You can expand your reach by being featured on one of the news sites.
Moreover, you can invest in SEO of your website so that your home page or blog will rank high in Google search results. This will boost your visibility.
05 Become an industry leader
Being part of the conversation is one thing, but leading the industry will boost your share of voice.
Michał Sadowski, CEO of Brand24, has been active in social media for many years. Right now, he is one of the most recognized marketing experts in Poland.
How about building your online presence to become an industry expert?
It’s the most time-consuming tactic of building the SOV, but it will yield the highest results. Start with initiating talk on your social media profiles.
The best way to build your industry leader position and spark a conversation?
Start asking questions!
Nothing makes your business profile more approachable than showing a little behind-the-scenes footage. It makes people feel connected to your brand and humanizes it.
If you’re offering a tangible product, for example, clothing or cosmetics, there are plenty of opportunities to ignite a conversation. From the top of my head, you could:
- Ask how should you name your product.
- Ask which color should you produce next.
- Show how production looks like. Customers are more aware of the ecological and economic impact their purchases have on the environment.
The list can go on and on! The sky is the limit.
Use the Brand24 tool to calculate the share of voice! Try it during a 14-day free trial!
A quick recap
That’s quite a lot of information for one blog post, so let’s sum it up quickly!
- Share of voice (SOV) compares your brand’s visibility to competitors across different marketing channels.
- With the development of different social media networks, the definition of the share of voice changed. Nowadays, it includes online talk around your brand.
- Measuring the SOV will help you better scale your marketing efforts.
- You can try to measure share of voice by yourself, but it will be time-consuming and less effective.
- To calculate share of voice, it is best to use online tools that will do the job for you.
Interested in calculating the share of voice automatically? Try the Brand24 tool for free!