Marketers looking for ways to expand their brand’s Share of Voice have no shortage of advice – it seems like every social media blog has a post on how to do it. But these pieces typically talk about brands and marketing strategies in the abstract, without walking you through how to apply it in practice.
So, after defining share of voice and reiterating a few best practices for expanding it for your brand, I thought it’d be helpful to show, by way of example, how a company might understand Share of Voice, and how one might employ this understanding in a marketing strategy.
Let’s start by defining what Share of Voice (SOV) is. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see numerous definitions for Share of Voice. All different. For our purposes, we’re going look at SOV as it relates to social media. Specifically, we will focus on how Share of Voice applies to:
Share of Voice by brand is certainly the more common definition, but don’t discount SOV by network! As you’ll see, SOV by network can be instrumental in forming an impactful social media strategy.
Unless your social media strategy involves posting a huge volume of owned or paid content – which we wouldn’t recommend – increasing your brand’s Share of Voice is going to be a result of earned media. It follows, then, that strategies to grow SOV will be synonymous with strategies that grow earned media. Strategies like:
Regardless of the strategy you choose, it’s important to understand which networks work best for your industry (your brand and industry’s SOV by network) first. If most of the conversations are happening on Twitter, you do not want to spend a lot of your resources building out an Instagram-centric strategy. These are very different networks, with very different demographics, after all.
Now that we’ve covered the macro-level view of Share of Voice. Let’s dive a bit deeper and look at a specific example. So cash in your Golden Ticket and buckle up, we’re going to take a journey into the wonderful world of chocolate.
Meet Charlie – a young, fresh-faced social media manager at a nifty confection company, Billy Bonka Chocolate. Charlie’s boss charged him with increasing Billy Bonka’s Share of Voice.
Before building out a strategy, Charlie first wanted to understand how Billy Bonka is currently performing.
Billy Bonka is in dark blue, Ghirardelli in light brown, Lindt in yellow, Godiva in turquoise, and Ferrero Rocher in dark brown. Yikes! Looks like Charlie has his work cut out for him.
After quickly looking at his brand’s SOV, Charlie wanted to see on which platforms conversations about chocolate were taking place. As you can see, a lion’s share of the dialogue about chocolate is occurring on Instagram, with Facebook second with 20 percent network SOV.
Now that Charlie has an idea of which networks have the most conversations, Charlie wanted to dig a little deeper.
Whoa. That’s a big table! To eliminate some of the noise, Charlie decided to focus his efforts on the top three networks, Instagram, Facebook Pages, and Twitter.
In looking at the data, Charlie quickly notices an interesting insight. While Facebook has fewer posts and interactions overall, the density is off the charts (in Tracx, density is defined as the average number of people per conversation). Meanwhile, Instagram has a far lower density, while constituting more total interactions and posts.
After reviewing the numbers, Charlie reaches an important conclusion: conversations about chocolate on social media are either dispersed over numerous Instagram posts, with low engagement per post, or fewer posts on Facebook Page, with much higher engagement.
This gives Charlie an idea: if Billy Bonka wants to maximize its impact from a single social media campaign, it should focus on the network where users are more concentrated – Facebook – even if there are fewer interactions overall. And while Billy Bonka Chocolate should definitely remain active on Instagram, engagement efforts are going to have the most visibility, per post, on Facebook. Simply put, for a single campaign, posts to Facebook would deliver more bang-for-his-buck!
Knowing which platform he want’s to focus on, Charlie starts to dig in to Facebook specifically. Asking questions like: what does the engaged audience look like and what type of content are they engaging with.
He quickly discovers that most users interacting with the content on Facebook are female, and the plurality are aged 25-35. Drilling into the actual posts behind the data, Charlie discovers that the posts with the most interactions tend to be product releases (one new beverage by Krispy Kreame, using Ghiradelli chocolate, did exceptionally well) and tasty chocolate recipes.
Charlie also noticed that one post with a famous celebrity – in this case, tennis star Roger Federer – also performed really well. Charlie also found that most contests in the chocolate industry did not garner much attention or interaction.
Piecing these observations together, Charlie crafted his strategy: he would hire a celebrity spokesperson to showcase a new line of white chocolate truffles in a series of branded Facebook posts. To ensure the content had enough reach, he decided to make the series sponsored posts, and then quickly follow up on any comments by users with recipes, coupons, or simply a text response. With a strategy like this, Charlie will be growing Billy Bonka’s Share of Voice faster than you can say, “Ompah Loompa Doopity Do”.
As you can see in this example, a strategy to grow a brand’s Share of Voice starts by looking at the data. Charlie started by looking at network SOV, and then leveraged social media listening to identify insights to fuel his strategy. Remember, like Charlie and his chocolate factory, success in marketing takes a bit of following the rules and good old fashioned listening.
For teams using social media dashboards, like those in Tracx, making sure everyone who uses these tools understands these changes should be a top priority.
Brands that have not relied on organic reach in Facebook and Instagram will not likely see any changes this year. Those who do will need to take a serious look at other options.