It may not seem like a major concern in some respects, but effective competitor research will reveal a heap of insight into strategy and process, and will help you improve your system in-step.
But how do you measure your performance against your competitors? Once you are tracking the relevant data points, how do you get a quick overview of whether their efforts are succeeding, and yours are failing, and where you stack up with respect to broader trends?
Calculating your comparative share of voice is one way of doing this. Share of voice covers overall online visibility, including organic search data, social media, and PPC performance. When combined, these metrics can make for a competent assessment of your own, and each of your competitors’, market share.
In this post, we’ll break down what exactly share of voice is, how you can calculate it, and useful it can be in your marketing efforts
What is share of voice?
In its simplest form, share of voice (SOV) is the number of times a brand is mentioned on the web vs. the number of times competitors’ brands are mentioned.
Share of voice covers both brand awareness and customer engagement, as it reflects how often a brand is seen online and how well the customers engage with its content.
Back in the day, share of voice was about advertising efforts only, essentially a brand’s share in the total advertising market. But with social listening tools, share of voice can now reflect total online visibility, going beyond PPC and into real-user feedback.
Ultimately, measuring share of voice provides reliable competitor intel and consumer insights.
And in a world where nearly everything happens online, this is essential research.
Why measure share of voice?
Share of voice is the next of kin to market share. Assessing SOV gives you a full picture of the landscape in your market, based on how much each brand in your niche is talked about.
Share of voice is a reflection of both your marketing and product decisions, which makes it a crucial metric for evaluation of your overall efforts.
And it can provide you with a range of valuable insights – here’s a look at some of them:
Getting to know your competition is the starting point of strategic research.
The beauty of social listening tools is that they enable you to discover new competitors, calculate their share of voice against yours, check languages and sources of their mentions, and even explore niche influencers and brand ambassadors.
Once you’ve identified all the biggest names in your niche, you can run brand-by-brand comparisons to see exactly where you’re lagging. Take a look at the overall mentions, then dive deeper into country and language insights to learn from the brands with the highest visibility in any given location.
SOV calculation run by social listening tools is based on real-user conversations on social media, so it’s only logical that by analyzing these conversations you gain insights into consumer behaviors and industry trends.
Through this, you can learn (from) your audience by tapping into what they have to say about you and your competitors. What is it they love and hate about your products? Are there any segments of the market under-served by your competition? All of these insights are available upon looking into brand mentions.
And because social listening tools enable you to also interact with customers in-app, you can promptly resolve complaints or promote your products to your competitors’ audience.
Reputation assessment might not be at the top of your checklist, yet it’s one of the primary use cases of social media monitoring tools.
When measuring SOV by fetching and analyzing mentions of a brand online, social listening tools can also run sentiment analysis, breaking all brand mentions into positive, negative, and neutral measurements.
This can be particularly useful for benchmarking your brand reputation against your competitors’ to draw links between brand management and KPIs. With the initial figures on hand, start tracking fluctuations in your own and your competition’s reputation over time, e.g. during marketing campaigns and other awareness-raising activities.
Keeping tabs on the sentiment of brand mentions allows for reliable and prompt interpretation of customer feedback.
How to calculate share of voice: best social listening tools
With a clearer picture of the benefits of measuring SOV with social listening tools, let’s take a look at some of the best toolkit options on the market. They cover a range of small to big business operations and rely on real-time data.
Awario is an enterprise-level tool with small-business pricing. It relies on data from all social networks and the web to deliver instant mentions of your brand, product, or a keyword of any complexity. Alongside mentions, you get social media analytics, leads, and influencers, which gives you the most of social listening at the lowest possible price.
Awario’s share of voice formula is determined by the overall number of mentions and reach. You can then run comparative analysis to see how the buzz around one brand compares to any competitor brands. In addition to that, Awario lets you compare the sentiments of mentions, as well as countries, languages, and sources.
2. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management and analytics tool. It covers social listening, content publishing, customer engagement, and audience analytics, powering your strategic decision-making.
Sprout Social’s share of voice formula is multi-component – metrics to measure are organic and PPC keywords, impressions, reach, revenue, mentions, and hashtags. In addition to share of voice monitoring, the tool’s competitor comparison allows you to identify industry gaps and discover new business opportunities.
Similar to other social listening tools, Sprout Social offers sentiment research, influencer recognition, campaign analysis, as well as customer feedback and a whole slew of demographic insights.
Brandwatch is the ultimate enterprise-level tool for advanced brand management. It offers powerful social media monitoring and analytics for bigger companies and agencies, which makes it the perfect fit for market research.
Brandwatch boasts its own analytics tool which delivers share of voice reports across organic search, PPC, and social media. You can narrow brand SOV down to a certain platform or page type by creating categories and rules. You can then set Brandwatch to calculate share of voice over time for continuous campaign intel.
Measuring share of voice is the closest you can get to assessing your market share, and with the advanced social listening tools available today, it makes all the sense to monitor brand mentions and calculate the amount of buzz you and your competitors receive.
Add to this sentiment and customer insights, and you have a reliable market research engine, automated to deliver as you need.
Snapchat Publishes New Report into the Importance of Privacy Tools in Facilitating Online Sharing
Snapchat has published a new report which provides some deeper insight into the importance of online privacy, and the key concerns that users have in regards to the content that they share online.
The report, based on a survey of over 13,500 people in 11 markets, uncovers some valuable considerations for both platforms and marketers, and reinforces the logic behind some of the latest social app developments, in regards to increased user control, encryption, and more. It also sheds light on how such controls – or the lack of them – can influence people’s behavior online.
It’s an interesting overview – you can download Snap’s full, 28-page report here, but in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key points.
First off, Snap notes that both Snapchatters and non-Snap users are concerned about online privacy, with 81% of respondents noting that online privacy is important. At the same time, only 65% indicated that they’re satisfied with their current privacy options.
That’s a key gap in the current digital connection process which underlines the need for increased control measures on this front, and more options, like private messaging and audience controls, to help reassure users.
Which is the next key point – the report highlights the three key benefits of digital privacy, based on responses.
Each aspect facilitates more open communication, and without relevant measures in place, social platforms are not able to cater to these needs.
Self-expression is one of the most important elements, with users feeling more free to communicate when they’re comfortable with the available privacy tools and options.
Indeed, the majority of respondents indicated that privacy concerns impact what they share online, and how they communicate.
It’s an interesting consideration – originally, with the arrival of MySpace, Twitter and Facebook, there was a new sense of freedom and capacity to share your voice, and connect with like-minded people around the world, based on shared interests. Over time, that’s gradually shifted, as more controversies and concerns have arisen from over-sharing or past post insights, which has seen more people become more enclosed once again, and shy away from public sharing.
Which makes sense, but it also means that what we see online is often not representative of the breadth of views out there, because many people are concerned about what sharing their thoughts and opinions could mean, and how it could potentially be used against them. Which is why more privacy controls can open up greater levels of expression and engagement, and why more people are looking to advanced tools, like messaging encryption, to gain that extra level of assurance.
Which is also why Snapchat has been able to maintain and grow its audience, despite rising competition in the space.
Snapchat has always presented itself as a key alternative for more intimate, private discussion, a place for friends to connect, not to broadcast your life to the world. And while that is also more restrictive, in a content sense, Snap’s approach has clearly resonated with a lot of people, and enabled it to carve a niche in the broader social and messaging space.
The report also goes into depth on the full reasons that influence how and why people share on social, and the tools that people rely on to enhance their experience.
There are some interesting insights and considerations here, which, as noted, largely reflect the latest social media innovations in improved audience controls, evolving private messaging tools, safety functions, reporting and more.
Without these elements, people simply won’t share, and won’t engage online at the same rate. And as we move into the next stage of digital connection, where we’re likely to spend even more time online, and potentially expose even more of ourselves, such measures will remain critically important in order to keep people safe.
You can read Snapchat’s full ‘Global Perceptions of Privacy’ report here.
New Report Underlines the Importance of Social Media in Connecting with Gen Z Consumers
To glean some insight into the shifting state of customer expectations, Qualtrics surveyed 9,000 consumers, across a breadth of age brackets, to measure the variance in importance on a range of measures between Gen Z, Baby Boomers and everything in between.
The findings highlight some key considerations for all brands – first off, the data indicates that Gen Z is the most likely to be upset by a negative interaction with a company.
“Gen Z is the generation least likely to report being happy with their customer experience (on a scale of upset to delighted). Gen Z was the most upset by their interactions with federal agencies (only 13% gave a positive rating), followed by investment firms and airlines. Gen Z gave the highest ratings to social media and retail stores.”
Gen Z consumers have grown up with social media and eCommerce, and they increasingly expect brands to cater to their specific needs, while they also know that they have both the means to publicly criticize a company due to negative interactions, and the capacity to easily switch, with a simple online search providing a range of competitor brands.
That’s increased their expectations around customer service and response, and it’s important for brands to consider this in their engagement and actions.
Younger consumers also value public health response, with Gen Z respondents twice as likely as Baby Boomers to stop purchasing from a brand because they felt their safety measures were insufficient. Which also works the opposite way too.
Gen Z consumers also put more emphasis on brand values – potentially a side effect of the social media era – with younger shoppers almost three times as likely as Baby Boomers to say that they were very familiar with the brand values of the products they choose.
With brands now able to communicate more about their business online, that’s opened up more capacity for consumers to also get an understanding of their stances and approach, and that expanded capability to connect with a brand on a deeper level can be a very powerful draw to generate stronger bonds and business.
Indeed, for Gen Z consumers, maintaining a social media presence was the second-highest ranked way for brands to maintain relevance. No other generation ranked social media presence in the top three.
If that insight doesn’t underline the importance of building and maintaining a social media presence, I’m not sure what will – younger consumers want to feel more connected with every business that they buy from, and social media is the key linkage that facilitates such for this group.
There’s a range of additional insights in the full report from Qualtrics, which you can check out here. Some key considerations for marketers, especially those looking to connect with younger audiences.
Instagram Adds New Stickers and AR Features to Celebrate Lunar New Year
Instagram has added some new features to help users celebrate Lunar New Year, including new, themed stickers and a custom AR effect.
As you can see here, the new stickers commemorate the Year of the Tiger, with art by Hong Kong-based Ophelia Pang. The stickers provide a simple way to mark the event, which will be celebrated from January 31st to February 15th.
In addition, Instagram’s also added a #MyLNY2022 AR effect, which provides another way to engage with the celebration.
There’s actually a range of Lunar New Year effects available in the app, which you can find by using the search option at the end of the effects carousel.
Instagram released a similar set of Lunar New Year tools last year, which is part of its broader focus on maximizing engagement around cultural events.
As explained by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri:
“When it comes to celebrating cultural moments, we want to be a platform where creators showcase their work.”
Showcasing creativity is where Instagram is increasingly looking to align itself, as it works to differentiate the app from TikTok, which is more based on communal expression and meme-based sharing. If Instagram can put more focus on creative output, specifically, that could be a way to lean into the rising Web3 movement, in which, theoretically, creators could be better rewarded and celebrated for their work.
These Lunar New Year tools showcase the art of some creators, but the larger vision for Instagram is that it may be better placed to provide a platform for more artists in the same way, which could help it regain its momentum in the face of the TikTok challenge.
You can check out Instagram’s Lunar New Year tools in the app.
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