Share of Voice: The ultimate social media performance measure

Curious how you shape up against your competitors on social media? Then you’ll want to track and calculate share of voice.

“Taste the relish to be found in competition — in having to put forth the best within you to match the deeds of risk-taking, hard-working competitors.”

Henry J. Kaiser

What is share of voice (SOV)?

Share of voice (SOV) measures what percentage of the market your brand owns relative to your competitors. It’s a measure of brand awareness.

SOV was originally used in traditional media to track a brand’s visibility in print, radio, and TV ads compared to their competitors, but it has since grown into the digital space.

SOV is now most commonly used in the context of paid digital advertising to track how often a brand appears for a certain keyword relative to its competitors, but it’s also used to track brand awareness of social media.

Why is share of voice important?

Knowing your share of voice lets you benchmark your current social standing and performance against your competitors. 

But more than allowing you to see where you rank, it also shows you how much space there is for growth, and allows you to gain insights from competitors who are already succeeding in the marketplace. 

How do I calculate share of voice?

Share of voice can be calculated for different social media metrics, whether it’s hashtag impressions, engagements, brand mentions, followers, or any other conceivable metric.

The share of voice formula is:

SOV = Your brand’s measures / Total market measures X 100%

How to calculate Share of Voice?  Social Media

For instance, you might want to know your share of voice in terms of social media conversations. Thus, you would track your brand mentions relative to those of your competitors and calculate your SOV.

To do so, you would add up your brand mentions and all the brand mentions of your competitors. You’d then divide your individual brand mentions by that total sum to get your SOV.

SOV (social media) = Your brand mentions / (Your brand mentions + Your competitors’ brand mentions) X 100%

How can you track share of voice?

While it’s technically possible to track SOV manually, it’s much easier to do so using a social media analytics tool.

All of these brand awareness metrics can be easily tracked with Keyhole’s brand monitoring tools.
To start measuring your share of voice, try a free trial of Keyhole today.


Keyhole is a Social Media Listening & Online Monitoring Solution that helps marketers unlock data-driven business insights. Its visual dashboard is simple and shareable with your clients. Start your free trial today and get the metrics you need.

Pro Tips to Spot and Dodge A Social Media Crisis Before It’s Too Late

Tips to Spot and Dodge a Social Media Crisis [Before It's Too Late]

Social media management seems like a safe and cushy job, that is until you have a full-blown social media crisis on your hands. Not convinced?

Imagine this: A social media manager scrounging for content stumbles upon a share-worthy graphic on Tumblr that fits with their brand’s July theme.

The picture has a minimal aesthetic depicting some contrails from a rocket as it streaks across a red sky. It even looks like fireworks for Independence Day. Then, after a quick glance, it’s posted with the hashtags #smoke and #clouds on the 4th of July!

A few minutes later, that social media manager’s phone is blowing up. Also, hundreds of comments and angry DMs are flooding the brand’s social media notifications.

Turns out the cool picture of the rocket was a shot of the last minutes of the doomed NASA space shuttle Challenger. That space shuttle exploded mid-flight in 1986, killing everyone on board. Naturally, people are really mad.

Sounds like a made up example you would read in a “Social Media Management for Dummies” book, right? Well, that actually happened on American Apparel’s Tumblr page in 2014. 

Social Media Crisis Management: American Apparel Challenger Tweet

A social media crisis like that likely haunts the dreams of most social media managers. However, poorly thought out posts that turn into catastrophes are all too common! 

Last year, Ledo Pizza, commemorated 9/11 with a pizza made to look like the American flag with the caption “#neverforget.” Needless to say, it was not received very well.

We are in the spirit of helping you avoid any social media disasters. And so, we have compiled a list of best practices to spot and dodge missteps before you have full-blown PR chaos of your very own.

These simple strategies can help your brand avoid social media faux pas and catastrophes.

Jump Links

Plan Ahead
Move Smartly
Take Account Protection Measures
Learn from Your Mistakes

Plan Ahead

This might seem obvious, but the best way to avoid a social media crisis or a PR fiasco is to set best practices or brand guidelines. These social media management tools can eliminate those sorts of events before they ever happen.

Essentially, best practice documents create a set of guidelines to ensure your content is always audience appropriate. For instance, it ensures your replies meet the requisite tone for solid public relations, and your accounts are securely managed.

In other words, creating these guidelines and operating within their parameters will save you from hours and hours of hair-pulling stress on the backend when dealing with a social media screw up.

Here is a quick list of tips that will help you establish foundational social media best practices:

  • Set up a system of oversight, like a content calendar, that allows for transparency in the content creation and scheduling process.
  • Make sure you have roles and a hierarchy set up for your social media accounts. Also, know who is creating content, who is posting it, and who is responding to messages or comments that might coming in.
  • Think of the tone you are conveying through your content and replies. For instance, it helps if you have some differing perspectives to see if any posts may be insensitive to a diverse audience.
  • Have a member of your team on call for social media emergencies.
  • If you are re-sharing found content, reaching out to the original creator to make sure it’s fine to use their content will serve you well. However, if they are not available or you need to share it quickly, a friendly tag of the original poster can go a long way in preventing pushback for violating intellectual property practices.

Benjamin Franklin might not have anticipated social media when he said, “One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Sure enough, we cannot stress enough that taking some time to plan your social media strategy and crisis management strategy may render the rest of this article redundant.

Listen Up

After you have set up clear guidelines to avoid a social media crisis for your brand, you are not totally in the clear. As crises can rear their ugly heads from any number of directions irrespective of your content.

Among so many other unfortunate instances, trolls, bots, angry customers, or your competitors can post something damaging about your brand. These could cause a PR flare-up that could have lasting repercussions. 

Luckily, you are already in the right place to learn about social media listening, as Keyhole is viewed by a number of social media experts as the best-in-class tool for just that. 

Firstly, take advantage of sentiment analysis tools

Sentiment analysis tools are powered by machine-learning and language processing. In essence, they identify posts that relate to your brand and give them a positive, negative or neutral score.

Listen Up with Social Media Listening Tools

And there is so much more you can do with sentiment analysis tools to make sure you spot troubles ahead.

Keyhole’s Intelligent Notifications feature is an excellent example of how brands can set up alerts to detect direct and indirect (‘dark’) posts with negative sentiment.

Secondly, use social media listening to monitor your brand.

Social media listening tools allow you to cut through the noise in social media through comprehensive monitoring of reviews, posts, hashtags and keywords. Moreover, you can hone in on what is being said about you, your brand, your competitors, or causes you care about.

With Keyhole, you can easily monitor target hashtags and brand mentions to spot a social media crisis ahead. Then, you’ll have ample time to formulate a savvy response to any possible situation.

Platforms like Keyhole are also able to grant you a deeper insight into your audience’s thoughts about your overall digital footprint. In turn, you’ll have the tools to make sharp decisions and alter your brand strategy on the fly accordingly.

Start Your Free 7-Day Trial with Keyhole

Move Smartly

You may have a solid set of brand guidelines informing your content and tools like Keyhole giving you a bird’s eye view of your brand mentions.

However, it is still possible to have a social media crisis that calls for smart and timely action. We told you, social media management requires thick skin and a sharp mind.

Say a social media influencer or celebrity has a negative experience with your brand. For example, maybe they have a poor customer service experience or receive a faulty item.

Someone with their platform and reach can do a lot of damage to a brand in a short amount of time. So, make your move smartly to remedy these situations with as little noise from the community as possible.

Search engines are packed with information on how to inform your crisis responses. However, we found a great take from Arc Intermedia’s Matt Ulmer.

These are the steps to respond to a social media crisis:

  • Recognize the issue.
  • Talk about the issue amongst your team and formulate a plan before communicating externally.
  • Select a single spokesperson or social media account to handle the external communication.
  • Make a real apology and take ownership of whatever actions caused the offence. Also, include social context for perceived ageism, racism, sexism, shaming, or xenophobia of any kind.
  • Be transparent and available for any follow up questions or requests for comment from the media.
  • Provide a tangible solution to the problem and address further community concerns.
  • Stay open to comments and feedback from the community.

Matt’s strategy also reinforces the need for solid forethought and planning. As we said above, solidify your social media management roles, emergency contacts, and content strategy guidelines to minimize any scrambling in the midst of a social media crisis.

Above all, it is important to take a moment to breathe, think the situation through, and respond accordingly. In the end, these moments should not happen often if you have planned content thoroughly.

However, your handling of any crises could further damage your brand’s reputation if done in a hasty fashion.

Take Account Protection Measures

Unfortunately, we live in a time where trolls and hackers can gain unauthorized access to the digital world. Moreover, social media accounts are not immune to these sorts of cyberattacks.

Last July, hackers gained access to some high-profile Twitter accounts, including those of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Apple and Uber. The hackers used the security breach to tweet-out a Bitcoin scam link that could have defrauded thousands.

That example is on the tamer side of the spectrum. As other hackers have gained access to celebrity or corporate Twitter accounts and unleashed profanity-laced tirades or uploaded pornographic images.

Account breaches have gone so far that Twitter hired a famed hacker to help them with the platform’s securityon the platform. In other words, it is important to make sure all of your social media accounts are secure.

These are some countermeasures to protect your social media accounts

First, generate a strong password and protect it using a password manager tool. Make it more difficult for a hacker to guess your password or use brute force techniques to crack your account.

Second, make sure you have enabled two-factor authentication for all of your social media accounts. These ping an associated phone or email with a login code to verify that you are an authorized user of the account.

Sure, it’s a pain to dig for your phone or switch tabs to get a 6-digit code from your email. Albeit, a hacked Twitter or Facebook could do tremendous reputation damage in minutes. 

Be smart. Be safe.

Finally, make sure that you change login information or remove access to social media accounts in the event that you have to let an employee go. 

There have been more than a few examples of disgruntled employees airing grievances and posting inflammatory or offensive Twitter posts.

The incidents at Tronc illustrate this point very well.

Social Media Crisis: Tronc

Take steps to make sure this does not happen to you.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Lastly, if your brand undergoes a social media crisis, document the cause, process, and response by your team. This information will be helpful in informing your social media management strategy.

In an ever-evolving social media landscape, it can seem daunting to deal with a social media crisis. Regardless, do not let that deter you from the benefits of social media. For instance, brand awareness, audience engagement, and opportunities that a well-run social media strategy can provide you.

We Analyzed A Million #Halloween2020 Social MediaPosts – This Is What We Learned

Halloween Social Media Analytics

Despite restrictions, Halloween made a splash this year, at least on social media. There were over 963.7K posts with the hashtag #Halloween2020, which resulted in 5.5 billion impressions this past October, showing that people were still excited about the beloved holiday.

But most importantly, what are people talking about?

Halloween Social Media Posts 2020
Halloween Social Media Impressions 2020

#TrickorTreat

192.4K Posts and 589.9M Impressions (September – October 2020)

Remember how exciting it was to be a kid on Halloween? Getting your costume ready, staying up late, and getting to eat more candy than you could all year?

Those were the days!

Halloween Trick or Treat Meme

This year, however, people were on the fence about it. Recent polls show that at least 38% of parents planned on allowing their kids to trick or treat this year, while for 31%, it’s a hard pass.

Curiously, 62% of poll respondents said that they would be handing out candy this year, while only 23% said they would go trick or treating. And well, having extra candy around is not such a bad thing.

Halloween 2020 Survey results

Some candy brands came to save the day – and their profits – by finding creative ways to ensure that kids get a trick or treating experience this year.

Contender 1: Mars Wrigley

Mars Wrigley created a completely online experience with Treat Town. This new app – created in partnership with Disney Parks –  would allow users to engage in various Halloween-themed activities including virtual trick or treating.

The confectionery giant also partnered with the National Safety Council in creating a guide for parents to safely participate in Halloween.

Using their hashtag #bettermoments to promote the app on social media was a questionable decision. It is quite difficult to track a hashtag that most people would use in a context that is completely unrelated to your brand.

The #bettermoments hashtag is quite popular with topics such as pain, breakups and suicide prevention. These associations are the exact opposite you’d want as a candy brand.

Hashtag tracking #bettermoments

Lesson learned – hashtag choice is crucial when using social media to track and measure your campaigns.

Alternatively, Mars Wrigley’s sub-brand Skittles used the #DareTheRainbow to promote two campaigns: a giveaway – with AMC’s The Walking Dead – and a zombie-prank challenge, resulting in 1.4 million impressions.

The beloved brand Snickers played it cool this year. After all, being voted as America’s most beloved Halloween candy gave the brand enough bragging rights. 

After a contentious battle between Snickers and Reese’s – Snickers took the crown. And the results were surprising, considering the number of Americans with peanut allergies has tripled since the 90’s.

What about the second runner-up?

Contender 2: Hershey’s

Hershey’s did not disappoint this year, by going all out and creating a robot-operated door that travelled to various American neighborhoods and offered a contactless trick-or-treat experience.

With little promotion, the #REESESDOOR hashtag gained about 385.3K impressions, and the story was picked up by many US publications. A single post from a TikTok influencer had over 35K impressions.

And despite gloomy expectations, recent data shows that candy sales have climbed 13% from last year. Halloween chocolate purchases alone are up by 25.3%.

Halloween 2020 Candy Sales

Arguably, the increase in candy purchasing might have little to do with trick or treaters, and more to do with treating ourselves after a hard-knock year.  

While many might miss out on the trick or treating fun, parents and non-parents alike are not letting the holiday go to waste and are bringing the spook home. Data proves that you don’t need a party or trick or treating to partake in the festivities.

“Halloween Decorations” 

279K Posts and 915.8M Impressions (September – October 2020)

Halloween Decoration posts have been incredibly popular in social media, and also 53% of survey respondents indicated that they would be decorating their homes.

In terms of spending, decorations and costumes have the highest total expected spending this halloween ($2.6 billion each).

Halloween Spending 2020

It isn’t too surprising. Halloween decorations are one of the safest ways to go all out when celebrating Halloween.

Out of 27.7 million Halloween social media posts, this neighbourly shout-out and this COVID-inspired house decoration were among the tweets with the most engagements in October.

And the Halloween decorations brand that is killing it on social media is none other than Home Depot.

Contender 1: Home Depot

Halloween  2020 Social Media - Home Depot

That’s right, Home Depot mentions acquired 1.4 billion impressions in the past two months. In case you haven’t heard, their 12 ft. skeleton became the most coveted decoration this year.

Once social media posts started to go viral, sales went through the roof. Even with a hefty $300 price tag, Home Depot quickly sold out of the big-boned decoration. People wanted them so bad that ebay auctions were going for over $800.

So what does giant skeleton envy have to teach us?

Aside from tremendous entertainment, there are a few lessons we can get from the 12 ft. skeleton’s success.

First, visibility and impact – it is really hard to miss and ignore a gigantic skeleton in plain sight. With more than half the world using social media, if your product makes a visual impact, there is a chance that people will post about it.

Halloween Social Media Lessons - Home Depot

Second, exclusivity – after selling out for good, the skeleton became even more desirable. Home Depot was very hushed about how many skeletons they sold, and simply communicated that they would no longer be available. 

Let’s be honest – we have a primal instinct to want what we can’t have. Indicating that your products have limited availability will make them more desirable to consumers.

“Halloween Makeup”

138.9K Posts and 688.5M Impressions (September to October 2020)

Speaking of desirability, most industries can only wish to have the social media success that makeup has had. In fact, it was the makeup industry that helped us realize the power of influencer marketing.

But is it successful across all social media platforms?

YouTube

YouTube has been the largest social medium for makeup-related content with the success of makeup tutorials.

To exemplify the power of YouTube and makeup influencers look no other than James Charles’ Halloween makeup video featuring Kylie Jenner.

The video has over 12 Million views, and it was engaged with over 818K instances. And while few brands could possibly afford a celebrity or mega influencers, collaborations with different influencers based on your budget can make a huge impact.

But what about other platforms?

Instagram

Instagram has become another great medium for cosmetic brands. The brand Anastasia Beverly Hills was a pioneer in turning its focus to Instagram over YouTube.

The brand amassed a 20M following on Instagram, leveraging short videos to create mini tutorials featuring their products and using contests to boost engagement.

This year, one of the posts gathering the most engagement (77K) was French makeup artist Marion Moretti’s post. While she showed her stunning The Mask rendition, she also invited engagement both online and offline.

Halloween Makeup social media posts

Moretti, made sure to tag all of the makeup companies she used for her look, and even created her own hashtag (#camelloween2020) to encourage user generated content.

TikTok

A new great opportunity for cosmetic brands, and really any brand, looking to use social media as a way to showcase their product is TikTok.

Elf cosmetics launched the contest #eyeslipsface in October, asking TikTokers to “give face” while using their commissioned song. The catchy song and giving TikTokers the freedom to be creative paid off: the #eyeslipsface has over 6.6B views.

So what can we learn from cosmetic brands’ success on Halloween?

Like any makeup guru will tell you – “when in doubt, keep blending.” Not blending into the background, but blending different elements together to make them cohesive.

Make sure you blend your content and strategy with the medium you’re using. Fit is everything in social media and every platform has its own metrics and formulas. 

For example, Instagram can help consumers discover your brand and make decisions about your products. On the other hand, TikTok will help you connect with a younger audience and encourage engagement with  your brand. 

Instagram Business Stats

As for influencers, fit is even more important. In order to be successful, it is important to be authentic. So, influencers will have control over the message and the audience. 

Find an influencer that will be able to deliver his/her message about your brand in an authentic manner. Also, pay attention to their followers and determine whether this is the audience you want to reach.

“Halloween Costume”

1.9M Posts and 9.3B Impressions (September to October 2020)

Which leads us to Halloween Costumes – in our humble opinion – the true spirit of Halloween. 

Bear with us now..

Humans around the world and history have used costumes as a way to celebrate their cultures. For example, Jewish people wear costumes for Purim, during Carnival people dress up in the Caribbean, Venice and Switzerland.

Costume Social Media Posts

We wear costumes to create the fantasy of inhabiting a new persona. For a day, we get to absorb the positive attributes of our character. Clinging tights on any given day might make many men feel emasculated but that wouldn’t be the case if it’s part of a superhero costume.

There is an important insight from this. Thinking about consumption has enormous psychological implications. More often than not, people consume a brand because of what it makes them feel about themselves, not necessarily for the benefits of the product.

In many western cultures, Halloween is the day to dress up in costume. And today, sharing your costume in social media has become the norm.

This is why an average $3.4 billion is spent on Halloween costumes every year. Men spending $96 on average, while women spend $77 – which is surprising, since women usually pay the pink tax.

So what costumes were popular for Halloween 2020?

According to Freightgeist – Google Trends report on Halloween costumes – the top 10 Halloween costume searches are as follows:

  1. Witch
  2. Dinosaur
  3. Harley Quinn
  4. Rabbit
  5. Clown
  6. Angel
  7. Fortnite
  8. Devil
  9. Ninja
  10. Spiderman

Which leads us to the Halloween costume social media post with the most engagement for October

Halloween best social Media Posts

Which leads us to pet costumes, Americans spent about $440 million to dress up their furry friends. And this trend continues to grow by about 16% each year.

While popular human costumes are witches, princesses, villains and superheroes. These are the 5 most popular animal costumes:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Hot Dog
  3. Superhero
  4. Cat
  5. Bumblebee

This year, posts featuring cats with the #Halloween2020 was among the most popular this year, whether it was costumes for cats, or black cats. In fact, the Instagram account Meowed by 9GAG had a great month on Instagram: total engagements were 19M – that’s 11M more than September.

So is the real winner of #Halloween2020 the noble cat? At least those cats that had the patience to be dressed up and photographed by their owners.

Halloween Social Media Pet Costume Stats

The greatest contender is of course, the dog. While dog costumes are not among the top posts of #Halloween2020, there are fewer dog costume posts (21.8K) than cat costume posts (39.2K). 

Halloween Social Media Pet Costume Stats

Dog costume posts, however, had 126.8 M impressions in the past two months, making them the true social media winner of this Halloween.

If you’re wondering why, just look at this picture and try not to smile! If you’re wondering why, just look at this picture and try not to smile!

So what did social media teach us about Halloween in 2020?

This Halloween taught us that even when facing curveballs and adversity, new opportunities can be created. Not only for marketers but also for people who want to continue enjoying their favourite holiday.

The most creative brands – and people – have one thing in common: adaptability. All the brands we mentioned were able to get a good perspective on the situation to understand what people really wanted and then created a solution.

Practicing social media monitoring and listening can help identify trends and inform our process to create opportunities. It also allows us to track our performance and adapt as needed.

Both in marketing and in life, we can take this important lesson into consideration. Pay attention to what is happening, inform yourself as best you can, and be ready to create your own solutions.

Do you have any 2020 lessons you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you!


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that helps marketers make decisions by gathering with social media data. Try Keyhole for free with a 7-day trial.


About The Author

Mariana O’Connor is heading content and email marketing at Keyhole. She has a Masters degree in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business. When she’s not reading or writing about the latest marketing trends, she is usually out and about, working out, learning a new skill or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Life is short and the internet is vast.