If someone is having a conversation about a topic in your industry, you’d want to be mentioned, right? Increasingly, these important conversations are taking place online. With the rise of social media, maintaining a high share of voice on social networks is key to attracting and retaining customers. According to an IDC survey, more than 91% of B2B buyers reported being active on social media.
But in extremely competitive industries, how can companies keep up the demands of social media? Let’s break things down by taking a closer look at share of voice, and how you can grab a bigger slice of the pie for your brand.
What is Share of Voice?
Share of voice is a measure of how many times your company is referenced in relation to key topics or hashtags. While share of voice can relate to your overall online advertising spend, it’s most closely associated with the conversational content that takes place on social media. For that reason, we’re going to focus our coverage of the topic in this article on social media and its importance in sales. Social selling is an important topic, more than 80% of those surveyed believe their sales force would more productive with a larger social presence.
Why Share of Voice?
Okay, so now that you know what share of voice is… why should you care? In order for people to buy from you, they have to remember you. That means being seen. While it’s easy to shy away from the spotlight, being visible is equivalent to being seen as one of the leaders in your industry. When you’re viewed as a thought leader in your industry, you’re more likely to have customers beating down your door. A survey by LinkedIn shows that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level execs use social media during the purchasing decision process.
How Do You Get More Share of Voice?
Capturing more share of voice around your industry’s most important topics will involve quality and quantity. First, you’ll want to create more engaging content that sparks discussions, which you’ll be at the center of. Staying at the center of these discussions also means posting more frequently, and monitoring current events in your industry.
According to an Aberdeen Group report, more than 73% of high performing organizations keep a content library that puts the right company branded collateral within easy reach for everyone in the company. When there is a big story in your industry it the perfect time to chime in with relevant content and a well thought out opinion. Be sure to add popular hashtags surrounding the discussion for even more exposure.
Enlist Employees to Amplify Your Voice
Even if you have the most engaging content in your industry, posting once a day or once a week won’t cut it. You simply need to bring more people to the conversation. Your share of voice can be amplified exponentially with the help of fired-up employees as your branded social media accounts are only going to get you so far in the discussion.
Younger audiences tend to love ad blockers and distrust branded social media accounts. They far prefer to get candid opinions from their peers and real-life sources (i.e., your employees). Employee advocacy has been the secret weapon used by many companies to dominate share of voice in their industry.
Bringing employees into the conversation makes it authentic and multi-dimensional in a way that branded content can’t match. A survey of 79% of firms reported increases in online visibility after implementation of a formal employee advocacy program.
Share of Voice: One Company’s Story
Take the case of one of the world’s leading consulting companies who used PostBeyond to gain share of voice. With more than 19,000 employees around the globe, the company faced heavy regulatory scrutiny by engaging online. They didn’t let that stop them. They looked beyond the immediate hurdles, and they expanded their social media presence so they could begin having conversations in the important places where their customers were. They found their place in the conversation and quickly dominated it within just a year.
“We earned #1 in share of voice, #1 in engagement, and #1 in sentiment. This is the Triple Crown of social media and we hit it using PostBeyond,” said their Director of Communications. Whether you’re in management consulting, technology, professional services, recruitment or financial services, there are great lessons to be learned in the case study of this consulting company.
How Do You Measure Share of Voice?
After getting employees involved, the next step in getting a larger share of voice is to make sure you can measure your success. Before we talk metrics, there are a few caveats to keep in mind when setting it up. You’ll want to make sure you’re measuring the relative share you’re getting, not just the hard numbers. For this reason, we suggest setting up a monitoring system that tracks you against your top competitors.
Don’t forget to track multiple spellings (misspellings) of your company name, plus relevant trademarked products and services. Once you build your basic branded keyword tracking, you’ll want to expand your monitoring to general keywords related your industry that will help alert you to important conversations people are having, so you can join in. Building your share of voice is essential to solidifying your presence on social media as the go-to expert and market leader.
Looking for more ways to expand your social media marketing programs? Subscribe to our blog.