Brand awareness might seem familiar amongst start-ups, mainly because they are still new in their respective industries, and people don’t know about them. But well-established brands also focus their marketing efforts on increasing brand awareness to remain relevant and attract new customers while retaining existing ones.
However, only a few companies set measurements for how much brand awareness they have, getting, improving, or even losing. Because awareness sometimes doesn’t directly correlate to sales, most business professionals deem it unnecessary because it is hard to track and attribute return on marketing investment compared to lead generation.
What brand awareness metric makes the most sense depends on how your company earns revenue or values its brand. For example, if you’re a publication that earns money from sponsored social media posts, you likely care most about pure volume metrics like impressions and reach. But, if you’re a B2B brand that does low-volume business in a niche industry, you may care more about the share of voice, audience sentiment, and engagement.
This article will focus on Social Share of Voice (SSoV) and social media engagement, precisely how to track, measure, and calculate these metrics.
Social Share of Voice
SSoV measures how many people are mentioning your brand on social media compared to your competitors.
With most of these social media conversations being public, you can measure your competitors’ impact just as quickly as you can measure your own. Marketers who specialise in public relations, strategists who do competitive analysis, and advertisers who do pay advertising campaigns primarily use SSoV.
Social media mentions
On the other hand, mentions are used to measure SSoV, which are an overall number of mentions or references of your brand online. Beyond social media, these mentions include product or service reviews, blog posts, testimonials, news articles etc. If brand awareness is your brand’s primary objective, this metric is essential and directly affects your online reputation. I would suggest using a brand monitoring tool to track brand mentions and rectify any negative comments.
Mentions can be direct (@LeratoMonareng_) or indirect (Lerato Monareng). Either way, a brand monitoring tool can pick up any mention of your brand on social media or any online platform such as blog, comments, or news publication.
Social media audience sentiment
Social media sentiment looks at emotions behind your brand mentions to measure people’s attitudes and feelings regarding your brand. It adds context to all the @-mentions, comments, shares, and tone of conversations.Being mentioned and getting people talking about your brand on social media is excellent but not good enough. You need to figure out where you stand on the positive/negative spectrum, which can be achieved by analysing these conversations.
Sometimes, a massive number of brand mentions can be negative, which makes tracking whether your brand mentions are positive or negative vital, especially if your objective is brand awareness. You want people to know your brand for the right reasons.
In an article titled 10 Brand Monitoring Tools That You Can Get Started With For Free, Anna Bredava delves deeper into brand monitoring. If you have time, please check out the article.
How to track Social Share of Voice (SSoV)
Step 1: Measure every mention your brand receives—direct and indirect—across your social networks using any of the brand monitoring tools mentioned above.
Step 2: Measure your competitors’ mentions during the same reporting period.
Step 3: Add your mentions and those of your competitors to get the total industry mentions.
Step 4: Divide your brand mentions by the total and multiply by 100 to get your SSoV percentage.
How to calculate Social Share of Voice (SSoV)
While Social media sentiment looks at emotions behind your brand mentions to measure people’s attitudes and feelings about your brand, the applause rate measures the positive aspects of the sentiments. Applause Rate is the number of approval actions (e.g., likes, favourites) a post receives relative to your total number of followers.
When followers like or favourites one of your posts, they acknowledge that it’s valuable to them. Knowing what percentage of your audience finds value in the things you post can—and should—inform your content moving forward.
How to track applause rate
Step 1: Add up the total approval actions a post received for a reporting period.
Step 2: Divide that number by your total followers and multiply by 100 to get your applause rate percentage.
How to calculate the applause rate.
Social media engagement (rate)
Some might argue that social media engagement falls under the engagement metrics and not necessarily awareness metrics. However, if you think of it, engagements cover many interactions; some standard ones used to gauge engagement include likes, comments, social shares, saved items, click-throughs, or retweets. From an awareness perspective, engagements indicate people interacting with your content which gives you an idea of how aware they are about your posts and overall brand.
The engagement rate then provides a more accurate representation of content performance by proving the rate at which people engage with your content instead of simply looking at absolute measures of social media engagement such as likes, shares, and comments.
Engagement is vital because being on social media as a brand is not just about popularity but about making meaningful connections with current and potential customers, which will boost your brand online and offline. Furthermore, it’s also a sign that you’re making an impact in the market.
When your followers engage with your content, it shows that your relationship with them is strong and healthy. They are paying attention and likely willing to turn into a customer and become brand advocates one day.
“Engagement rates are the currency of the social media marketing industry.” – Hootsuite.
How to track social media engagement
Step 1: Add up a post’s total likes, comments, and shares.
Step 2: Divide by your total number of followers and multiply by 100 to get your average engagement rate percentage.
How to calculate social media engagement
Note: The benchmark for this metric is different on every platform.
Facebook and Twitter, for example, typically have lower engagement rates (e.g., 0.5% to 1%). On the other hand, Instagram is known for its relatively high engagement rates (e.g., 3% to 6%).
Keeping your ear on the ground is quite vital when your brand aims to increase its digital presence. Thanks to brand monitoring tools; as a marketing professional now you can track your company’s online activity, keep an eye on reputation, Social Share of Voice and spy on competitors. However, you need to choose the right tool for the trade because brand monitoring tools differ in their capabilities. some are more analytics-oriented, others combine monitoring with posting and scheduling features, some focus on a specific platform.
To increase awareness of your brand you need a tool that will help you track and measure Social Share of Voice, brand mentions, social media engagement and share of engagement.