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How to Calculate and Improve Your Share of Voice (SoV)

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  • How to Calculate and Improve Your Share of Voice (SoV)

It’s difficult to get noticed online. It’s even more difficult to determine your place in the online hierarchy of brands vying for attention amongst audiences.

The internet is a vast, noisy place filled with billions of users around the globe. Social media, web searches, paid ads, and news media are vital tools for marketers trying to grow their brands.

Having a digital marketing strategy is a must, but how can you determine its success? How can you determine your share of that online noise?

Share of voice is the most comprehensive tool for calculating overall online engagement.

In this article, we’ll discuss what share of voice means, as well as how you can calculate and improve your brand’s share of voice (SoV).

What Is Share of Voice?

Share of voice isn’t a new concept, but it has taken on new meanings in recent years. And no, it isn’t a fancy new type of innovative call center technology.

Traditionally, share of voice meant a brand’s advertising expenditure and success compared to that of its competitors. Modern definitions of SoV refer to a brand’s online visibility compared to the visibility of its competitors.

Share of Voice (SoV)

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Share of voice refers to two areas of online visibility:

  • Your active online presence, such as running paid ads, posting content on social media, and ranking high in search engine results.
  • How much others are talking about you online–on social media, in news outlets, and in blog posts.

The online world is a noisy place where brands compete for recognition. Your brand’s share of voice is your percentage of that noise compared to other brands in your industry.

Brand recognition is everything, and SoV is one way to calculate your brand’s influence, reach, and audience engagement.

Types of SoV and How To Calculate Them

There are a few different types of SoV. Share of voice is a tool with numerous uses to benefit each brand’s unique metrics and goals. You can use all of them, some of them, or even just one of them.

Read on to work out which SoV definitions are important to your objectives and how you can utilize them.

Social Media

Social media is a must for modern advertisers. It’s a cost-effective tool for reaching a global audience, allowing brands to connect to customers on a personal level and discover more about the people they’re trying to reach.

When advertisers talk about share of voice, they’re predominantly referring to social media marketing. There are other types of SoV that we’ll get into below, but social media SoV is a big one.

Your social media SoV is how much people are engaging with your brand on social media Vs. your competitors’ brands.

Higher social media share of voice means more people are talking about you–mentioning, following, sharing, tagging, reviewing, creating user-generated content, etc.

Understanding your social media SoV helps you determine your place in the chaotic, fast-moving, and saturated world of online chatter. Brands that prioritize their social media strategy can leverage SoV to assess their strategies and find areas for improvement.

So, how can you calculate your social media SoV? Here’s a rough formula to get you started.

You’ll need to:

  1. Define your criteria for engagement–mentions, shares, hashtags, replies, or all of the above.
  2. Make a list of your competitors.
  3. Count your engagement statistics.
  4. Count all of your competitors’ statistics.

Then, you can start calculating.

Your social media SoV % = (your engagement/total engagement of your and your competitors) x 100.

You can drill down even further and segment your audience into demographics to calculate your social media SoV amongst certain genders, age groups, geographic locations, etc.

If all of this sounds complicated, there are lots of tools out there that can help. We’ll get into that later.


Media share of voice is your brand’s visibility amongst news sites and blogs.

Being visible on other people’s websites is like word-of-mouth advertising. People read sources they trust and if a trusted source is recommending your brand, the audience will already have some confidence in you.

If multiple news sites and blogs mention you, that trust is reinforced over and over again.

Once again, you’ll need to list your competitors before you can calculate your media SoV.

Media SoV % = (mentions of your brand on news sites and blogs/total mentions of yours and your competitors’ brands) x 100


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Your SEO (search engine optimization) SoV is the percentage of traffic going to your site from industry-relevant keywords. It’s a calculation of how well your website fares in organic web searches.

Organic clicks from web searches are great SoV metrics, since people who are actively looking for what you have to offer are more likely to make a purchase.

During web searches, your audience finds you (or your competitors) by typing relevant keywords into their search engine. A B2B buyer from a small business might search for something like “best phone call routing services”

If you’re a VoIP company, your website might rank highly in this search. But there are a few VoIP companies out there.

How can you be sure you’re using the right keywords in your websites, product listings, and online stores to outrank your competitors? If you’re not on the first page of search engine page results (SERPs), you’re unlikely to get traffic.

There are various ways to calculate SEO SoV depending on your needs. To start with, you’ll need:

  • A list of keywords you’d like your site to rank highly in.
  • Keyword research to determine the monthly search volume (MSV) of each of these keywords.
  • A list of your competitors’ websites.

You can calculate a simple overview of your SEO SoV manually by typing each of your keywords into your web search and counting the number of first page/high-ranking features both you and your competitors get.

SEO SoV = (SERP features of your brand/total SERP features of you and your competitors) x 100

To get a more comprehensive view of your SEO share of voice, you might need some automation tools.

Benefits of Understanding Your Share of Voice

So why are you going to put all this effort into dealing with complicated mathematical equations?

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The internet is valuable real estate, and brands are always vying for more space. The brands with the biggest share of that real estate are the loudest, most recognized, and fastest growing.

There are benefits to having the strongest voice.

Connecting With Your Audience

Marketing is all about connecting with your audience. Understanding your share of voice allows you to see precisely how much your audience talks about you.

High social media SoV is particularly useful when trying to engage with customers. Social media allows you to gain insights into your audience and adapt your strategies accordingly. This, in turn, helps you improve your SoV.

Identifying Trends

Following trends and adapting your marketing strategies to match consumer behavior is a great way to increase your online visibility.

Calculating your share of voice across online media allows you to keep up with trends as they happen and jump on them whilst they’re still hot.

Identifying Your Competitors

All this analysis can help you better identify and understand your competitors.

Who are they? What are they doing that you’re not? And what can you do better?

Understanding and Improving Your Brand’s Image

Understanding your share of voice is critical to understanding your brand’s online visibility and impressions.

Not only the extent of your visibility, but the context of it.

If you’ve recently stirred up some controversy, for example, your audience might be criticizing your brand. Your SoV will improve, but the engagement might be predominantly negative.

You can use SoV to determine how well you’re doing at capturing audience attention, how people see your brand, and any improvements you need to make.

How To Improve Your Share of Voice

We’ve gone through the nitty-gritty of how and why. Now, let’s look at some actionable steps you can take to improve your brand’s share of voice.

Using Automation Tools

We discussed how calculating your SoV across various channels can be complicated. Luckily, there are tools out there that can help!

  • For social media SoV, social listening automation tools allow you to gather engagement data and compare it to your competitors.
  • For media SoV, find social listening tools that include not only social media, but news sites and blogs.
  • For SEO SoV, SEO tools that can provide in-depth keyword analytics, analyze your and your competitors’ precise rankings for each keyword, and the percentage of clicks each ranking nets will give you a more in-depth understanding of your SEO SoV.

Make sure you research any automation tools before you use them. Read reviews and testimonials and get recommendations from industry peers. Look for features that matter to you, tools for collaboration, and strong security.

Expand Your Social Media Empire

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To command more space in the social media universe, you might need more social media.

Some businesses create a Facebook business page, post once a month, and call it a day. To capture a larger social media share of voice, you’ll need to open more channels between you and your audience.

More social media accounts allow you to grow brand recognition. It also allows audiences to engage with you on the channels they use.

Personalize Your Social Media Strategy

A successful social media strategy looks at audience demographics and the social media platforms they use the most. Having a social media presence on those platforms allows you to reach your audience where they are.

Next, what kind of content does your audience best respond to? A mix of text, picture, and video content across channels is good practice, but some demographics might engage better with short-form videos, some with text-based educational content, etc.

Creating content tailored to your audience is key to engaging them and growing your SoV with those all-important shares, likes, mentions, and follows.

Encourage User-Generated Content

People want to get involved–it’s human nature. We like to build community and share our ideas and creative pursuits with each other.

Encouraging user-generated content on social media and in personal blog posts is a great way to create engagement and foster customer loyalty. Your audience gets to feel like they’re part of your brand’s community and like their voices matter. And the extra engagement helps to bolster your SoV.

Improve Your Media Outreach

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We’ve focused a lot on social media, as share of voice tends to do.

Appearing on blogs and in online news is another great way to improve your SoV. It gives your brand an authoritative voice and reinforces your credibility–if publications trust you, your company must be legit.

It also allows you to expand your audience, since others outside of your target demographics might now be reading about you.

To reach blogs, look for blogs that are relevant to your industry and allow guest posts. Writing a guest post lets you talk with authority on a subject you know a lot about and plug your brand at the same time.

You can also create relationships with industry leaders and peers for future collaborations.

News sites are a little more difficult, but remember: the news media is hungry. The news cycle is 24/7, and websites need a steady stream of stories to keep their own engagement levels up.

When your brand does something newsworthy, use it to grow your SoV.

Maybe you’ve recently raised a lot of money for charity, introduced an eco-friendly line of products, or won a prestigious award–there are lots of positive stories news sites might like to publish.

First, do some research into the websites you’d like to approach. Look for high domain authority scores to find reputable sites that people trust. Then, find the right people to contact and craft a killer pitch deck.

Similarly to blogs, creating relationships with news sites can open up possibilities for future collaborations.

Understanding the Power of Your Share of Voice

If you don’t understand your place in the online world, how can you improve it?

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Calculating your share of voice across the internet can help you determine your brand’s level of influence, engagement, and reputation compared to your competition.

You can learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your digital marketing strategy, allowing you to refine your campaigns and amplify your voice in the online conversation.

Share of voice is a powerful tool for growing your brand, so start calculating and see what you can discover!

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