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How to Measure Share of Voice: PPC, SEO and Social Media

TJ Kiely

Jul 28, 2023

The internet has become a noisy place. Brands often wonder how much of their audience is hearing them. One way to find out is by measuring share of voice (SOV).

The growth of digital marketing has given brands tons of new ways to promote their products, enter a new category or two, and connect with their customers. But lots of options also mean lots of social media metrics to track.

We’re advocates of only paying attention to the metrics that really matter, and share of voice is definitely one of them. That’s because it allows you to see how you stack up against your competitors. If you aren’t comparing yourself to the competition, it’s harder to put your other metrics into context. Share of voice can help you gain a clearer perspective on your own social media marketing performance.

Let’s take a deeper dive into share of voice, including the share of voice meaning, how to calculate it, and how to increase it!

Table of Contents

What Is Share of Voice?

Using a megaphone.

Let’s start with a share of voice definition – what is its meaning?

We define share of voice as how much of the conversation you dominate compared to your competitors. For instance, if someone is mentioning you more on social media compared to a competing brand, you may have a bigger SOV.

The greater your share of voice, the more brand awareness and authority you have.

In the past, marketers used SOV as a way to gauge whether their paid advertising was working. Today, SOV in marketing means so much more; it’s not just useful for PPC or other paid ads. You can also track organic website traffic and social media mentions in relation to your competitors.

Share of Voice vs. Share of Market

Share of voice sounds a lot like share of market. You could say that share of voice is a smaller slice of the bigger market picture.

SOV measures your brand awareness on a specific channel. Share of market refers to the amount of revenue and the number of customers you have in the market.

Both are important for understanding your performance in comparison to your competitors. But for now, we’re focusing on the percentage of the discussion you earn across various digital marketing channels.

Measuring Share of Voice

Woman yelling.

Share of voice measurement is a great place to start as you ramp up your digital marketing. It gives you a better idea of where you stand in the market and can help you set the right goals moving forward.

To start measuring share of voice, you’ll need to calculate it using this simple formula:

The measures you’ll use depend on the marketing channel.

For example, let’s say you want to measure share of voice on Instagram. You might start by looking at the hashtags your audience is using. If your branded hashtags are used 100 times compared to the 200 times for the whole market, then your SOV is 50%.  

We recommend measuring share of voice across three primary areas:

  1. Share of Voice Measurement: SEO

  2. Measuring Share of Voice: PPC

  3. Share of Voice Measurement: Social Media

Share of Voice Measurement: SEO

SEO graph.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is important for helping people find your website via organic search. Organic means it happens naturally, so you don’t have to pay to show up in search results. The higher you rank organically, the more “free” website traffic you earn.

To measure your SOV in organic search, you’ll need to look at how often you appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) compared to competitors. You can measure this by the number of impressions as well as clicks.

You can also learn which organic keywords you’re ranking for compared to your competitors. The more keywords you rank for, the greater potential you have of appearing in your audience’s search results.

You should also pay attention to your backlinks. A backlink is a link to your website from a third-party site. Backlinks are symbols of authority because they resemble a sign of trust from the publisher.

More resources:

Measuring Share of Voice: PPC

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is the opposite of organic search. With PPC, you pay to get in front of your target audience. In a paid search campaign, your ad is usually displayed at the top of the SERP before the organic rankings.

To calculate your SOV in a PPC campaign, you’ll choose a key metric (such as impressions), then divide your metric by the total number in the industry.

Google Ads makes finding your PPC share of voice easy. Go to your account, then go to Campaigns and click Modify. Click “competitor metrics” and check the boxes next to each competitor you want to compare yourself to. Apply the changes and start tracking your impressions data.

Similar to organic search, you can also use your PPC keywordsclicks, and revenue as metrics. When you’re spending money on campaigns, knowing your SOV can help you budget for advertising and measure each campaign’s effectiveness.

Share of Voice Measurement: Social Media

Social media has become an important platform for consumers to be seen and heard. Anyone can post content, share their thoughts, and even connect with brands directly. There are 4.65 billion social media users around the world – that’s more than one in two people who use social media!

With so many conversations happening on social media platforms every day, it’s important for marketers to tune in. Learn how people are talking about your brand on social. You can track metrics like hashtagsmentionspost reach, and customer sentiment. Our solutions can help you do that!

Use a share of voice calculator or purpose-built share of voice tools that can help you track these metrics at scale.

Other Ways to Calculate Share of Voice

Other share of voice metrics worth considering is media mentions and trending topics outside of social media. Blogs, news outlets, podcasts, and other publications lend to a brand’s share of voice calculation.

One way to track these mentions is by setting up a Google Alert. You can set up alerts for any keyword or phrase. Each time that term is mentioned in the media, you’ll receive a notification. One caveat is that this only works for sites that are indexed by Google and may not alert you to all mentions.

Another more advanced way is to use a media monitoring tool like Meltwater's that sends you automated reports and updates and alerts in real-time.

Harnessing all share of voice data in a single platform can simplify the work of your marketing team while giving you useful insights.

Increasing Share of Voice

Looking at notes.

Once you learn how to calculate share of voice, your next priority is to increase SOV. There’s always room for improvement, right?

Here are some tips to help you supercharge your SOV marketing:

Be Consistent

As with any type of social media marketing, increasing share of voice starts by making it a priority. Be intentional about creating and maintaining your online presence. Participate in discussions and react to trending topics and content. It pays to be the squeaky wheel.

Start Conversations

Whoever is in charge of the conversation usually gets to spend the most time talking. Don’t just respond to current conversations – start your own, too.

Engage your audience by presenting them with thought leadership and thought-provoking content. Ask them questions and request their participation. Make it easy for them to make your brand part of their story.

Create Original, Engaging Content

Content is a big part of the marketing share of voice. It gives people something to engage with and talk about. Match your content format to the channel where you wish to increase share of voice.

For instance, video works well for TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. Niche audiences might prefer memes or infographics. Understand your demographic and learn what they like and respond to. Then, let their interests guide your content creation.

Track Your Progress

Regular share of voice reporting can help you see how your efforts are paying off. And with the right share of voice tool, tracking this metric becomes less of a chore. Put it on autopilot and get straight to the latest data. 

Calculate Share of Voice Using Share of Voice Tools

Calculating share of voice is easier when you have the . Tools can recommend metrics to track and monitor your progress on your behalf. Plus, they centralize your efforts to bring clarity to your strategy and outcomes.

Here are our top tools to calculate share of voice:


Hootsuite dashboard.

Calculating share of voice on social media is one of the reasons why Hootsuite is so popular. More than just a social scheduling and engagement tool, Hootsuite makes it easy to monitor keywords and track your brand conversations. It offers real-time insights from a single dashboard, making it easy to measure SOV on multiple social accounts.

It’s decent for entry-level share of voice and share of market needs. The intuitive user experience allows you to jump straight into action. However, brands that need deeper insights into customer sentiment and other data beyond social media may outgrow it quickly.

Tip: These are the best Hootsuite alternatives.


Ahrefs metrics page.

One of the leading names in SEO, Ahrefs is a great tool for tracking backlinks and paid and organic keywords. You can get a quick snapshot of your website traffic compared to your competitors and measure them against the keywords you want to rank for.

However, its large price tag and limited monitoring mean that Ahrefs may be unrealistic for smaller brands and budgets. It also doesn’t offer insight into social media data, making it harder for smaller companies to justify the price.


Meltwater metrics.

 empowers your SOV marketing by providing insights into media and social media. From social media to digital publications, Meltwater tracks a range of metrics to help you conduct a competitive analysis. Use the platform to identify your competitors, conduct market research, monitor trending topics in the industry, and analyze sentiment around those topics.

Powered by AI and data, Meltwater helps brands strengthen their positions in the market by monitoring conversations in real-time. It captures more online conversations than any other tool or platform, ensuring brands have clear visibility into where they stand in the market.

See Meltwater in action by scheduling a demo!