Community Management, Social Media Strategy, Social CRM, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Monitoring

4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice

The concept of “listening to the conversation” which is at the core of most social media programs, and is the foundation for many companies that sell listening tools, is really just a pseudonym for tracking content your customers create based on their satisfaction, or dissatisfaction. It’s often described as “share of voice” – the percentage of all online content and conversations about your company, compared to your competitors.

There are four keys to increasing your share of voice.

Out of sight, out of mind

Keeping customers aware of your brand on a continuous basis is a challenge worth tackling. We each interact with hundreds of brands each day, yet how many do you remember? Memorability is enhanced through repetition.

share of voice 300x198 4 Ways to Increase Share of VoiceIf you want your customers to create content about your brand, they have to remember engaging with your brand, and top-of-mind awareness is heightened through social Web interactions. The more your customers see and interact with you in the venues where they spend time, the more likely they are to remember your brand and create content. That’s why it’s important for brands to have a meaningful presence in large social Web outposts like Facebook and Twitter, and to actually engage with customers, not just create online Yellow Pages ads. Each interaction keeps the brand incrementally more top-of-mind, translating into more content creation opportunities.

Delight and Helpful

The best way to grow share of voice is to delight your customers. Delighted customers create satisfaction-driven content, which reaches other customers and prospective customers of your brand, essentially doing your marketing for you.

But that free marketing can be both a blessing and a curse. Social media is the ultimate b.s. test. If you’re mediocre, the community will figure it out, and fast. How would you like to be the #67 hotel for Indianapolis on Tripadvisor.com?

But don’t think the actual attributes of your product or service have to be great. They don’t. There are plenty of companies active in social media who use their prowess there to overcome deficiencies in their core business (Comcast, for example). In social media, it’s more important to be helpful than good.

Faces, not Logos

People are interesting. Companies typically are not. Thus, people like to talk about people. Perezhilton.com, Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, Sportscenter. Whether it’s rooted in envy, admiration, gossip or disdain, we have an innate kinship as a species that I just don’t see among my son’s hermit crabs.

Thus, if you want to increase your share of voice, don’t just give your customers something to talk about, give them SOMEBODY to talk about, too. This is the core of Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s forthcoming new book “Trust Agents.” Scott Monty for Ford. Lionel Menchaca at Dell. Donna Tocci at Ingersoll-Rand, Frank Eliason at Comcast. When I think of those brands, I think of those people, not the logos.

Give Lollipops

When you’re a kid, you get a lollipop from the doctor if you were a good, complacent boy, and you got the same lollipop if you threw a tantrum, knocked over a table of instruments, and tore the posters off the walls. (which one was me?) While dog trainers, marriage counselors and others might disagree, I support this concept of reward independent of behavior, and you should too.

Other than in an initial audit circumstance, I have a hard time grasping the concept of social media listening without responding. Would you pick up your (800) number and just breath into the phone, listening to customer praise or complaints without saying a word?

If you want to increase your share of voice, recognize people for taking the time to create content about your company, whether that content is satisfaction-driven or dissatisfaction-driven. If somebody uploads a photo of your product on Flickr, track them down and send them a thank you note and a coupon or a T-shirt. And if somebody writes a negative blog post about your company, answer the comment (remember the power of public customer service), try to solve their problem, and send them a thank you and a coupon or T-shirt.

If you treat the negative as good or better as the positive, it’s amazing how much you can innoculate against ongoing dissatisfaction.

Are you tracking share of voice? How are you going to increase it?

  • http://jobing.com/ Brett (@thatpassionguy)

    Great article. Just got back from the 2009 Social Recruiting Summit and a lot of what was said was based around a seven step social media model.

    1) Unknown
    2) Listening
    3) Goal Setting
    4) Participating
    5) Monitoring
    6) Engagement
    7) Community

    A lot of people are in the 1-4 range. Some are in the 5 range. Where Twitter, FB, and all these social media tools need to aim for is the 6-7, just like this article says. Engage with the content, engage with the people, and later, most likely much later if ever, you’ll have a community. That’s the goal for business today.

  • http://jobing.com Brett (@thatpassionguy)

    Great article. Just got back from the 2009 Social Recruiting Summit and a lot of what was said was based around a seven step social media model.

    1) Unknown
    2) Listening
    3) Goal Setting
    4) Participating
    5) Monitoring
    6) Engagement
    7) Community

    A lot of people are in the 1-4 range. Some are in the 5 range. Where Twitter, FB, and all these social media tools need to aim for is the 6-7, just like this article says. Engage with the content, engage with the people, and later, most likely much later if ever, you’ll have a community. That’s the goal for business today.

  • http://www.sonnygill.com/ Sonny Gill

    It’s amazing at how much “Giving Lollipops” works for both sides of the coin. Reaching out to the your detractors is sometimes more rewarding as you have the opportunity to turn around the voice and thinking of someone who may very well hate what you or your company does, and into a believer and someone who might now be willing to go to bat for you.

    Fantastic points here, Jason!
    [rq=34070,0,blog][/rq]#CmtyChat Kickoff

  • http://www.sonnygill.com/ Sonny Gill

    It’s amazing at how much “Giving Lollipops” works for both sides of the coin. Reaching out to the your detractors is sometimes more rewarding as you have the opportunity to turn around the voice and thinking of someone who may very well hate what you or your company does, and into a believer and someone who might now be willing to go to bat for you.

    Fantastic points here, Jason!
    [rq=34070,0,blog][/rq]#CmtyChat Kickoff

  • http://www.sonnygill.com Sonny Gill

    It’s amazing at how much “Giving Lollipops” works for both sides of the coin. Reaching out to the your detractors is sometimes more rewarding as you have the opportunity to turn around the voice and thinking of someone who may very well hate what you or your company does, and into a believer and someone who might now be willing to go to bat for you.

    Fantastic points here, Jason!
    [rq=34070,0,blog][/rq]#CmtyChat Kickoff

  • http://hip-shots.com/ James (@JHipkin)

    Great post Jason, and very timely as more and more companies and brands stick their toes into Social Media.

    I really liked the line, “In social media, it’s more important to be helpful than good” and would add that this is true for all interactions with customers regardless of channel.

    The same goes for lollipops. Good customers expect to be rewarded. They know who they are and what they are worth. Rewarding them brings added value and elevates you from being a product with a name to being a brand so give them lollipops whenever you can.

    Great stuff.
    [rq=34115,0,blog][/rq]Relationship Marketing’s 5th Principle — Relationships at Risk

  • http://hip-shots.com/ James (@JHipkin)

    Great post Jason, and very timely as more and more companies and brands stick their toes into Social Media.

    I really liked the line, “In social media, it’s more important to be helpful than good” and would add that this is true for all interactions with customers regardless of channel.

    The same goes for lollipops. Good customers expect to be rewarded. They know who they are and what they are worth. Rewarding them brings added value and elevates you from being a product with a name to being a brand so give them lollipops whenever you can.

    Great stuff.
    [rq=34115,0,blog][/rq]Relationship Marketing’s 5th Principle — Relationships at Risk

  • http://ekolsky.wordpress.com/ Esteban Kolsky

    Jay,

    The issue of customer advocacy (building customers that advocate for your brand) is critical to development of a brand. Too bad few of them notice it.

    It is also entwined in two areas dear to my heart: communities and experience management. I think that you hit some good points, but you need to emphasize more the integration that brand has to establish between the advocacy programs it has and the entire experience. It is not sufficient to hand out the lollipops at the time of advocacy, it has to be spread out throughout the experience. it has been my experience (no pun intended) that organizations that build awesome experiences have better advocates — even without handing out lollipops at the end.

    of course, crafting awesome experiences involve the rest of what you describe above…

    nice post
    [rq=34151,0,blog][/rq]Why The Obsession With Loyalty?

  • http://ekolsky.wordpress.com/ Esteban Kolsky

    Jay,

    The issue of customer advocacy (building customers that advocate for your brand) is critical to development of a brand. Too bad few of them notice it.

    It is also entwined in two areas dear to my heart: communities and experience management. I think that you hit some good points, but you need to emphasize more the integration that brand has to establish between the advocacy programs it has and the entire experience. It is not sufficient to hand out the lollipops at the time of advocacy, it has to be spread out throughout the experience. it has been my experience (no pun intended) that organizations that build awesome experiences have better advocates — even without handing out lollipops at the end.

    of course, crafting awesome experiences involve the rest of what you describe above…

    nice post
    [rq=34151,0,blog][/rq]Why The Obsession With Loyalty?

  • http://ekolsky.wordpress.com Esteban Kolsky

    Jay,

    The issue of customer advocacy (building customers that advocate for your brand) is critical to development of a brand. Too bad few of them notice it.

    It is also entwined in two areas dear to my heart: communities and experience management. I think that you hit some good points, but you need to emphasize more the integration that brand has to establish between the advocacy programs it has and the entire experience. It is not sufficient to hand out the lollipops at the time of advocacy, it has to be spread out throughout the experience. it has been my experience (no pun intended) that organizations that build awesome experiences have better advocates — even without handing out lollipops at the end.

    of course, crafting awesome experiences involve the rest of what you describe above…

    nice post
    [rq=34151,0,blog][/rq]Why The Obsession With Loyalty?

  • http://www.radian6.com/ David Alston

    Jason I absolutely loved your line “Would you pick up your (800) number and just breath into the phone, listening to customer praise or complaints without saying a word?” So true and such a wonderful visual reference to make a point. We often call it “active listening”, where people know you are listening to them. Often the best way to be “active” is to engage – help, empathize, ask questions, etc… And the thing is people give you credit just for showing up in many cases, whether you are responding to a positive or negative comment, a question, a need etc…

    I would also build even further on your first point. Engaging with customers creates relationships and when given a choice between two comparable products/services people will generally always go with the people they like the best. It’s human nature.

    Loved the whole post. Great stuff.

    @davidalston
    Radian6
    [rq=34599,0,blog][/rq]The Rockstars of Social CRM

  • http://www.radian6.com/ David Alston

    Jason I absolutely loved your line “Would you pick up your (800) number and just breath into the phone, listening to customer praise or complaints without saying a word?” So true and such a wonderful visual reference to make a point. We often call it “active listening”, where people know you are listening to them. Often the best way to be “active” is to engage – help, empathize, ask questions, etc… And the thing is people give you credit just for showing up in many cases, whether you are responding to a positive or negative comment, a question, a need etc…

    I would also build even further on your first point. Engaging with customers creates relationships and when given a choice between two comparable products/services people will generally always go with the people they like the best. It’s human nature.

    Loved the whole post. Great stuff.

    @davidalston
    Radian6
    [rq=34599,0,blog][/rq]The Rockstars of Social CRM

  • http://www.radian6.com David Alston

    Jason I absolutely loved your line “Would you pick up your (800) number and just breath into the phone, listening to customer praise or complaints without saying a word?” So true and such a wonderful visual reference to make a point. We often call it “active listening”, where people know you are listening to them. Often the best way to be “active” is to engage – help, empathize, ask questions, etc… And the thing is people give you credit just for showing up in many cases, whether you are responding to a positive or negative comment, a question, a need etc…

    I would also build even further on your first point. Engaging with customers creates relationships and when given a choice between two comparable products/services people will generally always go with the people they like the best. It’s human nature.

    Loved the whole post. Great stuff.

    @davidalston
    Radian6
    [rq=34599,0,blog][/rq]The Rockstars of Social CRM

  • http://wordswillsaveme.wordpress.com/ Teresa Basich

    Love these points, Jay! Honestly, I wish that social media didn’t cover the mediocrity of certain companies, but I guess it says something about said companies’ efforts if they’re getting out there and engaging with their community in an effort to make up for their inadequacies, right?

    My fave: Putting faces to the brand! People like people. :) Simple as that.

    Good stuff. :)
    [rq=34656,0,blog][/rq]Twitter is Weeding, Not Killing, the Blogosphere

  • http://wordswillsaveme.wordpress.com Teresa Basich

    Love these points, Jay! Honestly, I wish that social media didn’t cover the mediocrity of certain companies, but I guess it says something about said companies’ efforts if they’re getting out there and engaging with their community in an effort to make up for their inadequacies, right?

    My fave: Putting faces to the brand! People like people. :) Simple as that.

    Good stuff. :)
    [rq=34656,0,blog][/rq]Twitter is Weeding, Not Killing, the Blogosphere

  • http://www.socialmedia-academy.com.au/ Walter Adamson

    Taking your post, which is very clear and helpful, and Brett’s 7-stage model, are you meaning this “community” is a non-company-branded community? Do you believe in a dual strategy of a branded community, plus the open communities in the social web?

    - Walter @g2m

  • http://www.socialmedia-academy.com.au/ Walter Adamson

    Taking your post, which is very clear and helpful, and Brett’s 7-stage model, are you meaning this “community” is a non-company-branded community? Do you believe in a dual strategy of a branded community, plus the open communities in the social web?

    - Walter @g2m

  • http://www.socialmedia-academy.com.au Walter Adamson

    Taking your post, which is very clear and helpful, and Brett’s 7-stage model, are you meaning this “community” is a non-company-branded community? Do you believe in a dual strategy of a branded community, plus the open communities in the social web?

    - Walter @g2m

  • http://twitter.com/judymartin8/status/2337419787 judymartin8

    Worth reading. RT @chrisbrogan: Some gold from @jaybaer . LOTS of comments, too – http://bit.ly/BudWV

  • http://twitter.com/shelleydelayne/status/2337427407 Shelley Delayne

    RT @chrisbrogan Some gold from @jaybaer (on using social media effectively for business). http://bit.ly/BudWV

  • http://twitter.com/twitlinksrss/status/2337570920 TwitLinksRSS

    4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert: Are y.. http://tinyurl.com/njmcm8

  • http://twitter.com/nickdecesare/status/2337589584 Nick DeCesare

    RT @chrisbrogan: Some gold from @jaybaer . LOTS of comments, too – http://bit.ly/BudWV

  • http://twitter.com/giloras/status/2369506409 G.I Lora

    4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice | Social Media Marketing http://cli.gs/B5gpmH

  • http://twitter.com/giloras/status/2369510368 G.I Lora

    4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice http://cli.gs/B5gpmH

  • http://twitter.com/proximityww/status/2676178630 Proximity Worldwide

    4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice #BBDOplanning http://bit.ly/JoD4M

  • http://twitter.com/2t411/status/2677882239 Insight Advertising

    RT 4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice #BBDOplanning http://bit.ly/JoD4M (via @ProximityWW)

  • http://twitter.com/mmullineaux/status/2943420978 Mike Mullineaux

    @jaybaer calls it – what are you doing to Increase Share of Voice? http://bit.ly/JoD4M

  • http://twitter.com/scott_turke/status/8644798472 Scott Turke

    RT @jaybaer 4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/4cV2oh

  • tena

    fantastic solutions to increase share of tour customer
    thank you :D

  • http://twitter.com/chriscbaldwin/status/18841458771 Chris Baldwin

    RT @jaybaer: 4 Ways to Increase Share of Voice http://ow.ly/eE4S Love this post from Jay Baer. More relevant every day.

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