POV: Should Share of Voice be a Paid Social KPI?


For some advertisers, SOV has become a consideration when evaluating success for paid media. Share of Voice (SOV) is an advertiser’s share of conversation around a certain product, topic, or vertical.

However, while SOV helps to understand real-time conversation, it does not provide a full view into campaign performance against media and business objectives, as there are several other factors that should be taken into account.

Evaluating Share of Voice As a KPI

There are four key things to consider when looking at SOV as a KPI in paid social:

  1. Minimal Control of Conversation: Advertisers lack control and purview of total market conversation. The voice of the consumer, competitor media spend, trends surrounding brand and competitors, etc. all affect the overall volume and growth of conversation around a brand.
  2. Minimal Effect on Business Objectives: SOV doesn’t provide the complete picture of campaign performance and undervalues actions that can be indicators of success or intent, such as video views, website clicks, and conversions.
  3. Inability to Track on Key Social Platforms: SOV is difficult to track and achieve on all platforms due to privacy settings and concerns, which significantly reduces the partner consideration set. When SOV is considered a key performance indicator (KPI), it may force exclusion of other channels that have the ability to achieve business objectives.
  4. Doesn’t Account For Sentiment: SOV does not take into account brand perception. SOV tracks all mentions of a brand, both positive and negative, which can be misleading if an advertiser is considering SOV as a KPI. A brand could have a high SOV, but if the conversation is mostly negative, the success of the campaign may either be misrepresented or distorted.

Resolution POV:

When evaluating paid social initiatives, advertisers should focus on metrics that are directly correlated to the ad campaign and align to overall business goals. SOV only takes into account actions that, in most cases, cannot be controlled by the advertiser, reduces strategic opportunities, and can misrepresent campaign success.  Advertisers should measure a variety of metrics to evaluate performance against business objectives.